The 1957 Fender Stratocaster is considered one of the true classic Strats. Fender switched from ash to alder as their primary body wood in 1956, so ‘57 is the first full year with all alder Strats (excluding those with a blonde finish). Also in this year, Fender was gradually switching from bakelite to plastic pickup covers and control knobs, so some variation and mix between the two exist with ’57 Strats. This was also the last year of the thicker V-shaped neck profile and the 2-tone sunburst finish as standard. The maple neck and maple fingerboard were still staples.
This one has some history, but it’s all been good. Bought direct from its American owner (whose name appears on the neck plate) back in the ‘80s, we believe this was originally a custom coloured Strat, which were quite rare in 1957. We know that a subsequent owner commissioned noted Sydney luthier Frank Grubisa to apply a black refinish around 20 years ago. There is some white and possibly Desert Sand (one of Fender’s standard undercoats on custom coloured guitars) showing under the refin which is now wearing away nicely.
It has had a professional refret some time ago, and it is wearing a replacement replica ’57 pickguard. The original guard is a little discoloured, but is included in the sale. A five way switch has been installed, but the original three way switch is included.
Other features –
The neck date is 12/57
Pot codes: 2 x 304605 = 1956. 1 x later CTS pot
The neck plate serial number is 099xx = 1956
The bridge pickup reads 6.33
Middle pickup: 6.10
Neck pickup: 6.29
The guitar weighs in at a light 7.7 lbs
It has some minor fingerboard wear which does not affect playability. The neck has that perfect soft “v” shape. There is plenty of life left in the current frets, and the tuners and truss rod function perfectly. The tremolo works just fine & stays in tune.
The black bottom pickups are intact and offer that unique 50s Fender sound that has proven elusive to replicate – from the round, woody neck pickup tone, to lots of bite and cut from an extraordinary sounding bridge pickup.
There are some chips and scratches and some belt buckle rash on the back, but it all adds to the story of a well loved vintage instrument.
This is a fabulous example of a vintage 1957 Fender Stratocaster . Many Fender experts feel that 1957 is a golden year for the Stratocaster and this one sounds and plays as good as it looks.
Comes in its original tweed hard shell which has certainly seen some wear, but is still structurally OK.