The Fender Stratocaster is arguably the most iconic, most played, and most copied electric guitar design of all time. Fender launched the Strat in 1954, and the model evolved throughout the ’50s and ’60s. Following the CBS purchase of Fender in 1965, guitars from late 1965 and 1966 are considered “transition” era Fenders. And a while before the newbies at CBS started tinkering with the design of the Strat, the company continued to make well regarded instruments from 1967 through to 1969. And as we all know, substantial changes were in place from 1971 on.
But compared to the pre CBS output, relatively few Stratocasters were made in 1967, 68 and 69. The guitars from those years adhered primarily to earlier design principles apart from the enlarged headstock and F stamped tuners.
And one James Marshall Hendrix certainly made good use of a 69 Strat at Woodstock.
Here is a great playing, sharp-looking example of a classic late 60s Fender Stratocaster. The look is iconic – double cutaway contoured alder body, with a white pickguard on a nicely aged sunburst finish.
Maple neck with D profile
Curved rosewood fretboard with pearloid dot inlays.
White three-layer pickguard.
Larger style headstock.
Four bolt neck plate.
Single string tree.
25.5” scale length.
1 5/8” nut width.
Three grey-back single coil pickups with staggered pole pieces and white plastic covers.
Three-way pickup selector (neck/middle/bridge) with white switch tip.
One volume and two tone controls with white plastic knobs.
Synchronized tremolo bridge individual adjustable string saddles.
This one has had a newer Fender bridge plate fitted along with a set of vintage aged saddles stamped with period correct “Fender Pat.Pend.”
It has had a pro refret and a new nut fitted. A new volume pot was installed by Piers Crocker.
Apart from that this guitar appears to be in original condition, including –
Original 3 colour sunburst finish
Pickups & covers
3 ply pearl back pickguard
3 way selector switch
All knobs & switch tip
This 69 Strat is in very good shape. There are some expected dings, dents and marks to the finish on the top and sides. The back has a bit of wear with some buckle rash, and an area worn down to the wood. The neck is very clean, with little wear showing on the back, or on the lovely rosewood fingerboard.
The action is a comfortable medium height. It plays just fine as it is, and could easily be adjusted to preference. Frets are in great shape, with no wear showing. There is no buzz or fretting out along the neck and intonation is good.
Tone from the coveted original grey-back pickups is classic Strat – round and warm in the neck, chimey in the middle, and spanky in the bridge. And weighing in at only 7.3 lbs this is a light and lively guitar.
Pickup readings – N = 5.5k M = 5.3k B = 5.6k
Serial number on the neck plate 2xxx83 points to early 1970, but may not be 100% accurate
While the neck date is faded, with careful scrutiny it clearly reads MAR69B
Grey bottom pickups are stamped 69
Original pearl backed pickguard points to late ’69, and pots are coded 1966.
Weight: 7.3 lbs
This is a great opportunity to own a very original classic Strat without the L Series price tag.
Comes in its original Australian made Fender branded Stamford case in very good condition.