SOLD - Fender L-Series Stratocaster Black Factory Refin - USA 1963
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The L Series Strats of the early 1960s are regarded by many as the greatest guitars ever built by Fender. At this point Leo Fender and his company had nearly 15 years of experience building guitars. The tooling, wood selection, and skills of the Fender guitar builders saw production quality peak in the early 60s, before the company was purchased by CBS in 1965.
In the early 60s the vast majority of Stratocasters were painted with a sunburst finish. Custom colours first appeared in the Fender catalogue in 1957 and their popularity steadily increased over the oncoming years.
With regard to this, many sunburst guitars started being refinished in new colours. Some shops would go so far as to acquire new sunburst Stratocasters and refinish them before being sold. Friend of this shop – Doug De Kroo and his shop ‘De Kroo Brothers Music’ were an early Australian shop to offer this service.
Original custom colour Stratocasters of this era are rare, and very valuable. The next best thing is a factory refinish – where a guitar has been professionally refinished in the Fender factory using the original materials and equipment. This black 1963 Stratocaster is an example of this.
As a general rule, factory refinished guitars of this era command a similar price to original sunburst examples. They bear Fender markings on the inside and are easy to identify as authentic pieces. A non-factory refinish is often much harder to value, as the paint quality may be unpredictable, and many markings that identify an authentic Fender body are often covered over.
This guitar is in great shape. The finish holds up well with light levels of play wear. Buckle rash is present on the back, however, has not broken through the finish. Pick strikes on the front show similar levels of wear. The pickguard has aged nicely with a subtle mint green appearance. A replacement bone nut, by Fryer Guitars, and a refret, conducted by renowned Sydney luthier Piers Crocker is a testament to the heritage of this guitar. The fretwire is original spec, with good height, making it easy to manipulate the strings without getting bogged down on the fretboard. The Brazilian rosewood presents as one of the cleaner, less worn examples we have seen. The neck has also been refinished in clear nitro with the appropriate decals reapplied to the headstock.
A detailed report of this guitar is attached to the listing in the last photo.
The pickups produce a beautifully clean Fender chime. While Strats typically have that ‘Strat sound’ we’ve played enough Fender Strats in the store to know they vary considerably. This is definitely one of the more clear and airy examples we have heard. The bridge and middle pickup have been rewound and all three pair well together.
This is a striking black beauty which is only matched in looks by its tone and playability.
Scale length: 25.5”
Fretboard Radius: 7.25”
Action at 1st fret: 0.3mm
Action at 12th fret: 1.75mm
Neck depth at 1st fret: 20.8mm
Neck depth at 12th fret: 25.25mm
Nut Width: 41.94mm
12 fret width: 50.74mm
Neck material: Maple with Brazilian rosewood veneer board
Fretboard inlays: Clay
Front Pickup: 5.05k Original
Middle Pickup: 6.5k rewound
Bridge Pickup: 6.4k rewound
Tuners: Original Kluson Deluxe
Pickguard: Original mint green
Bridge: Original Tremolo
Electronics: Standard with three way selector
Case: Period Correct Fender HSC