The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Fender Stratocaster 1961 Sunburst


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Here is a wonderful rarity – a Fender Stratocaster 1961 model in its original sunburst and with a Rosewood ‘slab’ fingerboard on a Maple neck with heavy Birds-Eye figuring.

Introduced in 1954 as a follow up to the highly successful Telecaster, the Stratocaster had only minor alterations until mid 1959 when it gained a major new feature – a Rosewood fingerboard – taken from the new-for-1958 Jazzmaster. Intended to extend the appeal of these models to Gibson buyers, the Rosewood fingerboard was initially a ‘Slab Board’ style, meaning that a flat-bottomed slab of Rosewood was glued to the flat top of a Maple neck blank. This was the case until mid 1962, when Fender worked out a production method for applying a Rosewood veneer to a curved -top neck blank. Until the late 1960s when supplies ran low and embargoes took effect, these Rosewood boards were sourced from Brazil, and then replaced with Indian Rosewood.

Here we’re looking at a Fender Stratocaster 1961 Sunburst model, with a body date of October 1960, neck date of January 1961, and pot codes pointing to 1960. The original bridge cover, often discarded, is in the original brown tolex hard shell case along with the single-layer back plate and the remaining two trem springs.   The original three-way switch is in place.   These 3-way switches differ from the later 5-way switches in that the 5- ways have two more detents in the switch frame, allowing the lever to ‘park’ in an ‘in-between’ position where one of the outside pickups and the middle pickup will both be on.   Without wiring modification, there’s no way to get the outside pickups or all three on at once.   The three-layer pickguard is unbroken and covers a thin metal shield, which can be seen just peeking out near the bass end of the middle and neck pickups.  

This fine vintage guitar in good working order and with honest play wear – through a natural relic process- to the body and neck finish, moderate wear to to heavy wear to the frets (which look to be original), and light to moderate fingernail wear to the fingerboard itself. The neck profile is my personal favorite, not ‘chunky’, and not too narrow or wide and with a very slight V, distinct from the ‘flatter’ C shape some have.    This guitar is hard to put down!

This Fender Stratocaster 1961 is sold with its original brown tolex hard shell case, which is also in good condition. 

Price: $28,500.00 CAD
  • Model: Stratocaster
  • Year: 1961
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 11/04/2021

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 7.524lbs 3.42kg
  • Scale Length: 25.5in 647.7mm
  • Nut Width: 1.643in 41.73mm
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