1956 Fender Stratocaster Clive Brown refin + OHSC

1956 Fender Stratocaster Clive Brown refin + OHSC

Fender |  56stratCBrefin  |  1 in stock_level

Superb, lightweight, early 1956 Strat with Clive Brown refinish and tweed case. Lots of mojo and a lot of guitar for the money...

This product is currently on hold.

Two tone tone machine from early 1956, Fender Stratocaster with Clive Brown refin and correct tweed case.

Two years into production, Leo Fender’s latest brainchild was surely on its way to world domination. In the hands of players such as Buddy Holly, the Strat became the guitar of choice for any aspiring guitarist looking to emulate their heroes.

This guitar is in good shape though it has had an interesting history. Bought by the previous owner in LA around 1993, the body had been painted black with some lacquer having been applied to the neck. Unfortunately, any prior history to this point has been lost to time. Once back in the UK, the guitar was sent to Clive Brown for refinishing. The owner did admit to us that prior to the refinishing he’d enlarged the control cavity ever so slightly around the middle pickup tone control so that things fit a bit better. This is so hard to see that if we had not just told you, you would never know it was there… No other woodwork was carried out.

Elsewhere there is evidence of another pickguard having been fitted as there is a filled hole on the bass side. Aside from these things, the body is in great shape and thankfully the body date at the top of the trem cavity, under the claw, has been retained, dating the body at February 1956 and like the neck, was probably finished by Tadeo Gomez. In addition, the guitar is signed by Buddy Guy. The previous owner visited his Legends club in Chicago, taking the body with him, and asked the blues legend to sign it. It can be said that he held the guitar at least and if anyone wants to remove this, it is easily done.

The neck (dated February 1956 and finished by Tadeo Gomez) has the medium C profile that preceded the soft V more commonly associated with the end of 1956 in to 1957 period. As previously stated, the neck has been oversprayed, evidence of the original lacquer can be clearly seen through the clear coat under UV light. This overspray includes the headstock though the original decal is still present. The previous owner had the neck refretted by Chandlers and the fretboard seems to have been refinished. The tuners have been replaced with very authentic looking reproductions. The signature on the back of the headstock is that of Hank Marvin.

At just 3.32Kg the guitar is a real nice lightweight example and a joy to play.

Some of the plastics are correct to the guitar. The pickguard and switch tip are correct whereas the pickup covers and the trem arm tip are reproductions. The pickup covers are actually REALLY good repros!

All other hardware is correct and shows the reasonable wear of nearly 65 years of use.

Electrically we have a trio of original pickups that do not look to have been rewound, a trio of pots and correct phonebook cap. The switch is a five way from the 70s and some of the solder has been reflowed inevitably.

The magic of these guitars from this period is most certainly the black bottom pickups that, combined with the maple neck and the ash body, have such a delicious sound. It is no wonder that Strats from this period are so sought after. The neck is wonderfully smooth, the middle pickup introduces a little more bite with the bridge delivering plenty of twang without ever being too shrill.

Included with the guitar are various curios and documents relating to its history. We have a CD and ticket to see Buddy Guy in Chicago where the previous owner took the body (he was an airline pilot) for Buddy Guy to sign. There is another interesting fact, this guitar serial number 10040 is just one serial number away from Howard Reed’s legendary black Strat (number 10041) that Joe Bonamassa now owns. The previous owner is including some magazine pages about this.

This guitar has had a journey and though it may not be a museum piece, these guitars really are a revelation especially if you’ve got a stock ‘Stratocaster’ sound imprinted in your head. Grab this one before it gets away.

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At a glance

Model: Stratocaster
Year: 1956
Finish: Sunburst

Modifications: Evidence of a previous pickguard, some changed plastics, repro tuners
Repairs: Refinished by Clive Brown, 70's five way switch, oversprayed neck, refinished fingerboard, refret
Weight: 3.32 Kg

Case: Correct Tweed hardshell case
Fingerboard: Maple
Tuners: Reproduction Kluson style tuners

Pickups: 3 x Correct Black bottom Single coil
Hardware: Correct Chrome
Neck Profile: Medium C
Pots: 3 x Correct 250k Stackpole




We are located in Gloucestershire, UK. All items are in stock and can be viewed, tried out through a variety of vintage amplifiers and purchased, by appointment at our demo facilities in Gloucester.

We despatch virtually anywhere in the world and we have enormous experience in hassle-free, safe shipping.

Landline (generally staffed 9AM-6PM Monday to Friday): 01242 697607‬

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ATB Guitars, PO Box 1378, Cheltenham GL50 9JU