Probably the cheapest maple neck 59 Strat with original finish and original tweed case on the block...
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The last to have a one piece maple neck and single-ply guard, the 1959 Fender Stratocaster and this is probably one of the cheapest, original finish 59 Strat out there…
The end of the decade brought about some more dramatic changes to the aesthetic of the Stratocaster as Leo continued to tinker with his second 6 string child. 1958 had brought about the three-tone sunburst finish but 1959 brought about far more changes. These included the now infamous Nitrate Cellulose pickguard, rosewood ‘slab-board’ and a few more minor behind the scenes things, enough changes in fact that this could be the true second incarnation of the Strat.
This guitar just oozes mojo. From the way that the three tone sunburst has faded and worn around the contouring to where the wood is exposed is so evocative, each piece telling a story. There are marks and bumps all over the body, mapping out venous trial and tribulation over the years. Though maybe not immediately obvious, the key thing about this guitar are the repairs to the body. It’s a testament to whoever repaired these that they aren’t more obvious and its evident that great care has been taken to cut out and patch the wood and only refinish there body where its needed, retaining most of the original finish.
At some point in its life someone decided to slightly modify this guitar with other pickups and electronics then changed their mind, put the original pickups back in to a replacement guard and replacement knobs. They routed at least a couple of sections including an area above the neck pickup which is visible at the right angle and a chunk under the guard. All of these have been expertly repaired and filled in and touched up.
What is noteworthy is that the red dye hasn’t faded very much. Fender used particularly photo-reactive dye in 1959. When exposed to UV light the red dye would fade, something thats more evident under the pickguard. This guitar seems to have escaped that fate.
The neck date reads March 1959 which makes this one of the last few Stratocasters to leave the factory with a one piece maple neck. It has been refretted and has a new nut. Headstock has not been touched
The hardware shows signs of corrosion and wear though everything works well. The trem arm has been bent by a previous owner to be more ergonomic.
Electrically, all the pots and and the selector switch have been replaced with 70s examples. The wiring has been corrected but the pickups seem untouched.
The guitar comes with a bang on correct for 1959 original tweed hardshell case.
This guitar is a real pleasure to play. The neck is comfortable and not as thin as they got later in the same year. The black bottom pickups have such a clear and three dimensional tone without any of the harshness that later incarnation of these pickups produced. It is a nice lightweight one too at just 3.36Kg.
You’ve got to love this guitar for the looks alone, and when you get your hands on it you won’t want to put it down. Don’t hang around though….
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