Some vintage guitars sit under a bed and others really get out there and get some serious work done. We're talking blood, sweat, and tears. Getting tossed in the back of a van. Chauffeured across the country from smokey bar to juke joint to places that should rightly be condemned. Some nights you get paid, some nights you don't, but at least you get to play. This road warrior has done some serious miles.
Yep, it's a real '56 Stratocaster from when George and Leo were still roaming the halls and perfecting their classic designs. We're talking pre-rosewood fingerboards. Pre-multi-ply pickguard. There weren't ten types of Strats, there was just "The Stratocaster," and it looked like nothing else in this world. The body, neck, and neck-plate with serial number are original with the remaining parts being replaced one by one over the years. That was part of Leo's dream though: a guitar that could easily be upgraded and modified as the player saw fit.
The body has been painted numerous times and sanded down so it is now 1-5/8" thick rather than 1-3/4". The current black paint job is of the home-brew variety rather than a slick pro job. It appears that the body is ash. Under the pickguard the bridge and neck positions were enlarged for some P-90 pickups so it's ready for just about anything you might throw in there and it has been coated with conductive shielding paint. It currently has a nice set of Fender Custom Shop '57/'62 pickups for an authentic and glassy Strat sound (formvar magnet wire, staggered hand-beveled Alnico 5 pole pieces). It has a pro wiring job and 5-way switch.
The neck has recently gotten a professional re-fret with tall medium jumbo wire so it plays great. It has a newer bone nut and Schaller mini tuners. The neck has a hump that was sanded out at the time of the re-fret so the tops of the 5/7/9 fret markers were sanded down revealing the smaller base of the dots. On the back of the neck by the tip of the skunk stripe you can see a repaired crack. It has been inspected and it is solid. The finish has also been over-sprayed.
It's had one owner over the past 30+ years and actually has a pretty cool history. We'll disclose that info if you're interested but we know some players prefer not to know. A fresh start with a new love. :) We've left the tape on the back of the headstock, preserving the preferred string gauges for whatever tech or roadie might be handling it on any given day. It can easily be removed.
As a guitar this one absolutely sings. It's really light and resonant and comes in at a mere 6.2 lbs. It's been in this form for a while and is certainly gig-worthy as Fender's are as bullet-proof as they get. With the changes it's also a candidate for further restoration should that be a passion of yours. Please let us know if you have any questions, we'd be happy to give you an in-hand description or get you additional photographs if desired.
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