I have personally examined the instrument described below.
We certify the instrument described below is, in our opinion, a Fender Stratocaster model electric guitar, made in the year 1959.
Description: Serial number: 41486 – die-stamped on metal neck attachment plate. The serial number of this instrument could indicate a date of manufacture in the year 1959 or 1960, but is insufficient to indicate a definitive date because these plates were pre-stamped in large quantities and then used in random order so the numbers do not strictly correspond to the final assembly dates. They also can be easily changed and do not serve as an indicator of originality for an entire instrument. However, the potentiometer manufacturing date codes (304 920 – indicates Stackpole potentiometers produced during the 20th week of the year 1959) are consistent with this guitar being originally assembled in the year 1959. Upon examination, we note the following modifications and condition issues: the body has a pencil date 6/59 inscribed in the tremolo cavity (but this number was probably written at a later time since it is under clear lacquer rather than under sunburst or other color as it would be if the finish were original), a hole has been drilled in the body running through the tremolo cavity completely through the body (possibly to mount the guitar to a wall, although we are a not certain exactly why this hole was drilled), the routed channel connecting the pickup cavities under the pickguard has been widened (this work was done before the finish was sprayed), a five-position pickup selector switch has been installed, replaced vol pot, the string nut has been replaced, the peghead logo decal has been replaced, and the fingerboard has been professionally re-fretted. The body has been re-finished in white and the original neck finish has been over-sprayed. In other respects, this instrument conforms to the typical specifications of the model for the period in which it was made with double-cutaway body, ten-screw single-ply white plastic pickguard (seen only on examples assembled during July 1959), integral tremolo bridge/tailpiece assembly with six adjustable string saddles (non-tremolo version was also available, but is much less common), three single-coil pickups, three white ABS plastic “skirt-style” control knobs, maple neck with adjustable truss-rod (adjustment at heel-end of neck), four-bolt metal neck attachment plate with die-stamped serial number, “single line” Kluson Deluxe tuners with metal buttons, 21-fret “slab style” Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with clay-dot inlays (use of “slab style” Brazilian rosewood fingerboard begins mid-year 1959), nickel-plated metal hardware, and other typical Stratocaster model appointments. The instrument is currently housed in a replacement rectangular Fender hard-shell case with black Tolex exterior covering and red plush interior lining (made circa 1970’s).
Gruhn moved to Nashville in 1969 after getting his bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and doing graduate work at Duke University and the University of Tennessee. In 1970, he established Gruhn Guitars, which is today one of the largest dealers of vintage and used instruments in the world. The "guitar guru" has been a featured columnist for Vintage Guitar, Guitar Player, Pickin', Frets, and Bluegrass Unlimited. He is the former executive vice president of research and development for Guild Guitars and designed several models for Tacoma guitars. When Gruhn took up an interest in guitars at college, he began to apply a systematic scientific approach to musical instruments. This was a new way to approach vintage guitars, banjos, and mandolins, making Gruhn an acknowledged leader in his field. He is the co-author of Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars, which is the comprehensive field guide to vintage fretted instruments, and the companion volumes Acoustic Guitars and Other Fretted Instruments and Electric Guitars and Basses. His articles have been published in numerous magazines.
Gruhn Guitars appraiser Joe Spann is a life-long student of the guitar and five-string banjo. He is a 1981 graduate of Florida Southern College and a 2005 diplomate of the National Institute on Genealogical Research at the National Archives, Washington D.C. Between 1981 and 1990 he was a professional touring musician, and also worked in central Florida theme parks and recording studios. For over 20 years he was the director of the Polk County Historical & Genealogical Library, and played a significant role in helping it achieve a reputation as a leading US research center. His lifelong study of the Gibson guitar company resulted in the 2011 publication of Spann’s Guide to Gibson 1902-1941, a book which is now recognized world-wide as one of the most respected standard references on the topic. Working at Gruhn Guitars since 2015, he has collaborated with George Gruhn to produce appraisals for many well-known performers and together they have co-authored over three dozen published articles.
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48 hour approval period upon receiving, no exceptions. Buyer is responsible for all appropriate, insured return shipping charges. Any changes to the instrument while in buyer's possession will void return. We have a 10 percent restock fee. We do not accept returns with electronics an amps.