Here is a vintage 1957 Fender Stratocaster electric guitar. This particularly clean example, serial number -20207, is in very fine original condition, and includes: the original Koylon tweed case, original hang tag with corresponding serial number, original polish cloth with early Fender logo in original wax paper bag, original tremolo arm, original “ash tray” bridge cover, original leather strap, original Tremolo adjustment pamphlet, original Fender Stratocaster catalog pullout page and (3) vintage Fender string packets: opening the case’s accessory compartment is like opening a veritable time capsule filled with the ultimate case candy. Aside from a replaced volume pot, installed in the early-80’s, this example is in very excellent 100% original condition. Usually, guitars with such a collection of ephemera and original accessories has a story involving an original owner, however, I really don’t have a tale to tell. It has been uncirculated, and was acquired from a long-time collector, otherwise, there’s not much to report. Overall, this spectacular specimen is a solid 8.8/10 and exhibits extremely minimal actual playing wear. This classic mid-’57 Strat features an incredibly well-preserved, remarkably sheen and unfaded, two-tone Sunburst finish over an attractive Alder body, and exhibits an amazing soft-V neck profile shape. Amongst the most iconic guitars ever made, alongside the ’59 Burst and ’52 Tele, the ’57 Strat is not just an incredible piece of Rock’n’Roll history, it also happens to be a symbolic icon of American culture in the 20th century.
Serial Number: -20207
Neck Date: 11-57
Body Date: 5-57
Pot Codes: 304 724 (Stackpole)
Weight: 7 lbs. 7 oz.
Pickup Resistance: 5.73Ω (bridge), 5.76Ω (middle), 6.06Ω (neck)
While this guitar obviously displays some rather superficial storage wear in the form of random dings caused by free-floating accessories within the case, it is in very beautiful cosmetic condition. Save for an area of small blemishes on the back side of the bass cutaway horn, the guitar easily surpasses the closet classic condition of brand new Fender reissues. The finish retains an original luster and brilliance, and the maple neck is still bright. The weather-cehcking is very subtle and quite attractive. There is barely any fingerboard wear, nor is there evidence of significant visible fret wear. The headstock is crisp aside from a missing flake from the decal, as is the back of the peghead and the original single-line Kluson tuning machines. The original non-bakelite ABS plastic covers have faded to a beautifully yellowed earth-tone! Please thoroughly inspect the collection of photos, as I’m sure you’ll find it equally gorgeous.
For many Fender fanatics, the soft-V neck profile is considered the best, and this Strat features one of the most comfortable soft-V neck shapes I’ve ever experienced. The intuitive neck contour enables enhanced playability and propagates easier string-bending. For the majority of players, the natural shape of the palm leverages better from the slightly angular neck shape. This neck feels fantastic, and since the finish is entirely intact, every inch is smooth to the touch.
This guitar sounds incredible. I much prefer the tonality and output of this era Strat pickup to those produced later during the slabboard stint, however, this Strat absolutely trumps anything which came later. It’s transparent, yet warm. It has pronounced twang without being thin or harsh. It resonates with rich harmonic overtones, and sings when played through an amp with natural overdrive. Truly inspirational to play, with the ability to form an instant bond, this is everything you’d desire in a guitar.
Once again, 99.9% of the parts are original. Nothing has been changed, altered, repaired, etc., aside from the replaced volume pot.