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Fender Vintage 65 Stratocaster Lacquer Finish

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Product Description

At Northern Lights Music, we love Stratocasters. When we're at home relaxing with the family on the couch, or rocking out with the full band, we like an instrument which is ergonomic, precise, and tone rich. The Strat has all of those things. By 1965 the Stratocaster had been perfected to combine the ergonomics of a contoured body with the precise action and intonation of the Fender fret system. A lot of the tone from a Strat comes from the synchronized tremolo, which provides sustain with a heavy bridge block, and resonance with a set of tension springs. This particular instrument, the '65 reissue, features an Alder body. Alder is an interesting wood because it is part of the Birch family, and it's a hard wood so I will resonate at higher frequencies and with greater sustain than a softer material. The '65 reissue also features a Lacquer finish, which is important because the surface of the body expands and contracts as the instrument flexes and resonates, conducting much of the sound. Lacquer has a different tone than modern polymer based finishes, which may have to do with it's lightly lower hardness, and slightly higher viscoelasticity, or at least that's my impression of it. Lacquer isn't as resistant to scratching and it is susceptible to harsh cleaners. It also will crackle if subjected to rapid temperature change, like cold to hot. We like lacquer because of it's vintage tone, and thats why it is used by Santa Cruz Guitar Co. and Collings Guitars. We wanted to bring in a Fender which could keep pace with some of these boutique builders, and we think that the '65 Strat is just the right thing for those of you who are looking for a truly exceptional instrument.

The '65 Strat comes with some important accessories. It includes a period correct case from G&G, black with an orange interior. It includes a guitar strap. It also comes with a bridge cover, which is the chrome dome which hides the bridge intonation pieces, usually not included with a Strat but included with the '65.

View the full resolution photographs on Google Drive,

and check out the '65 Strat at Fender.com .


For the guitarist who craves pure vintage Fender style, the American Vintage series presents original-era model year guitars built with meticulous attention to accurate detail that bring Fender history and heritage to authentic and exciting new life.

Relive the sound and spirit of 1965 with the American Vintage ’65 Stratocaster. Smack in the middle of one of music’s most electrifying decades, the Stratocaster in 1965 was an instrument on its way to becoming rock’s greatest electric guitar. Built with original tooling and based directly on actual 1965 models we tracked down, this U.S.-made guitar returns you to a pivotal period when the Strat® was poised to soar to phenomenal new heights.

  • Thick maple neck with "Mid-'60s C"-shaped profile
  • Round-laminated rosewood fingerboard
  • Specially voiced pickups with modern five-way switch; optional three-way switch included
  • Three-ply 11-hole white pickguard
  • Aged plastic control knobs
  • Vintage-accurate bridge saddles, tuner spacing and more

The term flash-coat lacquer refers specifically to the quickly applied thin and final "flash" of topcoat lacquer applied to most American Vintage instruments. The composition and method of application for this finish layer lets an instrument "breathe" with a more natural resonance, and imparts a more authentically vintage appearance.


American Vintage instruments feature specially voiced pickups meticulously researched and crafted to reproduce the authentic design, voice and performance of specific instruments from individual model years in the 1950, ’60s and ’70s. Their superior sound and style is one of the defining hallmarks of the American Vintage series.


This instrument’s thicker "Mid-'60s C" neck profile (the shape of the neck in cross section) is sculpted to the most accurate period-correct spec possible, imparting an authentic vintage playing feel straight from the individual model year. Ideal for those who play with the thumb on the back or side of the neck.


A string nut fashioned from bone contributes to superior tone and performance, not to mention being an authentic original-era Fender design element. Many players consider bone string nuts more "organic" sounding, with tonal quality unmatched by string nuts made using synthetic materials.


Fender introduced "round-lam" (short for round-laminated) rosewood fingerboards in the early 1960s as a new method of attaching smooth-playing and attractive rosewood fingerboards—in a thin, rounded veneer-like form—to sturdy maple necks. In look, sound and feel, it’s a classic Fender design element still widely used today on many contemporary and vintage-style instruments.


American Vintage instruments are complemented by cases that are every bit as vintage-authentic as the guitars and basses they so stylishly contain, accompanied by a fascinating wealth of in-case reproduction extras and accessories, such as straps, cables, polishing cloths, wiring kits, bridge covers, owner’s manuals and more.

  • Body Material
  • Body Finish
    Fender Flash Coat Lacquer
  • Body Shape
  • Neck Material
  • Neck Finish
    Fender Flash Coat Lacquer
  • Neck Shape
    Mid '60s "C"
  • Scale Length
    25.5" (648 mm)
  • Fingerboard Material
    Round-Laminated Rosewood
  • Fingerboard Radius
    7.25" (184.1 mm)
  • Number of Frets
  • Fret Size
  • Nut Material
  • Nut Width
    1.650" (42 mm)
  • Position Inlays
    Pearloid Dot
  • Truss Rod
    Vintage-Style Butt Adjust
  • Bridge Pickup
    American Vintage '65 Gray-Bottom Single-Coil Strat
  • Middle Pickup
    American Vintage '65 Gray Bottom Single-Coil Strat
  • Neck Pickup
    American Vintage '65 Gray Bottom Single-Coil Strat
  • Controls
    Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 2. (Bridge/Middle Pickup)
  • Switching
    5-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup, Position 3. Middle Pickup, Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickup, Position 5. Neck Pickup
  • Configuration
  • Bridge
    6-Saddle American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo
  • Hardware Finish
    Chrome/Nickel-Plated Steel
  • Tuning Machines
    Single Line "Fender Deluxe" Vintage Style
  • Pickguard
    3-Ply White with Vintage Bevel
  • Control Knobs
    Aged White Plastic
  • Switch Tip
    Aged White
  • Neck Plate
    4-Bolt Vintage-Style
  • Strings
    Fender® USA 250R NPS, (.010-.046 Gauges)
  • Other Features
    Thick C-shaped maple neck with round-laminated rosewood fingerboard and larger pearl dot inlays; All-new pickups wound to period-correct specs and sound; Vintage-accurate bridge saddles and tuner spacing
  • Legal Notice
    Product Prices, Features, Specifications and Availability Are Subject To Change Without Notice
  • Case/Gig Bag
    Updated Deluxe Vintage Black
  • Included Accessories
    Vintage '65 Strat Strap, Cable, and Cloth; Vintage 3-Position Switch, '60s Strat Information Kit, Bridge Cover, Owner's Manual, Saddle Height Wrench


Fender® Electric Guitar Owner's Manual
American Vintage '65 Stratocaster® Service Diagrams

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