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Pre-CBS 60's Strats/Teles with maple caps

Samba

Member
Messages
483
I had the below CS "63" Strat about 10 years ago - maple board, no skunk or plug. Anyone care to share their knowledge, pics or info on vintage maple capped models 60-65? Side dots and construction (lam/slab) of particular interest. Thanks.

 

stratter

Member
Messages
1,421
If there's no skunk stripe, then that means that it's a two piece neck, which I don't think fender did unless it was rosewood. I know fender had some maple capped models, but I believe they were crazy rare. I don't know much, but I would check the authenticity. It looks in awful great shape for a pre-CBS stratocaster. The neck really is suspicious to me.
 

Samba

Member
Messages
483
The strat in the pic is a custom shop nos recreation. Yes, the 'crazy rare' vintage examples are what we're here to discuss. ;-)
 

IPLAYLOUD

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,988
Yes, old Strats are VERY VERY rare.
Funny that most of the ones I have seen were small headstock '65s where most of the Teles you'll find are '66 and newer.
This is a '65 Strat that Winwood ordered new.
 

vibrasonic

Member
Messages
1,869
Wasn't Jimi's Woodstock strat a maple cap?

I've played a 69 maple cap tele. They have no skunk stripe or walnut plug.
 

65DuoSonic

Member
Messages
4,968
Steve Winwood played a white, maple-cap, spaghetti logo, small headstock, mid-'60s Strat in the Spencer Davis Group. He also had a similar Tele.

"At one point, I had a Stratocaster and a Telecaster; they both had the early maple necks. That would have been about 1966. Maple necks had gone out of production earlier, and they had just started making them again. They were both white with white maple necks." (https://www.guitar.com/articles/steve-winwood-interview-always-guitar-player)

Here is some cool performance footage of the Spencer Davis Group playing on Finnish TV. Winwood is playing the Strat:


Here are some photos of Winwood with the Strat:





I recall a '65 Strat with a transition logo, small headstock, and maple cap on the Fretted Americana website a while ago: http://frettedamericana.com/product/1965-fender-stratocaster-1

Here's Phil X demoing it:



EDIT: I just realized IPLAYLOUD already posted about Winwood. Whoops.
 

jgretsch

Member
Messages
59
Hendrix also had at least one.
Here is a clip from his concert in Finland in 1967.


The soundtrack on this film is played by Finnish guitarist Hasse Walli, who
also happened to be at the concert.
 

Debt_by_6_string

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
161
I was curious about this topic as well...Trying to dissect the info I've read in many Fender coffee table books and some knowledge I've found out along the way...

Maple Cap fretboards we're an unofficial option in the early 60s. As mentioned above, some were special guitars made for artists and promos. If I am not mistaken they became a published option around '63 or so (can someone please help verify when it was in literature?), but obviously still very extremely rare...

The Maple got the Veneer treatment just like the Rosewood did (the RW first in August of '62 and then thinner veneer in '63), but those Maple caps are so rare that I don't know when exactly they went from slab to veneer. Every late '60s cap I see is a veneer. Obviously, post-CBS ('65 to early '69) maple caps are a little more common, especially closer to '69 as the used the used guitar bug started catching on in the late '60s and people were starting to really appreciate the old '50s Fenders.

To the contrary there is a Black Lefty '61 Strat in the "Galaxy of Strats" book that has a one piece maple neck with skunk stripe, but that's most likely a case of overstock on lefty necks from the '50s OR they hadn't made a jig or template to make a left-handed 2 pc neck yet. I'll try to post a pic when I get home.

Here is a '64 Strat in Firemist Gold (a year before it was officially offered in '65) custom ordered with a maple cap:

 

Samba

Member
Messages
483
Hendrix also had at least one.
Thanks for sharing. I wonder if anyone knows what colour that one was? Looks metallic in some of the pics.

To the contrary there is a Black Lefty '61 Strat in the "Galaxy of Strats" book that has a one piece maple neck with skunk stripe, but that's most likely a case of overstock on lefty necks from the '50s OR they hadn't made a jig or template to make a left-handed 2 pc neck yet. I'll try to post a pic when I get home.
Huh, never noticed that one (probably because it's lefty). Pretty sure the '64 FM Gold you posted above is on page 32.

 
Last edited:

Debt_by_6_string

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
161
Thanks for sharing. I wonder if anyone knows what colour that one was? Looks metallic in some of the pics.

Huh, never noticed that one (probably because it's lefty). Pretty sure the '64 FM Gold you posted above is on page 32.
HAHA! Yes...you're hip to it already. And I am pretty sure you are right about page 032:



According to my copy of "Fender: The Golden Age 1946-1970" it reads:

"Although Maple fingerboards had been a custom option on Telecasters, Stratocasters and the Precision Bass since the early to mid-'60s, January '67 saw these reintroduced as an official option and one the became instantly popular." So does anyone have any info or copies of pre-CBS Fender lit about it being a custom option?

And yes, that small headstock, maple board that Hendrix had looks like a metallic finish. It might have been this one that I found in a thread at another forum. It's a Candy Apple Red, small headstock with trans logo, so late '64 thru most of '65. A pretty rare one indeed. Here is what the poster said about it:

"Here's a few pics of it, notice that line going from the bridge to the butt end of the guitar in the last pic, the B&W one? That's a crack. He had smashed it previously and had it glued back together. Eventually he painted it all psychedelic, and painted the back white, and then put a poem over that, after that, he destroyed it at the Saville Theater."

 

1radicalron

Senior Member
Messages
2,054
I have several Don Grosh Strat's with maple necks. My fave has a maple cap neck, and another has skunk stripe. I hear a fairly distinct sound between the two. The Hendrix Band of Gypsy's tone reeks of a maple cap neck Strat.
 

Debt_by_6_string

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
161
Does a maple cap sound/feel different than an all maple?
I'd like to stay away from the tone discussion, because it's so subjective. Feel is going to be very subjective as well...my assumption (as I never have laid hands on a pre-CBS maple cap guitar) is that a '60s neck is going to be the exact same feel as it's Rosewood counterparts (Some sort of C profile, which range from Thin to baseball bat in no chronological order). A '50s all maple neck almost always has some sort of V profile. Therein lies the big difference in my eyes...

I know this has probably been beaten to death, but I am not sure if it's true: I heard the reason they went from cap to veneer is that they were having issues with defective necks on the early slab-boards and the veneer was more stable. Whether that's true or not, it sure was a cost saving measure. Looks like you can get 3-4 veneers out of a single slab thickness...
 

65DuoSonic

Member
Messages
4,968
I know this has probably been beaten to death, but I am not sure if it's true: I heard the reason they went from cap to veneer is that they were having issues with defective necks on the early slab-boards and the veneer was more stable. Whether that's true or not, it sure was a cost saving measure. Looks like you can get 3-4 veneers out of a single slab thickness...
Google patent search for the veneer fingerboard patent (#3143028) is interesting:
http://www.google.com/patents/US3143028
 




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