Fender Stratocaster 1957 in Columbus, Ohio

John Shults

Posted on November 19 2021

Fender Stratocaster 1957 vintage guitar

The next leg of this last guitar collecting road trip brought me just north of Columbus, Ohio to buy this Fender Stratocaster from 1957! I purchased this guitar from the gentleman who inherited it from his grandfather in 1973. His grandfather told him that he bought it lightly used in 1959. Anyway, it's a spectacular example of one of the best years for the Fender Stratocaster. This is one of my favorite Strats I've ever played. 

I'm always on the hunt for vintage Fender Stratocaster guitars from the 1950s and 1960s. If you're looking for a guitar collector near me for Fender guitars then I may be the one you're looking for. I travel world wide to acquire the vintage Fender guitars I've always dreamed of. You can contact me here to sell a Fender Stratocaster.

Here's a great resource for Fender guitar collectors for more information on vintage Fender Stratocaster guitars: The Fender Stratocaster by A. R. Duchossoir. Andre's book is an excellent study of all the ways the Stratocaster was continuously updated throughout the 1950s, 1960s, all the way until now. 

How old is my Stratocaster?

It's important to know how old is my Stratocaster in order to establish what it could be worth. Many people go straight to the serial number to date a Fender Stratocaster; sometimes it can be helpful, but it's not the best way to date them. We can start with the serial number first then move to the neck and body dates, potentiometer codes, then on to the features. 

Here's a good resource for serial numbers for the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s: Fender Serial Numbers. The serial number lookup tells us that Fender often used a "-" symbol in front of five digits starting with 1 during 1957. The serial number of this Stratocaster fits perfectly in the middle of that range. 

Fender Stratocaster dating and years by neck heel

The next place to look for Fender Stratocaster dating is the neck heel and tremolo cavity. Fender employees signed the neck heel with a month and year in the 1950s up until 1962 when they started using a stamp instead. The neck heel of this Stratocaster reads "6/57" indicating that it was roughly shaped out in June of 1957. The tremolo cavity also reads 6/57.

 Fender Stratocaster 1957 dating with tremolo cavity pencil date 1957

It can also be helpful to use the potentiometer codes to date a Fender Stratocaster. The potentiometers are the variable resistors that allow the player to control the volume and tone of the signal being sent to the amplifier. You can find the codes on the back of the potentiometer underneath the pickguard on a Stratocaster. The potentiometer codes on this Fender Stratocaster read "304715" where 304 = Stackpole, 7 = 1957, and 15 = 15th week of that year. This is when this part was made, but the week the guitar left the factory. 

Fender Stratoaster 1957 tone potentiometer date code

Vintage Fender Guitar Collector

As a vintage Fender guitar collector, I'm always on the road to acquire the vintage Fender guitars I've always dreamed of. The nearly 24 hour road trip to buy this Fender Stratocaster 1957 was quite the journey but worth every minute. The best part of this trip was being able to collect another vintage Fender guitar close to this one: Fender Telecaster 1957. Both guitars were still with the families of their original owners. That's how I like to find them. 

If you have a vintage Fender guitar and are curious about its value then you can contact me here: Sell a Fender. You can send pictures of your guitar to the contact information at the bottom of this page so I can check it out. I'd be happy to offer my thoughts on what year it was made, originality, condition, etc. If it's a Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster, or Jaguar made in the 1950s and 1960s then I may be the collector you're looking for. 

vintage Fender guitar collector near me 

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