Fender Stratocaster 1964 Sunburst
Posted on August 09 2022
This 1964 Fender Stratocaster is one of my favorite vintage guitars to come through the shop! I purchased this Strat from the widow of its original owner in Enterprise, Alabama, but it has now moved on to better things with a friend's band in the UK. It has the perfect worn Sunburst finish, aged mint green color pickguard, and all the cool pre-CBS features.
I'm always a Fender guitar buyer but I am especially looking for nice examples of Fender Stratocaster guitars in all colors. I can help with Fender guitar dating, expert inspection, and fair valuation. You can help date your Fender here: How to date a Fender Stratocaster or you can contact me here to sell a Fender guitar.
1964 Fender Stratocaster Features
Fender's Stratocaster model debuted 10 years before this one was made in 1964. While the overall shape and function of the model remained the same, Fender continually made small improvements to each one. Some players say that while the 1954 Stratocaster is far more valuable, the mid 1960s Stratocasters are closer to the guitar tone they're looking for. The pickups are a bit brighter, more airy, and the Rosewood fretboards are easier to refret after so much playing. Leo Fender sold his company to CBS in 1965, so this is the last year for the following all pre-CBS features: Spaghetti logo, fiberboard dots (often called clay dots), Brazilian Rosewood fretboard, small headstock, and a mint green celluloid pickguard.
Fender offered each model in a standard finish but a custom color finish could be had for a 5% upcharge. The Stratocaster's standard color was the Sunburst finish you see here which fades from a dark outer rim, red band, and finally into a yellow center by 1964. Custom color finishes became slightly more common each year from 1958 onwards, but the color chart officially debuted in 1961. You can check out the chart here: Pre-CBS Fender Color Chart. Many guitar players at the time were quite fond of the Sunburst finish and didn't feel the need for a custom color, so custom colors are far more rare. Not only that, but some colors like Candy Apple Red Metallic were quite popular compared to the exceedingly rare Foam Green. Guitar collectors are willing to pay far more for custom color Stratocasters with original finishes. It's my goal to collect each color on the chart, so if you have a custom color Strat to sell you can contact me here: Sell a Fender.
The picture below shows us the original Stratocaster electronics underneath the pickguard. These parts are important to buyers since many owners preferred to update the electronics instead of maintaining the original parts. I've found that the original potentiometers, switch, and capacitors can be cleaned and lubricated to bring them back into playing condition. Potentiometers are variable resistors with knobs that allow a player to control the volume and tone of the signal going to the amp. The codes on the potentiometers can help determine if they are original to the guitar. The codes on this guitar read "137 6428" where 137 = manufacturer (CTS), 64 = 1964, and 28 = 28th week of the year. This is the week of the year that the part was made, not when the guitar was assembled. The timeline for these parts and the guitar match nicely and the look of the solder matches factory solder exactly. It's safe to say that these parts are original to this Strat.
1964 Stratocaster Value
It's no secret that 1964 Stratocasters are valuable because they are as much playable tools as they are collectible items. Here's a great article on how to find the value of a vintage Stratocaster: Fender Stratocaster Values. The basic aspects which buyers consider when establishing a fair price for a Fender guitar are: exact year, color, condition, and bridge style.
We know that this Stratocaster was made in 1964 because of its serial number, neck heel ink stamp, potentiometer codes, and features all match for that year. The standard Sunburst finish is the most common finish color which means that we can easily find prior sold prices to base a value on. The condition is fairly worn with significant clear coat yellowing, finish missing in the forearm area, and discoloration on the formerly mint green pickguard. This kind of wear has a rather polarizing effect on buyers. Some buyers are thrilled with a formerly love instrument thinking that "the good ones got played." I personally do not subscribe to this myth, but I see why it makes sense to many buyers.
Sell a Fender Stratocaster Near Me
If you have a Fender Stratocaster 1964 like this one and are interested in where to sell it, I might be the buyer you're looking for. I travel world wide to make in-person deals at fair values for vintage Fender Stratocaster guitars. I can help with how to date a Fender Stratocaster in order to establish a fair value for the guitar. I've recently returned from the UK after buying a Fender Stratocaster 1962 in Fiesta Red.
You can contact me here to sell a Fender guitar.