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Overview

Perhaps more than any other year, 1965 marks a major turning point for Fender and Stratocaster production. It was in 1965 that CBS took control of the company, and brought the first wave of changes to a more mass production based model. Key indicators for Stratocasters of this transition era are a larger headstock compared to previous years as well as a script 'F' on the neck plate. In 1965, Fender also brought back the maple fingerboard as an option on a two-piece neck. While most collectors and players consider post-CBS Strats to be of an inferior quality to older models, these instruments remain very collectable on the vintage market. A key determining factor is the serial number: CBS switched from numbers starting with an L to numbers starting with an F. Those starting with an L are from earlier in the year and are generally more sought-after. 

Years of Production: 1954 - present

Unique to this Year: Switch from clay to pearloid dot inlays on fingerboard, enlarged headstock, and a somewhat less dramatic contouring shape on the body. 

Body Style: Offset solidbody 

Wood Composition: Alder body, Maple neck with veeneer Rosewood fingerboard

Design Elements: Bolt-on neck, dot inlays, 3 single-coil pickups, 3-way pickup selector

Finish Specifications: Sunburst was a standard finish for '60s Fenders.

Notable Players:  Bob Dylan, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour 

Product Specs

Brand
Model
  • Stratocaster
Finish
  • Black
  • Blonde
  • Candy Apple Red
  • Daphne Blue
  • Fiesta Red
  • Firemist Gold
  • Ice Blue Metallic
  • Inca Silver
  • Lake Placid Blue
  • Ocean Turquoise Metallic
  • Olympic White
  • Shoreline Gold
  • Sonic Blue
  • Sunburst
  • Teal Green Metallic
Year
  • 1965
Made In
  • United States
Categories

From the Price Guide