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The new year begins as the old one ended: with a Fender Stratocaster.
This one is from early 1957 and has been through a lot.

And like so many of its kind, it has not survived the decades entirely without modifications and repairs. So a few tuners were replaced, a 5-way switch was installed, and the pickup milled holes were brushed out with shielding varnish. How often it was re-bound is not known, but the marks on the body and neck suggest that it was played a lot.

But that’s good, because first of all I like this look and secondly the much played instruments are usually the better sounding ones.
The neck still has that V-to-C profile that takes a little getting used to, but is plenty thick and contributes to the good sustain.

The Deluxe Amp is a few years younger, the stamp JF on the tube chart dates it to June 1960. The circuit is the famous and so often copied 5E3 variant, the last Tweed evolutionary stage before continuing with 6G3 in Brown Deluxe in 1961.

The little rascal has survived the years well, all essential parts are original and even the Jensen P12R still does its job. Only the power transformer was exchanged for a 230V copy. Keeping an amplifier functional over six decades is much more difficult than with a guitar, there are simply more components inside that age and wear out.

And the tweed cover is also in above average condition. The cotton fabric is often preserved only in fragments or has been replaced over time. By the way, the brown circles in the tweed come from knotholes in the wood; the resin is absorbed by the fabric.

As expected, the two fit together well and are great fun. Everything sounds nice and round and when you open up the amp it can also rock properly.

And again, the amp and guitar come from my small collection and are not for sale.

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