While blondes are plentiful, we rarely see 1950s-era Fender steels in the walnut finish. The handwritten date in the tuner pan pocket dates this beautiful, all-original brunette to June of 1958. This classic Fender sounds nothing short of amazing—lively, loud, and boisterous. It features a pair of counterbalanced pickups which are wound to produce a humbucking effect. The blend control (located under the bridge cover) allows you mix in the appropriate amount of neck pickup to achieve burly bass tones, ringing chords, and zingy highs. The pickups measure a healthy 8.8K ohms (bridge) and 8.67K ohms (neck). With the blend control turned all the way up, the series reading for the two pickups is a whopping 17.47K—yes, we’re talking big tone.
The original Stackpole pots are dated the 45th week of 1956 (tone and blend) and the 7th week of 1958 (volume). The pots are not noisy, but the volume pot cuts out quite abruptly toward the lower end of its rotation. If you use the volume knob for swells, you will definitely want to replace it.
The original tuners work smoothly and hold tune as well today as they did in the summer of ’58.
We can’t say for sure whether the aluminum foil shielding was applied at the factory, but we can say that it is very neatly done and very old—the glue used to adhere it has darkened, like old shellac, to a deep espresso hue. In the photos, you can see the glue near the edges of the foil, and can also see a larger patch in the route for the blend control. We absolutely would not remove the foil; it’s been there for decades, and provides a bit of extra shielding for the pickups with no sonic downside.
This is a truly special instrument which will not disappoint. Although it has clearly been played, as evidenced by dings in the finish, it has never been abused or modified—it’s all-original down to the hardware mounting screws. It comes with an equally gorgeous original tweed case, all three original legs, a pouch containing a variety of finger and thumb picks, and even the original bar. All-in-all, this is an excellent instrument for the discerning player—and it can be yours for only SOLD!.