'65 Mustang
December 6, 2005 5:48 PM   Subscribe

Electric Guitar Filter: 1965 Fender Mustang. Suck or not? I've looked it up and as it is considered a "student" guitar it's not supposed to be worth much however;

I don't want to sell mine, it's an awesome little guitar, but people have offered thousands for it. I only gave up $150 for it.
Is there something going on with this guitar that I don't know about? I haven't learned anything by googling it.
posted by snsranch to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
There's a number of things going on here.

First of all, it's a 1965 Fender. That was the year Fender got sold to CBS; the stuff that came out of the factory dated 1965 was mostly produced before CBS came in and instituted a lot of cost-cutting measures. So that's a big deal to collectors.

Second of all, the neck has got a really short scale - 22" if memory serves. That's why you haven't been offered 5 figures for it; the Strats and Jazzmasters that have the 25.5" scale and still have their original frets and finish can fetch 10K easily, and there is probably no upper bound depending on the condition.

Third of all, people might be interested in your guitar for the pickups. Those two Mustang pickups aren't too different from the pickups in a 1965 Fender Strat (i.e., scatterwound with Formvar 42 around Alnico V polepiece magnets) and a lot of people would probably like to drop them into a Strat, of whatever vintage, and see what developed, sound-wise.

Basically, guitar collectors know that 1965 was a magic year for Fenders, the last year when instruments were produced according to Leo Fender's vision; and they know that they aren't making any more 1965 Fenders, ever. So that's it, in a nutshell. Like the 1958 Les Pauls, the quality of the instrument as a determining factor in pricing has been fully eclipsed by strong collector demand, and that collector demand isn't going to be based on things that your average guitar player would consider reasonable.

You stole that thing, by the way. If the person you bought it from has any Strats for sale, hook me up.
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:55 PM on December 6, 2005 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I've seen pre-CBS Mustang/Duo-Sonic/Music Master bodies alone go for $150+ on Ebay, the whole instrument's gotta be worth more than that even if it's modified. If it's still the way Leo made it, cha-ching!

Plus, Mustangs are worth more than similar-quality instruments from the same era because of the Kurt Cobain connection. A few other '90s alt-rockers used them, too (Liz Phair, one of the guys from Sloan, etc.)

Having said that, though, if you'd rather play it than lock it in a display case, more power to ya. That's what they're meant for.
posted by arto at 8:47 PM on December 6, 2005

Hey, you cats know this stuff! Any thoughts on the desirability of a nude wood Duo-Sonic with an apparently original neck that pre-dates the first Duos (pencil mark October 1956)?
posted by Scram at 12:09 AM on December 7, 2005

I had a 60's mustang that I sold to a friend on the cheap (I know it was probably worth a lot more, but I just wanted him to have it - and I got it really cheap too). I never really cared for the way it played or sounded - even though it was in really good shape, it seemed like a student guitar (it was hard to keep in tune, the electronics didn't sound that great, etc). My friend loved it, though, and I think he still has it & plays it 10 years later.
posted by sluggo at 6:51 AM on December 7, 2005

Here's a very basic link about Mustangs. Seems like it was originally meant to have a 22.5" scale length but most ended up shipping with a 24" neck.

The pickups are Formvar 42/Alnico V, but the polepieces are flatpoles so they can be covered, as opposed to the staggered exposed poles on your Strat of the era.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:15 AM on December 7, 2005

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