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Thought you could never afford an L-series 1960s vintage Fender? Think again!

This Mustang dating from March 1965 is a very collectable model - early examples of the Mustang (introduced by Fender in mid-1964, the same year Ford introduced the Mustang automobile) are generally seen as the most collectible of all the short-scale Fender guitars. Then model has also been embraced by many notable players, including Adrian Belew, Frank Black, Rob Buck (10,000 Maniacs), David Byrne (Talking Heads), Graham Coxon (Blur), John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival), John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers), PJ Harvey, Kelly Jones (Stereophonics), Norah Jones, Alan Lancaster (Status Quo), Magic Slim, John McLaughlin, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Buzz Osborne (The Melvins), Daniel Romano (Attack in Black) and Todd Rundgren.

You could add your name to the list!

The Mustang is unusual in having neither a pickup selector nor a circuit selector switch, instead just using the two pickup switches to allow the pickups (angled single-coil) to be used either singly or in parallel. The second on position reverses the phase of the selected pickup, allowing the pickups to be either in or out of phase when in parallel. This phasing option was also unusual for 1964.

It also meant that, as both pickups were floating with respect to ground, it was possible to modify the wiring to put the pickups into series either in or out of phase without excessive noise. The unusual switching could also be replaced by a conventional pickup change switch using the unused body routing already provided for compatibility with the Duo-Sonic, requiring only modification of the pickguard, and freeing the two eight-terminal pickup switches for other uses. As with many student guitars, aftermarket pickup additions and changes are commonly found in many vintage examples.

This guitar has evidence of such modification/experimantation in the past, with the rout under the pickguard slightly extended and deepened, probably to accommodate different switching or active electronics at some stage. The modified rout can be seen at the bottom of the 'more pictures' link below. The guitar has also been refinished at some stage in its long history, but the refinish is in the guitar's original Olympic White, retaining the original look of the guitar.

Pickups and all hardware appear to be original, and that extends to the original hard shell case as well.

Mustangs were produced in Olympic White, Dakota Red and Daphne Blue, but only the white version had the tortoise shell pickguard, and is a sought-after combination. The red and blue Mustangs have a white pearloid scratchplate.

These are a very popular model, and many players select a Mustang for the 24 inch scale. This is the same as the Fender Jaguar, but a full inch and a half shorter than the Stratocaster and three-quarters of an inch shorter than the Gibson Les Paul. The short scale makes playing easier for those with small hands, and also enhances the ability to use the tremolo arm for upbends. There was also a 3/4 size Mustang produced (21 frets and a 22.5 inch scale), but these were nowhere near as popular as the 22-fret version (which this guitar is).

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