NOTE: These are not our guitars; just saving the images for history and showcasing what's out there.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Howard Leese 1965 Fender Jazzmaster

via this auction where you'll find more pics.

"Here's an amazing find - a January 1965 Fender Jazzmaster in super RARE translucent blonde finish with factory GOLD hardware. Holy moley! Custom color JM's are not that unusual, but not in blonde, and certainly not with gold hardware.

This guitar was purportedly owned and used by Howard Leese of the rock band Heart. There is a tag included with Leese's name and address, and it was sold by a guitar dealer who has handled a lot of Leese's guitars in the past.

1965 is a transition year for Fenders, and this example has all of the earlier pre-CBS features: highly figured Brazilian Rosewood fretboard, clay dot inlays, no neck binding, nitrate tortoiseshell pickguard, and the earlier Strat-style control knobs.

The neck is date-stamped January 1965, making this a very early 65 guitar. The pots are date-coded 1964. The original pickups are grey bottoms, and it is very difficult to read the pencil written dates, but I think they are dated 1964. The serial number plate is an L series plate.

The guitar itself is a real beauty. The blonde finish is gorgeous, like a Telecaster of this era. The pics can look like Olympic White due to the sun's glare, but it is translucent, with the nice ash grain peeking through the finish. The headstock is finished in natural, which was Fender's practice with sunburst and blonde guitars. (Other custom colors feature a matching headstock during this era).

The gold hardware is somewhat worn, but totally original. Even the pickguard screws are the original gold screws! The only missing hardware is the gold trem arm, but a chrome arm is included. Interestingly, all of the tuners are double-line Klusons except one, which is a single-line Kluson. I have seen this before with gold parts on vintage Fenders, since they rarely used gold hardware. The patina of all the tuners is identical, and it is obvious that all the tuners are original.

Playability is excellent due to a professional refret. The neck is gently "played in" like a great vintage guitar should be. Nice and lightweight at 7.6 pounds, and it balances very well. It is currently strung with light strings and a Buzz Stop (easily removable with the 2 factory screws - no mods to the guitar itself).

A couple of the interconnect wires have been replaced, as you can see in the "under the guard" pics. The old ones were degraded. Also, the screw holding the upper strap button is not original."

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