Guitar - General/fender mustang
I bought a fender mustang in 1968 I think its a 64 or 65 model. The frets are now extremly worn the finish is cracked bad, pickups pretty much shot and some rust on the hardware. It was my first guitar and I love it but is it worth restoring and how close to original will it be?
Hi, I own several vintage mustangs myself, they are always worth restoring, but the job must be completed very well, the idea being to maintain the guitars value as a vintage instrument.
I cannot give much advice without seeing the guitar or at least viewing some pics. I would hazard a guess at this stage that the guitar is not too bad, there is nothing wrong with doing a refret & nut replacement, but it needs to be a professional job with the correct vintage grade fret wire. I would suggest getting this work done by someone used to working on vintage instruments to get it right.
If a body paint refinish is required, be aware that this will affect the value of the guitar, sometimes it is better to leave the body in its relic condition as it often has more mojo & "original condition" is always more desirable on the vintage market, the same goes with a neck refinish.
Its very easy to date most mustangs as there were well documented changes over the years. Some identifiers on date are as follows - the stamped date on the neck heel in black ink which is coded as follows : 1st Digit = "guitar model" ie mustang short scale 22.5 inch 21 fret = 9, mustang long scale 24 inch 22 fret = 8, next is the month = ie Mar (march) next digit is the year = ie 65 the final letter is the neck width = ie A, B or C , so a 1964 mustang example would be "8 oct 64 A", a common neck width on vintage mustangs is A which is the slim width neck & ideal for younger students, which is what the guitar was designed for. The 64's & early 65's had single line kluson tuners (kluson stamped in a single line on the casing) with white plastic oval knobs, late 65's had F tuners (a big F stamp on the casing) with hexagonal plastic knobs.
The neck plate should have a serial number, the early 64/65's had an L prefix, on a plain neck plate, late 65 on the serial was below the large "F" script on the plate & did not have a letter prefix.
Early mustang necks had clay dot markers, later models had plastic faux pearl dot markers.
The pots will have dates that show the year & week of manufacture ie 64 42 = 1964 42nd week.
Sometimes the pickups have dates on the bobbins, but not all, also the early models had black bobbins the later ones had grey bobbins.
The headstock decal pat numbers are also a clue but too complicated to go into in this message.
The script & pat numbers changed on the trem plate during 64/65 & is another clue.
I hope this all helps, please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org send some pics & I can advise you further.