’63 Sonic Blue Stratocaster Tribute – Father of Rocky!

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This entire build process for this project can be found here.

This project is a tribute to the 1963 Fender Sonic Blue Stratocaster just like the Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison bought back in the day. Of course George painted his and created the iconic Rocky Stratocaster. No one is quite sure what happened to the one John had. The Beatles played their Sonic Blue Stratocasters on several albums, but rarely did we ever see them played live.

The Beatles Sonic Blue Fender Stratocasters were actually built in 1961, but purchased by the Beatles in 1963.

John Lennon Fender Sonic Blue Stratocaster

John Lennon Fender Sonic Blue Stratocaster

Same serial number as George Harrison's Sonic Blue Fender Stratocaster that became the famous Rocky Strat when he hand painted the guitar

Same serial number 83840 as George Harrison’s Sonic Blue Fender Stratocaster that became the famous Rocky Strat when he hand painted the guitar

Private reserve birds-eye maple neck is awesome

Private reserve birdseye maple neck is awesome

The Musikraft private reserve 5A Birdseye maple and MJT vintage tint nitro finish is awesome. The fingerboard is darker Indian rosewood and have real aged clay dots.You only see this on a high end quality Fender Custom Shop today.

Dark Indian Rosewood fingerboard

Dark Indian Rosewood fingerboard

Nothing but high quality parts used on this project. The tremolo, strap buttons and screws are from Callaham Guitars. These tremolos are vintage style and are better than what Fender makes these days. The Callaham tremolo block gives the guitar better sustain and the whammy has a nice fit. Callaham sells three different length tremolo arms. I feel luck that I have all three for this guitar. Standard Fender 6-inch length, the “64” length 5-1/4 inch and the super short “Gilmour” style length 4-1/8 inch tip to center.

Callaham Tremolo arms

Callaham Tremolo arms

Genuine Kluson traditional 6 in-line nickel tuners with one line logo just like Fender used from 1961 to 1963 on Fender Stratocasters.

Fender mint green pickguard - Fender Abby pickups

Fender mint green pickguard – Fender Custom Shop by Abigail Ybarra pickups

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Musikraft Neck:
SCALE LENGTH: 25.5 Standard Fender
NUMBER OF FRETS: 21 Fret
NUT WIDTH: 1-11/16 (42.85mm)
HEEL WIDTH: 2-3/16 (55.56mm) Standard Fender
TUNER HOLE SIZE: 11/32 Vintage Kluson
TRUSS ROD TYPE: Single Acting Adjust at the Heel
FB RADIUS: 9-1/2
12TH DOT SPACING: Wide (Vintage Pre 64)
NUT SLOT STYLE: 1/8 Standard Fender Flat Bottom Style
SHAFT WOOD: Birdeye Maple Premium 5A
FB WOOD: Indian Rosewood Dark
FB STYLE: Slab Standard Fender
TOP DOTS: Real Aged Clay
CUSTOM INLAY: None Use Dot Inlay Selected Above
SIDE DOTS: Real Aged Clay 2mm
SIDE DOT LOC: Centered on Finger Board Wood (Slab Style Only)
FRET WIRE SIZE: 6105 Medium Nickel Silver
FB EDGES: Semi Rolled Standard
BACK PROFILE: Medium C 83 x 92
FINISH: MJT Finishing
NUT INSTALLATION: Install Slotted Bone Nut

I bought a blond Fender case like the ones they introduced in 1963 that matched the Fender Amps of the era.

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I think this guitar is a wonderful ’63 Sonic Blue Fender Stratocaster Tribute. Even though many of the parts are non-Fender. I wanted to use the best parts I could find.

The pickguard is genuine Fender mint green. The pickup covers and knobs are Fender parts as well are the pickups which are Fender Custom Shop Abigail Ybarra pickups. Weighs in at 7-lbs 9-ozs. Plays and sound wonderful.

'63 Stratocaster Tribute in Blond Fender case

’63 Stratocaster Tribute in Blond Fender case

Sonic Blue nitro finish

Sonic Blue nitro finish

Dark Indian Rosewood neck

Dark Indian Rosewood neck

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Premiere birdseye maple neck

Premiere birdseye maple neck

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Father of Rocky - Rocky Strat

Father of Rocky – Rocky Strat

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Beatles Collection

Beatles Collection – Rocky Strat, Epiphone Casino, Gretsch Country Gentlemen, Hofner Bass