’63 Sonic Blue Stratocaster Tribute – Father of Rocky!
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.
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.
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.
Genuine Kluson traditional 6 in-line nickel tuners with one line logo just like Fender used from 1961 to 1963 on Fender Stratocasters.
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.
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.
UPGRADE: I swapped out the Fender Custom Shop Abigail Ybarra initialed pickups for Bare Knuckles Mother’s Milk with zinc plates on all three pickups. Nothing wrong with the Fender Custom Shop pickups and I will likely use them again on another project, but wanted to try these new ones from the UK. The zinc plates helps with shielding and allows for more low end.