1956 Fender Stratocaster Guitar

Description: 1956 Fender Stratocaster guitar
Available: 1954 to present.
Collectibility Rating: A
Production: no official (or unofficial) production numbers available.
General Comments:
The Fender Stratocaster guitar is probably the most popular solidbody electric guitar ever made. Early models (1954 to 1965, known as "pre-CBS" models, since CBS Broadcaster Company bought Fender in January 1965) are the most collectible. Originality and condition are the two most important features of a vintage Fender Stratocaster guitar, and Fender Strats do seem to have been easily modified (due to their "bolt together" nature).

I personally love Ash body Fender Stratocasters, and the 1956 is the last of the Ash body Strats. The change from Ash body to Alder body occured during the summer of 1956, along with the change in the peghead's E/B string retainer from the button style to the "butterfly" clip.

Serial number range for the 56 Fender Stratocaster are generally 9000 to 16000 (on the neck plate). If you need to figure out the exact year of your pre-CBS Fender Stratocaster, use the serial number and the general features of the guitar. The serial number is located on the back metal neck plate. See the Fender Serial Number Info web page for help determining the year.

If you have a vintage pre-CBS Fender Stratocaster guitar for sale, please let me know. I am a private vintage guitar collector (not a store), and you can contact me at cfh@provide.net

See the previous year's 1955 Fender Stratocaster guitar.
See the next year's 1957 Fender Stratocaster guitar.

Back to the main Fender Vintage Guitar Info webpage

Mid 1956 Fender Stratocaster guitar specs:

  • Alder body replaces Ash on sunburst finished Strats (blond Strats still use Ash). Also the body finishing procedure changes because of the change to alder - Now the yellow in the sunburst is dyed into the wood, instead of being sprayed (as was done on Ash body sunburst Strats).
  • Rectangle string tree ("butterfly") replaces round string tree.
  • Neck backshape gets a large "soft V" shape.
  • "Single Line" Kluson Deluxe tuners (which says "Kluson Deluxe" in a vertical line).
  • Tremolo bar has an even less pronounced bend.
  • Pickups no longer have the two very small "tits" in the bottom black fiber part of the pickup on the outside edge around the two wire eyelets. Also gone is the very faint ring pressed into the black fiber that goes around each eyelet.

An early 1956 Fender Strat with an ash body, original side pocket tweed case.
Body and neck dates are 3-56 (body date obscured by tremolo claw).
All original except for plastic tremolo tip.

Stackpole (304) tone pot has a date code of 43rd week of 1955.

* Email the collector cfh@provide.net
* Go to main Vintage Guitar Info webpage
* Go to main Fender Vintage Guitar Info webpage