1967 Fender Coronado II Hollowbody Electric Guitar

Well, these don't walk in every day. A customer brought this by for work and possible consignment and my jaw dropped just a hair when he opened the case. I'd been keeping a lookout for one of these for a couple years, now -- though I'm certainly not in a position to snag it at the moment -- and here it comes delivered to my doorstep.

The vast majority of Coronados are great-looking guitars (anything Roger Rossmeisl had a hand in turned-out gorgeous), but the custom color ones with the matching headstock are the ones that do it for me. They're classy as heck and this one almost purrs at you like the idle on a red 1968 Mustang -- which it more-than-a-little-bit resembles, if you look at it in the right way (chrome trim, black vinyl accents).

This one is also in beautiful shape, 100% original, and has its original hard case. I know, right? Sheesh! All I had to do was give it a fret level/dress, new strings, a bit of electronic cleaner sprayed in the pots, and a good setup. I also "fixed" the whammy that someone had goofed-around with and put back together incorrectly (swapped for lefty and with the spring-steel reversed). It plays... perfectly... with a dead-straight neck and 1/16" action overall at the 12th fret (I knock the low E just a hair above that, though). The whammy operates like a hybrid of a Jazzmaster, Mustang, and Bigsby unit and has the tuning stability and up/down reach of a Jazzmaaster but the feel of a Bigsby.

It's finished in Candy Apple Red and has the gold-style metallic undercoat. Aging has turned the finish just a touch more orange than original and it looks awesome. There's minor weather-checking here and there on the body and the back of the headstock, but overall it's painfully clean. I rarely see an old Fender in such good shape.

While the nickel parts have aged, the chrome ones pop right out. This has a 1 5/8" nut width and a fast, modern, C-shaped neck. It's super-quick.

The board is bound, has pearloid block inlay, and is rosewood with a tighter radius to its top. After the level/dress, the frets still have lots of life left in them.

The pickups on these were made by Rowe/DeArmond for Fender (curiously enough) and sound like, well -- a hybrid of a gold foil and a P90. I'd say they most resemble a cleaner, 50s P90 with perhaps a bit of that weird kerrangy midrange that you expect from DeArmonds. They break-up beautifully and are just as hot as an average 8k-or-so P90, but with a lot less noise.

The bridge has Mustang-style saddles and operates like a Jazzmaster bridge with points that rock fluidly against their base housings. This keeps the whammy in tune. I've got the guitar strung with regular 46w-10 lights.

The screw on the bottom of the whammy adjusts spring tension and the "spring" itself is a triangular piece of spring-steel. It's a nice solution to the problem of fitting a top-mount whammy that operates something like other Fender units.

The elongated, stylized F-holes on Fenders always look eye-catching and they started with this model.

The neck plate states that this is a '66 per generalized serial-number records but the neck says March of '67.

The original hard case (and custom leather strap) are a nice touch.

Here's the neck stamp -- and the truss works spot-on, by the way.


CM said…
OMG! I would trade a 67 Mustang straight over for one of those and kick in a tank of ethyl as well......I had a 67 Coronado 12 string I bought from a pawn shop in Costa Mesa, CA in 73 for $125, that red-yellow-black sunburst. Gorgeous! I don't know what it is about the Fender headstock on a double cutaway six string hollow body but it will always say "Dave Clark 5" on the beach in Santa Monica on a shoot of the TV show "Where the Action Is." My pickups on my XII were strangely microphonic on anything past 1/2 volume but I suppose a good potting might have solved that but back then. I knew how to pull a Mustang apart and put it back together but I knew zero about fixing guitars. Now it's the other way around.