1967 Fender Coronado II Hollowbody Electric Guitar

I've been a fan of Coronados for a while now. They check off a lot of boxes for me, of course -- they're lightweight, they have a wide-and-cool body profile, they've got that perfect late-'60s Strat-style neck with the 1 5/8" nut that's perfect for chucking chords all day, they've got delicious DeArmond-made pickups (that straddle the sonic regions of DynaSonic and Gold Foil sounds), they've got those super-elongated, killer-looking f-holes, and the hybrid Jazzmaster-feeling, Mustang-like-design whammy and Mustang-like bridges actually work really well.

I think their modern not-so-popularity is more due to changing music tastes than anything else. Folks in the '70s gravitated to functional solidbodies with beefier-sounding pickups. This is like the antithesis of that thinking -- it suits a chordal backup-and-fills player who likes jangle, chime, clarity, and a "toasty" driven quality really well. Imagine this for funk or soul progressions... or rockabilly... or even surf or countrified twang.

In many ways, like Danelectros, I almost think this kind of guitar is suited best to an acoustic-player mindset even if its driven tone is dang tasty and leads coming off of the bridge pickup sound hot-to-trot.

I received this guitar in trade and I'm right on the fence about keeping it or selling it. I can always use money (guitar repairmen are not rich unless they're retired from some other work), but it's not getting any easier to take-in old '60s Fenders these days whether they come in this bizarre mustard-yellow-sunburst called Antigua or not.

Speaking of oddities on this guitar, though? Let's start with the finish. Fender sprayed this Antigua burst right over a beautiful Wildwood Green body. You know -- that Fender Wildwood finish where colored stain was fed to trees while they grew and so they came-out dyed? Oof, this would have been pretty with that look. You can see that original stain where the finish has chipped-out here and there. The Antigua thing was supposedly a finish used to cover-up "binding burn" from binding adhesives that caused finish damage in the building process. I'm thinking that this body may have just been popped in the mix with a batch heading for Antigua-ville, though.

Let's see -- other oddities -- the headstock! It came here with tacky black spraypaint on its face. I scraped that down to reveal and earlier layer of splotchy gold-metallic refinish and some remains of clear sealer or finish on the maple below that. The Fender logo and whatnot was long gone, unfortunately. I buffed all of this up and called it a day -- I sort-of like the "antiqued" headstock to go with the "antiguaed" body. Dad joke!

Other than the headstock bit, it's all-original throughout. The neck stamps are illegible but the neck plate suggests a 1967 build date. I'm guessing it's a '67 or '68 because that's when a lot of this style were made. I replaced the single original string tree with a pair of modern ones (it needs two to sound good, I'm sorry to say) and while the whammy bar is missing, I did test the whammy with a Jazzmaster arm on hand and it works perfectly. See pictures farther down the post to see the coolness of the spring-steel mechanism that keeps these whammies in tune -- it's like a hybrid of a Jazzmaster unit, Maestro Vibrola, and Mustang whammy.

Work was light but post-work it plays spot-on and sounds great.

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, cleaning, new string trees, and glorified setup.

Body wood: ply birch/beech

Bridge: Mustang saddles/Coronado base

Fretboard: rosewood w/pearloid blocks

Neck wood: maple (mild birdseye figure)

Pickups: 2x DeArmond single coils

Action height at 12th fret: 1/16" overall (fast)
String gauges: 46w-10 lights

Neck shape: slim-med C

Board radius: ~7 1/4"

Truss rod: adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: low/small

Scale length: 25 1/2"

Nut width: 1 5/8"

Body width: 16 3/8"

Body depth: 1 5/8" + arching

Condition notes: clearly, the headstock's face has been altered. The whammy bar is missing but it just needs a normal Jazzmaster arm with a bit of the base cut off. The string trees are non-original. Otherwise, the guitar is original throughout and in good order. Frets are low/small like they were to begin with but folks who like bigger frets will want a refret (I like these just fine). There are small dings, scratches, etc. here and there on the body but overall it looks nice. Oh, the pickguard is missing, too! One little spot on the original nut is replacement/fill but sturdy and still working fine. There's a teensy piece of missing binding above the nut on the bass side of the neck.

It comes with: a cheesy-but-functional gigbag.


Above is the "before" pic of the headstock.

Here it's part-way through the gunk-removal process. Note the gold-fleck finish in-between the layers.

Here's neck-pocket-shot-numero-uno...

Here's the underside of the whammy showing the two-bolt attachment of the spring steel to the Mustang-style attachment bar above and the two rocking "posts" on either side of the bolts. The black bit is the spring steel that replaces springs in this design. The thin end rests on an adjustable plate that's bolt-adjustable from the top to increase/decrease tension on the spring to make the feel stiffer or looser.


McComber said…
Oh, that sound at 1:59...