Jimi Hendrix’s 1963 Strat Visits Seymour Duncan

Seymour with Jimi Hendrix and band

It was in the year 1965 that Jimi Hendrix was starting to get work as a session player, having just left playing for Little Richard. In that year he acquired a white 1963 Stratocaster. Jimi’s rise in the UK and eventually the United States is legendary and over those years Seymour had the chance to rewind some pickups for him including that white ’63 Stratocaster. Today, the ’63 Strat re-visited Seymour Duncan and the pickups and pickguard were analyzed. Check out the slideshow below to see this guitar and get a peak underneath the pickguard.

This entry was posted in Seymour Duncan Company and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • monsterzero

    whoa nellie…

  • inertia

    great piece of music history

  • monty666

    Wow, talk about touching a piece of history.

  • Yngve Grønvik

    I sure would like to have a copy of those pickups! Or have SD already made them for us common people? :)

  • Jackster

    The strap button is on the wrong side, Hendrix was left handed this guitar is set up for a right handed player. I don’t see a hole where it would have been I doubt that Hendrix played this guitar.

    • Rosanwire

      Sir jimi payed his guitar upside down and strung backwards that’s why it’s not a left handed guitar

      • Jesse

        Lo8573 and 14985 ( guitar in this article) are both confirmed Hendrix guitars. neither have had the strap button moved. Also the guitar in this article has been in Vintage Guitar magazine as well. It has a lot of left handed wear. It was strung up right handed to be used in a studio.

  • Philbass

    I thought that guitar had a maple neck…?

  • Rocky

    What is that humongous disc capacitor value? .05 or .1 ? 2 KV RMC Mallery?

    • Rob

      .1uf Probably a CRL or RMC

      • Guitar 1

        Evaluation of Jimi Hendrix owned 1963 Stratocaster serial #L14985

        I examined the guitar you are all discussing in person and saw all the
        paperwork that came with the guitar.

        Upon seeing this guitar my immediate thoughts were that it was almost
        identical to other known Jimi Hendrix guitars serial number 2573254 1963 white Fender Strat and serial number L89024 1965 White Fender Stratocaster. These two guitars were pre 1966 Fender Stratocasters that Jimi Hendrix is known to have owned. Both those guitars like guitar L14985 have Brazilian Rosewood neck. This confirmed for me that these were the type of guitars that Jimi liked to play
        and therefore L14985 could be authentic.

        One question that I had was that the one button on the guitar used to
        attach the guitar strap was the original one that came on a right handed
        guitar. Jimi Hendrix was known to have added a second button as he played the guitars left handed and flipped them over to play. The answer to this question became apparent to me upon further research that this guitar was played in studio by Jimi Hendrix where he would be seated so there was no need to add the second button. It was also revealed to me that this guitar was owned relatively
        early in his career by Jimi Hendrix, as the Letter From Leon Hendrix states he remembers the guitar around 1968 when he was living with Jimi. It is also clear from photos I found of Jimi early in his career that Jimi used to play the guitar left handed and still run the strap to the button at the bottom of the guitar. This is clear in an early photo of Jimi Hendrix playing with Wilson Pickett, this photo is easily found on the internet and shows Jimi playing a fender Jazzmaster with the strap clearly hooked to the button that is now on the bottom of the guitar since Jimi has flipped the guitar upside down to play. http://www.flickr.com/photos/bpfallon/4304026975/

        This guitar comes with a notarized letter from Leon Hendrix stating that he is “certain” that this guitar L14985 belonged to his brother. My first thoughts on this were that Leon Hendrix has sort of questionable background and may just put letters with guitars saying they are his brothers for money. After furtherresearch I determined that in his adult years Leon Hendrix has for the most part been on the up and up and further this guitar L14985 is the ONLY guitarthat I could find in my research, that Leon has ever put a letter with
        confirming that it belonged to his brother. If Leon Hendrix were just in it forthe money it seems to me that he would have come up with his own 60’s era Stratocaster and put a letter with it stating that it was his brothers’ guitar and probably making himself at least a quarter million dollars in the process. But quite to the contrary Leon made nothing for putting a letter with this guitar.

        This guitar is almost identical to guitars 2573254 and L89024. The are all 1960’s strats with small headstocks, Brazilian Rosewood necks and green pick guards. This led me to believe that Leon Hendrix could have remembered one of these guitars and may have mistakenly thought one those guitars was guitar L14985. Leon answered this question by saying he clearly remembered Jimi working on the guitar to modify it as he often would on his guitars. Leon said he remembered that a black mark was made on the inside of the trem block on
        this guitar. I asked Leon in person in Las Vegas and he said he remembered this prior to seeing the guitar and mentioned it when he was shown the guitar at the Electric Lady Land studios. He then opened up the Trem block to confirm that
        the black mark was there, that’s the reason that he said the he was “certain” that this was his brothers’ guitar in his letter dated 6-28-06.

        It was relayed to me that Janie Hendrix was asked about this guitar L14985 and over the phone said that she did not think that this was one of Jimi’s guitars. Janie Hendrix is the younger sister of Jimi Hendrix, they are 18 years apart in age. Janie Hendrix would have been 7 years old at the time Leon States he was living with Jimi and when he remembers seeing the guitar. Janie Hendrix
        does not get along with her brother Leon this is a well documented fact. When contacted about the guitar L14985 Janie wanted to hear no other information about the guitar, once she heard Leon had said it was Jimi’s guitar she was adamant that the guitar was not good. If she had been willing to base this on some sort of fact then her word might have meant more, but she dismissed the guitar so quickly that her opinion can’t be valued. It is highly unlikely that Janie Hendrix could remember this guitar having been 7 years old at the time
        and never having lived with Jimi Hendrix in his L.A. home. It is much more believable to me to take the word of Leon Hendrix who was nineteen at the time. Janie further has a history of disputing any item that is purported to be her brothers that the estate does not get proceeds from the sale of the item. She was involved in and lost a lawsuit on another guitar in which she emphatically
        asserted was not her brothers only to be proven wrong in court and held liable for damages.

        The story told by Mr. Neil Kanoff and his letter referencing Skip Juried
        and Henry “Juggy” Murray and the chain of ownership of the guitar all check out.

        My final opinion is that this guitar did belong to Jimi Hendrix. Leon
        Hendrix may have a somewhat checkered past, but he has no history of putting letters with guitars and saying they were his brothers. In fact quite to the contrary he has vigorously attacked others who have come forth with guitars saying they were his brothers that he did not believe were genuine. I confirmed everything said by Leon Hendrix with him in person in Las Vegas and it is myopinion that this guitar was owned and played by Jimi Hendrix The link below shows a Photo of Jimi with the
        strap on the low horn. http://www.flickr.com/photos/bpfallon/4304026975/

        Thank you

    • Yost Amplifier

      circle d (cornell dublier) ceramic disc 0.10 1kv. nothing special just stock fender configuration. i believe this guitar pictured above to be 100% stock. seymour may have rewound a pickup on one of hendrix’s guitars, jimi had lots and lots of strats how can seymour be so sure it was this exact one, i doubt he recorded the serial number and took pics while winding the pups. i also believe that jimi more than likely owned several white guitars with maple or rosewood fretboards, not just one or two but 10′s or 20s. i would also assume seyomour would have also installed a treble bleed and/or not have left the “stock” circuit w/ out changing something. i have been repairing guitars and amps for 25 years, if a customer wanted some detailed fine tuned thing to happen there would be several options on the table and discussed. a player like jimi would want additional circuitry options installed and the technician doing the work would know this is a once in a life-time opportunity to have the chance to tinker with ONE of many of jimis guitars…you would want your work to stand out in the crowd, make your stamp/brand/mark, make it unique you wouldnt just rewind the pups and nothing else, unless you were working on a pile of jimis guitars and just needed to get the job done. i do believe seymour rewound some of jimis pups, just dont believe it was this guitar. i also believe jimi did own and play this guitar.

  • space cadet

    there would be a strap button on the lower horn….I think someone got taken

    • kaleb

      Considering Jimi Hendrix was left handed and he strung his guitar lefty style (im not a Jimmi expert so I may be wrong) it may be right

    • Jeff Burton

      Unless it’s been owned by righty that put the button back on the upper. I can’t tell from the photos.

  • Billy

    I’ve seen this guitar as well. It was strung for a righty & the strap buttons were set up for a righty. Nice try…

    • Jesse

      There are photos of Jimi playing the guitar. No moved strap button. There are also many photos of him playing other guitars without the strap button moved. This guitar has had the nut filled from it being strung left handed. So where did you see this guitar? I am trying to get as much info as I can on it. Seymour worked on it and rewound the pickups. He confirmed his work as well has had a few photo from that day in 1968.

      • foulkes52

        Could you post the photo of Jimi playing this guitar?

        • Jesse

          Send me an email requesting them from my shop Cowtown Guitars.

      • Carly

        Most of these people trying to debunk obviously have never taken pride in their guitar work. I’m not a pro tech by any stretch but have changed pups in my 89 Strat more times than I can count and it still looks bone stock -even the masking tape and the perfectly aligned wires. I actually don’t care about someone else’s guitars if I can’t grok it & make music on it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1245756608 Dave Underwood

    I worked on that guitar too! Check out dfwguitars.com and go to articles and click on a Hendrix Experience,…

    • Jimmy james

      This guitar was never owned by jimi hendrix. It is a real strat with a fake story . :(

      • Dave Underwood

        yeah,that’s why John Mayer offered $750,000 for it, doucHe bag!
        da

        • Jimmy james

          Douche bag. Careful ???? You guys get uptight and vulgar because your stories don’t fly. John Mayer ??? That’s really where it belongs. Truly. Brother, jimmy james

          • Dave Underwood

            I’m not your brother

  • Doy Bowers

    I seen Jimi at the Texas International Pop Festival, Labor Day Weekend 1969. Woodstock South as it was billed. It was like 2 or 3 weeks after Woodstock. They had the one in Atlanta then Dallas. That’s where Grand Funk Railroad got their start opening the show all 3 days. Look it up on YouTube for pics and videos. Now having said all of that Can I Just Touch this thing one time.

  • Paul

    Jimi would have sounded good playing any guitar – but playing a good strat makes you feel better – and that always helps! Paul – author the Haynes Strat Manual

  • Tad from East Coast Production

    This is the guitar that Jimi Played in Wood stock.

  • Pete

    His Woodstock guitar had a maple neck. This may be a Hendrix guitar but it certainly isn’t the one he played at Woodstock.

    • Jesse

      This is not the Woodstock Strat.

  • Pete

    So how did Jimi put a strap on this if there isn’t a strap button on the lower side?

    • jesse

      Just google Jimi Hendrix Jazzmaster. There are plenty of pics without the strap button moved. This Strat was one of the Strats Jimi owned. This is back when he was Jimi James. There is a article in Vintage Guitar Magazine with the history of this guitar.

  • nedharkey

    Jimi’s guitar in the Woodstock movie has a maple fretboard. And the strap button is moved. Look for yourself…

    • foulkes52

      The Woodstock maple neck was at the Paul Allen funded Experience Music Project in Seattle. Obviously this is not that guitar. This investor probably paid SD to confirm that the pick ups were rewound. A 63 brings on a good day in brings 12-40′k. If Jimi touched it? Well Jimi’s brother Leon had this one I think and it’s authentication is largely Leon.

      • Jesse

        No one paid Seymour to look at the guitar. I am researching as much as I cam on this guitar for it’s owner. Seymour contacted me after seeing an article on it. He recognized the guitar. I asked if I could bring it to him to take a look at. He said sure. He knew the guitar and that he had rewound the pickups to make them just a bit hotter in the bridge. If you would like to see all the other info on this guitar please email me from my shops website Cowtown Guitars.

        • Bluesman

          bull fucking shit idiot……the pickups are bog stock factory crap….perfectly laid out as they are……not re wound and not Duncan……take your hand off your cock idiot!

          • Jesse

            These where de soldered at the bobbin….why would you leave the leads on when you are going to rewind the pickup? Also this was performed on the guitar in 1968. No need to be nasty. The guitar was given to one of Jimi’s close friends. The widow of Jimi’s friend sold it some time ago. It has been in a private collection since then. Jimi’s friend used the guitar as a studio guitar and strung it back right handed.

        • Richard Grosser

          Thanks for the feedback, Jesse! :-R

  • hd

    according to the internet, where everything is true, he had innumerable strats. a pic of this one is here:
    http://rikigo.blogspot.com/2010/07/jimi-hendrixs-gear.html

  • jaxtom

    Saw him in Jacksonville in the 60′s or early 70′s. Don’t know who was more wasted – him or me – but I still remember the show he put on.

  • George

    Any idea why Jimi had the pickups rewound on this guitar?

  • Dor Baruch

    this is

    heavy Formvar or Plain Enamel wires?
    42ga?

  • David Chase

    That is Amazing! I did’nt realize You had Would pickups for so Long, Seymour!

  • David McGregor

    My first thought was “The floating bridge has been bolted down – no dive bombs here”!

  • Steve Matsukawa

    Seymour recognized his handiwork. I recognize the clean install and the way Seymour worked. Everyone else either has brain damage or is lying through their teeth. If people would look at Jimi’s stage pictures they would see how Jimi wore his guitars. Someone obviously set up this guitar to be a right handed player after Jimi’s passing away.

    This is one of Jimi’s Stratocasters.

  • The obvious Truth

    C’mon folks, look at the picture of the 63 strat’s wiring closely!!, look at the soldier joint at the volume pot, look at the nice/clean/un-kinked and arranged hot pickup leads, ( white) and look at the bobbin soldier points from the leads….all perfect!!, no to mention the masking tape on the wires from the factory. Seymour NEVER rewound these pickups! Hello! is there anyone home???? Is the american public that stupid that they can’t see the marketing concept here??

    SO ….When are the Seymour duncan edition Jimi hendrix pickups going to be available for sale????? For sale…as in money $$$ !! YOUR money going into Duncan’s pockets!! for pickups that are NOT truly what you are being sold to believing.

    DON’T be surprised! Fender took in a great share of money on a similar concept.

    Remember the “abigail” wound pickups???

    Hello !!! I know a personal friend of hers, who said she is 86 years old and can barely write with a pencil. And SHE wound ALL those hundreds of pickups???

    C’mon americans….how dumb are ya??

    Remember there’s people who work at every large company whose job is to figure out how to market the company’s products and get your money. You know damn well how often we are mislead when money is the objective.

    Nothing wrong with chasing your passion, but these days you might want to think before dropping your money everywhere. When it comes to money, 95% of american companies do not give a shit about quality or the end result and experience you have with their product. They care first and foremost about profit. and when they can over-wind a set of strat pickups, tell you they are just like Jimi’s, and your guitar with sound as Purple as the Haze in your dumb ass…the just love it when you pay them $300 for another crappy set of single coils that cost them about $5 to make. But if you’re dumb enough to believe it, that they are that magic higher output pickup, then fooling yourself in your head may be all that you need to find bliss. Ouch.

  • Seriously folks

    C’mon folks, look at the picture of the 63 strat’s wiring closely!!, look at the soldier joint at the volume pot, look at the nice/clean/un-kinked and arranged hot pickup leads,

    ( white) and look at the bobbin soldier points from the leads….all perfect!!, not to mention the masking tape on the wires from the factory. Seymour NEVER rewound these pickups! Hello! is there anyone home???? I know many of you folks have never seen pics of an untampered with early 60′s strat, but trust me…when you remove the pickups, and then unsoldier the bobbin leads and do the rewinding work, they will NEVER, look like this. Ever.

    And back in those days, the 60′s when they are telling you seymour rewound these for Jimi, these guitars were a dime a dozen and NOBODY would try to put the wires back to how they were originally, even if it was possible to tidy them up and unkink them. Wow! Hello !!

    Is the american public that stupid that they can’t see the marketing concept here??

    SO ….When are the Seymour duncan edition Jimi hendrix pickups going to be available for sale????? For sale…as in money $$$ !! YOUR money going into Duncan’s pockets!!for pickups that are NOT truly what you are being sold to believing.

    DON’T be surprised! Fender took in a great share of money on a similar concept.

    Remember the “abigail” wound pickups???

    Hello !!! I know a personal friend of hers, who said she is 86 years old and can barely write with a pencil. And SHE wound ALL those hundreds of pickups???

    C’mon americans….how dumb are ya??

    Remember there’s people who work at every large company whose job is to figure out how to market the company’s products and get your money. You know damn well how often we are mislead when money is the objective.

    Nothing wrong with chasing your passion, but these days you might want to think before dropping your money everywhere. When it comes to money, 95% of american companies do not give a shit about quality or the end result and experience you have with their product. They care first and foremost about profit. and when they can over-wind a set of strat pickups, tell you they are just like Jimi’s, and your guitar with sound as Purple as the Haze in your dumb ass…the just love it when you pay them $300 for another crappy set of single coils that cost them about $5 to make. But if you’re dumb enough to believe it, that they are that magic higher output pickup, then fooling yourself in your head may be all that you need to find bliss. Ouch.

    • ccgasp

      ‘soldier’ on, fool…

  • Bluesman

    This is bullshit…..no body played this left handed….its even strung right handed and NO strap button on the other horn…..NICE ATTEMPT TO FOOL THE PEOPLE DUNCAN!

  • Nick Costa

    Id kill to play that thing!

  • Nick Costa

    Amazing that some of you lame heads would doubt Seymour’s integrity as a craftsmen to his trade, re-wiring a classic Iconic guitar. Like..I dont think SD is remotely dumb enough to do something,…put his name on it…create a demo vid without checking it out (sources)…Some of you people are so jealous and ignorant it’s dumbfounding.,,,Rock on Seymour…your the Man!

    • Leo337

      *You’re. ;)

  • Guest

    I’m not buying that this is a Jimi Hendrix Strat. Jimi played a right handed guitar, but would have had a strap button on the other horn, which I don’t see even see a whole where it would have been if there was one. Nice try…fail.

  • kickknowledge

    I’m not buying that this is a Jimi Hendrix Strat. Jimi did play a right handed guitar, but would have had a strap button on the opposite horn (the short one), which I don’t see even see a hole where it would have been if there was one. Nice try…fail.

    • RLJ

      Yes I’m not buying it either when thiefs like Leon Hendrix Jimi’s brother are involved NO WAY!!

  • guest666

    what’s the tone cap on there?

  • Steve Cooper

    I would love to get my hands on the strat used to perform the most famous rendition of Star Spangled Banner!!

  • Iago de Araújo

    If Jimi indeed ever played/owned this guitar either it wasn’t for very long or he didn’t like it much, otherwise he would have put that strap button on the lower horn as he did to all his favorite guitars (White Woodstock Strat, the “Black Beauty” Strat), and every pre/post CBS Strat that he appears playing on those videos.

  • Joaquin Valadez

    Yeah, why is the strap peg on the wrong horn? Did a private collector have it and changed it to play right handed! Cool pics if it is Jimi’s Strat!

  • editorjuno

    I don’t understand what all the fuss is about — Jimi owned, played, and occasionally destroyed dozens of Strats, managing to sound exactly like Jimi on every one of them IIRC. While he was in NYC (playing steadily at the Cafe Wha at the same time yours truly was an occasional opening act at the Gaslight across the street), he did take one of his Strats to Bill Lawrence — the city’s top electric guitar expert at the time and the actual originator of the replacement pickup industry (Bill taught Larry DiMarzio and Kent Armstrong the business when they worked for him, back when Seymour was still counterfeiting Native American jewelry) — who came up with this wiring scheme: http://i1203.photobucket.com/albums/bb390/wildepickups/Wiring%20Diagrams/jimiwiring.jpg — which is IMO a lot more interesting than debating whether the fastidious wiring of one of Jimi’s guitars was that way from the factory or if Seymour had anything to do with it.

    I wish folks would stop all this “relic of The True Cross” nonsense — Fender did indeed put some exceptionally good single-coils in their products back in the early 1960s, but there are pickups you can buy today that are as good or better, and they didn’t get that good by nostalgically imitating what Leo’s crew supposedly did back in the day. They got that good because the (very few select) people offering them understand how to make a consistently good pickup.

    The bottom line is that Seymour continues to promote himself as some sort of founding pioneer of an industry, presenting his trivial work as somehow essential to the sounds of legendary musicians admired by millions when in fact they all would have sounded pretty much the same with or without his peripheral (if any) involvement. The guy was way too young during that era to have been anything other than a bit player on the scene and he knows it — he looks much older (diabetes?), but Seymour (or whatever his real name is) is only in his early 60s AFAICT. IOW, do the math and don’t swallow the self-aggrandizing bool$hit put out by those on a mission to inflate reputations in the service of brand marketing!

    • Jimmy james

      You got it right ! The rear pick up reads 5.7 ? And it the weaker of the three?? I thought he did this to make the bridge hotter?? The solder joints are all original. Seymour claims to have done this in Cincinnati in 1968? According to the sellers story, the guitar had only been in New York and in seattle???? I have known Seymour since age 13. I would think to be the last person to go there. Leon will say anything for dead prez. I got a pick on my necklace. I better find Leon so he can say he remembers jimmy using it.i will sell it at heritage auction for 10,000 ? John Mayer wants it. That’s where it belongs. Sucker Ha! Jimmy james

  • backlineguy

    check this link

    http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/3682911

    this exact guitar was auctioned in ’07…the strap buttons were never consistent, and he often played the guitar with the strings reversed, and the strap button set for a right-handed player…

  • ROBINSON ROJO

    IN WOODSTOCK IS 68 STRATOCASTER MAPLE NECK

  • RLJ

    Buying anything with Leon Hendrix’s name associated with it is a huge risk he was banished by Al Hendrix Jimi’s Father and Jamie Hendrix Jimi’s half sister who runs the family business’s.The reason is that he’s a money hungry scam artist who has tried several times to defraud the family by selling item’s he claims were Jimi’s that were clearly not and was cut out of the familys royalties.leon battled in court for years trying to get money’s from the Hendrix family that al and Jamie refuse to give him.

  • Jimmy james

    Where is the picture of him doing the work ?? A lot of other people had their pictures with jimmy. This is the second guitar to have a collection of ” stories” by people who we would “never”disprove. Only a real sucker will pay $750,000 for a $ 20,000 (at best ) instrument. Want to see the real thing ? Go to emp museum in seattle washing right next door to the space needle. Jimmy james

  • jd4guitars

    Here is one with the right handed strap post still on

  • a

    nah ,thats not one of his ive seen ones already sold I doubt there is anymore the last one was going for a lot of money I believe $500,000 minimum

  • bill butler 11

    I would like to have a 1963 Fender strat Just to play some of his songs to get that i960′s tone Love Jimmy’s Music his is the best of all of us guitar player love from the heart of rock n roll Bill butler 11

  • bill butler 11

    I love Jimmy when I was a boy I started playing guitar with my teeth also

  • pepper

    All jimi’s guitars were bought or supplied by fender as right handed, and restrung as lefties yes the strap button was transferred to the lower horn and the top nut either reversed or recut. Jimi used both rosewood and maple necks. check out the vertical pic of Seymour and you can see a hole on the lower horn
    Not all players are lefties and this guitar has been re-reversed back to a right hander.
    Jessie is probably 100% correct. try a bit of thought before you print…….Pepper.

  • yaghmor

    i really enjoyed to visit this site.it is a very nice site and i book mark ur site.
    کرکره برقینمای ساختمان