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Fender Custom Shop Postmodern Relic Strat – custom spec’d and ordered with a lightly aged Shoreline gold finish, along with a set of hand wound Ancho Poblano pick ups – Now on at a special price – was £2599 – One only at £1899 – New guitar but old stock with a 2015 serial number/certificate, but still includes full Fender warranty – Complete with case + certificate – Sorry but I can’t really consider any part exchanges at this new low price, but check with me first

Only a select handful of Custom Shop stores in the UK receive the status of a ‘Show Case Dealer’ and I’m very honoured that Guitars4You are part of that elite program – In essence it allows me to custom order a selection of Custom Shop models with a few chosen tweaks and ‘Tone Zone’ upgrades that are chosen to further enhance the tonal character, the playing experience, plus all the vintage mojo that goes with it – These Tone Zone upgrades ensure this Fender Custom Shop Postmodern Strat is highly spec’d, with many features from the Custom Shop ‘ala carte’ menu, that now brings it as close to a Master Built model as possible, to ensure a unique package – In this case I have taken the chassis of the Postmodern Strat as featured in the 2015 price list, then added a set of hand wound Ancho Poblano pick-ups, as well as a bone top nut – It also allows me to introduce a new finish , so how about a cool shoreline gold journeyman lightly aged finish – Furthermore instead of the more bolder transition logo you’ll find the traditional spaghetti logo from the early 60’s

With nearly 40 years of experience behind me in the guitar business, it is so easy to get blasé about marketing claims regarding new products from any of the big name brands in our trade – After all, how many times can you reinvent the wheel – So when I first heard Fender claim that the Postmodern Strat is ‘a thoroughly contemporary take on a time honoured classic’ you can’t help but think, seen it, heard it, played it, not for me, so let’s move – Maybe in various formats, Fender have tried to blend attributes of an old Strat with features found on a new Strat, yet consistently failed to sell them in any quantity – Granted some fared better than others, but they have always represented a small part of Fender’s sale revenue – I have to say that maybe this time they have cracked the code – I’ve sold hundreds of Strats over the years and whilst I’ve sold plenty that can’t match the performance qualities of this Strat, they are not to many that can compete with it, let alone beat it – If we all adopted a blind fold test, this would be a very popular guitar – We can all be stuck in our ways regarding changes to a classic design – Yet remember the 2 following points

1) many of the modern tweaks on the Postmodern Strat can already be found on the Custom Shop, Master built and even original 50’s and 60’s vintage models, that are owned and played by our hero’s

2) Let’s assume the Strat had never yet been invented and 2015 saw the launch of a new guitar that was going to take the guitar world by storm, then I can assure you that this new Strat would be more like the Postmodern Strat, than the 50’s and 60’s models we saw released so many years ago – I’m knocked out by it – Don’t get me wrong as I’m not saying all vintage flavoured Strats are wrong or inferior, but I am saying check out a Postmodern Strat when you try a vintage flavoured Strat, then judge for yourself which suits you best – Call me a cynical grumpy old git who is set in my ways, but I’m not easily hooked on new concoctions in the guitar world, yet the Postmodern Strat has a hell of a lot of things going for it, certainly with regards to the playing performance

Let me leave you with some comments I’ve borrowed from the Fender Custom Shop web site regarding the Fender Postmodern Journeyman Relic Strat :- This Strat is elegantly designed with a reappraisal of modern assumptions – It features a select and light weight ash body with a comfortable contoured heel, a quarter sawn maple neck with a finely sculpted 60’s C profile, a fast compound radius fingerboard that gently tapers from 9.5″ to 12″ – 21 Sanko 6105 medium jumbo frets – 5 way switch and a special ‘tone saver’ treble bleed mod on the volume pot that ensures the tone remains consistent as you roll of the volume pot (more on this later) – Hardware is vintage spec’d throughout other than Schaller strap locks + no string tree, hence staggered string posts on vintage Kluson style tuners – Other features include a new ‘Journeyman’ relic finish that authentically imparts the appearance of years of aging and light use, without heavy tear and wear – It is so thin, you can practically see the grain lines of the ash body through the nitro finish – As a result the ash body is free to ring and resonate without been strangled by any thick filler and base coat – Click on the video clip below to see additional info on a Custom Shop Post Modern Strat

Full spec and details for this Fender Custom Shop Postmodern Strat –

Tone saver :- again the cynical side of me said so what, but curiosity said let’s have a look inside – Surprise it is a simple yet effective mod that I found out about some years ago and know many players have use a similar mod on their Strats – Effectively a resistor and capacitor wired in series, then wired across the input tag and centre tag on the volume pot – Hence both easy to install, or indeed remove as required – You can now roll off the volume pot without losing any highs, so the clarity you find at 10 remains with you at 5/6/7 etc – Incidentally I know some players like the tone to go softer on you as you roll of the volume pot for more of a chilled out voice, so only 2 connections to undo with a soldering iron if required – With the ‘tone saver’ on you can set up the overdrive on the amp and then control the volume level and gain level directly from the guitar, with loss of articulation and highs – It is simple and neat and very effective

No Ancho Poblano is not some new up and coming Mexican guitar player you have never heard of – Neither is he the new signing in La Liga for Barcelona – Yet Ancho Poblano is a Mexican phrase, that indicates some slightly spiced up peppers and maybe that is relevant, as a set of hand wound Ancho Poblano pick-ups sit at the heart of this Strat They are slightly overwound to deliver the classic vintage voice with a touch of extra spice in them – You can click on the link below and check out a Fender Custom Shop video clip of these pick-ups in action – It is certainly not a case of Fender trying to re-invent the wheel, or indeed trying to state that this is the finest Strat ever, yet equally it is the first time Fender have taken the vintage flavour and produced a balanced set of pick-ups that are custom wound and voiced to add a touch of extra spice as you move from the neck position through to the bridge position – All three pick-ups are hand wound by Josefina, but here we have a neck that measures just under 6K, a slightly hotter middle pick-up that kicks out just over 6K – Both utilise alnico 111 staggered pole pieces and magnets, with formvar windings – Whilst the bridge pick-up measures around 6K and is spec’d with alnico V magnets, flat pole pieces and features enamel winding

Tonal quality :- Do the Ancho Poblano pick-ups ensure that this is the best Strat you’ll ever hear ? – Maybe, maybe not, but it is very special – I suppose you can’t help comparing it to the big Texas SRV tone, but that does not mean it is just a hot blues box – The bridge pick-up almost has a Tele vibe to it – Tight and controlled with body, balls and attack – On overdriven amp settings, with the Strat’s volume pot on 10, then it just starts to offer the merest hint of that ice pick attack, in a musical way, with some edge and attitude, so just roll off the volume pot a touch for a more controlled and softer voice – Neck pick up is sweet, soft and crisp with excellent dynamics and overtones and overall a big beefy voice with a touch of spice – Tight full lows, very open with just enough mids to add body – The two out of phase voices are infectious – Warm and crisp and again with depth and oh so much quack and they sound so musical on both clean and overdriven amp settings

After you’ve played this Strat for a while on overdriven amp settings, then try it out on a clean amp setting you’ll find it is so succulent and very warm and musical with an angelic quality about it – On overdriven amp settings make sure you control the amp from the guitar and use the Strat’s volume pot – This will ensure you explore the guitars full vocabulary and in doing so find it is loaded with soul, emotion and expression – Subtle changes on the volume pot deliver a more chilled out voice that retains all the guitars expressive qualities – Playing all 5 switch settings, tweak the volume pot, playing different styles, both on chord work, riffs, licks and solos, through clean or overdriven amp settings and you only start to see, or hear, what is so special about this Strat – Even played unplugged you’ll discover a lively acoustic tone with plenty of depth and resonance to it – I always say it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that ring and this Strat rings like a bell that has been struck by a big clanger – Fender don’t tell you all the secrets that are behind the Ancho Poblano pick ups, but you can hear it is something special – Like ‘Mama’s favourite recipe’ the magic ingredients are in there, be if I told you what they were then I’d have to shoot you Forgot to mention the wiring regarding the tone pots – Tone 1 is middle and neck, so tone 2 is bridge only, so now if you wish to roll off any spikey highs that you hear from the bridge pick-up, whilst choosing a hi-gain amp setting, you can do so

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Guitars4You Offers Reliability, Integrity and Expertise

Every guitar in stock at Guitars4You has been personally selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention paid to the set-up and playing performance – Every sale, phone call, mail order transaction or e-mail is handled my me – Mark Hopkin, the owner, Managing Director, cleaner and coffee maker (Jo, my wife helps with the coffee) – A 35 year journey has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars – This reflects in every aspect of our business.

I have no desire to run an Amazon style 'click to buy' guitar shop, that lacks any soul or passion, or indeed to fill a showroom with a selection of dirty, shop soiled or dusty guitars that are in need of a set-up.

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