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Used Custom Shop Strats are never an issue for me, as and when I acquire them, so no negative vibes from me regarding this Fender Custom Shop Postmodern Journeyman Relic Strat with a very cool and lightly aged sea foam green finish – A 2015 model that is complete with a black USA G&G case and the appropriate certificate – Highly spec’d with a vibrant ash body, plus a 1/4 sawn maple neck – Note this Strat is now fitted with a set of Fender Custom Shop Texas Special pick-ups – Re-strung and set up with a set of 10’s and a slick playing action – If you judge a guitar by how it feels, plays and sounds then this is a seriously fine Strat, whilst an ultra cool lightly aged finish is the final touch – And with a £1749 price tag it is a serious saving from a similar spec’d new model – I know you can’t say that a guitar with an aged finish is still in as new condition, but I can assure you this Strat has not spent a lot of time been played, so no negative issues regarding and fret wear or additional grazes etc

Feel/playing performance :-  whatever magic is in this Strat can’t be seen – You feel it – The classic early 60’s Oval C profile instantly feels comfortable, familiar and very much old school from the vintage era – It is that rounded profile that is neither to fat or slim , yet somehow feels like it has been made to measure – Certainly nothing new or modern on this score as it possesses that classic and renowned feel that is pure vintage flavoured – Spec’d with a thin nitro finish that has been fully cut back for that instant ‘played in from day one’ vibe, along with the ‘dirty/worn’ character – Maybe next you’ll notice a more comfortable contoured heel by the neck/body join – Hence it feels more comfortable when you are playing above the 12th fret – For more of a slick playing performance you’ll find a set of narrow/jumbo 6105 frets, along with a 9.5″ to 12″ compound radius – I don’t think you can really see this gradual taper from 9.5″ to 12″ and I’m not sure you can feel any difference that is ‘off putting’ but when you bend the strings above the 5th and 12th fret it feels slinky and effortless, with no choking out – The 9.5″ radius always feels comfortable for chord work around the top nut end, but many players like Eric Johnson have used a flatter radius as you move up the fingerboard – You can still dig in for big blues bends but for more intricate licks this Strat is as slick as they come – Overall the tweaks are subtle yet very effective – It is  a great approach from Fender, whereby if they presented you with this Strat without all the marketing hype, you would think it is just a great vintage flavoured Strat, as most of the modern tweaks are subtle or invisible – Yet they are essential as to why this Strat plays so well – Vintage and slick in one package is possible and Fender have delivered – Great praise from me on this one

Full spec and details for this Custom Shop Postmodern Journeyman Relic Strat

Tone saver :-  the cynical side of me said so what, but curiosity dictated that I take a look inside – Surprise  it is a simple yet effective mod that I found out about some years ago and know many players now utilise 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

Tonal character :-  To me an  unplugged evaluation is the place to start regarding the guitars tonal character – This Strat possesses a vibrant voice that is both lively and full – You can both hear and feel it ring and this is a great place to start – ‘It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that ring’ is a phrase I often quote and when you play this Strat you’ll see why – Now plug it and hear how a set of Custom Shop Texas Special pick-ups compliment the lively acoustic properties from an ash body  – Overall it is more about overdriven hot blues, as against the soft clean side of vintage Hank – That doesn’t mean it can’t handle the cool and lush side of chilled out chords and sultry licks, as it can – But with subtle, or hi-gain overdriven amp settings, this Strat loves to enter the Texas blues of SRV or the Irish blues of Rory and drive the amp – Big clear lows – Crisp highs, with just enough mids to add some girth – Try a few SRV style shuffle rhythm’s with walking bass lines and you’ll experience that percussive snap and attack – Load up the amp with some gain and try out a few melodic licks and you’ll soon see why this a Strat that will be hard to put down – Low or high levels of gain on the amp suit this Strat – Another plus point is  a tone control on the bridge pick-up, so tame any hints of fizzy overdriven highs a touch as required

Overall you’ll quickly find out that it is loaded with warmth, character, soul and expression, be it played through clean or overdriven settings on your amp – The volume and tone pots allow you to utilise them from 1-10 as they dial in subtle yet effective levels that allow you and the guitar to control the amp – To leave this Strat on 10 seriously limits the guitars potential, so much so, that  with the volume pot on or around 6 or 7, it is a great place to set up your base camp – This approach allows you to go back to 10 when you have an additional statement to make, that requires a turbo boost, with an extra amount of edge – Otherwise stay in the chilled out lounge with the volume pot rolled off a touch – Hence you acquire a similar level of emotion that can be found in a good singer, or say a sax player – So from the clean voice of Little Wing, to classic rock n blues, you’ll find this Strat is not short of  character



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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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