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For the last 5 or 10 years now the quality of Custom Shop Guitars has moved up another level – The ‘regular time machine series’ now feature higher specs than similar models from previous years – Yet there is still something extra special about a Limited Edition model, as and when I acquire them – So following  a tip off from the UK Custom Shop product specialist, this is how I acquired a very special Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition 62 Journeyman Relic Strat, with  a lightly aged 3 tone sunburst finish – In many ways the classic Strat – It might have a slightly more expensive price tag, but I’m sure the tonal character and playing performance will make it worthwhile – Key features include a 1/4 sawn maple neck – AAA grade lam rosewood fingerboard – 7.25″ to 9.5″ compound fingerboard radius – Hand wound pick-ups – Limited Edition decal on the headstock – Limited Edition engraved 4 bolt neck plate – Blonde tolex case with Limited Edition Custom Shop logo embroidered into the inner case lid

So let me supply you with the full spec and details :-

Journeyman aged vibe :- The ultra thin nitro finish is authentically aged to reflect nearly 60 years of regular use, so it captures that  mellow and  faded character of a guitar that has seen its fair share of action, yet equally has been cared for, so used but not abused – So plenty of lacquer checking, yet with far less dings, nicks and worn patches compared to many other relic finishes – If you don’t like the vibe of a seriously aged finish, the Journeyman approach might suite you – At least you can buy it, then play it, without having to give it the kids glove treatment – Furthermore, wood is porous, as such for a new gloss finish to stay clean and shiny for many years, a thicker base coat is required to support additional layers of a nitro finish  – However this approach tends to damped the guitars natural resonance – It is generally accepted that a thin finish, allows the guitars to breathe, so as to enhance its natural vibrant acoustic properties  – This is the positive aspect of the aged approach, in that a far thinner base coat and nitro finish is required, as that perfect finish is not the ultimate goal – All the vintage spec’d hardware is lightly aged accordingly, including the control knobs and switch tip

Blend control pot :- Wired with a master volume and tone pot that operates all 3 pick-ups on all 5 switch positions – However a neat mod that is becoming increasingly popular is the blend control – Select the bridge pick-up and with the blend pot on 10, you still only obtain the bridge pick-up on its own – Roll it totally back to 1 and you now have the perfect balance of the neck and bridge pick-up together, so it effectively provides some of the character of that central 3 way  switch position of a Tele – It does add a touch of additional depth to the neck pick-up but somehow it delivers the character of a Tele – Try different levels between 1 and 10 for subtle yet effective variations

Tonal character –  Sat in  the heart of the tone department, you’ll find a set of well balanced hand wound pick-ups, with a combination that was initially created by Masterbuilder Greg Fessler – Hence a lush sounding ’69’ pick-up in the neck position that measures 5.10K – A spanky crisp Fat 50’s in the middle position that measures 6.20K  – Hotter Texas Special in the bridge position that kicks out 6.24K  – All designed to offer a selection of well balanced voices across all 5 switch settings  – The combination of a vibrant alder body, a lam rosewood fingerboard, plus a set of hand wound pick-ups, ensures that authentic 60’s based Strat tone is possible, with  warm transparent mids, a delicious deep and rounded lows that are crystal clear, plus warm sparkling highs that glisten – Stroke the strings for a more tender voice, or with more gust for that snap and attack that makes a Strat so infectious – This pick up combination covers the classic rock and blues tones of Hendrix, through to the driving Texas shuffles and lead work of SRV, or the hot blues work of Rory Gallagher- It can be succulent, warm and silky, or deliver more edge and bite, as required – The 69 pick-up in the neck position, complete with grey bobbins is straight from the Hendrix era – Probably the least powerful of all the Fender single coil pick-ups, but it is not about power – Its about the tender silky smooth voices it can produce with warm sparkling clarity – Just think Little Wing at its finest – The bridge pick-up is hotter and adds guts to power chords and riffs, or enough bite and girth to allow solos to sing and scream – Many players don’t use the middle position on its own very often, put the tone of the middle pick-up is essential to aid those two ‘out of phase’ tones,  so you’ll hear plenty of quack that makes them sound so infectious – Warmer from the neck/middle combination and more crisp from the middle/bridge combination

This Strat is totally laden with soul, emotion and expression – So to maximise the guitars expressive character, utilise the master volume and tone control, which function on all 3 pick-ups and all 5 switch settings – Set up the amp with some overdrive and initially the Strat on 10 – Now roll back the volume pot until you find that magical sweet spot, that is more chilled and laid back – You’ll still experience the Strats true colours and expressive qualities, but now you’ll have a cleaner voice – This can be your base camp which will now allow you to wind the Strat back towards 10, as and when you require more bite, edge and gain – Almost a built in turbo boost option – Subtle yet effective tweaks on the volume and indeed the tone pot, add so much expression to this Strat – A plus point of the master volume and tone pot is that on overdriven amp settings, if you find it a touch fizzy, especially on the bridge pick-up, a subtle roll off on the vol/tone pot will produce a warmer voice that is more tender – Hence either option is there as and when required – From subtle  blues overdriven amp settings, to full on overdriven amp settings, this Strat allows you to fine tune the voice to suit – Hence as I mentioned earlier, it is loaded with soul, emotion and expression and it is part of the reason that a £2935 price tag can be fully justified

Playing performance :-  The feel of the maple neck is pure vintage flavoured with the classic 60’s rounded oval C profile – Happy middle ground, so not thin nor fat – The thin nitro finish has been cut back just enough to remove that new sticky gloss feel, so you’ll now experience more of a satin ‘played in’ character, that instantly feels ‘user friendly’ – Whilst the rear of the neck is pure vintage old school, the rosewood lam fingerboard has been spec’d and set-up to enhance the playing performance – A set of 6105 medium jumbo frets will allow you to dig in and attack those big pentatonic blues bends – Yet equally allow for a fluid playing action, without any choking out – It is often said that the vintage 7.25 fingerboard radius feels comfortable for chord work, yet a more modern 9.5″ radius allows for a more slick approach to licks and tricks – So now we have a compound radius that starts off at 7.25″ around the top nut end and gently morphs into the 9.5″ radius – You certainly don’t notice any transformation between the different fingerboard measurements – But you do notice how comfortable it is to play – You don’t experience that ‘old school’ stiffness – As such a set of 10’s now feels slinky and easy to handle, so one or two might even try 11’s or more – Of course I can set up and adjust as required

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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.

For our returns and cancellation policy relating to mail order sales, on the above menu bar click on shop info then select mail order.