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Post Brexit and a far weaker pound and we’ve seen quite a few hefty prices on recent deliveries of Custom Shop models – Yet I managed to acquire a small collection of custom ordered models at the old 2016 price, so welcome into stock a Fender Custom Shop 1960 Relic Strat with an aged lake placid blue finish – Highly spec’d with a few custom options, so whilst it retains the vintage vibe of an early 60’s Strat, subtle but effective modern tweaks enrich the playing performance, so all in all a new Strat that captures the magical qualities of yesteryear, in a user friendly package

Full spec and details for this 1960 Relic Strat in lake placid blue :-

Playing performance :-  The thin nitro finish on the maple neck has been cut back, for more of a satin vibe and to ensure it possesses some of that ‘played in’ character – So no need  to wait years for that sticky new finish to be broken in, as this Strat is just waiting to be played from day one – The Oval C neck profile is straight from the early 60’s vintage camp, so it feels like  good old ‘un, with just enough extra meat on it to add substance but not feel full – This is the classic profile that many players adore and helped to create the Fender legend – Now add a 9.5″ fingerboard radius, along with a set of medium jumbo frets and these modern tweaks ensure a user friendly playing performance, hence a slick fluid action awaits – Dig in for slow moody licks, or try a few flash licks and tricks and this Strat will fully support you – Set up with a slinky action that is easy to handle – Of course I can adjust as required

Tonal character –  At   the heart of the tone department, you’ll find a set of well balanced Custom Shop 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 5.13K – A spanky crisp Fat 50’s in the middle position that measures 6.20K, with a hotter Texas Special in the bridge position that kicks out 6.17K  – All designed to offer a selection of well balanced voices across all 5 switch settings  – The combination of a vibrant alder body, a slab rosewood fingerboard, plus a set of custom wound pick-ups, ensures that authentic 60’s based Strat tone is delivered, with  warm transparent mids, 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 middle and bridge pick-ups now wired to the 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 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 £2549 price tag can be fully justified

Aged vibe :- I fully appreciate that not all guitar players buy into the seriously aged vibe of many  Custom Shop Strats, so with that in mind, a lightly aged approach might be more preferable and some might say more authentic – On this example you’ll find no shortage of lacquer checking , whilst the nitro finish is cut back for more of a faded vibe, but overall it receives far less dings, dints and wear – Aged, but not abused, might be a fair remark, therefore a lighter relic finish is a far more subtle approach to finding a Strat with some played in character – Hence you can  buy it and play it, without having to give it the kids gloves treatment, then getting upset regarding any nicks and grazes that it will inevitably acquire – It is generally accepted that a thin base coat and finish allows the guitar to ‘breathe’ so as to maximise the guitars natural vibrant character and this is a big plus factor of the aged approach – Play it unplugged and you can hear its natural vibrant acoustic character and as I say on a regular basis, ‘it don’t mean  a thing if it ain’t got that ring’

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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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