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Something extra special is well worth waiting – A couple of years ago I sold a very nice, used Yuriy Shishkov Strat – I took note of the serial number and asked for a quote, plus time scale, to order something similar with pretty much the same spec – The good news was the price – In fact taking into account recent changes in the £ v $, if I ordered the same guitar today we’d be looking at an asking price approaching £6000 and not £4969 as per this Strat – Bad news was the ETA – I was quoted over 18 months for a delivery date, but at least that day has now arrived, so welcome into stock a new Fender Masterbuilt Yuri Shishkov ’63’ Journeyman Relic Strat with a lightly aged and seriously cool ocean turquoise finish – I’ve played and sold many fine Custom Shop and Masterbuilt Strats and I can state that this is a bloomin’ good guitar with many great attributes, with regards to the tonal character and the overall playing experience – It is loaded with that magical vintage mojo – Hard to say exactly what that is, but your hands and ears will instantly know once you’ve played it

Full spec and info for Fender Masterbuilt Yuri Shishkov ’63’ Journeyman Relic Strat :-

Aged character :- I fully appreciate that not all guitar players buy into the seriously aged vibe that you’ll find on many  Masterbuilt Strats, so with that in mind, a Journeyman nitro finish takes more of a  lightly aged approach, that some might say is more authentic – This cool ocean turquoise nitro finish  shows no shortage of lacquer checking , yet overall it receives far less dings and dints, with very little in the way of a worn finish that reveals the alder body – Aged, but not abused, might be a fair remark, therefore the Journeyman 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

Playing performance :- A 1/4 sawn maple neck supports a AAA grade, lam rosewood fingerboard that possesses a dark and even grained character – The neck is spec’d with the popular 60’s vintage Oval C profile  – It starts of at .810″ at the top nut end, then gently fattens out to .938″ around the 12th fret – This is a classic profile that has proved popular and indeed become the bench mark throughout the guitar world – Not to fat or thin, with just enough girth to enrich the tone, yet feel comfortable and easy to handle – The thin medium tint nitro finish has been cut back to capture that desirable  played in from day one character – To enrich the classic vintage feel, you’ll find modern appointments include a 9.5″ fingerboard radius along with a set of chunky Jescar 6100 frets, both of which allow for a slick action and effortless string bending with no choking out – Some may prefer a slinky set-up that only requires a light touch to burn up and down the fingerboard and show of a few chosen licks- Some may prefer more of a sensible medium action that allows you to dig in to those big blues bends – Of course I can adjust the set-up to suit your own taste – Either way the modern features deliver a user friendly playing performance yet it still retains the feel of a good old ‘un

Tonal character :- With a hand select alder body, this Strat comes in at only 7lbs and 5oz and played unplugged you’ll instantly hear it possesses a natural vibrant and lively character – As mentioned earlier, the pick-ups are hand wound by Josefina, all controlled via the 5 way switch, with the lower tone pot now operating the bridge pick-up – Pick-ups measure around 5.83K and note the aged magnets/pole-pieces and aged covers – Also note RWRP middle pick-up – As an overview this Strat is more succulent and smooth, with less of a pushed hard biting character, with no shortage of snap and attack – The neck pick-up is oh so sweet, musically rich, lush and smooth, coupled with clear shimmering highs to give you a lovely degree of clarity that has obvious comparisons to the SRV tone, with transparent mids – Strat bridge pick-ups can sometimes be a touch weak and thin sounding, but here we have a pick-up that possesses enough depth, body, bite and balls, without that shrill like ice pick attack – On clean settings it’s crisp and clear with good body and depth – On overdriven amp settings this transfers into a musical warm bite that works well on both riffs, driving Texas shuffle rhythms and lead work – The fact that you now have a tone pot working on the bridge pick-up, ensures that if required, you can roll off the highs just a touch until you discover that magical sweet spot – Both ‘out of phase’ tones are excellent with a good ‘quack’ about them that is so infectious, coupled with a level of smoothness and body that is rare to find – More warm/rich on the neck/middle combination and more bell or glass like clarity on the middle/bridge combination

Now on the amp, add either more subtle gain for a blues vibe, or indeed more gain to take you into classic rock/blues territory – Then for your base tone leave the Strat’s volume pot around the 6 or 7 mark – At this point the guitar still retains its full expressive qualities and vintage character, but now you and the guitar are in full control the amp – At this stage you’ll find more of a chilled out character with less gain, so now, just like a good singer wanting to deliver a touch extra, wind the volume pot back towards 10 for more bite, attack and gain – Hence more emotional control, soul and expression directly at your finger tips – For blues based players you’ll hear that percussive snap and attack for SRV style shuffle patterns, walking bass lines and chord stabs with a succulent musical richness in the neck position – Whilst the bridge position has enough in it to kick dirt, yet equally it can be tamed for a softer approach  – I played around with different gain settings to see how it would respond and whatever you threw at it, it was not short of soul, emotion and expression – Less gain on the amp, but add an overdrive pedal, with the guitar volume pot on 10, or 6/7 – Likewise a hi-gain amp with the Strat volume roll off – All approaches delivered variations of gain and sustain, yet all effective in different ways – The finer nuances off the tone and gain are there for you to explore but the key factors is the guitar is responsive to you, the amp and how you play it – Not all Strats are this good, so if you are in the market for an aged Strat with a killer tone, then maybe the hunt is over

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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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