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Come 2018 and we’ve seen fairly heavy price increases on many USA Guitars, including Custom Shop models – Yet I still have a few models available at the old price, that I purchased in 2017 including this Fender Custom Shop 1960 Relic Strat with a thin nitro olympic white finish, – So save around £800 based on the same guitar available today with a current serial number date along

Many dealers can sell you a new ‘Time Machine’ Custom Shop Strat, yet only a handful of select shops earn the right to be a ‘Showcase Dealer’  – Yes Guitars4You are a ‘Showcase dealer’ and as such I regularly create a run of custom ordered and custom spec’d ‘Tone Zone’ models  with exclusive features, many of them from the ‘ala carte menu’  – I’ve  been buying and selling ‘Tone Zone’ models for a few years now and as such I have plenty of experience in creating fine custom spec’d Custom Shop Strats – The chassis is always based on a classic pre-CBS model, with the addition of select features that will enhance the guitars tonal character and playing performance – It is certainly hard, maybe impossible, to clearly define what constitutes the absolute perfect Strat, as 2 or 3  players can sit down, compare and evaluate a number of fine Custom Shop Strats, yet each pick a different favourite – As a result it is my job to order a selection of fine custom spec’d Strats that possess all those key attributes – Tone, feel, soul, expression and resonance – Therefore all you have to do is you  select your favourite from a fine selection I carry in stock – So let’s start with additional details regarding this ‘Tone Zone’ Fender Custom Shop 62 Journeyman Relic Strat with an authentically aged and classic olympic white nitro finish  

Key Tone Zone features include :-

Additional spec and features 

Journeyman aged vibe :- The ultra thin nitro finish is authentically aged to reflect nearly 60 years of regular use, so it captures that oxidized, mellow and  faded character of a guitar that has seen its fair share of action, yet has equally not been 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 and play it without having to give it the kids glove treatment – Furthermore, wood is porous, as such for a new shiny gloss finish to stay this way for many years, a thicker base coat is required that supports many layers of a nitro finish  – However this approach tends to damped the guitars natural resonance – It is generally accepted that a thin finish, be it nitro, poly or urethane, allows the guitars to breathe and resonate – This is the beauty of the aged approach in that a far thinner base coat and nitro finish is required, as you are not trying to produce that perfect shiny, glass like finish  – All the vintage spec’d hardware is lightly aged accordingly, including the control knobs and switch tip

Playing performance :- The feel of the neck is pure vintage 60’s old school – It retains the popular vintage C profile, albeit with an extra ounce of meat on it – So additional girth without feeling fat – A regular 60’s profile will measure .790″ to 930″, this Strat is spec’d with a large 65C profile  that measures .820″ to .974″  – Measure what you want to, but it instantly feels comfortable and very user friendly – With a thin aged nitro finish, that has been cut back for that instantly ‘played in’ from day one approach – This is an easy neck to handle, for either chord work, fluid licks, or just to dig in and attack a few big blues bends – A modern 9.5″ fingerboard radius, coupled with a set of medium jumbo 6100 frets, all add up to ensure a user friendly playing experience – Set-up with a fluid easy action, that responds to a light touch and allows for effortless string bending without any choking out on big blues bends

Tonal character :- Do I really need to say how a Strat sounds ? In a way yes and no – There is a parameter that we can definitely say is a Strat voice, yet some are more responsive, some crisp and some mellow – A test drive will reveal a very rich character that is smooth, luxurious and warm with sparkling clear clarity – At all times musical yet can move from angelic to a hint of attitude – 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 the level of emotion found in a good singer or say a sax player – So clean, to Little Wing to classic rock n blues and this Strat is loaded with character

Handwound ’69’ neck + middle pick-ups :- The Strat pick-ups from this period are about the least powerful pick-ups that Fender have ever made (5.18K in this instance) – But power is not king here – It is about tone and expression – Modern players like John Mayer buy into this tonal character with clear rounded lows, sparkling sweet highs and transparent scooped mids – The overall tonal character is pure, smooth, crisp and angelic – Yet at all times that spanky Strat character shines through with a percussive attack and snap – With the volume pot on 10 you’ll acquire that additional bite with maybe just a hint of fizz, so simply roll the pot down to around 7/8 or 9 for a softer approach   Handwound Fat 60’s bridge pick-up (measures a hotter 6.45K) – To compliment the soft vocal character of the 69 pick-ups, the Fat 60’s in the bridge provides you with some additional oooomp and is very much influenced by Strats from around the early 60’s period that are favoured by the likes of SRV and Rory Gallagher – It will drive the amp and deliver additional body and bite whilst retaining the true vintage musical vibe – You can still add additional boost from a Tube Screamer, or similar as required, but the key point is that this bridge pick-up does not sound thin, weedy or spikey, providing you with a touch more fatter mids

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

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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 journey, now in excess of 40 years, 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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