A slightly different slant to a popular theme might conclude any initial appraisal of this Fender 2015 Limited Edition American Deluxe Mahogany HSS Strat – Just about all other features are par for the course for a modern Strat, so the key change is with regards to the mahogany body – 2 piece and slightly slimmer, with all the usual curves and contours and left with a fairly natural stain gloss finish – Produced in small quantities as part of a limited run in 2015 – Used and now 3 years old, so although it is not worthy of the ‘as new’ or ‘mint’ condition tag, it is in good condition – You’ll find some light signs of playing wear to the top surface of the gloss finish, but no actual dings or dints and certainly no grazes that can be considered nasty – Complete with the deluxe Fender moulded case, Schaller strap locks and various tags and paperwork
Additional spec and info :-
- Whole guitar weighs 8lbs and 8oz
- Engraved Limited Edition neck plate + contoured heel + micro tilt option
- Maple neck + rosewood fingerboard Modern C neck profile with a comfortable medium depth
- Satin ‘played in’ finish
- 9.5″ to 14″ compound fingerboard radius
- 22 medium/jumbo frets
- Modern spec’d hardware including a 2 point fulcrum floating trem, albeit with ‘stamped’ vintage style S saddles – Fender locking tuners – Schaller strap locks 11 hole 3 ply mint green scratch plate + off white control knobs, switch tips and pick up covers
- Fender N3 Noiseless Single Coil pick-ups + Fender Shawbucker humbucker
- 5 way switch
- Master volume + tone neck + tone middle/bridge
- S1 switch built into the volume pot
- ‘Push/Push’ switch in between the tone pots is a ‘Passing Lane’ mod – more on this later
- Re-strung + set up with a set of 10-46 and a slick/fluid action
Feel and playing performance – The Modern C profile has enough meat on board to stop it feeling slim, but certainly nothing approaching chunky – So a comfortable amount of girth to it – The contoured heel join certainly makes it a touch easier, plus more comfortable to play a few chosen licks once you get above the 12th fret – The satin finished ensures that there is no ‘drag’ that you might associate with many new guitars, thanks to a satin finish, so a ‘played in’ vibe is present from day one – Spec’d with a compound radius which starts of at 9.5″ around the top nut end, then flattens out to 14″ by the time you approach the 12th fret – Bottom line is a slick action, that responds to a light touch, awaits any prospective buyer – String bending is effortless thanks to a set of medium jumbo frets and even with a slick action you’ll find no choking out as you dig in for any blues bends – You can still play those chilled out pentatonic blues licks, but if you wish to explore the fast lane, then this Strat will support you all the way, as it takes a similar approach to modern boutique builders like Suhr and Anderson
Tonal character :- Click here to find a video clip of this Strat in action – Short but better than nothing – First comment goes to the ‘Passing Lane’ push/push switch found nestled between the tone pots – It is effectively an override switch – So no matter what pick-up position you have selected, with or without the S1 switch, the Passing Lane switch will instantly take you to the voice of the Shawbucker on full tilt, with the tone pot bypassed, result in a more powerful voice – Note the Passing Lane switch instantly overrides any volume and/or tone levels you have already selected – Now push the switch again to revert to your previous voice – It is a fair comment to say that it sounds like a Strat with all the traditional voices, including the two infectious ‘out of phase’ settings – Yet the influence of mahogany body adds a touch more growl, muscle and grunt which is a nice addition to compliment the N3 Noiseless pick-ups that can sound a touch clinical at times – So a good set of balanced tonal options to explore – More than enough character to keep you exploring clean amp settings, where you’ll hear a lush, crisp and full voice – Now dial in some gain on the amp and from a more subtle rock voice, to a full on saturated overdriven setting, this Strat is at home and offers a versatile package – Robert Cray style crisp funky blues, to Iron Maiden bone crunching riffs and scorching lead and this Strat can deliver
No one guitar does it all, but this Strat can do more than many others – To a pure vintage fan it is probably not the guitar for you, for many obvious reasons – Yet equally if a vintage flavoured Strat leaves you wanting more regarding tonal character, plus you require a slick playing performance, coupled with a trem package that eliminates many of the niggly tuning issues of an old Strat, then this is Limited Edition model is well worth considering
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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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