This Strat has a longer name than many others – Fender Custom Shop Classic HBS-1 50’s Relic Strat – It is a used model from 2009 – I know the full history of this Strat as I originally hand picked it for stock, then sold it around 8 years ago – Home use only and not played on a regular basis – So despite the black relic finish, it is still pretty much in the same condition as when I first sold it – Re-strung and set-up with a new set of 10’s – Complete with the black Custom Shop case, certificate and various tags – In today’s market place, with new Custom Shop models now selling for well over £3000, then £1990 for a clean used Strat offers a more realistic pricing for many
See below my original web site notes for this Custom Shop Strat, from when I first sold it around 8 years ago – All details are still correct, so please read on – Any questions then do not hesitate to contact me :-
The Classic HBS-1 Relic Strat is a special edition model with various attributes from both the modern and vintage era, hence it is not a replica of a specific period as such, albeit is influenced by a late 50’s model – The neck is spec’d with soft V profile that measures .849″ around the top nut end and gently fattens out to .985″ around the 12th fret – Hence a sensible amount of girth, but far less meat on the shoulders then the fatter 54 U profile – Comfortable to handle, whilst the modern spec’d 9.5′ fingerboard radius, plus 22 medium jumbo frets ensure a delightful playing experience with a fluid, almost lazy, action, that responds to a light touch – Even bending a set of 10’s still has a slinky feel about it – Note the finish on the neck/fingerboard has been cut back, so that silky smooth ‘played in from day one’ character is all present and correct – The lightweight premium grade ash body ensures the guitar only budges the scales to a reading of 7lbs and 10oz and played acoustically you can feel it vibrate against you as it delivers plenty of ring – The whole guitar receives a serious dose of the relic treatment, including the hardware, the aged scratchplate, control knobs and switch tips, whilst the thin skin black nitro-cellulose body looks like it has played its fair share of gigs, at the Bull and Bush, on a Saturday night – As such it looks and feels like the ultimate work horse – The tremelo is that of the vintage period, whilst the tuners are the slick modern enclosed format with staggered height string posts – Note the truss rod adjustment at the top nut end, so easy to adjust as and when required
Sitting at the heart of the tone department you’ll find a pair of Custom Shop ’69’ single coil pick-ups with grey bobbins, whilst a Seymour Duncan SH4 humbucker sits in the bridge position – Neck/middle measure around 5.10K whilst the bridge kicks out 15.12K – Fitted with a regular 5 way selector switch, plus the modern S1 switch, which is discreetly hidden within the volume knob, to offer a coil tap option on the SH4 humbucker, as and when required – Spec’d with a master volume + tone control, with the bottom ‘tone control’ in this instance being a ‘blend’ control, allowing you to dial in the neck pick-up, as required, once the bridge pick-up is selected – I’ve said this many times before, but just to recap, if you put a humbucking pick-up on a Strat, it does not suddenly morph into a Les Paul tone – Instead, the Strat still retains its lively and spanky character, but the humbucker fattens it all up, with more warmth, muscle and output – With a combination of the blend control, S1 coil tap switch and a good taper on the volume pot, there is enough variety and emotional control to cover many musical styles, either for clean or overdriven amp settings, so don’t think that bridge humbucker ensures this only delivers a monster rock tone – However on overdriven amp settings it does kick dirt, with shed loads of smooth warm singing sustain, or back off the volume pot a touch, for great crunch tones that are ideal for driving rhythm and riffs – No one guitar pleases everybody, but as a workhorse this Strat can offer more than most
’69’ single coil pick-ups :- The Strat pick-ups from this period are about the least powerful pick-ups that Fender have ever made – 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 and musical ‘Little Wing’ approach
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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 35 year journey has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars – This reflects in every aspect of our business.
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