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I first sold this Strat around 16 years ago, so it shows how time has flown by, when I read my original notes regarding this used Fender Custom Shop 1956 Relic Strat – 2008 date of birth according to the certificate – Hard to miss that cool candy tangerine finish and I dare say some will refer to it as a Marmite finish  – All original with no issues whatsoever, so despite the factory aged finish, it is effectively still in that ‘as new showroom’ condition !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  – Other than one fastening clip on the vintage style tweed case is broken – So please read below my original notes for this Strat, that I posted on the web site back in 2008

At the time, all Custom Shop Fender Guitars in stock,  were hand picked, to ensure I was only selecting the finest example – I wasn’t looking for all guitars to be the same, but they had to possess something that gave you a form of that ‘wow’ factor – In the case of this ’56’ Relic Strat, that candy tangerine finish, complete with all the vintage patina, certainly had a bearing on my choice – Yet good looks means diddly squat if the playing performance does not come up to scratch – So a few minutes, spent burning off a few favourite licks, soon established that this guitar could certainly be added to my stock profile – Before I journey beyond the visual side of things, can I point out, that at the time, candy tangerine was a custom ordered finish, with only a small handful currently available for Europe and I believe I’m right in saying that candy tangerine was never originally offered in the glory days of Fender – Nevertheless what a cool looking colour – The whole guitar has received the aged process including the nickel hardware, along with worn patches on the maple fingerboard, whilst the whole of the rear of the neck  has been rubbed down, so that ‘played in’ from day one feel is present and correct – The fact that this instrument was custom ordered, ensures that it was spec’d with a 9.5″ fingerboard radius, plus a set of 21 medium jumbo frets – That adds up to a more fluid playing action, easier string bending, plus no choking out, when you rip into those big blues bends – The neck has a very soft V profile, almost un-noticeable as a V, with a touch of meat on the rear of the neck, but slimmer shoulders, which means that it fits very nicely into the palm of your hands and assures a very pleasant playing experience – Even strung up with a set of 10’s it possesses a slinky yet positive feel, so the brave guitar player may well try a set of 11’s

Pick-up wise, you’ll find a Custom Shop ’69’ model in the neck position, a Mid Fat 50’s reverse wound/reverse polarity in the middle position, whilst a hotter Texas Special in the bridge position, provides a well balanced set-up as you move through the 5 options on the selector switch – The classic Strat tones are all apparent, with sweet warmth and shimmering clear highs on clean settings – Add some subtle overdrive and the tone that is suitable for crunch and blues is all there, with plenty of body, clarity and musically warm – Also on subtle overdrive settings, roll back the volume pot and you’ll soon realise that the amp will clean up nicely, without any tonal deterioration from the guitar, so as to provide you with all the emotion you require – Dial in more dirt on the amp or pedal to take you into classic rock territory or beyond and the versatility of a good Strat confirms why they are such an iconic product in the world of music

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Guitars4You is not another corporate high street guitar store - My selection of premium grade guitars is about quality not quantity. Every guitar has been selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention to the set-up and playing performance. Every sale, phone call, email and mail order transaction is handled by me. A journey that is now over 40 years old, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars.