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The whole topic of buying a new guitar, with an aged vibe, has been a strong topic of discussion now for over 30 years – Yet the sale of Custom Shop replicas, with an aged finish, is seriously above that of similar models with a new shiny gloss finish – Yet equally Fender look to offer a limited supply of models from the vintage era, that look new, or nearly new, that still possess some vintage mojo – The inspiration behind the Fender Custom Shop Vintage Custom 55 Strat, is that of a rare vintage find – Imagine finding a one owner, exceptionally clean 1955 Strat, that has been well cared for and probably barely played – So no need to offer a replica with the usual seriously aged appointments – So how about a 55 Strat, with a thin nitro ‘wide fade 2 colour sunburst’ finish, with very lightly ‘oxidized’ hardware to show the merest hint of any use – Fender call it the ‘time capsule package’, so just a hint of vintage mojo/character to remove that ‘sterile pure new vibe’  – As part of a limited run for the 2018 collection, this 55 Strat has been highly spec’d from top to bottom, with correct vintage appointments, coupled with select modern features to further enhance the guitars overall performance

Full spec and details :-

That chunky ’54’ U neck profile :-  Is it big compared to other Strats ? – Yes – Is it to big to handle ? – No – Does it enrich the tone ?- Probably a Yes for this one, as it will certainly help – Even with a  set of 10’s you can make that big lump of wood vibrate and that will be further increased with a set of 11’s – The more vibration you can get out of the  maple riff sawn neck and the select lightweight ash body, then the bigger the tone – I certainly think if you play a big vintage spec’d neck, coupled with a highish action, then yes you’ll find it far tougher to play and certainly less forgiving  – Yet thanks to a set of medium/vintage size  frets, along with a 7.25″ to  9.5″ compound fingerboard radius, plus set up with a well balanced fluid action, then it will respond to a light touch, hence it is far more easy to handle – I find you quickly get used to it, so before to long you don’t notice the size of the neck, but you will appreciate that big tone – In short it feels familiar and user friendly – It has similar dimensions as the U shaped profile you’ll find on many Custom Shop Nocasters (if you are familiar with that profile) so it starts of big at .912″ at the top nut end then gently fattens out to 9.92″ at the 12th fret

Tonal character :-  Big vintage flavour – lush, spanky, crisp highs, transparent mids, piano lows – melodic rich and warm – More lush than  hot – Loaded with character – More Gilmour and less Malmsteen – The hand wound pick-ups, with sweet sounding alnico 3 magnets, have been custom spec’d with a low G string magnet, to offer a superior tonal balance, that will suit today’s players who utilise a plain 3rd string – Note the original 54 pick-up covers – With a 5.75K output the ’55’ pick-ups are not exactly the most powerful vintage pick-up Fender have produced – But this is more about a lush, warm, rich, melodic voice, as against trying to kick down any barn doors – Yes you can hear sparkling crisp highs but everything is more tender than pushed – The two out of phase settings are so infectious – Big warm and smooth – More crisp on the bridge/middle combination and more full on the neck/middle combination – you could almost buy this Strat just for the tonal character of these Knopfler-esq tones

It will work with a hi-gain amp setting but I’m not so sure this brings out the best of this Strat – However with a hi-gain amp setting, then in my opinion it sounds better with the volume pot rolled back a touch to soften any fizzy highs, so more tender and smooth with good sustain – With a more subtle overdriven amp setting, then this brings out the guitars full potential – It can work in a more raw format, to capture a suitable voice found on those early ‘Chess Recordings’ – With the volume pot on 10 it possesses more bite and attack but not in a ‘hot’ manner, as this Strat is always far more reserved – Roll the volume pot down to around 6 or 7 for a more chilled ‘Little Wing’ approach – The use of subtle, yet effective variations on the volume pot, to control the amp and gain, ensures this Strat is loaded with soul, emotion and expression – The overall tone is big, warm, rich and lively and always more polite and educated

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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.

For our returns and cancellation policy relating to mail order sales, on the above menu bar click on shop info then select mail order.