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Who is in the market for a nice used Strat ? – If so then how does a used Fender Custom Shop 1960 Relic Strat grab you ?  – The supplied certificate confirms the 2011 date of birth – The package is complete with the brown tolex vintage case, as well as a copy of the appropriate spec sheet – Condition wise and as with any aged finish it is impossible to tell if it has acquired any additional grazes, nicks or dings – I can tell you that it has no fret wear, so all hunky dory on that score- As for the aged finish then all looks as it should be

Aged character :- I fully appreciate that not all guitar players buy into the seriously aged vibe that you’ll find on a number of Custom Shop Strats – With that in mind, this 3 tone sunburst relic finish takes more of a  lighter aged approach – You’ll find signs of authentic fade and lacquer checking,  whilst the actual wear ‘n’ tear is certainly not excessive  – The vintage spec’d hardware is also aged accordingly to complete the package  – Aged, but not abused, might be a fair remark, but it still retains that played in character – As such you can  buy it and play it, without having to give it the kids gloves treatment, then getting upset regarding any nicks and grazes that it will inevitably acquire from use

Playing performance :- A one piece ‘plain grain’ maple neck supports a AAA grade, ‘slab’ rosewood fingerboard that possesses a dark character  – The neck is spec’d with the popular 60’s vintage Oval C profile  – It starts of at .795″ at the top nut end, then gently fattens out to .925″ around the 12th fret – This is the classic 60’s profile that has proved popular for many years and indeed is now judged as the bench mark throughout the vintage replica guitar world – Not to fat or thin, with just enough girth to enrich the tone, yet feels comfortable and easy to handle – The thin nitro finish has been cut back just enough to deliver that silky smooth ‘played in’ character –  To enrich the classic vintage feel, you’ll find modern appointments include a 9.5″ fingerboard radius, along with a set of medium jumbo frets, both of which allows for a slick action, plus effortless string bending with no choking out – Some may prefer a slinky set-up that only requires a light touch to burn up and down the fingerboard, whilst showing of a few chosen licks – Some may prefer more of a sensible medium action that allows you to dig in for those big blues bends – Of course I can adjust the set-up to suit your own taste – Either way the modern features deliver a user friendly playing performance, yet it still retains the feel of a good old ‘un

Tonal character :- Played acoustically you can instantly hear this Strat possesses a big vibrant voice – You can actually feel and hear it ring –  At  the heart of the tone department, you’ll find a set of well balanced Custom Shop pick-ups, with a combination that was initially created by Masterbuilder Greg Fessler – Hence a lush sounding ’69’ pick-up in the neck position that measures 5.35K – A spanky crisp Fat 50’s sits in the middle position that measures 6.00K, whilst a hotter Texas Special in the bridge position, kicks out 6.52K  – All designed to offer a selection of well balanced voices across all 5 switch settings  – The combination of a vibrant alder body, a slab rosewood fingerboard, plus a calibrated set of custom wound pick-ups, ensures that authentic 60’s based Strat tone is delivered, with  warm transparent mids, delicious deep and rounded lows that are crystal clear, plus warm sparkling highs that glisten – Stroke the strings for a more tender voice, or with more gust for that snap and attack that can make a Strat so infectious – This pick up combination covers the classic rock and blues tones of Hendrix, through to the driving Texas shuffles and lead work of SRV, or the hot blues work of Rory Gallagher- It can be succulent, warm and silky, or deliver more edge and bite, as required – The 69 pick-up in the neck position, complete with grey bobbins is straight from the Hendrix era – Probably the least powerful of all the Fender single coil pick-ups, but it is not about power – It’s about the tender silky smooth voices it can produce with warm sparkling clarity – Just think Little Wing at its finest – The bridge pick-up is hotter and adds guts to power chords and riffs, with enough bite and girth to allow solos to sing and scream, without sounding brittle – Many players don’t use the middle position on its own very often, put the tone of the middle pick-up is essential to aid those two ‘out of phase’ tones,  so you’ll hear plenty of quack that makes them sound so infectious – More warmth from the neck/middle combination, yet more crisp from the middle/bridge combination

This Strat is totally laden with soul, emotion and expression – So to maximise the guitars expressive qualities, utilise the volume control, as subtle tweaks produce effective variations – Set up the amp with some overdrive and initially the Strat’s volume pot on 10 – Now roll back the pot, to around 6 or 7,  until you find that magical sweet spot, that is more chilled and laid back – With this approach you’ll still experience the Strats true colours and expressive qualities, albeit now with  a cleaner voice – This sweet spot can now be your base camp, which inturn allows you to wind the Strat back towards 10, as and when you require more bite, edge and gain – Hence almost like having a built in turbo boost option – A plus point of the middle and bridge pick-ups now wired to the tone pot is that on overdriven amp settings, if you find it a touch fizzy, especially on the bridge pick-up, a subtle roll off on the pot will produce a softer voice that is more tender – Hence either option is there as and when required – From subtle  blues overdriven amp settings, to full on overdriven amp settings, this Strat allows you to fine tune the voice to suit – Hence as I mentioned earlier, it is loaded with soul, emotion and expression

Full spec and details for this used 1960 Relic Strat :- 

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Call: 01335 345777 or email: mark@guitars4you.co.uk. Please note that showrooms visits are strictly by appointment only.

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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.