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Custom spec’d and ordered my myself during 2019, yet arrived into stock early 2020 – Hence still available at the pre 2020 price increase – A new and highly spec’d Fender Custom Shop 1960 Journeyman Relic Strat with a cool ‘faded daphne blue’ finish, with a set of hand wound pick-ups, a 10″ fingerboard radius with  a set of 6150 medium/jumbo frets – Plus note the big 50’s style, C neck profile, on this Strat (more on this below) that is more akin to those found on a black guard Nocaster etc  – 2020 has arrived and along with it another price increase from Fender, which would now result in this Strat attracting a price tag around £3899, along with a 6 month waiting time, once the order has been placed – So take advantage of the old price whilst it is still available at £3499

Full spec + details for a 1960 Journeyman Relic Strat :-

Lightly aged ‘Journeyman’ character :-  I fully appreciate that not all guitar players buy into the seriously aged vibe that you’ll find on many  Custom Shop Strats – With this in mind, a Journeyman finish takes on more of a subtle aged approach, that some might say is more authentic – This cool ‘faded daphne blue’  finish possesses a worn and faded character, with far less scars, nicks and wear ‘n’ tear, yet you’ll still find plenty of  lacquer checking to capture the aged mojo  – Aged, but not abused, might be a fair remark – Hence 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 – It is generally accepted that a thin base coat and finish allows the guitar to ‘breathe’ so as to maximise the guitars natural vibrant character and this is a big plus factor of the aged approach

Feel/playing performance :- Somewhat unusual on a 60’s replica, but this Strat is fitted with a big neck that is more akin to those found on 50’s Strats and indeed those popular black guard 50’s Teles and Nocasters – Ignore the spec sheet that states it is a 65 Strat C as it clearly isn’t and that is instantly noticeable when you feel it and measure it – Maybe confussing in isloation but not really – Over a year ago I ordered and spec’d over 50 Custom Shop replicas, with a host of variations amongst my order – As part of my order I spec’d two 60’s Strats to have a big 50’s Nocaster style neck and I think Fender have accidently mixed up the order a touch – Doesn’t matter to me as the spec on each Strat is a matter of preference – But the bottom line is this Strat has a big 50’s neck – It will apeal to some but not others – It certainly helps to deliver a big vibrant acoustic tone – To  enhance the playing performance, you’ll find a set of medium jumbo 6150 frets, along with a 10″ radius – You can still dig in and attack those big blues bends, but for more intricate licks, this vintage Strat offers a far more slick action – Overall the modern tweaks are subtle yet very effective – It is  a neat tweak from the Custom Shop team, so vintage and slick in one package

Tonal character :- With a hand select  body, this Strat comes in at 7lbs and 14oz – Maybe not the lightest Custom Shop replica I’ve had go through my hands, but  played unplugged you’ll instantly hear it possesses a natural vibrant and lively character, which is further enhanced by that big neck – As mentioned earlier, the pick-ups are hand wound and controlled via the 5 way switch – Note a RWRP middle pick-up – As an overview this Strat is succulent and smooth, when you stroke the strings, yet no shortage of snap and attack when you want to dig in a bit – The neck pick-up is oh so sweet, musically rich, lush and smooth, coupled with clear shimmering highs to give you a lovely degree of clarity that has obvious comparisons to the SRV tone, with transparent mids – Strat bridge pick-ups can sometimes be a touch weak and thin sounding, but here we have a pick-up that possesses enough depth, body, bite and balls, without that shrill like ice pick attack – On clean settings it’s crisp and clear with good body and depth – On overdriven amp settings this transfers into a musical warm bite that works well on both riffs, driving Texas shuffle rhythms and lead work – The fact that you now have a tone pot working on the bridge pick-up, ensures that if required, you can roll off the highs just a touch until you discover that magical sweet spot – Both ‘out of phase’ tones are excellent with a good ‘quack’ about them that is so infectious, coupled with a level of smoothness and body that is rare to find – More warm/rich on the neck/middle combination and more bell or glass like clarity on the middle/bridge combination

Now on the amp, add either more subtle gain for a blues vibe, or indeed more gain to take you into classic rock/blues territory – Then for your base tone leave the Strat’s volume pot around the 6 or 7 mark – At this point the guitar still retains its full expressive qualities and vintage character, but now you and the guitar are in full control the amp – At this stage you’ll find more of a chilled out character with less gain, so now, just like a good singer wanting to deliver a touch extra, wind the volume pot back towards 10 for more bite, attack and gain – Hence more emotional control, soul and expression directly at your finger tips – For blues based players you’ll hear that percussive snap and attack for SRV style shuffle patterns, walking bass lines and chord stabs with a succulent musical richness in the neck position – Whilst the bridge position has enough in it to kick dirt, yet equally it can be tamed for a softer approach  – I played around with different gain settings to see how it would respond and whatever you threw at it, it was not short of soul, emotion and expression – Less gain on the amp, but add an overdrive pedal, with the guitar volume pot on 10, or 6/7 – Likewise a hi-gain amp with the Strat volume roll off – All approaches delivered variations of gain and sustain, yet all effective in different ways – The finer nuances off the tone and gain are there for you to explore but the key factors is the guitar is responsive to you, the amp and how you play it – Not all Strats are this good, so if you are in the market for an aged Strat with a killer tone, then maybe the hunt is over

Blend control pot :- Wired with a master volume and master tone pot, that operates all 3 pick-ups on all 5 switch positions – However a neat mod, that is becoming increasingly popular, is the blend control pot, that you’ll find in place of the traditional bottom ‘tone pot’ – Select the bridge pick-up and with the blend pot on 10 you’ll still have access to the bridge pick-up on its own – Now roll the blend pot  back towards 1, to experience the neck and bridge pick-up working together – As such it effectively provides some of the character of a Tele when both pick-ups are selected – You’ll hear that It adds a touch more depth to the bridge pick-up – Try different levels between 1 and 10 on the blend pot, for subtle yet effective variations, as required

Grease bucket mod on the master tone pot :- Again a simple and very effective tweak, with a capacitor across two of the contacts on the tone pot – It allows you to roll of the highs via the tone pot, yet it still retains the same level of gain on the amp – So if you find the highs a touch to harsh and piercing at times, roll off the tone pot as required, to soften those highs, yet it will make no impact on the gain level that you require , so it will still sing but in a more melodic manner

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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.