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Please let me  introduce you to a used Fender Custom Shop 69 Journeyman Relic Strat, with a classic vintage white finish – I sold this guitar brand new a few years ago now, so I know its full history – As we all know, it is hard to evaluate the condition of a used guitar, that was aged when brand new, but a) knowing the previous owner, b) looking at the condition of the frets and c) looking for any obvious dings, it is still effectively in the same condition as when I sold it a few years ago – Nevertheless, it has been back on my bench for a new set of 10-46 gauge strings, plus a check-up set-up, so all ready to go with a sensible action, that will respond to a light touch – Hard not to associate a Strat with a large headstock with Jimi Hendrix – More specifically a 1969 Strat – But other fans of Strats from the large headstock period include Dave Gilmour, The Edge and Walter Trout – So if I constantly sing the praises of a 69 Strat, Jimi and Little Wing then I apologies now

Aged vibe :- I fully appreciate that not all guitar players buy into the aged vibe of a Custom Shop Strat – With that in mind a Journeyman nitro finish takes a far more lightly aged approach, whilst some might say more authentic – You’ll still notice lacquer checking, whilst the shiny gloss finish is cut back for more of a faded vibe, but overall you’ll notice far less dings, dints and wear – Aged but not abused might be a fair remark – It means you can still buy it and play it without having to give it the kids gloves treatment – So the Journeyman approach is a far more subtle option to finding a Strat with that lightly played in character – Furthermore, wood is porous, so for a new shiny gloss finish to stay that way for a number of years, filler + a thicker base coat is required and as such many layers of a nitro finish sit on top of this base coat – However this approach tends to damped the guitars natural resonance – It is generally accepted that a thin finish, be it nitro, poly or urethane, allows the guitars to breathe and resonate – This is the beauty of the aged approach, in that a far thinner base coat and nitro finish is required, as you are not trying to produce that perfect shiny, like new, glass finish

Feel and playing performance :-  Spec’d with a 69 U neck profile which takes you right back to the days of Woodstock and flower power – Not fat but the feel and shape is a character of that period with just enough meat on it so that it feels comfortable, but not chunky – It measures .868″ at the top nut end and tapers gently to .921″ around the 12th fret – A set of medium jumbo frets, along with a 9.5″ fingerboard radius, allows for a balanced fluid playing action, coupled with easy string bending and no choking out as you rip into any blues bends – As such a set of 10’s now feels slinky and allows you to try out a few chosen party tricks and expressive legato licks, as well as explore those moody pentatonic blues bends – The gloss finish on the neck has been cut back just enough to remove that ‘new sticky feel’, so more of a silky smooth satin character – It is the perfect blend of the feel of a vintage guitar, coupled with the modern features that will enhance the guitars playing performance

Full spec and details :- 

Tonal character :- Do I really need to say how such a Strat sounds ?  Yet whilst we are all familiar with the great tones of Little Wing and The Wind Cries Mary,  many can throw back at us that it was all in his touch and feel and maybe this is the case – Yet this Strat is loaded with warmth, character, soul and expression, be it played through clean or overdriven settings on your amp – The volume and tone pots function smoothly across the 1-10 spectrum, which allows you to dial in subtle, yet effective, variations – As such this allows you and the guitar to control the amp – To leave this Strat on 10 seriously limits the guitars potential, so much so that  with the volume pot on or around 6 or 7, it is a great place to set up base camp, when you find that magical sweet spot – This approach allows you to return to 10 when you have an additional statement to make, when you require that turbo boost, with an extra amount of edge, otherwise stay in the chilled out lounge, with the vol pot around 6 or 7 – Hence you acquire the level of emotion found in a good singer or say a sax player – So from clean, to Little Wing, to classic rock n blues and this Strat is loaded with character

’69’ 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 approach – The bridge pick up is now wired to the bottom tone pot, so on hi-gain amp settings you can take away any sharp edges as required – You decide if it you want it on the edge or choose to take the mellow route

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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.