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Amazing that what goes around comes around – I recently purchased this used Fender Custom Shop 1960’s Heavy Relic Strat, from a well known customer of mine – It somehow kind of looked  familiar, as/when I acquired it – So I delved into my sold data base and sure enough I sold it as a brand new instrument 6/7 years ago – For some reason a previous owner lost the original certificate, that would have shown a 2013 date of birth, so it now comes with a replacement COA – Again, for whatever reason, Fender will only issue replacement COA’s with the date as per the new request – So this now has a COA that shows 2020 – But both mine and Fender’s data base can confirm the 2013 date of birth – As with any such seriously aged finish it is impossible to tell if it has acquired any/many additional nicks or grazes, but the frets are clean, so I suspect it has not seen a lot of action – Nevertheless, it has paid a visit to my work bench, for a new set of 10-46 gauge strings, a touch of lemon oil on the fingerboard, frets polished, then set-up with an action that is fluid, but not shred metal low, so it is still nice and easy to dig in, as required to show of a few big blues bends – It now comes with a set of Schaller strap locks, but otherwise I believe it is all original – Order such a new Strat today, with that distinctive aged finish and you’d easily find a price tag in excess of £4400, so £2999 offers a healthy saving – I’ve found my original web site notes, so have re-posted them below – Any further questions then please do not hesitate to contact me

The yearly NAMM Music Show in LA is the world’s number one event for manufactures, distributors and dealers and once again the Fender Custom Shop team offered for sale a very limited edition run of Strats – Dealers wishing to order any of these models only had a few days to do so and as you’d expect, Guitars4You managed to pick up a few chosen pieces – Hence the arrival into stock of a Fender Custom Shop 60’s Heavy Relic Strat, with a unique black over candy apple red finish – A kind of fluorescent, psychedelic vibe about it, so with the heavy relic aged finish it sure looks distinctive with shed loads of played in character

Full spec and details are as follows :- 

Tone :- I always think with a Strat that the first test of tone is the unplugged test – I believe ‘it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that ring’  – This Strat has a natural ‘airy’ acoustic vibe to it, that is very vibrant and certainly a good place to start any test drive from – Mounted on the aged nitro pick guard is a well calibrated set of Custom Shop pick-ups, with a 69 in the neck position, a Fat 50’s in the middle, whilst a hotter Texas Special sits near  the bridge – This package offers a well balanced blend of voices across all 5 switch positions – The 69 pick-up is soft, sweet and succulent making it ideal in the neck position, but is considered weak in the bridge for hotter overdriven lead work – The Texas Special works well in the bridge as it possesses an extra ounce of output/bite – Hence it will drive and push the amp for those hot Texas blues styles – Whilst the Fat 50’s work well, with either pick-up, to deliver a pair of excellent ‘out of phase voices’ to give you so much more quack – Hence the well blended package across all pick-up positions

The guitar works effectively with the volume and/or tone pots rolled off a touch, for a cleaner and chilled out voice, that is an ideal place for your  ‘base camp’ tone – On that basis you can then wind the pots back to their wide open ’10’ position, as and when you require that extra boost, edge and bite – Hence a flexible and responsive tonal palette is available to you that delivers a Strat that is loaded with soul and emotion – To sum it up, play it with the volume pot ‘rolled off’ for that ‘in control’ chilled out voice, or play it with the pots at 10, for maximum attack, as your voice now approaches the red line on the rev counter – The 69 is soft, sweet, clear and crisp, with less mids that help to emphasis the highs and lows – This is the pick-up that is part and parcel of the magical Hendrix Little Wing tone – Hence more refined, with a soft succulent texture that oozes quality – The neck/middle out of phase quack tone has a full body to it that is sweet, whilst the middle/bridge position version has a bright crisp nature to it that retains those smooth highs – Both quack tones are so infectious, so when you hear them, you instantly know that they sound right – The Texas Special will still work well on a clean amp setting, albeit with the volume pot rolled off a touch for a more controlled voice, but wind it back up to 10 as and when you require more edge with a good hint of attitude – However it probably works at its best on overdriven amp settings – It gives you that edge and bite without that nasty shrill like edge to it – For lead work run it with the pots wide open but for chord work, roll off the volume pot a touch, for a more controlled voice that allows the chords to be clearly heard – As I mentioned earlier, this pick-up spec is well balanced across all 5 switch settings, from soft and sweet in the neck to a pushed to the edge tone from the Texas Special, that works well across clean, blues/rock overdrive or hi-gain overdriven amp settings

Playing performance:-  The feel of the maple neck is pure vintage – It has the classic 60’s Oval C neck profile, with the ‘dirty/worn’ played in finish – All the nitro lacquer is cut back, so it possesses that natural played in feel about it – For a slick playing performance it is spec’d with a 9.5″ fingerboard radius, along with a set of medium jumbo frets – As such a fluid playing action awaits any prospective buyer – Effortless string bending  with no choking out as you dig into those big bends – If you want a Strat that allows you to play in the fast lane, or drop into moody minor blues licks with loads of emotion, soul and passion, then this is an ideal combination, as it blends the vintage feel from the neck, with a modern slick playing performance from the fingerboard, courtesy of those chunkier frets – The neck starts of with that ‘melt in your hand’ C profile that is .792″ deep and rises to a fuller .935″ depth at the 12th fret – Some will say pure magic   – The seriously aged appearance won’t please all, but this Strat looks like it can tell a tale or two about every blues joint north of Luton – It is the pure Irish Tour and Hot Texas Strat rolled into one awesome package – On that basis, whilst I’m sure you’ll still care for it and look after it, it won’t matter if it acquires any additional grazes and you certainly won’t have to worry about polishing it every time you play it

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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.