Back in 2000, the appropriate traveler spec sheet was not included within the ‘case candy’ when you purchased a new Custom Shop Guitar – However, in most instances, they do have the relevant data on file, once you supply them with either the serial number and/or factory product code, if known – Therefore for this used Fender Custom Shop 56 NOS Strat I acquired the appropriate spec sheet and the first point you notice is that it was commissioned as part of a special run for Yamano – In case you don’t know, Yamano are a discerning Japanese importer who will regularly commission such special runs, with the Fender and Gibson Custom Shop teams, as well as Wood Library models with PRS Guitars – This 56 Strat from 2000, with a fiesta red thin skin nitro finish is pure vintage – Imagine your father or grandfather purchased a new Strat back in 1956, with a fiesta red finish and somehow transported through to 2023, then this Strat is a detailed replica of that guitar – As I say it is pure vintage spec’d, so 7.25″ fingerboard radius, vintage frets, 3 way switch + no tone pot for the bridge pick-up – And of course a shiny new gloss finish, so no factory aged finish on this Strat
In no particular order, a host of product details for this used 56 Custom Shop Strat :-
- Whole guitar weighs 8lbs
- Alder body with a thin skin nitro fiesta red finish – NOS finish so all new and shiny – You can make out the outline of the appropriate ‘dowel’ filled holes, through the lacquer – As the spec sheet indicates “built from original tooling”
- Lightly flamed one piece maple neck – Hence rear skunk stripe 10/56V neck profile that measures .861″ around the top nut end and then fattens out to .986″ around the 12th fret – Hence comfortable depth that is on the fatter side of medium and reflective of necks from the mid/late 50’s era
- Gloss nitro finish on the neck + fingerboard
- 7.25″ fingerboard radius
- 21 vintage frets
- Single ply 8 hole parchment scratchplate
- Parchment trem back plate
- Aged/off white control knobs + switch tips
- 3 way switch
- Master volume pot + tone neck + tone middle
- 3 x Custom 50’s pick-ups that measure 5.85K neck + middle and 6.19K bridge
- All vintage spec’d hardware inc tuners + trem assembly Includes vintage style tweed case with brown leather stitched ends – Copy of spec sheet – Certificate plus what looks like an un-opened accessory pack
- Re-strung with a set of 10-46 gauge strings and set-up with a sensible fluid action and the trem slightly ‘floating’ – Of course I can edit the set-up as required
Condition wise :- In short the NOS thin skin nitro finish is in near perfect condition – Look near the jack socket and there does appear to be a blemish, but the more I look at it, the more I think it is a factory ‘flaw’ that is under the actual top surface of the lacquer, hence not a blemish that has been acquired from use – Any other slight hint of a blemish is negligible – No fret wear – I believe it has either barely been played and/or very well looked after – Look at both the parchment scratchplate, plus trem back plate and you’ll still see the factory cellophane covering is still intact – So not only is it a new factory spec’d NOS finish, 23 years later and it still just about looks new
Playing performance :- The 7.25″ fingerboard radius + vintage frets tends to suit chord work and rhythm players, plus those who like to keep their solos and melodic licks more simple and effective and less so for the speed machine players, or indeed the SRV based blues players who favour those big blues bends – So more Hank Marvin, Jimmie Vaughan or JJ Cale – Less Eric Johnson or SRV – Likewise the tonal character suits players who favour the cleaner rich tones of Hank Marvin – Or add subtle amounts of gain, to add character and again think more Jimmie Vaughan and less SRV – Think BB King or Pete Green and less Malmsteen etc – No one guitar does it all, so fine and fully understandable that certain guitars favour certain styles more so than other styles – And in my opinion this favours the more melodic and simple side of popular music and less so the elaborate styles of those who like to sit in the fast lane – I don’t mean Hank and co etc is simple – I just mean it is more about melody and not about speed – Add some overdrive on the amp, then utilise the guitars volume pot to dial in/out the levels of gain as required – Around 6 or 7 and it is more of a chilled out voice – Then wind it back towards 10 for more gain/boost, as required – hence plenty of character, soul and emotion at your fingertips – In short a Strat with no shortage of character and quality regarding its tonal character
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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.