A little guitar story. Or How Stratocasters reign ;-)
Click here Have a listen to this wonderful guitar and the Pro Junior Amp as you read this appreciation.
The first Strat I ever saw was Daphne Blue '1964' in Muthaiga Kenya.
The first Strat I ever bought was a Daphne Blue Blues Vox copy for £30. I can't say that this color grew on me, quite the reverse, I was happy when I sold it and bought a 1966 White blonde Telecaster (£ 80 pounds or was it guineas?) with a rosewood neck at Andersons Guilford.
This Tele stayed with me for 5 years, was nicely refinished in Red by a Sitar maker in Nairobi after being stripped of it's finish and played 6 to 8 hours a day in bars and clubs. The neck had indents in it from all that playing. Her sale financed my first trip to the US so although I regret selling it it was for a good cause!
If you're interested inTelecasters check out Stringkiller's Telecaster Shootout!
Back to Strats.
The next Strat I saw in real life was a Fiesta Red rosewood neck owned by Antony Philips in Godalming, UK. It looked wonderful and when he played the Stumble and the Supernatural through it and his Vox Top boost you were transported to heaven. You never forget your first Stratocaster!
Moving along a few decades
I have been using a Fender Clapton Strat since 1992 and love this guitar
- It was the 32nd I tried out - and it doesn't have the V neck - it is in Pewter, Inca Silver or is it Shoreline Gold (horrible) but it plays great, doesn't have the v neck, has super pickups and the boost and is a really great guitar with a great action and a very wide variety of sounds. The Lace pickups are also pretty quiet.
I have owned and sold over a dozen rosewood neck Strats, mainly early to 65 Rosewood necks - the last two being two really nice SRV Reissue Strats with the Texas special pickups and the slab board. They sounded great but required a lot of muscle and anyhow I had to get three kids through college. So again a good cause.
At the end of 2006 I was starting to miss the only rosewood Strat I had kept, my Casio midi guitar which is a great Strat with great pickups, sound and a lovely 22 fret neck. It is on loan to my son who was using the midi part for some recording and wanted to keep onto it.
Fiesta Red back into my life.
I had been looking at Suhr Strats in the States and had been really impressed with the workmanship and especially their sound and action. Lead guitars Paris had a used Suhr Pro series with a Rosewood neck that was like brand new and also a very light rosewood Tom Anderson 'Classic Strat' Volume and tone and 5 way pickup selector as opposed to the 'Pro Am' Strats. These were very nice guitars but they did not have the 'Strat' sound and I guess that was I was looking for.
So one day I'm in Guitar Legends and one of the guys there who
knows I dig on Fiesta Red says Bruce "Have we got the guitar for you."
And bang the Fender 59 Reissue with the Rosewood neck through the Pro amp was a mainline GAS experience - front seat in Tone heaven without blowing your ears out. So the only hitch is the age old problem of getting the cash together. Let's say two weeks to sell off some amps, pedals, Drum machines etc...
14 Days later I call and yeah they were holding the guitar for me but some guy walked in and had to have that rig.
All right all right all right
Anyhow I'm looking forward to meeting that guy.
Plan B. Now I'm hooked.
Call Fender France, get on their web site, get in touch with all the dealers - it's got to be this particular reissue of the 59 model Fiesta Red and with the amp.
Call Guitar Legends 2 or 3 times to see if they can find a Fiesta red one - no - none left at Fender. (They say)I check and I'm told they'll get back to me (which they never do - usual for France)
I find one store in the US, none in France but some dealers have the
other colours of the 59 Strat and the Pro Junior but I'm thinking, I have
never bought the colour I want before and if I'm going out or this one
let's at least get the colour I want.
I've got dealers offering me Salmon Pink, Shell Pink, late 50 and early sixties Maple necked Fiesta Reds.
I decide I'm not going to get this from the US and I'll just wait till my next trip there and then check it out and go see what happening.
Anyhow move on two months and as I have a meeting up in the North of Paris I decide to go visit a great store - Guitare Village in Domont - Just north of Paris (I had never thought of checking their web site for Fender Custom shop) as I'm always checking out their very classy used gear - Soldanos, Vox, Koch, Mesa Boogie Blue angels etc.. and very cool guitars - I first went there in my quest for a PRS Single Cut which ended with the purchase of a PRS Hollow body. Which was my backup guitar at the Cafe In gig and was needed after a string break.
I even call my wife to warn I'm going there and not to worry as I
certainly won't be buying anything.
This is following advice on GAS from the foremost shrinks on the subject (joke).
Walk in the shop and BAMM there’s my Fiesta Red Fender Strat.
Two hours later I'm out of they’re with my new instrument after having played every Custom Shop Rosewood Strat (just to check I got what was the best for me).
NB I asked how come I did not know about this - not in the search
engine - Their site up to that time was not linked to the Fender France
Custom shop just listed. Anyhow Laurent and Oliver told me that at the
end of the year Fender called to say they had 4 Strats and Pro
juniors left and they were doing a special deal on them. So there we
| Info from Guitar Rez
o Teambuilt Relic Stratocaster
+ Light-Weight Alder Body
+ Shoreline Gold "Thickskin" Nitrocellulose Finish
+ Mint Green Pickguard
+ Maple Neck
+ Slim Early '60s "C" Shaped Neck
+ Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish
+ Bolt-On Neck Joint
+ 25-1/2 Inch Scale Length
+ Bone Nut
+ 1.65 Inch Nut Width
+ 9.5 Inch Fretboard Radius
+ 21 Dunlop 6105 Frets
+ Fender/Gotoh Vintage Style Tuners
+ Fender Vintage Style Synchronized Tremolo Bridge
+ Strings Through Body
+ Set of Fender '60's Single Coil Pickups
+ Five-Way Pickup Selector Switch
+ Reverse Wrap/Reverse Polarity Middle Pickup for Hum Rejection
+ Black Tolex G&G Limited Edition Rectangular Hard Case
+ Certificate of Authenticity and Vintage Style Strap Included
+ Vintage Stool Not Included
o Fender Pro Junior Amplifier Reliced to Match Guitar
o Shoreline Gold Nitrocellulose Finish
o Solid Pine Cabinet
o Eminence 10" Speaker
o Brown Vintage Style Amplifier Cover Included
o Vintage Stool Not Included
From Musicians Friend
Fender Limited Edition Relic 59 Strat Pro Jr. Electric Guitar Set
By the way, The customer statement on this link is 100% right on target and says it all.
* 14-1/2"H x 15-1/4"W x 8-3/4"D * 28 lbs.
Fender Limited Edition Relic 59 Strat Pro Jr. Electric Guitar Set
A few comments for Fender
Plus Positive Points
What a great idea to couple the reissue guitar with an amp.
A fantastic Stratocaster guitar with THE sound - the best of old (pickups, neck shape, wood, finish.)
Extra springs, custom picks and the little Allen key for the bridge supplied. Extra springs now in place and vibrato blocked. But next time in the studio I'll set up the vibrato to float again.
Even a cool retro guitar strap.
Fantastic set up. Note the springs picture for a good vibrato set up.
I take back my previous comments on Fender Custom Shop products.
But I still get the impression that the final set up is done at the store.
What a great idea to change the 7.5 neck radius to 9.5.
What a great idea to change the original frets to the larger Dunlop 6105 Frets.
The Pro Junior amp sounds fantastic with my of my other guitars and that's always nice. I have already had one friend buy the same (Sonic Blue).
Am I right in thinking the solid pine cabinet is only on the Relics and not on the standard Fender Pro junior amps?
Guitare Domont - A great dealer - when you are spending some serious money it nice to be properly welcomed, remembered and put into a sound proof studio for a couple of hours, let loose to try out other amps and guitars for reference. They even gave me a Fender Bar stool. Merci beaucoup.
Minus points to consider
No details on Fender Custom shop web site of sold models or previous limited editions. Was this a hundred piece edition in 2006 and then again another 100 in 2007 or just one edition. Or is it 100 Masterbuilt and 100 Teambuilt - somehow I don't think so as the prices seem to all be in the same ball park?
Only details of the guitar on the Custom shop certificate, strange as the guitar and amplifier are sold as a set and that was a large part of the attraction.
Maybe the custom shop web site should have previous years catalogues still up for people to check and validate their purchases?
No details on the strings on the guitar, I presume they were Fender and they were quite good.
A crappy standard low quality lead - better than nothing. But do you ship a Wall Mart Radio with a Ferrari?
This guitar was incredibly filthy. Is that normal?
No details apart from the standard Fender brochure on caring for the guitar. Ok Maybe they don't need to have that as I just use my regular polish (Gibson polish right now!)
Crappy amplifier cover - no protection against the wet or knocks. A detail to improve.
No central stock control at Fender France, (or they just bother looking) no follow up of specific Custom Shop interest from a musician.
Moral of the Story - Don't give up
When you want something go and get it - remember buying in France can be harder than selling - they don't call you, they don't follow their stocks and they expect you to do all the work.
A quick word on the Pro Junior Amp - I love small amps - they don't break your back, they don't break the bank and they don't blast the audience out of the club.
I am suprised that many guitarists with great playing guitars forget to get the same quality amplification to make a good match. This amplifier is a first class season ticket to tone heaven and matched with the 1950s pickups in the Stratocaster give you a wide palette of sounds as you can hear in the sound clip.
Remember feedback is always welcome !
One of the attractions of this Custom shop package was the amplifier -
as all the other guitars can enjoy it too.
Mighty Michael, the other guitar player in Dr Pickup, went and bought one (without the guitar) in Sonic Blue the day after playing through mine!