Fender Master Built '57' Relic Strat - Jason Smith
#3127 - £3,449
If ever proof was required that you can't make a buying decision based on the spec of the product alone, then this is yet - We all know that by viewing a guitar on a dealers wall from 10 paces away, or indeed a quick glance within some guitar mag, that a �200 Squier copy and a Master Built Strat, costing over �3,000, look like they can do the same job - WRONG !!!!!!!!
We hand picked this Master Built Strat for our stock profile, not because we needed it, or indeed as it was part of any stocking plan, profile, or detailed business plan, we simply purchased it because we loved it - We played it for only a few seconds and as that magical wow factor was instantly there, we had to buy it - The way it plays and feels, you'd almost believe that you've owned it as your best soul mate for donkey's years - When you plug it in, that magical wow factor just moves up at least one more gear - Every thing and more that you'd expect from a great Strat is found, as you burn off a few licks on clean, blues or rock amp settings - Sweet, soulful, crisp and bright with shed loads of dynamics, expression and emotion - Granted, looks is in the eye of the beholder and not everybody likes a relic finish, so if that is the case, just keep watching this space, as you never know what will turn up next, but so far, if you are still with me, then let's enlighten you with a few more details
This is a '57' based Strat finished in dakota red with the whole guitar receiving the aged relic vibe - The Master Builder is the new kid on the block, Jason Smith - We have been hearing rumours for some months now regarding the quality of his work, in particular his relic finishes, so seeing is now believing - Jason has spent a number of years working with Fender including around 5 years working along side the legendary John English, to hone his luthier skills - The dakota red finish is all nitro-cellulose, as well as being ultra thin, allowing the guitar to breathe easily, which in turn enhances the tone - Below the relic top coat is a thin grey undercoat, which in turn rests on an alder body - Of course all wood is hand selected simply to deliver the best tone, so even played acoustically you can feel the guitar vibrate against your rib cage and ring until the cows come home - The whole guitar hovers just under the 8lb mark on our scales
The maple neck again receives a thin nitro coating, with the usual aged vibe - The rear of the neck is rubbed down to give you that delightful played in feel, but is not 'dirty rubbed' as found on some heavy relic models - The neck has a '57' profile, hence a nice comfortable amount of meat, with a very soft almost un-noticeable V feel to it - Vintage spec'd with a 7.25" fingerboard radius and a set of medium jumbo frets - Set up with a set of 10's and an awesome playing action that allows effortless string bending - The talented guitar players will find burning up and down the fingerboard nice and easy, but if you want to dig in and let one soulful note do all the work, then this is the guitar
All vintage aged parts throughout, whilst sat within the heart of the pick-up assembly we have a set of Fat 50's hand wound Abigail Ybarra pick-ups - Soul and emotion simply flows out of these pick-ups - I spent a few minutes trying it through an amp and whilst the clean amp settings are so smooth, full and crisp, I loved the emotion that can be found on a nice subtle blues amp setting - Roll off the volume pot to around 6 or 7 to clean up the sound, or leave it on 10 to bring back the overdrive - Guitars like this have clear shimmering highs in abundance, so if required, you can 'roll off' the tone pot to somewhere around 6-8 for a 'softer woman' voicing, or as I call it, the 'sweet spot' - Many players leave all the controls on 10, simply as that is the only useful setting - That is not the case here - Usual master volume and neck tone pot, but the bottom tone pot now operates both the bridge and middle pick-up - Fitted with a 5 way switch, so those classic 'out of phase' voices are there for you to enjoy as well - Therefore if you want the finest 50's Vintage based Strat, the search is over - A deluxe Tweed case and a load of goodies complete the package - Furthermore register the purchase 'on line' on the Fender Custom Shop site and a 2 year warranty is extended to the first owner to life.