This is a brand-new instrument disguised to look like it has been played hard for decades in smoke-filled clubs and halls – maybe even taken on a world tour or two. Its official name is the Fender Custom Shop Late ’60s Strat Heavy Relic Masterbuilt by Yuriy Shishkov, one of the longer model names in the current Fender catalog! This Strat starts with an alder body and has a genuine lacquer clearcoat over a 3-color Sunburst finish. The tinted maple neck sports a polyurethane finish and a period-accurate oval C-shape profile. A bullet truss rod (again, period-accurate) runs the length of the neck to keep the action right where you want it. Vintage Schaller “F” tuners secure the strings to the vintage-style oversized headstock. The rosewood fingerboard is loaded with medium-jumbo frets and has pearl dots and a 9-1/2″ radius.
A 3-ply black pickguard (seen only rarely in the 1960s) and 5-way pickup switch help manage the Custom Shop Noiseless Strat pickups (the only giveaway that this is a modern instrument). As a member of the Fender Custom Shop Time Machine Series, this particular Strat has been given the “Heavy Relic” treatment. This means that the instrument is actually meticulously distressed to resemble an instrument that has enjoyed a long life of loving, but exceptionally heavy, use. The “Heavy Relic” treatment includes significant wear and tear to the overall finish (the lacquer is actually worn down to nothing in some spots), including dings; nicks; chips to the body, neck, and headstock, and aged hardware. The end result is an instrument that looks like it’s been around the block more than a few times but ultimately plays like a true, perfectly broken-in instrument! Pick it up and you’d swear this is a real late-’60s Strat; it feels that authentic! Naturally, Fender doesn’t crank out thousands of these, so don’t sit around while someone else buys what truly might be one of the finest offerings in the entire Fender Relic line. It includes a custom hardshell case and free shipping right to your door via FedEx.