1964 Stratocaster Relic LTD Masterbuilt by Greg Fessler!
The Fender Custom Shop has been building dream guitars for the cream of the guitar crop for nearly 20 years. From faithful reproductions of classic axes of the past to fully tweaked customs built to an individual's personal specifications, few instruments command the level of respect afforded Fender Custom Shop models. There are degrees of Fender Custom Shop models: Stock Team-built and Team-built Custom. A select few instruments are hand built by the Master Luthiers, the same luthiers that build custom instruments for the likes of Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and Merle Haggard. This is a limited run of only 100 Fender Custom Shop 1964 Stratocaster Relic LTD Builder Select, Masterbuilt by Greg Fessler.Fender Master Design 1964 Stratocaster Relic Classic LTD Masterbuilt At-a-Glance:
- Master Design 64 Stratocaster with alder body and oval "C"-shaped neck.
- Custom Shop '69 pickup (N), Fat '50s pickup (M), and Texas Special pickup (B).
- Relic treatment
- Limited run of 100 designed and built by Custom Shop Senior Master Builder, Greg Fessler
Flashy looks and the feel of an old friend
Master Design guitars are a celebration of the unique abilities and perspective that each Master Builder brings to the Fender Custom Shop. Each year, two Master builders are given the opportunity to create a unique instrument that they would PLAY, day in and day out.
Limited globally to run of only 100 guitars, the Master Design 1964 Stratocaster Relic LTD carries within it the heart and soul of Custom Shop master builder Greg Fessler. According to Greg, "I wanted my Master Design instrument to feel like an old friend, yet sound and look like something with a bit more flash. The modern features on the neck make it a very playable and versatile guitar. Plus, I've added my own personally-voiced set of pickups to offer players a nice selection of pure Strat tones!"
The guitar has an alder body, which provides the classic rock tones of Jimi Hendrix (who heavily influenced the style of Neal Shon) and Stevie Ray Vaughan (renowned master of the blues also influenced by Hendrix - are we sensing a pattern here?). However, unlike the pure white Strat that we associate with Hendrix, this "Kandy Kolored Dream Machine" features a "Relic" treated finish. The neck is a plain grain maple, 1965 "C" Shape with a rosewood fingerboard. Both body and neck host a nitrocellulose lacquer finish, which allows the wood to vibrate more freely and actually sound better as it ages. The back of the neck offers the feel of worn-off lacquer, which is Greg's personal preference.
Unusual Pickup Selection
Unique on a number of levels, what makes the 64 Stratocaster Relic particularly interesting is Greg's choice of pickups - one of the most unusual yet tonally versatile configurations you're likely to see on any instrument. Greg chose each pickup based on the sound each pickup offers in its respective position. First, sitting in the neck position is a Custom '69 Strat pickup. This pickup, which featured height staggered Alnico 5's and a special grey bobbin that produced clear, transparent highs and thumping lows literally defined an era - the Strat sound we all know and love. Normally, Fender only sell these pickups in three's, but Greg Fessler had other ideas. For the bridge position, Greg chose the Texas Special, the pickup that redefined the Texas blues sound. This overwound, calibrated, vintage-style Stratocaster pickup offers plenty of midrange chirp, crystal highs, and tight bass. Finally we come to the middle position. Here's where it really gets interesting. Sitting in between the '69 and the Texas Special is a reverse-wound, reverse-polarity Fat '50 pickup which provides hum cancelling in positions 2 and 4. Custom Shop Fat '50s are considered by most long-time Strat-lovers as the best Fender pickups available. With Fat 50s, you can have classic rock, gritty blues, and that sparkily clean Strat tone with just about any amp you put it through. These calibrated pickups are constructed with hand beveled, staggered, Alnico 5 magnets and Formvar wire on the coils. Along with the gift of tonal variation, you'll find aural gold in every click of the 5-position selector switch.
Fender Relic Treatment
The instrument has been given Fender's "Relic" treatment. What separates the Relics from the Closet Classic series is that the Relics are made to look, play, and feel as though you found your main axe years back and still gig with it to this day. Relic treatment is what allows the Master Design 1964 Stratocaster Relic LTD to show years of natural wear via tear-nicks, scratches, worn finish, rusty hardware, and aged plastic parts. Since it's a limited run, you won't see this guitar everywhere you go. If you're of a mind to, you could give people the impression that you've got an original pre-CBS 1964 Stratocaster (don't worry, your secret is safe with us).
Masterbuilt by Greg Fessler
Limited globally to run of only 100 guitars the Master Design 1964 Stratocaster Relic LTD carries within it the heart and soul of Custom Shop master builder Greg Fessler. Trained at the Custom Shop by Gene Baker, who later started Baker Guitars, Greg took over Gene's chores of making custom guitars for Robben Ford, and also builds for Journey's Neal Schon and blues master, Jeff Healy. Greg's unique abilities as a Master Builder have earned him accolades from many "Fender" artists and discerning customers world wide. His attention to detail is evident in every guitar he creates, always reflecting the intense commitment required to earn the name, "Master Builder."
- Limited run of 100 globally
- "C" shape maple neck
- Middle pickup is reverse wound/reverse polarity for hum canceling in switch positions 2 and 4
- Bone nut
- Solid body electric guitar Masterbuilt by Greg Fessler
- Model Number: 927-5000-600
- Series: Custom Shop Limited Edition Series
- Color: Gold Sparkle, (nitrocellulose lacquer finish)
- Body: Select alder
- Neck: Plain grain maple, 1965 "C" shape, (nitrocellulose lacquer finish)
- Fingerboard: Rosewood, 9.5" radius (241mm)
- No. of Frets: 21 medium jumbo frets
- Pickups 1 Custom '69 single-coil Strat pickup with grey bobbin (neck),
- 1 reverse wound/reverse polarity Custom Shop Fat '50s single-coil Strat pickup (mid),
- 1 Texas Special single-coil Strat pickup (bridge)
- Master volume
- Tone 1. (neck pickup),
- Tone 2. (bridge/middle pickup)
- Pickup Switching: 5-Position Blade:
- Position 1. bridge pickup
- Position 2. bridge and middle pickup
- Position 3. middle pickup
- Position 4. middle and neck pickup
- Position 5. neck pickup
- Bridge: American Vintage synchronized tremolo
- Machine Heads: Fender/Gotoh vintage-style tuning machines
- Hardware: Nickel/chrome
- Pickguard: 3-ply Mint Green
- Scale Length: 25.5" (648 mm)
- Width at Nut: 1.650" (42 mm)
- Strings: Fender Super 250R, nickel-plated steel,
- gauges: (.010, .013, .017, .026, .036, .046),
- LTD. Master Design custom black hard-shell case with emerald green crushed velvet interior and "Master Design Series" embroidered on the inside
- DVD Interview with Greg Fessler
- Limited Edition Certificate,
- Leather Master Design binder with copies of the builder's notes
You could easily make the case that Fender electric guitars were responsible - at least in great part - for the birth of modern rock 'n' roll. Originally designed to be easier to build, and thus more affordable, Leo Fender's masterpieces, which include classics like the Stratocaster (is there a more distinctive guitar shape in the world?), the Telecaster and the original Precision Bass, were at the core of a musical revolution that spawned everything from surf to country to punk!
In the 1960s, when Fender guitars first hit bandstands and stages all around the country, it was astonishing to see that trademark Fender maple neck and fingerboard. Though the company eventually offered rosewood fingerboards as standard or optional on its entire line of instruments, those first "blond" necks really shook things up. Others have picked up on the maple neck theme, but it's clearly yet another of Leo Fender's "firsts."
Today, no other manufacturer can match Fender for the sheer number of options available throughout its entire line. While vintage Fenders can command astronomic prices, the company now has the widest range of quality instruments in the world, along with the highest profile players like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, all of whom are legendary.