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Fender Custom Shop 2012 '60 Relic Stratocaster
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  • King LoudnessKing Loudness

    A supreme Strat

    Fender Custom Shop 2012 '60 Relic StratocasterPublished on 01/23/12 at 18:14
    The Fender 1960 Reissue Custom Shop Strat is basically the company's reissue of the famed early sixties Strat in all its glory. These guitars were noted for their bright and clear tone that was used in a variety of classic musical contexts from then to now. It's built in their Custom Shop, which comprises their best builders and use of the highest quality wood and parts that are available. It has an alder body, a maple neck with rosewood fretboard and 21 vintage frets, a standard 6 screw tremolo bridge, vintage style tuners and a trio of classic voiced pickups wound in the original traditions. Electronics are the typical master volume and dual tones mated to a 3 way toggle switch. Pretty st…
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    The Fender 1960 Reissue Custom Shop Strat is basically the company's reissue of the famed early sixties Strat in all its glory. These guitars were noted for their bright and clear tone that was used in a variety of classic musical contexts from then to now. It's built in their Custom Shop, which comprises their best builders and use of the highest quality wood and parts that are available. It has an alder body, a maple neck with rosewood fretboard and 21 vintage frets, a standard 6 screw tremolo bridge, vintage style tuners and a trio of classic voiced pickups wound in the original traditions. Electronics are the typical master volume and dual tones mated to a 3 way toggle switch. Pretty standard, but if you're a fan of that classic '60s vibe, it really gets no better than this.

    UTILIZATION

    The design of this guitar is pretty ergonomic. The nice thing about many older Strat is that the contouring is much sleeker and more refined than the new models can be. The body forms right to your chest and feels perfectly fitted. The neck is like a classic '60s feel; nice medium C profile with enough girth to dig in for bends but not a total baseball bat like some other Fenders can be. The guitar's a medium weight instrument and the upper fret access is pretty good, really only bettered by superstrats with modified heels.

    Getting a good sound out of this guitar is really easy. It's quite a resonant instrument out of the box, so with wood this "alive" sounding, you know you're going to get an ax that just sings with harmonics and overtones. Plugged in, it sounds pretty great regardless of your style or what amp you're playing, just a great Strat at its core.

    SOUNDS

    I've tried this Strat through various different amps, most notably Fenders such as the Super Sonic 22 and various models in the Vintage Reissue series. The cleans are definitely a strong point of this ax. The pickups are not super hot as far as output, but they have a certain beefiness that is PERFECT for chord work and really singing leads. Definitely one of the hugest sounding Strats I've played. Through a clean amp the tones range from very punchy with a strong low end heft to a bright jangly sound that's great clean or mean. That being said the pickups do maintain that Strat glassiness that we all know and love and it really is a cut above any American model Strat I've tried in that regard. No matter if you're using clean or distortion this guitar retains EXCELLENT clarity and sounds like a REAL Strat through and through.

    OVERALL OPINION

    All in all I think the Fender Custom Shop '60 Strat is a killer ax. The subtle aging feels really nice and makes it feel like a real deal vintage ax. My favourite Strat that I've played was a real 1960 and this one definitely comes within that ballpark. At $3,350 new it is not cheap, nor for the faint of heart, but it's top notch quality wise and the feel and sound are as good as you're going to find from Fender. Try one if you dare...
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