Thursday, 28 January 2010

Fender Custom Shop Abalone Strat
I always feel like it's cheating a little to post on this blog yet another Stratocaster. I worry that half the audience will click away and look for something - anything - elsewhere on the www.

The Stratocaster, more than any other guitar, seems to be almost omnipresent; but one of the things I enjoy about it is seeing it in various radically different guises, so that it can be familiar yet very different at the same time. It's probably why I personally have five (yes, FIVE) Strats in my collection, each one totally different from the others.

Above we see a Stratocaster that I, for one, have not seen before. This Strat, manufactured in 1995, comes from the Fender Custom Shop and is allegedly one of only 25. Body and headstock are resplendent in a blue abalone finish which is evocative of certain pearloid-covered guitars from 1960s Italy, as well as Fender's own paisley and "bowling ball" finishes. (Mention not the Mexican-made Fender "Splattercasters" - it was a nice idea but in reality most of them looked absolutely dreadful).

I can't quite decide whether I like it or not. I think perhaps the pickguard (or scratchplate as we like to say in the UK) shouldn't have the same finish as the rest of the body. It would look better if it contrasted against the guitar finish - perhaps a white pearloid would have been more aesthetically pleasing.

To be perfectly honest, I far prefer the looks of my Fender Japan blue flower Stratocaster from the late 1980s, and that didn't cost $4,999 either.

G L Wilson

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