The Masterbuilders at Fender's Custom Shop are very much like NASCAR drivers; Everyone has their favorite. I always thought Yasuhiko Iwanade's pieces were cool because they were so rare, but we all have to admit that John English was one of, if not the
titan when it comes to building these guitars. His name is solid gold in Custom Shop circles and his work is timeless.
It was at the Dallas Guitar Show many years ago and Fender was giving an exhibition on how they relic'd their guitars. The gentleman that was giving the demonstration was none other than Mr. English himself and I found it fascinating how he displayed his methods for making a new guitar look old. One of the craziest things he did was take a set of car keys out of his pocket and hit the guitar around the input jack, simulating where a player might miss the jack with his cord. Just when you think you've seen it all, you really haven't...
As to this 50th Anniversary Strat, it is simply a fine example of John's talents and from the moment you hit that first note, you completely agree. It weighs in at 7 lbs, 9 oz and the fretboard radius is 7.25". From across the room, you would swear it was a real '54 Stratocaster, but it plays and sounds like a new one. The package includes both cases and case candy, so if you're ready to step up from that starter Strat, here's a professional-grade instrument that will serve you well for a lifetime.