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  1. #1

    Let's Talk Custom Shop

    I'm going to be buying another Strat soon and am wondering how the custom shop models have changed over say the last ten years? I'm speaking in terms of build quality and components. Are there some years better than others? How have the pickups changed......or how about the "Roasted" guitars? Let's skip the discusssion of aging, to age or not. How about some experiences of sonic qualities, playability, sustain, quack, clarity, weight.... There are examples out there from certain builders, masterbuilt and such where the prices are crazy (maybe woirth it?) I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
    Game on!

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    Its a bolt on neck guitar wouldn't pay over 2000.00 !
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

    The myth :The most disturbing thing about buying a fake Les Paul is how my research after the purchase is received by Forum members ??? 2020

    The Myth: Neat wiring layouts always equate to great-sounding amps.

    The Myth: If I would have lived with MOM & mooched till I was 48 I would play like Clapton !
    Think about it
    won't you ...... Please !

  3. #3

    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    Quote Originally Posted by AA00475Bassman View Post
    Its a bolt on neck guitar wouldn't pay over 2000.00 !
    My credo as well. Unless you want to copy something vintage, better to go the Mod Shop route.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    I picked up a Cruz Master Design (Cheaper than a Master Built) 63 after reading about them all over the web.

    It does have some good tones and lots of quack if you want it.

    It IS a fair representation of a 63 I had long ago.

    Is it worth the coin?

    Yes.

    My favorite Strat type?

    Now THAT'S the question.













  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member 11Bravo's Avatar
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    I'd like to know too. Been thinking of a Custom Shop Strat for a while now. Been looking but most of the necks seem to be a bit on the thin side. I have a Fullerton 57 reissue and that neck is thin!
    Drivin in my car, Smokin my cigar
    The only time I'm happy's when I play my guitar...

  6. #6

    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    Nice CS Toolkit , Ren !

    I have a 54 MB Anniv. 1 of the very firsts from 2004. Its ok
    Greg Fessler build ?

    My 55 hardtail is the gold standard that I was tryin to soothe.
    Imitated but not duplicated

    LOL

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    Quote Originally Posted by 11Bravo View Post
    I'd like to know too. Been thinking of a Custom Shop Strat for a while now. Been looking but most of the necks seem to be a bit on the thin side. I have a Fullerton 57 reissue and that neck is thin!
    This one is pretty fat.

    And I'll bet you could find some of these still out there for sale.


  8. #8

    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    There is a big difference in build quality and parts among all the Fender line. I too like a little bigger neck, the thinner necks just don't seem to have the feel? Some of the bigger name builders can fetch some serious coin (10K!), just not sure they are worth that. Then there are your new Sweetwater types in the 3-5K range?

    Anyone have insight on the 2000's quality vs what they are currently making?

    BTW, Ren that '63 is a beauty!
    Game on!

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    Quote Originally Posted by Unbound Dot Neck View Post
    Nice CS Toolkit , Ren !

    I have a 54 MB Anniv. 1 of the very firsts from 2004. Its ok
    Greg Fessler build ?
    I also owned a 2004 Greg Fessler 54 MB for a while but I never really bonded with so I sold it. I must admit that I'm not a big fan of strats and much prefer tele's, however I played a CS '59 Ancho Poblano strat a few weeks ago and I couldn't fault it, it played and sounded terrific.

  10. #10
    In the Zone/Backstage Pass
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    My observation is that the Custom Shop stuff is as good as it's ever been. If you're bound and determined to buy a CS Fender, go to a a big dealer like Wildwood that has tons of them, and have at it until you find one you like.

    IMO, as a Strat guy for decades, NO modern Fender can hang with vintage. It is definitely possible to buy a vintage Fender for the price of a high-end CS, you just have to shop hard. Yes, it will not be completely original, but who cares if you just want playability and tone? Some of THE best Strats are Partscasters, because the people that owned them played the crap out of them, loved them, and tinkered with them until they were diamonds. Collectable? no. Great guitars? most definitely! So keep that in mind as an alternative.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    Quote Originally Posted by renderit View Post
    I picked up a Cruz Master Design (Cheaper than a Master Built) 63 after reading about them all over the web.

    It does have some good tones and lots of quack if you want it.

    It IS a fair representation of a 63 I had long ago.

    Is it worth the coin?

    Yes.

    My favorite Strat type?

    Now THAT'S the question.











    That is certainly a most fine Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster !

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Ace139's Avatar
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    I have owned a bunch of Fender CS stuff over the years. First one was in ‘99 Seafoam with gold hardware that I ordered. This was before master built was a thing. Had a 2012 Cruz MB that killed and regret moving it. Also did a MB custom order that took over a year - that was not even close to what I had hoped. Was a Heavy Relic Blackguard Stealth Esquire - with some additional custom one-off stuff. Was really disappointed with it and it was not cheap. Currently own 2014 NAMM EDITION 60’s LPB Strat over 3TSunburst heavy relic that is perfect for me.

    So . . . My recommendation is every guitar is different - and Fender cranks our great CS stuff consistently. Try to play it before you buy it - or make sure the return policy is favorable to send it back. In my experience the Custom Shop Stuff is worth the price. Enjoy the hunt!!
    Some people call me old fashion - but fire scares me

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    Nice Guitar Ren she's a Beauty !
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

    The myth :The most disturbing thing about buying a fake Les Paul is how my research after the purchase is received by Forum members ??? 2020

    The Myth: Neat wiring layouts always equate to great-sounding amps.

    The Myth: If I would have lived with MOM & mooched till I was 48 I would play like Clapton !
    Think about it
    won't you ...... Please !

  14. #14

    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    Best thing to do when shopping for a Fender Custom Shop guitar is to ask around for the "good" years. Not being a regular buyer, I did luck out acquiring a matched set like this 1993 pair.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1993-Fender...0/111173578749

    Price was in the mid-$6K range, not $10K. Mine were gorgeous book-matched red examples. Great sound, rich chords no matter whether they had open string notes, or all closed. I do not have any Masterbuilt guitars in my collection right now (or maybe I forgot where I put them, lol). Just like Gibson, Fender had its magic years where they could do no wrong.

    Here's another interesting limited edition guitar (Tree of Life) from 1993:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Mint-1...9/153809772353

    Last edited by Aloha_Ark; 04-06-20 at 12:14 AM. Reason: add

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    Quote Originally Posted by renderit View Post
    This one is pretty fat.

    And I'll bet you could find some of these still out there for sale.
    That strat is gorgeous! You've an amazing guitar collection.

    After I bought my R9 I made the mistake of thinking this is the last one. Got a real need... okay want for a CS strat!

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    Quote Originally Posted by STC View Post
    That strat is gorgeous! You've an amazing guitar collection.

    After I bought my R9 I made the mistake of thinking this is the last one. Got a real need... okay want for a CS strat!
    If you play a lot of them I might suggest you try one of these.

    It is (by far) my favorite Strat type BY A WIDE MARGIN.

    It has a depth, clarity and tone I always find lacking in ANY Strat I have ever picked up.

    Collings 360 ST

    Part of this (I am sure) is because it has a set neck as God intended.

    And what a neck...Soft V, light and ALWAYS in tune.

    I have a lot of Collings, but I think it is the BEST guitar they ever made.

    Ugly, but you get used to it.

    It is in my top 3. Seriously.

    This one is Alder. I like it so much I WILL get an Ash just to have one...

    It is one of those you say "Holy Shit!" when first pick it up.

    When you hear it you can't put it down.









  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop






    7# 9oz of heaven.


  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    Amazing Ren very cool !!!!
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

    The myth :The most disturbing thing about buying a fake Les Paul is how my research after the purchase is received by Forum members ??? 2020

    The Myth: Neat wiring layouts always equate to great-sounding amps.

    The Myth: If I would have lived with MOM & mooched till I was 48 I would play like Clapton !
    Think about it
    won't you ...... Please !

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    Very cool - the flame on the neck is something else. Never had the pleasure of trying a Collings - only heard good things though. Need to try some guitars when this all calms down, curious about a Suhr classic s too.

    Been so obsessed with Les Pauls for so long - this single coil fascination is new to me!

  20. #20

    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    CS "Relic", just right, how do you date 'em?

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    Fender Custom Shop gurus , I would like to find out if my Wildwood 10 57 reissue Stratocaster has 250 K pots and a .022 mfd cap ? I will be swapping out the John Cruz design pickups for a set of Lace Sensor ( yuck and yicks and puke barf I can imagine hearing the groans ? ) Blue , Silver , and Red set . I used to use 2 Gold sensors in the neck and middle and had a red in the bridge pickup and this was the best strat bridge pickup sound I ever had and like a fool I removed them way back and want to do this to improve the tone thru my Marshall 2555X's .

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    I have both a custom shop and amasterbuilt strat i have had for quite a while but the prices for custom shop and master built strats are way to high now.

    In the uk custom shop strats are around £3500 and master built from £5000 to £7000
    Just silly money.
    Both the body and neck come from the normal production line then they go to the custom shop

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Let's Talk Custom Shop

    Here is my Custom Shop Strat, still in love with her.

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