Fender Custom Shop wasn’t going to be outdone by the onslaught of new Fender and Squier models. At Summer NAMM 2018, the brand announced five fresh Custom Shop guitars: the Jimmie Vaughan Signature Stratocaster, Ltd Artisan Maple Burl Thinline Tele, ’51 HS Tele Relic, ’60 Roasted Strat Heavy Relic, and ’68 Paisley Strat Relic.
Here are the details:
Jimmie Vaughan Signature Stratocaster
Fender Custom Shop worked with the bluesman on this axe, which the brand said is “representative of how Vaughan currently prepares his guitar for stage use.”
The stars of this ’50s-style Stratocaster are its new custom-wound JLV single-coils—they’ve been voiced to be rich and articulate, and have modified wiring to open up more tone-sculpting possibilities. Besides that, the guitar has a two-piece alder body, a one-piece rift-sawn maple neck in a custom “C” profile, and modern 9.5-inch fretboard radius.
This Strat is available in three finishes—Aged Olympic White, Two-color Sunburst and Aged Aztec Gold—and lists for $4,800.
Ltd Artisan Maple Burl Thinline Tele
How about that for a Thinline Tele. This gorgeous semi-hollow is as exotic as they come: It has a AAAA flame maple burl top, a Fiji mahogany body, an AAA birdseye maple neck with a 1963 “C” profile, and an African blackwood fingerboard.
The Thinline Tele is powered by a Loaded ’51 Nocaster single-coil at the bridge and an Open Loaded ’51 Nocaster single-coil at the neck. Both are wired up in Fender’s Fat ’50s style, resulting in a biting, snarling tone.
This Tele is only available in Aged Natural, and lists for $4,850.
’51 HS Tele Relic
For something subtler in looks but more robust in tone, there’s the ’51 HS Tele Relic. Alongside a ’50-’51 “Crushed” Blackguard single-coil at the bridge position, there’s a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover SH-55 humbucker at the neck to give the traditional Tele twang a fatter, hotter partner. The wiring on the guitar has also been modified to ensure the pickups are compatible: Fender Custom Shop used both 250K and 500K pots in the volume and tone controls.
Similarly, the other appointments on the ’51 HS Tele combine vintage and modern specs. For instance, it has a compound radius neck that starts at a vintage-correct 7.25 inches all the way to Fender’s familiar 9.5 inches. Add to that a versatile 10/56 “V” neck profile, a two-piece ash body, a vintage-style Nocaster bridge and that Relic flashcoat lacquer finish, and you have a Tele that straddles past and present.
This Tele comes in Aged Nocaster Blonde and Wide-fade Two-color Sunburst, and lists for $4,050.
’60 Roasted Strat Heavy Relic
This model leads the charge from the Strat end of things. It’s based on a ’60 Stratocaster, but with several modern components that belie its relic-ed lacquer finish.
For instance, it has a roasted alder body, roasted maple neck, 12-inch-radius rosewood fretboard, and hot-rodded hand-wound Ancho Poblano single-coils. Interestingly, this Strat has a shorter 22.5-inch scale length.
This Strat comes in three finishes—Aged Vintage White, Faded Aged Fiesta Red and Aged Black—and lists for $4,700.
’68 Paisley Strat Relic
It doesn’t get more Flower Power than this. From the Swinging Sixties comes this Paisley Strat whose psychedelic graphics—there are two finishes to pick from—disguise its many high-end appointments.
And this Strat is a pretty versatile one. From a two-piece alder body to a rift-sawn “C”-shaped maple neck to the 9.5-inch-radius maple fretboard, here’s a guitar that’s comfortable for any playing style. Its Texas Special bridge pickup, Fat ’50s middle pickup and ’69 neck pup are also flexible, laying out a palette of single-coil tones from glassy to raunchy.
The ’68 Paisley Strat Relic lists for $4,500.
For more info, check out fendercustomshop.com.