Wonderful Fender Custom Shop 1954 Stratocaster from 2004. Released in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Stratocaster, these faithful replicas were be made with the same exacting detail as the original instruments, using many of the same machines and manufacturing methods used back in 1954. Each guitar was built by a Custom Shop Master Builder and featured and a nitro-cellulose lacquered, two-piece ash body with offset glue seam and one-piece ‘U’ shape maple neck. Three Custom Shop Vintage 1954 pickups, an original synchronised tremolo with bridge cover, bone nut, serialised round-hole Tremolo cover plate, special documentation and an original form fit brown case.
We’ve been fortunate enough to have have a few of these Custom Shop Masterpieces through the shop and this is a great example. Built by Mark Kendrick, a Fender Custom Shop Founding Master Builder who enjoyed an 25 year career in the Custom Shop working with some of the most-respected names in music: Merle Haggard, Keith Richards and Eric Clapton. Finished in a perfect Closet Classic Sunburst to replicate the look and feel of an instrument that was bought new in 1954, played a few times a year and then carefully put away. Due to the Masterbuilt nature each guitar carries subtle differences determined by the individual builder. This lends each a unique element that in a way harks back to the variations in the originals – perhaps a slightly different body contour or different blend on the neck, etc.
The guitar is in great condition with no changes to the original spec. The fingerboard shows some wear to the incredibly thin lacquer and the body has the odd ding or mark. The neck is a comfortable to play large U profile with a 7.25 “ radius fingerboard with vintage fret wire. The neck measures a not insubstantial 23.36mm at the 1st fret filling out to 25.38mm at the 12th. The nut width is 42.48mm. The trio of Custom Shop Vintage ’54 pickups have large Alnico III magnets with FormVar coated copper wire with a vintage output of 5.9K, 5.84K and 5.83K.
A featherweight example at 7lbs even, the guitar comes with its original replica 1954 case as well as the modern ABS case, certificate, literature and original shipping boxes.