Fender  Custom Stratocaster Build 2 Review

The Fender Custom Stratocaster review shows an awful lot about just how good this guitar really is.... actually the second guitar I made.

Fender Stratocaster Custom Guitar Review of 'Number two'

Well what have we here. I wanted a Fender Stratocaster - I've ALWAYS wanted one since the first time I ever hear Hendrix playing. Before that - well there was the 'Shadows'. Nothing wrong with them, but somehow they did not hack it for me, no sire - it was Hendrix that did it for me and the lifelong want of a Stratocaster that had 'that' sound. The truth is, of course, it was not just the guitar - it was Hendrix himself. But that did not bother me, I set out to find the one - the Stratocaster that could give me the sound like no other (and I really don't mean the Shadows). In my quest I have bought and sold, sold and bought, traded, well, everything really and nothing hacked it. I did make a Stratocaster once from bits n pieces from here and there but it did not do it for me, neither did the many 10's of Stratocaster's I've had since 1968.

Then I had this brain wave - to make a Stratocaster like no one has ever done (at least that's my story) and MAKE that one and only Stratocaster that you can't buy from Fender. And guess what? I did.

My idea was to buy Fender parts (I based mine on a 4 bolt Fender neck - a real one) and other parts that I saw fit, and assemble these accordingly. I got the neck new from eBay, The pickups were Fender Abigail Ybarra would on a 69 design, the Scratch plate was a Fender one etc. etc. etc. ad nausea.

But then I wondered about a body for my masterpiece. Contrary to what some people think, I decided that the body was extremely important to what I wanted, a lightweight, exceptionally figured, highly finished piece of superb wood. As you can see from the pictures - I got one. This body is made on the back from Swamp Ash, with a very thin Ebony slice covered with the highest grade maple you can get and very well book matched.

It looked good, and weight was absolutely not a problem... it's hollow. Anyway, I spent MONTHS building this instrument - the shielding inside the cavity alone took me a week! But I spared no expense when I built this Stratocaster and the results were beyond my expectations - a perfect Stratocaster. It really makes me wonder exactly why Fender can't do what I did, they make these copy guitars and put all that time behind them (so they say) but cannot compete with little old me? Amazing.

I even bought a Fender Tweed case (as you can see in the pictures) I liked that one because it's grey tweed - I have not seen one like that before although I'm sure they are around.
But how does it sound I hear you ask? The answer is simple - listen yourself. Just select the track 'Kathy' from the music player on the lower right of this website and you are listening to this guitar. Remember of course that I built this guitar for me not you, so you may not like my sound (or that of the guitar) but hey, music IS subjective and for every thousand people who don't like it if I find one I would be better known than Steve Vai - so there...

For the price of this guitar (it cost me no more than £850 pounds built) I believe that I could not buy a Stratocaster from anywhere in the world like it - and this one I KNOW was built correctly - I did it myself. So don't be afraid of doing one of these guitars yourself - Fender is a prime instrument for making your own - it's typically a bolt together affair - and that was the beauty of Leo - basically an engineer who could think through one of the best designed guitars in the world. It is uncanny how this design has remained such an icon.

 Here's what I liked about this guitar:

  • The Sound
  • The weight - Very Light under 6 lbs.
  • The FEEL of it - plays great
  • The look of that body and neck
  • Price - unbelievably low for something fender could not make

There will always be some who don't like this Stratocaster - the purists, people who like music to be on level 1 with no distortion involved of ANY kind, etc. But you know what - I like it - and that's all that matters. Trust me on this one, you probably would like this too. Except for the body its all Fender in one way or another (American parts only I should add) and is a cool item - of all the guitars I own this is the best Fender I have ever owned. There is another one reviewed on this site which I like for other reasons and you CAN buy one of those, so check out my other reviews and you will see what I mean.

Here is a close up video review I carried out a while ago:

And a few images:


Click image for larger views





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