Fender Stratocaster (CIJ ’62 reissue, 1997)

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To us, the best Strats share certain defining characteristics: the lead pickups are potent and honking (as Eric Johnson used to say) without being spiky. The middle pickups exude a certain hard-to-define earthy warmth. The neck pickups are glassy and project a transparent sheen. This instrument has all of these hard-to-find attributes in a single, Shell Pink package. What’s more, it boasts certain performance-enhancing upgrades, including a Duncan Hot Antiquity in the bridge, a ’54 Fender Custom Shop in the middle, and a ‘60s Duncan SSL in the neck. Other mods include a replacement tortoiseshell pickguard, upgraded pots, capacitors, a Fender five-way switch, and vintage-style cloth wiring. Players in the know, including Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo, are often seen slinging Japanese-made Fenders. Some play off-the-shelf examples, while others (Hidalgo included) prefer to replace the pots and pickups. Buy this guitar and the mods have already been performed for you. Good as it sounds, and with its comfy, immediately familiar big C neck, all you’ll want to do is plug in and play. Ships with a tweed gigbag. SOLD!

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To us, the best Strats share certain defining characteristics: the lead pickups are potent and honking (as Eric Johnson used to say) without being spiky. The middle pickups exude a certain hard-to-define earthy warmth. The neck pickups are glassy and project a transparent sheen. This instrument has all of these hard-to-find attributes in a single, Shell Pink package. What’s more, it boasts certain performance-enhancing upgrades, including a Duncan Hot Antiquity in the bridge, a ’54 Fender Custom Shop in the middle, and a ‘60s Duncan SSL in the neck. Other mods include a replacement tortoiseshell pickguard, upgraded pots, capacitors, a Fender five-way switch, and vintage-style cloth wiring. Players in the know, including Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo, are often seen slinging Japanese-made Fenders. Some play off-the-shelf examples, while others (Hidalgo included) prefer to replace the pots and pickups. Buy this guitar and the mods have already been performed for you. Good as it sounds, and with its comfy, immediately familiar big C neck, all you’ll want to do is plug in and play. Ships with a tweed gigbag. SOLD!