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STRATOCASTERS (Many Custom Shop models below)

  1. 2009 Fender Custom Shop '56 Relic Stratocaster, (front), (headstock/fretboard), (back), (detail-checking), (case/acc.).  "As new" in "Relic Mint" condition, with zero player's wear and zero non-factory flaws, in fact, this guitar has never been retailed.  A lightweight 7.6 lbs., this guitar has a much more "real" vibe than many other Relics.  Finished is lightly checked all over, with realistic forearm  and belly cut wear, through the paint at the sharp line over the lower edge of the belly contour, just like one that's been played for 55 years.  It also has Realistic buckle rash and light finish chips around the edges, plus hardware realistically aged, but not totally rusted out as some of these are.  Fretboard has wear in all the proper spots, but frets are like new.  The set up on this guitar is phenomenal.  Very few vintage radius guitars will allow low action without choking out on bends but this one, no problem.  Neck is the 10/56 neck which is large, but not overly chunky.  A new '56 is going to set you back $2950 and, who knows, it might have the right look, right weight, and be an insanely great player.  For $950 less you can get this one, guaranteed to be one of the best.  $1999 includes factory sealed accessory bag, leather strap, cable, factory hang tag, ash tray, factory-sealed custom care folder, certificate, and Fender/G&G tweed case.

  2. 1986 Fender Stratocaster XII, (front1  front2), (back), (headstock).  Rare model from Fender Japan - only the 4th one I've ever had - and the very desirable Made in Japan (not Crafted) - from the mid-80's.  The history of this model begins in the mid-60's with a Fender model call the "Electric XII", with sort of a Jaguar-shaped body and an innovative 12-saddle bridge, designed for precise adjustments of individual string heights and intonation, with strings-thru body design for increased sustain.  The 12-string craze of the 1960's was very short-lived, and the Electric XII was discontinued in 1969.  Jump ahead around a decade and a half and we have this model - a twelve-string Strat, the Strat XII, which was introduced by Fender Japan in 1985.   This model has 22 frets and, rather unusual, a Gibson scale length of 24.75 inches.  This model was discontinued in 1993 and was forgotten until the Crafted in Japan models came out in around '08.  This guitar is in beautiful shape, buffed out to a mirror gloss finish with no major flaws.  Fender Japan has become proven lower-end investment pieces but, more importantly, this one's a really great player, with low action and a distinct chimey tone that can do a pseudo-Byrds/Petty impression or a huge sounding Strat.  An excellent value on a 26-year-old Fender Japan collectable guitar at $750.  Includes hardshell case.  

  3. 2008 Fender American Standard Stratocaster - Custom HH Model, (front), (headstock), (back), (Pickups/controls), (bridge), (case).  The "New American Standard" with some cool custom features, geared to the rock player.  Originally a SSS pickup configuration, the original owner took advantage of the factory H/S/H routing and switched it over to an HH, and the controls to bridge volume, neck volume, and master tone.  Pickups are the JB in the bridge, with a '59 in the neck, a great combination.  They are mounted on a Fender 3-ply black pickguard with black knobs.  The overall look is one killer looking guitar in my humble opinion.  All other specs are stock:  alder body with gloss finish, maple neck with Modern “C” Shape (Gloss Headstock Face with Satin Urethane Finish on Back of Neck), 9.5” Radius, 22 Medium Jumbo Frets, 1.685” nut, Fender Staggered Cast/Sealed Tuning Machines, 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with New American Standard Bent Steel Saddles, New Bent Steel Saddles with Elongated String Slots, Copper Infused High Mass 100% Metal Bridge Block, Rolled Fretboard Edges and H/S/H Pickup routing.  This guitar is in beautiful condition with no fret wear, an absolutely killer setup, and a killer rock tone.  If you're a Strat fan looking for something that rocks harder than a stock model, this beauty is for you.  $850(HOLD-Alex B 5/5) includes the new Fender/SKB case with ATA latches.  

  4. 1989 Fender HM Strat - Dual Humbuckers!, (front), (side1  side2), (back), (headstock), (pickups), (case).  Note:  I finally created a page about first version HM Strats to help keep this page shorter.  Please click this link for more info.  Super rare dual humbucker model, finished in Blackstone (close-up), which is a black finish with random gold lines in it, giving the appearance of a piece of stone.  From my experience the HSS models make up over 90% of HM's, with the single humbucker, HS, and HH models making up the remaining 10%, with the HH being the most rare.  I don't remember when--or if--I had one of these in stock.  Looking at my archive pics, in the past 6 years I've had around 30 HM's, and of these only one was an HS, one single humbucker, and zero HH's until this one.  These guitars are highly regarded primarily because of their superb playability and killer rock tone.  Unlike the HSS models, this model can't nail a traditional Strat tone as well, but with the 3-way switching and coil split switch that works on both pickups, these DiMarzio Super 3's produce 3 very useable single coil tones, as well as 3 choices of fat humbucker tones.  Cosmetically it's in nice shape for a used guitar with some clear coat scratches and 3 very small finish touch-ups on the edge, but Martin buffed it out to a nice gloss and it looks great.  Likewise the setup is excellent with low action all the way up the neck.  If you're a player who needs dual hums to get the job done, here's a rare chance to get a dual hum HM Strat, in a cool color to boot.  $899(HOLD-Hodari 11/6) includes older Gator molded case and trem arm.  If you miss this one, it will likely be a decade before I get another one in.  

  5. 2005 Fender Deluxe Power Stratocaster with Fishman Bridge, (front), (back), (headstock), (bridge).  As new - virtually unplayed.  Very versatile model at the top of the Deluxe Series line of Fenders.  The Deluxe Power Strat is an HSS model so it features a bridge humbucker, plus a Fishman Power Bridge which has 6 Piezos, one built into each of the saddles.  The result is a Strat that's capable of brighter and fatter humbucker tones, while retaining nearly all the traditional Strat sounds, plus a guitar that can double as an acoustic in stage situations.  It features a volume and tone control for the 3 pickups - plus a separate volume control for the Fishman, so you can easily select the magnetic pickups, Piezo pickup, or blend the two in any combination, such as neck+middle pickup with Piezo, etc.  Other features include:  transparent Butterscotch Blonde alder body, maple neck with rosewood board, Tex Mex Humbucker, two Tex Mex single coils, modern C-shaped neck with 9.5" radius, gloss finish body, satin finish neck, no-load tone control, synthetic bone nut, Fender vintage tuners, easy access 9V battery compartment on back, and 4-ply tortoise shell pickguard.  Here's a YouTube demo (link), just forward to around the 4:00 min. mark to hear it in action.  This guitar is dead mint and appears unplayed, with plastic still on pickguard and back plate.  It has an excellent setup and a quality tone on all pickup combinations.  Sells new for $999 but this one's "as new" for just $750(HOLD-Richard C 12/12).  Includes Fender Deluxe gigbag and trem arm.  

  6. 1985 Fender Japan Standard Strat with '95 Tex-Mex Strat Neck, (front), (back), (headstock), (System I), ('85 Catalog).  Super clean '85 Fender Standard Strat with System I tremolo add a Tex-Mex Neck, and you've got the best of both worlds.  The System I stays in tune better than a vintage trem, but the locking nuts for the Contemporary, located behind a regular nut, were somewhat ill-conceived and were the weak link in this otherwise effective system.  We cured the problem by combining the best of both worlds.  The Tex-Mex is a vintage spec, i.e. no locking nut, but it has the tuning stability of the System I, with the advantage of easy tuning tweaks via the fine tuners located on the bridge.  The body is insanely clean for 25+ years, just check out the pics.  Neck isn't quite as clean as the body but still in nice shape  I've had this complete '85 body in stock for years.  The original neck had the truss rod max'd out all the way, incapable of setting up with nice action.  Fender was the original designer of the System I tremolo with fine tuners, one of the few non-Floyd licensed locking tremolo systems of the era.  The '85 body features all original parts including a trio of ceramic single coils with hum canceling in positions 2 and 4, and wired it so the bridge pickup uses the tone control, while the middle pickup isn't wired to a tone control.  It's a little different but removes some of the shrillness a bridge Strat tone can have.  The body is factory routed for a recessed tremolo cover plate, which is a nice touch.  For less than the $499 price of a new Mex Standard, you can get this Japan model, with a higher end Mex neck.  $450 includes Fender gigbag or $500 includes a new hardshell case.    

  7. 2010 Fender American Standard Stratocaster with Custom Graphic Finish, (graphic detail), (front-1 front-2), (back), (headstock), (case/acc.).  For the collector, player, or art fan, comes this professionally painted American Standard with an underwater scene featuring a mermaid on the lower bout, with various plants and fish on the pickguard, with beams of light streaming across the top of the scene.  This is a factory quality job, with excellent detail work, and multiple clear coats applied as a final finish to preserve the paint.  This is one of the new American Standards - after the 7-year run of the American Series, the new American Standard, officially released on Jan 1, 2008 has some significant improvements including a redesigned bridge, new bent-steel saddles with elongated string slots, and, most significantly, a new neck and body finish.  The neck still has the satin finish which is comfortable to the hand, but they've changed the front of the headstock to a gloss finish for aesthetic reasons.  This guitar is in very clean shape with no scratches or fret wear, however, it appears to have a seen a little playing time as evidenced by slight wear on the treble ends of two of the pickups.  The scratch area on the pickguard has not worn the finish at all.  We can touch up the covers if it's going to be used in a collection, or if you're going to be playing it, that would be a wasted effort.  Unfortunately, the artist didn't sign their work, but  I've had plenty of graphic finishes and this one is as fine as I've seen.  Whether you want a fine guitar to display in your living room, man cave, or yacht - or if you just want a great playing Strat, this one's just $100 more than a stock American Standard and the coolest American Standard/Series I've ever had.  $1099(Tent. Hold 5/10) includes Fender case, serialized hang tag, and paperwork.  

  8. Fender Squier Strat - Black - Upgraded Pickups, (front), (back), (headstock).  Nice playing Chinese import Affinity Squier with a cool look and quality tone.  Fender is producing some very good quality guitars from their China factory.  They're playability is vastly superior to the older Korean Squiers and they don't use plywood as they did on the early MIK models.  Generally speaking, they necks are consistently excellent, which allows for a setup that usually rivals the USA models.  This one has had a few upgrades including an authentic looking 60's Trans logo installed, all the plastic has been switched out to black, including pickguard, knobs, covers, and backplate, but more importantly, the stock ceramic pickups have been swapped out with an Alnico HSS set from MightyMite.  The body is factory routed for a humbucker so no routing was required.  You can get these MightyMite guards, complete, for around $120 and it will improve the tone of any budget model Strat 100%.  The humbucker tone is fat and totally quiet, while the single coils are hotter than the stock ceramics with more articulation, more of the "Texas" tone that most players prefer.  Cosmetically it has it's share of scratches and dings but nothing horrible, and the frets are in perfect shape so I doubt that it's actually been played very much.  If you're looking for an inexpensive Strat with "the look", quality tone, and nice setup, this one will get you there for just $179.  

  9. 1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, (front), (back), (headstock/neck), (Custom '54's).  Excellent playing Strat with some upgrades to enhance tone and playability.  A pair of custom shop Custom '54 pickups have been installed, along with an orange drop cap, and changed to vintage wiring with a tone pot in place of the TBX.  Nut has been changed to a Graphtec graphite nut, which reduces friction and helps maintain tuning stability.  Lastly, the back of the neck has been sanded down, with the poly finish removed.  It feels much faster this way and most players seem to prefer the feel of natural wood.  This guitar hasn't been played to death and looks very presentable from the front, but at one time it did have a careless owner thus there are finish chips around the edge down to the white undercoat (as shown here).  These '54's are used in many Custom Shop guitars, primarily because they sound excellent and have more of a vintage bell tone--and  more quack--than the stock pickups.  If you're a player looking for bang for the buck and not concerned with some finish chips the audience can't even see, this one feels great, sounds great, and is set up to perfection.  A good value for the player at $729(HOLD-Keith Z 8/2).  Includes hardshell case and trem arm.  

  10. 1998 Fender Floyd Rose Deluxe Series Standard Stratocaster HH - upgraded, (front), (back), (headstock).  One of the Deluxe Series back in the 90's and sort of an Iron Maiden vibe with Olympic White finish and black pickguard.  Rather than ship out a guitar that sets up less than stellar, Martin just installed a new Musikraft Strat neck - Floyd Rose ready, (pic2).  We're big fans of Musikraft and more and more we're using them on custom made guitars.  The quality is on par with Warmoth and our custom orders are usually finished in a day or two.  This one is quartersawn, like an Eric Johnson Strat, and features 21 medium jumbo frets, black dot inlays, 9.5" radius, and 1 5/8" nut.   It has a super nice logo job with a ca. '72 logo with one patent number.  In doing the logo, gloss finish is applied to the headstock only - taped off - with an oil finish on the rest of the neck so you have great looks plus a fast feel.  We use multiple coats of nitro over the logo, wet-sanding between coats, so there's no outline of the logo visible and it's indistinguishable from factory.   Martin also hand-rolled the fretboard edges so it feels fantastic.  We had been selling this neck separately for $225, not counting a new set of Hipshot locking tuners, which are lightweight and the best tuners for under $100 that we've found.  Other upgrades include a pair of real Duncans with a Pearly Gates bridge and '59 in the neck, plus the "good" Floyd Rose, made by Ping (specs here), the only licensed model, identical to the Original Floyd in specs, which is allowed to carry the Floyd Rose logo.  Body has HSH routing so you can change to a different configuration if desired (pic here), and equipped with CTS pots and a super switch. Very clean shape and an exceptionally nice player.  The neck is chunkier than the stock neck and with the rolled edges, it feels great in the palm of your hand.  This guitar has been upgraded so much, the only thing stock remaining is the body.  If you want a killer metal axe with a killer look, here's a nice one for $599(HOLD-8/22/12) with gigbag; $650 with case.  

  11. 2003 Fender 70's Classic Stratocaster - Maple Neck w/black parts, (front), (back), (headstock).  Cool looking 70's Classic with the look of a '77-'82 Strat with all black plastic parts (guard, covers, knobs, tip) rather than the stock all white parts.  Other than the pickguard, this guitar is stock and in nice shape.  These Classic Series are an excellent value, priced less than 1/2 of a USA Vintage, with quality that's very near the USA models.  It features the large headstock with black/gold CBS logo and bullet truss rod, ash body with glossy poly finish, U-shaped maple neck with 21 vintage frets, trio of Alnico stag pole pickups, Fender/Schaller F-tuners, Synchronized tremolo with stamped steel saddles and heavy trem block, 3-bolt neck with micro-tilt adjustment, 7.25" vintage radius.  Overall very clean shape and a great set up that's better than most of the real 70's I've had.  Finished in Natural Ash, a $50 upcharge, this model sells new for $799.  If you want the classic look of a late 70's Strat, here's a nice one and it's just $579(HOLD-Patrick 3/10), set up to perfection.  Includes Fender Deluxe gigbag.

  12. 1989 Fender HM Strat - Bright White, (front-1  front-2), (back), (headstock/neck), (Kahler/nut), (cosmetics).  Another killer shredder HM and the first white one I've had in a while.  As you can see in the pics, the bridge humbucker has been changed to a Duncan JB, which many players prefer over the DiMarzio.  It's still wired into the mini splitter switch, so you get your choice of full humbucker or split with the switch in the up position.  Not the cleanest one I've had with numerous dings, rubs, and finish chips around the edge, but no serious issues such as cracks or repairs.  Also, the knobs are missing the rubber caps.  We can change to standard Strat knobs at no cost if desired.  Features include HSS pickup configuration controlled by Strat 5-way with an additional mini-switch to split the bridge humbucker which gives you all the vintage Strat choices, plus two humbucker choices.  Other features include Kahler Spyder double-locking tremolo (licensed by Floyd Rose), quality Gotoh tuners, Kahler locking nut only (rather than the locking nut behind the standard nut found on the Kahler Pro, super flat fretboard (17" radius) with 24 jumbo frets, 25" scale, volume - tone - TBX control, Strat shaped body with the cutaways and heel beveled to provide maximum ease in playing in the upper register.  The necks on these are very thin and wide, with only a sealer coat which provides a very natural feel and doesn't stick to your hand.  Despite its abundance of "character" marks, this is a great playing HM with serious tone, perfectly working Kahler, and will get the job done as well as museum condition HM that you're afraid to gig out with. $499 includes gigbag; $564 with a molded hardshell case.  

  13. 1997 Fender Squier Fat Stratocaster HSS - MIK, (front), (back), (headstock/neck).   Highly regarded Squier, made during the same era that the Korean factory was also building the Squier Protone series.  A few things are noteworthy about this guitar - the HSS pickup configuration is rather uncommon for a 90's Squier, the Galactic Purple finish, which was only around for a few years, and the neck profile, which is a rather thick D-shape.  The neck is around the same depth in the upper register as most Strats, but it's thicker in the lower register, i.e. doesn't change as much from the 1st fret to the 12th fret.  The HSS configuration makes this guitar more versatile than your traditional Strat, and is capable of fat humbucker tones in positions 4 and 5, while position 5 is virtually noise free.  Overall nice shape for a used guitar of this age with just some surface scratches and impressions in the clear coat.  It plays very easily and has a nice tone in both the single coil and humbucker modes.  With a new Chinese Squier Standard at $230, I think this is a better product and a better value for $169. 

  14. 2003 Fender Showmaster Celtic, (front), (back), (headstock), (Duncan/push-pull pot), (inlay).   One of our favorite of Fender's upscale imports, by virtue of its simplicity, playability, tone and commendable sustain, feather weight, and cool looks.  Fender's Showmasters, whether this quality import or their Custom Shop models, are basically a set-neck Strat with an arched top, and no pickguard.  Among this family is (was) the Celtic model which was beautiful in its simplicity, with a single humbucker, one knob, and hardtail/string-thru-body bridge.  The only adornments on this guitar is the Celtic inlay at the 11-13th frets (but it does have side markers so you don't get "lost").  We did some nice upgrades on this one starting with a fret polishing (pic) so bends feel like glass.  We swapped out the Fender Atomic II pickup with a Duncan Distortion and doubled the number of tones by adding a push/pull pot - down is the fat, searing  humbucker tone, up is a more articulate single coil tone that's closer to a Strat.  Other features include silver finish with matching headstock, set-neck (not bolt-on), carved top over thin basswood body, raised chrome logo, 24 jumbo frets, flat 12" fretboard radius, black chrome hardware, strings thru body for increased sustain, and Celtic white pearl inlay on fretboard.  After Martin did his magic on the frets and set-up, this guitar not only looks great, but plays and sounds as good as the Custom Shop version.  These had a very brief run but list price on this model during production was $899.  If you're a fan of the Baretta type simplicity, with the added benefit of single coil tones, this guitar is definitely good enough to gig with and in my opinion a super value at $450.  Includes Fender deluxe gigbag. 

  15. 2005 Fender '56 Stratocaster Relic LTD - Sonic over Sunburst, (front), (back), (headstock/neck), (neck pocket), (checking/arm wear) (case.) .  As new - unplayed condition, all accessories, factory sealed accessory bag.  This is a rare one, Limited Edition run of only 100 pieces.  As some of you vintage guys know, back in the old days Fender would occasionally respray one of their bodies.  It was usually a sunburst body since that was the stock color, and as it was usually a custom order, they were almost always oversprayed with a custom color.  For some reason, a disproportionate number of these were shipped to the UK, which I discovered during my 2-year stay over there in the 90's.  Anyhow, this is the basis for this Ltd model.  Since it's an LTD model, they also exercised some creative freedom and included the three main features that today's players want on a vintage guitar - modern 9.5" radius, medium-jumbo frets, and RWRP center pickup for hum canceling in positions 2 and 4, all of which make this a player's dream for a "vintage" instrument.  It also features a lightweight swamp ash body, rather than alder, which is found on most sunburst and opaque finishes.  All other features are true to the original.  Other than forearm wear, where the sunburst is most pronounced, this is a very light relic.  Most that I've seen have dings all around the edges; on this one any dings are so slight they're barely noticeable.  Like all relics it does have finish checking all over the body and aged hardware, but it does not have the wear on the back of the neck, only the front, with fretboard wear in all the right spots.  Frets are immaculate.  Although not spec for this model, this neck is covered in small birdseyes (as shown here).  Specs include:  premium lightweight ash body with thin nitrocellulose lacquer finish, 9.5" radius maple fingerboard with 21 medium jumbo frets, Custom Shop Texas Special pickups (reverse wound/reverse polarity middle pickup),  one-piece maple neck with '57 Style Soft “V” Shape (not the fat 10/56 neck), tinted Nitrocellulose Lacquer neck finish,, American Vintage synchronized tremolo with “Ash Tray” bridge cover, Fender/Gotoh vintage tuners, 1-ply parchment pickguard, Custom Shop Ltd Ed decal, bone nut, all original detailing - built from original tooling, and aged plastic parts.  All of this housed in a black vintage-style case with black crushed velvet interior and embroidered Limited Edition logo.   This is an incredibly nice player with low action, excellent sustain, and accurate intonation.  Includes factory sealed accessory bag with cable, ash tray, trem arm, etc. enclosed, as well as factory hang tags and strap.  This guitar sold new for $3800, although G.C. has a "blemished" (how do you blemish a relic?) one for $3045.  This one is virtually unplayed and if you missed the very brief runs of the '56 in '05, and 50's in '06, here's one last chance and it's priced $500 less than a stock '56 Relic at just $2450(HOLD-Mike W 4/4).    

  16. 1991 Fender '54 Stratocaster Reissue - Fender Japan, (front), (back) (headstock), (body/neck markings), (upgraded electronics), (trem block).  Throughout much of the past few decades Fender Japan has done dozens of reissues.  While Fenders in this country are only reissued in several model years, off the top of my head I recall having Fender Japan Stat reissues of around 8 different years and if you look at the current Fender Japan catalog, they probably make around 30 different Strats.   The differences may be minor as is the case with the '54, which is basically the same as the '57 except for a different neck profile.  The '56 is slightly chunkier, i.e. more shoulders, with a softer V shape than the '57's hard V.  This picture shows that the neck was lightly sanded and with some additional playing wear, it's worn down to the natural wood in spots and in the days when some players weren't proud to be playing a Japan Strat, someone sanded off the serial and "Made in Japan" at the base of the neck.  Having looked inside of 100 Japan Strats I can say with certainty that this is an original MIJ '54 with all original hardware.  The one change, and it's a good one for seekers of vintage tone, all electronics have been upgraded - a set of Fender Custom Shop Fat 50's pickups with cloth wires as well as CTS Pots and switch.  The only other cosmetic flaws are a few very minor dings on the body (shown here); overall this guitar is very clean.  Other features include Kluson-style vintage tuners, single string tree (original round tree installed upon request), early body contours, maple neck with black dots, first-style Spaghetti logo, Fender 50's Classic big block trem, white single ply 8-screw pickguard with white parts, and truss rod adjustment on butt end.  Frets have been lightly dressed allowing a nice set up and at a lightweight 7 1/2 lbs., it's a joy to play.  Fender Japan are highly regarded guitars, and these older models even more so.  For $699, it's an excellent value, especially with these Custom Shop pickups.  Includes form fit SKB molded case. 

  17. 1988 Fender American Standard Stratocaster - '54 Pickups, (front/back), (headstock/fretboard), (pickups).  Very clean example of an early American Standard, with an "E4..." serial number which was used mostly on '87 and '88 Fenders, although I have seen one American Standard from Nov '86.  Contrary to some web info, E4 serials are not 1984 and, in fact, the American Standard first debuted at the fall '86 NAMM show.  This one has been upgraded with Custom Shop '54 pickups, which sound better than the stock ones but I have plenty of original 80's USA pickups if you want it stock.  Overall this guitar is in very nice shape, especially for 22 years.  Front is very clean, back has some very light buckle scratches in the clear coat only, and the worst flaw are a few light indentations around the edge.  I would rate it an 8.5.  Frets have just very minor wear and are around 93%.  It has one of the darkest fretboards you'll see on a rosewood Strat - it actually has the appearance of ebony.  Set up is nice and low and with these pickups you can get a great SRV or Hendrix tone, especially on the neck and bridge pickups.  Middle pickup is RWRP so it's quiet in positions 2 and 4.  A very nice Strat overall and a good value in an early American Standard at $950.  Includes later Fender case. 

  18. 2009 Fender USA Highway One Stratocaster HSS - 3-Tone Sunburst, (front), (headstock), (back), (Deluxe Gigbag).  Flawless condition and the best value in a USA Strat featuring a nitrocellulose lacquer finish on the body, preferred by many players, but due to the satin lacquer finish, they're cheaper to manufacture and than a standard gloss finish.  Other than the finish and the gigbag, the quality of the Highway series is the same as the American Standard.   Specs include:  Alder body with 3-color sunburst finish, maple neck with modern "C" Shape profile, rosewood fingerboard with modern 9.5" Radius, 22 Jumbo Frets, '70s style large headstock; vintage tremolo with stamped steel saddles; Hot Single-Coil pickups with Alnico 3 magnets in the neck and middle positions with a Fender Atomic humbucker in the bridge; master volume; tone 1 = neck pickup with "greasebucket" (rolls of highs without adding bass) tone circuit; tone 2 = bridge pickup with "greasebucket"; Fender Ping tuners. The thin nitrocellulose lacquer finish lets the body wood's natural tone shine through.  Although it doesn't require the buffing of a poly finish, nitro is a rather expensive finish to do, mainly because of its long drying time - it's rarely found on a guitar in this price range.  One upgrade we offer on Highways is a buffed out finish, which gives the guitar a high gloss finish and with the thin Nitro finish, more of a vintage look, as shown here, side by side.   This guitar is immaculate other than a few pickguard scratches, set up better than factory, and a super value on a USA Fender at $579.  Includes Fender Deluxe gigbag. 

  19. 2003 Fender '60's Classic Stratocaster, Sunburst, w/upgrade, (front), (back), (headstock), (upgrade).   Get the 60's vibe and tone with this very nice 60's Classic.  One noteworthy upgrade was done to this beauty - a new set of Fender Vintage 57/62 pickups in place of the stock Alnico set.  Features vintage C-shaped maple neck with rosewood fretboard, solid Alder body, small headstock with spaghetti logo and vintage-tinted gloss neck, vintage synchronized tremolo with stamped steel saddles, aged plastic parts, and vintage 7.25" fretboard radius.  This guitar hasn't seen much playing time and is in excellent condition with a great setup, especially for a vintage radius.  With a list price of $999, these sell online and at the super stores for $699 with gigbag but why buy new when you can have this beauty for less, with a an absolutely killer set up and an upgrade that will run nearly $200 parts/labor from a qualified tech.   Just $579 for this one.  Includes Fender deluxe gigbag.  

  20. Fender '60 Relic Stratocaster - Olympic White -  I originally sold this as a "mint" '60 Relic (picture) in Olympic White...sold it to a regular customer who proceeded to strip the body (picture) completely...he traded it in one week later....and now it's been refinished in the original Olympic White (picture), although more of a Closet Classic with a mint body but aged hardware.  John Fischer, our new local refin guy, did a nice job on the refinish, using original spec automotive Olympic White.  Current pics and description:  2006 Fender '60 Stratocaster - Olympic White, (front), (back), (headstock/neck), (case/acc.).  1960 was a pivotal year for the Strat.  Gone was the maple fretboard, replaced with a rosewood "slab" fretboard, clay dot inlays, and a smaller C-shaped profile, and larger truss rod.  For many players this is the perfect choice from the current line up of Relics which include the '56, '69, and this '60.  The '60 has the pre-CBS vibe with the spaghetti logo and green pickguard, but it's the only one with the popular C-profile.  Hardware is oxidized nicely, with just a little bit of rust.  Other features include 2-piece Alder body with proper tooling marks, 7.25" vintage radius, Custom 60's single coil pickups, cloth wiring, Fender/Gotoh vintage tuners, American Vintage tremolo system, nickel-plated hardware, and aged plastic parts.   This is a very resonant guitar, even after the refin, and a nice medium weight at 8 lbs., with the classic bell-like tone and very good acoustic tone.   The set up is fantastic with low action you would expect on a modern radius but even with this vintage radius, no fretting out on bends and all strings ring true.  Original cost on this guitar when it was a Relic was over $3K but if you're one of those folks who doesn't like the factory wear but still want the vibe of a old Strat, the finish on this one is immaculate and just $1799(HOLD-Todd W 2/23).  Includes original brown case, certificate, and misc. case candy (note: "Mist and Wipe" kit not included).  Note:  If you have a body that needs refinishing, we can now do pretty much any stock Fender color, just email for details and pricing.  

  21. Fender Custom Shop 50th Anniversary Stratocaster Relic...TRIO!  (click to enlarge pics) Choice of a 1956, 1960, or 1965 (cert's) never retailed, unplayed, including unopened accessory bags and, of course, era-correct cases.  All are "all gold" models with a Aztec Gold (nitro lacquer) and gold hardware, with light to medium relicing including checked finish and aged hardware with misc finish chips here and there, with the '65 receiving more relic wear than the other two.  I confirmed with Fender that only 100 of each piece - WORLDWIDE - was produced, which makes this a very rare guitar  for an Anniversary model.  These listed at $4677-$4690 with discount pricing to $3500.  One of these could easily be the centerpiece in many Anniversary model collections, to go along with your 25th, 35th, various 40th's, and production model 50th's. 

    1. 1956 Stratocaster Relic 50th Anniversary, (headstock/neck), (sample of relic wear), (case&accessories).  Features include Aztec Gold finish with gold hardware, gold anodized pickguard, V-shaped neck, finish checking and misc dings as well as fretboard "wear", aged hardware, and 50th Anniversary neckplate.  Nice lightweight Strat at 7.8 lbs.  Unplayed condition with Tweed case, opened accessory bag, and COA.  Store priced at $3500 (would be higher with the new '09 price list), but this one's never retailed and perfect, and just $2799.  

    2. 1960 Stratocaster Relic 50th Anniversary, (headstock/neck), (sample of relic wear), (case&accessories).  Features include Aztec Gold finish with gold hardware, "matching" headstock - Aztec gold, C-shaped "slab board" neck with clay dot inlays, finish checking and misc dings, aged hardware, and 50th Anniversary neckplate.  Nice lightweight Strat at 7.4 lbs.  Unplayed condition with Brown Tolex case, opened accessory bag, and COA.  Store priced at $3500 but this one's never retailed and perfect, and just $2699(SOLD).  

  22. 2007 Fender '69 Stratocaster Relic w/mods, (front/back), (headstock), (body/neck markings), (pickguard assembly), (cert/plate), (case).  All original '69 Relic with the exception of the body, which has been replaced with a USA Fender Highway One, nitro finish, buffed out and ready for a relic treatment.  It would be a good choice for somebody who wants the tone and feel of a '69 but wants to play a clean guitar, pretty much like a Closet Classic.  In place of the stock small vintage frets this guitar now has medium jumbo frets, Stew-Mac 154 fret wire, with a pro job by AL&M with $300 job order in the case.  These frets are considerably larger than the stock vintage frets and compared with Dunlop 6105, the 154 fret wire is wider but not quite as tall (6105=.090 X .055; 154=.100 X .050).  As is common with a refret away from vintage frets, it was also re-radiused away from the vintage rounded fretboard, now with a flatter radius to prevent the fretting out common on vintage radii.  Other than the body and trem, this guitar is an original '69 Relic, including complete pickguard assembly with the famed Abigail Ybarra gray-bottom '69 pickups.  These pickups really define the tone of this guitar, with a bell chime not found on the other Relic models.  For a good demo of these pickups, click here for Fender.  Neck is a very comfortable U-shape with typical finish checking on the headstock as well as some dings and scrapes - plus some moderate flame on back.  Other features include American Vintage tremolo with large block and bent saddles, 3-way and 5-way switches included, Fender/Schaller F-tuners, Nickel/chrome hardware, 3-ply parchment pickguard, 1.65" nut width, large 60's headstock with truss rod at butt end, master volume, neck pickup tone, middle pickup tone controls.  Other than a relic appearance to the headstock, this guitar is very clean and with the body buffed out looks more like a Closet Classic than a Relic.  These Highway bodies have thin nitro finishes and relic very well if you want to make it a project.  With the cost of a new '69 Relic at $3099, or even a Closet Classic at $2999, this one is around 1/2 the price, sounds as nice, and for players who don't like small frets has a $300 fret job to make it a much better playing guitar.  Own this one or just $1550.  Includes original era-correct G&G/Fender Tolex case with chrome logo and orange lining, Fender strap, ash tray, polishing cloth, certificate, 3-way switch (5-way installed), sticker, manual, etc.  

  23. 2009 Fender Vintage Modified Squier Strat SSS - Metallic Red, (front), (headstock), (back).  Top of the line Squier with classic looks, excellent playability, and nice tone.  This one is a vintage modified "Vintage Modified", with the red MOTO pickguard and stark white plastic parts replaced with a parchment pickguard and parchment parts (stock look vs. upgraded look).  Now this Vintage Modified more closely resembles a vintage model.  The body is Indian red cedar, which is a departure from the usual alder, ash, or occasional mahogany, but is a good sounding wood in its own right.  A trio of Duncan Designed Alnico V single coils sound very good.  22-frets maple neck with a rosewood board has a modern 9.5" radius that plays very well and doesn't fret out on bends.  It has good quality hardware with die-cast chrome tuners and a vintage style tremolo with stamped saddles.  This model sells new for $349.  With all parchment parts, this guitar looks better than stock, is in super clean condition, and $100 cheaper at $249.  

  24. 2006 Fender Standard Stratocaster - Black w/Maple Board, (front/back), (headstock), (pickup/pots), (case).  To many this is *the* look in an Strat, black with a maple fretboard, favored largely due to the Clapton "Blackie" vibe.  I just posted an identical American model last week but here's one that's just as nice but more affordable.  As we always have plenty of spare pickups laying around we did one nice upgrade, changing the bridge pickup to a Custom Shop 50's with cloth wires.  Since a lot of players use the bridge pickup 90% of the time I figured this one pickup would give the most bang for the buck.  It also features USA pots and switch so you're guaranteed no hassle with the electronics for a long time.  Included is the original pickup and a new trem bar (pic here).  Standard Strats are very good quality and I've seen quite a few guys in bar bands earning money playing their Mex Strats.  This one is in beautiful shape with no noteworthy flaws and one of the best setups you'll find with low action all the way up the neck as shown here at the 12th fret.  Great setup, nice tone, beautiful shape and even with the Custom 50's, priced less than a new stock one at just $429 with gigbag.  

  25. 2003 Fender American Series Stratocaster, (front), (headstock), (back), (case).  The classic look in an American Strat, black with a maple fretboard, for the Clapton "Blackie" vibe.  I've posted 100's of USA Strats over the years and most of you know all about them.  Prior to the satin finished Highway Series, these were the best value in an American Strat and remain largely unchanged since their debut in the fall of '86.  In '00 Fender re-named them, going from American "Standard" to American "Series" and incorporated a few changes, doing away with the "swimming pool" pickup route, incorporating more detailed fret and nut work, hand-rolling fretboard edges, pickups became staggered pole, and new staggered-height tuners which eliminated one of the string trees.  Whether it's the 80's/90's Standards, the '00-'07 Series, or the current Standard (again), these guitars represent the evolution of the original Strat created in 1954.  Fender has made some stumbles along the way but they definitely were back on track when the American Standard was released.  This one is in beautiful shape with no noteworthy flaws and has seen very little playing time.  Great setup, nice weight, an a lovely American Series for $775. Includes SKB molded case that's identical to Fender other than the badge says "SKB".  

  26. 2007 Fender Classic Player 50's Stratocaster - 2Tone Sunburst,  (front/back), (headstock), (info tag), (gigbag/acc.).  (Whoever inquired last week, I just found the last one of these).   Never retailed - not a scratch.  This guitar was designed by Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Dennis Galuszka and features a blend of the old and the new, something Fender has been featuring throughout much of their line the past 2 years, and like the Baja Tele I posted yesterday, this whole series uses top quality pickups, electronics, and hardware, at a price that's around 1/2 of an American Vintage series.  In my opinion, these guitars are 90% as good - at 50% of the price, i.e. an excellent value for your money.  Features include a very thin poly gloss finish over 2-tone sunburst, alder body, maple "C" shape neck with modern 9.5" radius maple fingerboard, 21 medium jumbo frets, 3 USA Vintage '57/'62 pickups, 5 way pickup selector, chrome hardware with Gotoh vintage style locking tuning machines, custom 2 point vintage style tremolo bridge, Custom Shop designed neck plate and aged plastic parts.  When Fender lowered their prices on most of their guitars this one dropped from $1109 to $799 which made it a very sweet deal.  Sweeter still is this dead mint beauty priced at just $679 - and set-up better than factory specs.  Includes Fender deluxe gigbag, tags, and sealed acc. bag. 

  27. 2000 Fender '60's Classic Stratocaster - Lake Placid Blue, (front/back), (headstock), (case).  Get the 60's vibe in a cool custom color, Lake Placid Blue Metallic, in this extremely clean 60's Classic.  Features vintage C-shaped maple neck with rosewood fretboard, solid Alder body, small headstock with spaghetti logo and vintage-tinted gloss neck, vintage Alnico pickups with staggered magnets, vintage synchronized tremolo with stamped steel saddles, aged plastic parts, and vintage 7.25" fretboard radius.  This guitar looks like it was played for a month and put under away in the closet for a decade; no player's wear at all.  With a list price of $999, these sell online and at the super stores for $699 with gigbag but why buy new when you can have this beauty for less, with a an absolutely killer set up and INCLUDES a nice TKL case, which is in mint condition except for a small crack in the lid.  Just $569 SOLD-Local for guitar with the case.  

  28. 2003 Fender Classic 70's Stratocaster, (front/back), (headstock/fretboard).  Fender waited for years before they came out with a 70's reissue.  Years before this model, Fender capitalized on the popularity of Pre-CBS era Strats with this 50's and 60's reissues.  Eventually, the early 70's Stag pole, white guard Strats started soaring in price which was an indicator that a large headstock/"bullet" truss rod model would be well received.  Features all the classic appointments of the early 70's including F-tuners, large headstock with bullet and CBS-era black/gold bold logo, skunk stripe neck, 3-bolt neck attachment with "micro-tilt", stag pole pickups, U-shaped maple neck, 3-ply pickguard and vintage tremolo.  This one in Natural finish also features a lightweight swamp ash body.   This guitar is hard to beat in terms of vibe and tone at this price range and it's in super clean shape.  This came in as a very mediocre player but Martin spent a few hours transforming it into a guitar that's really nice to play.  List on a new one is $999 but this beautiful barely used one is $529 with Fender gigbag.  

  29. Fender Bullet Strat 1HB - Black w/upgrades, (front), (headstock), (back).   Nice playing budget Strat with two cool upgrades.  The stock pickup on this model is, well, not good.  This one has an Ibanez V8 bridge pickup, taken from a Prestige RG1570, and it really sings.  Most stock Bullets tend to sound shrill at best; lifeless at worst.  This one sounds like a good guitar.  The other upgrade is strictly ego.  The headstock has been stripped of the Bullet logo and a vintage style Fender logo in its place.  With the small headstock, it has the look of an '82 "Smith" Strat.  This is a hardtail model, a better choice for players who don't use a trem.  It stays in tune during bends and double-stops, and doesn't go out of tune if you break a string.  With it's all-black looks, it's a good choice for the seeker of dangerous looking guitars.  Overall in beautiful condition, other than some wood chips around the tuners where another set of tuners was once installed.  For a guitar with nice action and frets properly finished, a lot of guitar for $99.  

  30. 1994 40th Anniversary Fender American Standard Stratocaster, (pic2), (pic3).  Everybody needs one of these in their Strat collection.  Not really rare, other than they were only made for one year, and specs are all American Standard, with the exception of a commemorative neckplate which proclaims the year, model, and phrase, "40 years...and still rockin'", as well as a red/white/blue badge on the headstock, both shown here.   Overall excellent condition.  We've buffed out the body to a high gloss, removing 95% of the light scratches; frets show only minor wear on the lower few frets.  Not dead mint but what I'd call very nice for a lightly used guitar.  Even though Fender made many 1000's of this model, virtually every American Standard during 1994, they certainly have investment potential over and above a comparable '93 or '95 with the same features.  The good news is that at 17 years, they're still a good buy, selling just slightly higher than other Strats from this era and not priced so high that you're afraid to take it out on a gig.  A very collectable and very clean 40th is a very good buy when they're less than a new one; this one's just $850.  Includes similarly nice original "red badge" Fender case and trem bar.  

  31. 1989 Fender (Korea) Squier II Stratocaster, (front/back), (headstock).  Folks seem to really like the Squier II series, which was Fender's second run at the Squier series, after the Fender Japan Squiers proved to be cost-prohibitive.  As the 80's came to a close, Japan's economy was thriving and the increased labor cost forced Fender to search elsewhere for manufacturing the Squier Series, leading them to Korea and the Young Chang corporation, where this guitar was built.  During this same timeframe Fender was also producing a lot of the Contemporary Squiers, which came in different pickup configurations and featured a body with different contours and no pickguard.  The Standard Squiers, such as this model, are widely regarded as being superior to the Chinese and Indonesian models which followed in the 90's and 00's.  Just one change to this guitar - original pickup covers have been swapped out with solid (no visible poles) covers (shown here), which, along with the black body and maple fretboard, give it the look of a Clapton Blackie.  Overall nice shape for a used guitar, with fine scratches front and back but nothing through the finish and the body shines up nicely.  Nice Strat for $239 with gigbag.  

  32. Fender Deluxe Powerhouse Stratocasters - from the Deluxe Series come these upscale Standard Series with all the vintage features you know and love, with the main difference being *tone*, namely the Fender "Powerhouse" ultra quiet pickup system, with pickups designed specifically for this model.  The other feature that sets this one apart is the active mid-boost circuit (9V battery), adding up to 12db of mid-boost, much like the Clapton signature Strat.  You can still get the Strat shimmering clean but turn up the mid boost and the guitar fattens up to a tone that's almost like a humbucker.  Battery will last for a year or two if unplugged when not in use and is easily accessible via a "door" on the back of the guitar, a much-improved system over removing the pickguard to get to the battery.  Get all the info here, at Fender's site.  I have a number of these in stock, all in mint or actual NOS condition and each includes deluxe Fender gigbag and paperwork - plus a pro setup that's better than factory.  With a regular Mex Standard Strat selling for $549, these are better guitars and $50 less.  

  33. 2005 Fender Satin Fat Squier Strat, New, Old stock and unplayed.  Very nice Strat for the money.  Solid Mahogany body with a very cool natural finish and satin lacquer which allows the guitar to resonate better and has a broken-in feel to boot.  Pickups are very good for this price range with a Duncan-Designed humbucker and a pair of Alnico single coils.  Other features are matching headstock, chrome knobs, and no-pickguard design that looks pretty classy.  Specs are on the Squier Site here.  These are a $415 list and sell everywhere at $249-$299.  This one is new-old-stock and perfect and priced at $229 WITH  a free Fender gigbag and a nice setup.  

  34. Fender Squier Neck-Thru Showmaster Deluxe, (front/back), (headstock), (double-locking lic. Floyd Rose), (neck-thru).  New—never retailed and perfect.  I just *found* this guitar in a mis-labeled box where it had set for several years.  The Showmaster Deluxe is an excellent quality import from Korea.  Don't let the Squier name throw you.  The early models were called Squier but a year or two later the same guitars were produced without the Squier label.  Man, I wish they had guitars of this quality when I was coming up.   Back then you had to spend $500 to get something decent, or $300 got you a very poor guitar.  This one is quality all around:  Neck-thru construction, good hardware including an excellent licensed double-locking Floyd Rose tremolo, good quality pickups, immaculate Shoreline Gold Metallic finish.  Although labeled "Stagemaster", this model was actually called the "Showmaster", which distinguished it from the bolt-on model.  List price when produced was $583 but this one will come to you fully set-up, never played, and just $299

  35. USA Customs Stratocaster w/Fishman Acoustic Bridge (close-up pick depicts actual green color), (pic2 - back pic taken with flash to show color), (neck pic - shows orangish vintage tint).   For those of you who aren't familiar with USA Customs, they've built a solid following, initially via Ebay sales and more recently directly from their web site, www.usacustomguitars.com, offering quality guitar parts and completed guitars, made to order.  I've had 2 of them in the past, both excellent guitars, but it worked out such that I needed to part them out rather than sell them whole.  I'm going to give this one a try as a complete guitar and begin by stating that the quality is at least as good as USA Fender, definitely pro quality in all regards.  Starting with an Alder body that's a nice light/medium weight, with a pearloid pickguard loaded with Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups - with CTS pots and switch.  You might recognize the bridge (pic here) as being identical to a PRS bridge and you're correct - It's a "Mann Made", the same suppliers for PRS bridges.  This particular bridge is the Fishman VMV Mannmade, which has piezo saddles which offer a pretty nice acoustic tone out of an electric guitar.  The output jack is a stereo jack and with a Y-cable, which can be included, you can send your electric tones  to one amp; your acoustic tones to an acoustic amp or mixing board.  There are also a number of wiring options which can be used but for now it's wired in the most basic layout.  This guitar has seen very little playing time and is in really nice shape.  Last owner paid $1200, which is reasonable for a quality USA guitar with these features.  If you want some great Strat tones, with the flexibility of an acoustic bridge, here's a really nice way to go - just $850 with case.  Note: Fender vintage logo can be installed for $25 to $50 (including parts & labor), depending on the style of installation.  This is a very nice Strat and...did I mention...just 7.2 lbs!  

  36. 1990 Fender USA Squier Stratocaster, (front/back), (headstock).  Very lightweight for this model - only 7 lbs. on the nose.  Fairly rare model, although I get in one every other year or so, but these were only made from around '89-'90 and from my understanding, were made for export only so any that are circulating were originally sold outside the USA and at some point were repatriated.  These are good quality guitars for the money with many features much the same as the American Standard of the era including the swimming pool route under the guard and Fender/Ping tuners on this model, although I've seen Fender/Gotoh and Gotoh on other examples.  This is a killer player and it's highly recommended for guys and gals who like their action low - or players who want a Clapton without the Clapton price tag.  Overall pretty nice shape with no major flaws and a good value on a USA Strat, and the lightest USA Squier I've had, at $499 with modern Fender case.  

  37. 2003 Fender Squier Jimmy Shine Showmaster, new—never retailed, Ltd. Ed. model to commemorate Calif. Speed Shop Owner Jimmy Shine, features the SO-CAL logo on the guitar and a matching T-shirt.  The guitar itself is a cool, straight-ahead rock animal with just a single screaming humbucker and volume control.  Strings-thru-body for increased sustain, reverse headstock, black hardware, thin & fast 24-fret neck with rosewood board, best value for a new Fender and includes padded gigbag.  Listed at $499, Sale price $239.  This is an excellent playing guitar that I recommend for the player who wants simplicity and one good tone, rather than versatility.  Includes original gigbag, tags, and T-shirt.  

  38. 1990 Fender USA Squier Stratocasters:  How about a pair?  USA Squier #684 and USA Squier #338 (#338 is sold).  These are pretty rare models, made for a year or two 20 years ago.  Both of these are insanely clean with the only notable flaw being some very minor finish checking that was minor that it was impossible to photograph.  Both of these have rosewood fretboard with the vintage style truss adjustment at the butt end and the body route, like the American Standard from this era, is the swimming pool which will accommodate any pickup layout without modification.  These guitars are basically identical with the only difference being aged covers and knobs on #338.  Setup on both is excellent and are a cool and cheaper alternative to an American Standard at $450 with gigbag.

  39. 2004 Fender Squier Affinity Strat and Fender Frontman 15G Amp, (front), (back), (headstock), (amp panel and back).  Excellent outfit for the beginner or the player getting back into guitar after an extended break.  You can't go wrong buying a real deal Fender, regardless of the series.  Stores who push cheaper Fender copies always say that you're paying extra for the Fender name but having had an assortment of copies and plenty of Fender Squiers I can say that the real Fender models are consistently better guitars.  Finished in Candy Apple Red, this guitar looks and sounds like the Strats you've known and loved all your life with 5 distinct classic Strat tones including the searing bridge (lead tone), smooth and jazzy neck tone, and hollow "Sultans of Swing" tones in positions 2 and 4.  The Candy Red finish with rosewood fretboard and large headstock gives this guitar the look of a 60's custom color Strat and this baby's in beautiful condition having spent nearly all of it's 8 years sitting in the box.  Along with this guitar I'm including the Fender Frontman 15G amp, complete with classic "blackface" panel cosmetics and silver grill cloth.  This is far from a base model amp with the kind of features normally found on amps at 3X the price.  It features dual channels, "Normal" and "Drive", selectable via a pushbutton switch.  The Normal channel has a sparkling clean tone, the type of tone that made Fender amps the choice of pro's since the 50's, while the Drive channel is perfect for hard rock and metal tones.  With a separate Volume and Gain controls you can get maximum distortion, when desired, without having to turn the amp up to a disturbing volume.  Rather than a simple "tone" control found on many small amps, the 15G features a 3-band EQ so you can dial in your preference of Bass, Mids, and Treble.  It also features an "Aux In" stereo input to practice along with CD, tape, IPod, etc., as well as a "Headphone" output for private practice.  Both guitar and amp are in excellent condition and in the case of the Strat, better than new with an in-house setup that's guaranteed to be better than anything handing new in a store.  This is important, especially to beginners, since a guitar that doesn't play easily discourages practice and frequently causes frustration and giving up on a potentially rewarding hobby.  Here's the deal:  Squier Affinity Strat sells new for $179 everywhere but buy this one at $179, and I'll throw in the Frontman 15G for free, as well as include a strap, cable, picks, and starter digital tuner.  Back in the 60's this is what I paid for my no-name guitar and amp, neither of which was near the quality of this outfit.    


  1. 1989 Fender American Standard Telecaster, (front1  front2), (back), (headstock), (case).  I'm not getting in nearly as many of these as in years past.  Most 80's Fenders are either in the hands of collectors, or as these were workhorse guitars, heavily worn and barely worth utility value.  An American Standard that made it through the 90's and 00's with only light occasional use simply doesn't come in every week.  I've listed the specs of this guitar so often that I won't waste the space, other than mentioning this is a medium weight, Alder body, in original condition.  Overall this guitar is in beautiful shape with minimal scratches in the clear coat, excellent frets, clean fretboard, bright hardware, etc.  Only exception is a small area of worn finish on the back edge (shown here) where the color is a little lighter, which isn't noticable except in proper lighting.  Overall, exceptionally nice for 20+ years.  80's Fenders have taken off on the vintage market, commanding prices $100's higher than comparable 90's models but they're still within easy reach of players and collectors on a budget.  This nice example is just $899 with Fender "red badge" molded case.  
  2. ca. 1998 Fender Tele Jr., (front), (headstock), (back), (case).  I haven't had one of these in years, and if you're talking ones with the "Tele Jr" logo, it's been around 10 years.  From my experience, these are the most rare, and all of them have been tobacco sunburst.  Some of you will remember a shoreline gold Jr. I had some years back that was from a small run in that color, and there were a number of small runs in various colors, as well as a bunch that were called the "Set Neck Telecaster", but this is THE one as far as I'm concerned.  It's the only one where Fender was bold enough to call it a Junior right on the headstock, with the woods and finish of a Junior.  What might be obvious is the fact that  many of its construction and electronic features, like the all-mahogany construction, set-in neck, tortoise guard glued to the body, and P-90-style pickups, are more similar to those of a Gibson Les Paul Junior (hence the name) or LP Special.  If you're a Junior/Special fan you'll appreciate this guitar, which holds its own with Gibsons versions.  Here's a comparison pic to one of the many Ltd Ed runs, which looks much more like a Tele and less like a Jr, with larger screw on pickguard, painted finish, and plain Fender logo.  This guitar has a searing tone, fatter than a Tele tone but not unlike a Tele in its articulation and clarity.  Cosmetically, it's very near mint.  The only flaw I see is a miniscule finish impression 1/2 the size of a grain of rice on the top, in the clear coat only.  No scratches or wear otherwise.  The setup is fantastic and with its light weight, it's a very comfortable guitar to play.  No certificate with this one but at least you know on a set neck that it's not a Parts-O-Caster.  A super nice Custom Shop for $1750.  
  3. 1999 Fender Standard Telecaster - Electric Blue, (front/back), (headstock).  Very nice shape other than a few finish touch-ups on the back edge (as shown here) which were color matched nicely.  Fender's original electric, the Tele has remained virtually unchanged since 1952.  The original workhorse guitar, the Tele doesn't feature the sexy curves of a Strat, with it's signature single-cutaway slab body, string-thru-body bridge, dual pickups with master volume and tone, and small headstock.  With that said, there's nothing that has the twang of a Tele, which makes it a favorite of country artists but it also fits very well into rock and blues.  Roy Buchannon, Danny Gatton, Keith Richards, Brent Mason, and my favorite, Brad Paisley, are but a few of the great guitarists who built their signature tone with a Tele.  The Standard Tele is the bang-for-the-buck winner in the Fender stable and features pickups which look identical to the American Standard, USA pots and switch, and Fender/Ping tuners.  Great setup; frets are in excellent shape and it hasn't seen a lot of playing time.  With a new Standard Tele going for $499, here's one in a popular discontinued color, set up better than factory, for just $339.  Includes Fender gigbag.  
  4. 1978 Fender Telecaster - Black w/Rosewood Board, (front), (back), (headstock), (neck/pocket markings), (case).  You want vintage vibe, you've got it.  This guitar has the mojo everyone looks for in a vintage Tele and one or two stories to tell.  The good news - it's original finish with no humbucker routes or other major modifications to the body.  The bad news - someone reshaped the ball of the headstock slightly (shown here).  Why?  Anybody's guess.  The good news is it's barely noticeable and doesn't affect the integrity of the guitar in the least.  The only modifications - the control cavity has been professionally deepened slightly on one side (shown here), probably to allow a 9V battery at some time in the past, and the output jack has been changed from the "cup" style to a flat LP style.  Pickups are USA Vintage '52 with cloth wires and original vintage design, with plenty of Tele quack and a spanky twang that makes you want to pick it up whenever you hear a new Brad Paisley lick.  Frets have been freshly dressed so there aren't any dishes in the frets.  It is set up with low action and plays nicely for chord work, although it frets out in a few spots on string bends.  If preferred, we can raise it to medium action for clear bends.  The body has a typical aged patina which can be buffed out to a high gloss if desired, but we generally only do that upon request on vintage instruments.  This is the era with the thick clear coat under the finish, with a thin painted coat, so it's worn through around the edge a bit, primarily where the forearm comes over the top.  It's typical weight for the era, i.e. not light.  If you don't want to $2500 for a 100% example, here's one with original finish, a cool vibe, at 1/2 the cost; just $1250.  Includes Fender tweed case. 
  5. Custom Nashville Tele Style - Floyd Rose, (front), (back), (side), (headstock/neck), (detail-top), (trem).  Very cool hand-built Tele style with some unusual features.  This guitars started with a Korina body blank bought from Ebay, which was sent to Chris Woods (link), for shaping into a Tele style with a very deep belly cut for optimum comfort and recessed back plates.  The neck is from a craftsman who used to sell hand-made necks on Ebay and is a quality made neck in all regards, made of zebra wood, with a rosewood fretboard, abalone dots, and medium jumbo frets.  Pickups are a DiMarzio Breed in the bridge, with Fender Tele pickups in middle and bridge, wired to a 5-way, mounted on a Fender Blackout Tele pickguard.   The licensed Floyd Rose is a good quality one, not the cheap cast pot metal type with the blade inserts. It's a hardened plate, stays in tune, and should be in service for many years.  It also features CTS pots, PIO capacitor, and Schaller strap locks.  The assembly and set up on this guitar are very good, with a natural vibe - thin sealer coat on the neck for a very fast feel, with a hand-rubbed Stew Mac Colortone, with a nitro lacquer on top.  It's somewhere between a satin and semi-gloss in appearance.  If you're looking for a Tele that doesn't sound like a Tele, and has the benefit of a double-locking tremolo, here's a nice handmade USA model, for just $499(HOLD-Richard or Chris G).  Includes a used hardshell case. 
  6. 2011 Fender Classic Series 60's Telecaster, (front), (back), (headstock), (fretboard), (gigbag).  Unplayed condition, with plastic still on the pickguard and not a flaw anywhere.  Excellent vibe and tone for a fraction of the real thing.  I've been very impressed with Fender's Classic series and they probably provide the best value for the money of any Fender's line-up.  I mean...a Fender that's good enough to play out with for under $700?   Setup is excellent, stays in tune very well, and the tone is classic Tele twang.  The 60's Classic features dual single-coil Alnico pickups, vintage bridge and saddles, knurled chrome knobs, alder body, C-shaped maple neck with a very dark rosewood fingerboard, vintage 7.25" radius, 21 vintage size frets, 3-ply mint pickguard, synthetic bone nut, Fender/Ping vintage tuners, and vintage Spaghetti logo.  These sell for $699 in stores and online but this one is "as new", with a great in-house set up for just $499(HOLD-Joe 7/7).  Includes Fender deluxe gigbag.  
  7. 2004 Fender 60's Reissue Tele with Warmoth neck, (front), (headstock/neck), (back).  New set of active EMG-T pickups for that classic twang with zero hum or noise.  For the player who wants something a wider than the stock Mex neck, with a natural feel, this Warmoth looks great, plays great, and feels great.  It  has perfectly finished frets, abalone dot inlays, Fender Japan/Gotoh tuners, 60's logo, and wide 1 11/16" nut.  Body is a Fender 60's Classic from 2004 in flawless Olympic white finish.  If you're looking for something  little more unique than a stock 60's Reissue ($$699 online), with a better neck and a killer set of pickups, this one's immaculate and $50 less than a stock 60's Classic at $650 with original deluxe gigbag.  Note:  I have an original '2004 Fender 70's Reissue Tele neck (maple board - CBS logo) that we can swap out at a lower cost.  
  8. 2007 Fender Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster Custom II, (front/back), (headstock).  These vintage modified Squiers have the vibe of some classic Fender styles for a fraction of an original model.  Many of them aren't even made as a USA model so if you're looking for a '70's Tele Custom, the only choice are imports - if you're looking for one with P90's, this is the only one.  Speaking of which, I'm a fan of Duncan Designed pickups.  Are they as good as regular Seymours?  Well, almost, but for guitars that only cost a few hundred bucks, the pickups definitely aren't a "weak" area of the guitar.  This one has the vibe of a '72 Tele Custom with dual soapbar pickups and, like the original, a huge 3-ply pickguard with large amp style knobs, two volumes and two tones, controlled by a 3-way selector on the upper horn.  Features include Agathis body, maple neck, medium-jumbo frets, hardtail bridge, string-thru-body design, and good quality sealed tuners.  The setup on this guitar is excellent with low action and no problems during 2-fret bends and it's in exceptionally clean shape.  I pass up a lot of Squiers and only pick up ones that I consider the "good ones".  You can get a new one for $229 but if you want one that's set up by a pro and definitely better than the average new one in a store, this one's $185(HOLD-Chris C 1/18).  Just for the heck of it, we'll offer a partial logo-job ("rough sketch" here) with a 70's black and gold "Fender" logo, leaving the rest of the logo.  Cost for this is $70 which includes lacquering over the logo and wet sand between coats. 
  9. 2005 Fender Telecaster Custom, (pic2), (pic3).  The Tele-style equivalent to the Showmaster and another one of Fender's recent upscale imports.  I've had around a dozen of these and every one has been an impressive guitar in all regards.  The Tele Custom features sleek looks - great comfort and playability - and a new take on a Tele.  Mahogany body and set mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard and 6-saddle string-thru-body hardtail bridge provide great resonance and longer sustain.  Pickups are stock DiMarzio's with coil splitter on both pickups which, along with the 3-way, yields 6 quality single-coil and humbucker tones.  Cast sealed tuning machines keep tuning spot-on while a stunning high-gloss finish with cream binding on both the body and neck, lend a very elegant look.  Also features large Abalone dot inlays and a super flat 15.75" radius.  These sell new for $629 ($899 list) and include no case or gigbag.   This one is in showroom condition and *includes* a quality featherlight case for less.  Just $565 with the case, plus, manual, and tools.  This is a whole lot of guitar for the money in my opinion.


  1. 2005 Fender CG-7 Classical, new-old-stock, good quality classical that features Spruce top and Meranti back/sides.  If you don't have a nylon string in your guitar collection, here's an inexpensive way to get started.  Fender builds quality into all their guitars, even imports such as this one, but the price is around what you'll pay for an off brand at $129.  Ships set-up but never retailed, in original factory box. 

  2. Fender Stratacoustic - Black, good choice for electric players who want that familiar feel when they switch to an acoustic guitar.  Features laminated spruce tops, one-piece fiberglass bodies, and electric guitar necks - with the classic Fender headstock.  Amplification provided by a good quality Fishman Classic 4.  These aren't particularly nice acoustic guitars, but plugged in, they do an amplified acoustic quite nicely and can do the job for that one or two acoustic songs every set.  New, old stock, and unplayed - plus a setup prior to shipping that's guaranteed to be better than factory - including dressing the fret ends when necessary.  Includes Fender gigbag with tune-up kit with wrench, extra saddle, and shim.  List price in '05 was $428 - these are nicely discounted to $249, set up and ready to gig.  Listed at $428, discounted to $249.  

  3. Fender DG-22CE acoustic/electric, beautiful flamed maple all around with a good-sounding Fishman preamp, overall in nice shape other than dings on the back of headstock by a sustaining clamp.  List price was $730 but this one's in very nice shape for a used guitar and just $225(HOLD-Ron M, local 1/19).