Guitar Notes with Brian Baggett

Fender Custom Shop Gold at NAMM '17

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Just arrived: Some very special, limited edition Fender Custom Shop guitars!

This year at the 2017 NAMM Show Fender gave dealers a shot at purchasing some very special guitars by entering a lottery, and I’m happy to report Musician’s Friend Private Reserve did very well. We recently received our allotment, and in this edition of Guitar Notes I’ll spotlight a quartet of the rare beauties we scored.

Fender is celebrating the Custom Shop’s 30th anniversary this year and their luthiers have gone all out in building some unbelievable handmade instruments that gloriously reinforce Fender’s legacy. Available in limited editions exclusively at 2017 NAMM, let’s take a more in-depth look.

Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition '63 Journeyman Relic Stratocaster 3-Color Sunburst Sparkle

A limited edition Strat custom-built for NAMM, the Limited Edition '63 Journeyman Relic Stratocaster 3-Color Sunburst Sparkle is a stunner. It starts with a select alder body in 3-tone sunburst sparkle with a Journeyman Relic lacquer finish. The light Relic treatment on the sparkleburst is very attractive, giving it a classic vibe. The beautiful birdseye maple neck with 1960s-style oval "C" back shape plays very comfortably with its 9.5" radius and 21 - 6105 frets. The 3-ply parchment pickguard is loaded with hand-wound 60/63 pickups with a reverse wound reverse polarity middle pickup. The control layout includes a 5-way switch with Vintage Modified Wiring #2 (Vol / Tone 1 (Neck & Mid) / Tone 2 (Bridge) and Treble Bleed Tone Saver). Equipped with vintage-style hardware and a bone nut, it comes with a Limited Edition Certificate of Authenticity and Fender Custom Shop 30th Anniversary decal.

Limited Edition '63 Journeyman Relic Stratocaster 3-Color Sunburst Sparkle

Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition Journeyman Relic Jazzmaster - Desert Sand

Note: This guitar has since been sold.

The Custom Shop builds the Limited Edition Journeyman Relic Jazzmaster - Desert Sand using a lightweight alder body in Desert Sand with Fender’s Journeyman Relic lacquer finish. The star of the show, however, is its amazing rosewood neck with 1962 Jazzmaster "C" profile. Ultra smooth, it’s dark expanse is a pleasure to both play and gaze on. The rosewood fingerboard has a 9.5" radius and 6105 frets. Gold anodized Jazzmaster pickguard looks great against the Desert Sand body. They’re a little higher output than traditional single-coils and have a very clear sound. This guitar sounds really clean even when used with effects. It features Closet Classic hardware including an RSD J-Bridge and vintage-style tuning machines with Fender logo. It’s finished with a bone nut, Limited Edition engraved neckplate, Certificate of Authenticity and a Fender Custom Shop 30th Anniversary decal.

Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition Journeyman Relic Jazzmaster - Desert Sand

Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition '59 Heavy Relic Stratocaster Electric Guitar Aged Black

Among the guitars we nabbed at NAMM, this is my favorite. The Limited Edition '59 Heavy Relic Stratocaster Electric Guitar Aged Black is based on a select alder body in black with a heavy Relic lacquer finish. The distressing on this Strat is a work of art. It has a gold anodized pickguard with white pickups that looks amazing against the aged black body. Again, the standout feature on this beauty is the neck. This Strat has an unbelievable tinted, roasted, quartersawn maple neck. The figuring on the neck along with its feel sets this guitar apart from others. A rosewood fretboard, 6100 frets, a 9.5" radius and 59 “C” neck shape all contribute to its neck magic. Its loaded with hand-wound Texas Special pickups controlled by a 5-way switch with Vintage Modified Wiring #2 (Vol / Tone 1 (Neck & Mid) / Tone 2 (Bridge) with Treble Bleed Tone Saver). Vintage hardware, a Limited Edition Engraved neckplate, a Limited Edition Certificate of Authenticity and a Fender Custom Shop 30th Anniversary decal are finishing touches.

Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition '59 Heavy Relic Stratocaster Electric Guitar Aged Black

Fender Custom Shop Prestige Gold Leaf Telecaster NOS - Masterbuilt by Yuriy Shishkov Gold Leaf

I saved the rarest bird for last. This one-off Tele, masterbuilt by Yuriy Shishkov, has an alder body finished with an extravagant NOS urethane gold leaf finish. It’s double bound in tortoise shell and has a matching tortoise shell pickguard. The quartersawn maple neck is also finished in gold leaf and tortoise shell binding. The ebony fretboard has a 9.5 radius, medium jumbo frets and large “C” neck shape. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Fender Custom, a “XXX” is inlaid at the 12th fret. This one-of-a kind Tele is loaded with a Texas Special bridge pickup and TV Jones Power’Tron neck pickup. It’s fitted with an RSD Telecaster Bridge, deluxe hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity.

Fender Custom Shop Prestige Gold Leaf Telecaster NOS - Masterbuilt by Yuriy Shishkov

So there you have it—some of the finest limited-edition guitars fresh from NAMM 2017. Visit us online or call 866-926-1923 to delve deeper into these incredible instruments.

Read all Guitar Notes posts here.

Visit www.privatereserveguitars.com or contact Derek White directly at 866-926-1923. He can get you the absolute lowest price on your dream guitar. Connect with Private Reserve Guitars on Facebook and Instagram.

Brian Baggett Private Reserve Bio

Brian Baggett is Video Presenter for Musician’s Friend Private Reserve Guitars. He curates the Private Reserve guitar collection on video, visits guitar factories and works closely with luthiers and signature artists to gain insight into the greatest guitars being built today. He is also a professional guitarist playing several nights a week in the legendary Kansas City jazz scene. A former jazz guitar professor, Brian continues to teach and has a book and DVD titled Keys To Unlocking the Fretboard. Find Brian on Facebook and twitter.

Tags: Electric Guitars Fender Stratocaster Telecaster NAMM Guitar Notes Fender Jazzmaster

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