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Is a Custom Shop Stratocaster REALLY Worth It?
Are Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster guitars worth all that extra money relative to a good quality standard model? Ask a random sample of guitar aficionados and you're likely to hear a wide variety of strongly-held views. When considering a Stratocaster, there's off-the-shelf Fender, boutique, other competitor S-types. Is there really a difference in the feel and tone of a Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster guitar? Is that $4,500 dollar price tag really worth it? Let's take a look at what makes the Custom Shop guitars different.
One thing to realize right off the bat... one of the biggest differences between an off-the-shelf Fender and a Custom Shop Fender is that the lower end Fender models are usually built in a factory. Machine precision cuts and all the same pickups and materials, these are the bread and butter of the Fender line of guitars. However, every Custom Shop Guitar that you'll ever see, has been hand built by one of Fender's Master Builders. And the materials, pickups, finishes, materials in general can range and vary extremely.
So, spoiler alert. The answer to the question "Is a Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster guitar really worth it?" is "YES!" To further explain why Custom Shop Guitars are worth the price point, we've broken it down to a few simple categories.
Quality. This is a given but absolutely worth mentioning. The only word I can think to use when describing a Custom Shop Stratocaster (taking into account the possibilities of physics and human ability) is "perfection." In a guitar world rapidly becoming driven towards a standardized quality of guitars manufactured in mega factories in China, by the same people who build blenders and toaster ovens, consistent top-notch quality is getting beyond rare! The knowledge that a Master Builder, someone who eats, sleeps, and breathes guitars, built the guitar you wish to own is quite a comforting feeling. Beyond just the build, and materials, is the sound and tone. Using the best woods, the best materials, and the best sounding pickups, you are left with an instrument that is quite simply, the best.
Artistry. The Master Builders at Fender are not just know-it-all gear heads with tech knowledge - they are also top-level, visionary artists. That's important. Think of it this way: what separates a truly magnificent painter from the average painter? It's their artistic vision, of course. Plenty of folks have went to art school and know all about the tools and techniques of producing a painting, but without a superior artistic vision, they will never see their art sold above "starving artist" prices. Same goes for guitar luthery, lots of folks out there know the tools and techniques, but will never produce a timeless classic without that same superior artistic vision.
Value. Not many guitars hold their value these days. Shoot, nearly any do. Custom Shop guitars generally do. So whether you're someone like me, who doesn't NEED a new guitar, or someone looking to invest in that first guitar, buying any Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster guitar is an "investment" that you can fully enjoy while it appreciates in value.
If three paragraphs isn't enough to convince you, come check out the Select Room at Sims Music and we will let the Custom Shop Guitars do the convincing for us. That's what's great about a Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster Guitar - it sells itself. Because it's a great guitar, for a price that is worth every penny.