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Fender Thin Skin '54 Strat vs Custom Shop '65

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by iTzScotia, May 9, 2012.

  1. iTzScotia

    iTzScotia Strat-Talk Member

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    Mendocino, CA
    Hello Strat-Talk. I am looking to purchase a new guitar. I have a choice between buying a Thin Skin Stratocaster and a Fender Custom Shop 1965 Stratocaster. They both have nitrocellulose finishes and they both seem like high quality guitars. Both beautiful. The Thin Skin Strat has Custom Shop '50s Pickups which I hear are grrrrrreat. The Custom Shop 1965 Strat has 1965 Vintage Pickups. From what I see, these aren't manufactured anywhere else. I haven't heard any sound samples but people say it really nails that Hendrix "Are You Experienced" tone and when clean has a piano type bell-tone. Very Stratty.

    The woods on both guitars look amazing, you can really see the grain. However, I like the finish on the Custom Shop Strat, the sunburst looks more orange. The finish is also very, very, very lightly reliced and and the parts are slightly aged.

    The price point on the Thin Skin is 1,799 and the price on the Custom Shop is 2,300. I was thinking that the Custom Shop would be a better long term investment as it is a rare guitar, moreso than the Thin Skin but I would have to shell out more cash which I could use for other things such as effects.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. CT Sean

    CT Sean Strat-Talker

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    Feb 21, 2012
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    If it were me, without having any pics to go by, I'd go for the Custom Shop - partly because I prefer the 60's look over 50's but also because, well, it's a Custom Shop.

    You should probably buy the one you want though, rather than the one I want. Out of curiosity, where is this $2300 CS (is it used??). I know Wildwood has the '54 thin skins but i dont see a '65 CS on their site. Some '60s bursts, both relic or NOS, but nothing anywhere near 2300
     
  3. iTzScotia

    iTzScotia Strat-Talk Member

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    Jan 25, 2010
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    The Custom Shop guitar is "used" but you certainly wouldn't know it. Wildwood is selling the Thin Skins while some seller on Ebay is selling the 1965 version.
     
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  5. dleuen

    dleuen Strat-O-Master

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    Littleton, CO. USA
    I own a 59 Thin skin. I'ts an absolutely amazing guitar in every respect. Having said that If I could afford either, I'd probably go for the CS. But you may also want to take into account the neck, frets, body weight or any other differences you might be overlooking. Either way I don't think you can go wrong.
     
  6. CT Sean

    CT Sean Strat-Talker

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    Assume this is the one you're talking about:

    2005 Fender Custom Shop 1965 Stratocaster Relic | eBay

    Interesting that it's a '65 but with a 50's style neck?? regardless I think I'd still opt for the CS if I had the money. Not being able to touch either one of them would certainly make for a difficult decision though.
     
  7. Vern41

    Vern41 Strat-Talk Member

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    Apr 3, 2012
    Location:
    Chicago
    Go with the "Thin Skin". It is new and comes from a reputable dealer. Also, thin skins are NOT mass produced, only a few are made for select dealers. Save yourself the $$$$...go with the "Thin Skin". Also let it be known (most here do know this I presume) that Fender's "Custom Shop" is 95% production..just a different team putting the parts together. If you really want a custom guitar, you need to order a one-off, or buy a masterbuilt.
     
  8. 32soundz

    32soundz Senior Stratmaster

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    I would love to have a thinskin but given the choice I would go for the custom shop every time. And correct me If I'm wrong but all the thinskins I've seem to have 3 piece bodies if you look closely.
     
  9. KnopflerFanatic

    KnopflerFanatic Strat-Talker

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    oh my god... that sunburst is beautiful
     
  10. iTzScotia

    iTzScotia Strat-Talk Member

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    Location:
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    It's not even because I want a "custom" guitar that I'd get a custom shop. It's just that I find that I like the sunburst material better on the custom shop and I just like the overall look of the guitar. They both have the same neck profile as from what I can see and I'm sure they'd make both great guitars.
     
  11. Vern41

    Vern41 Strat-Talk Member

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    I know if you call up Wildwood and explain the specific sunburst finish you are looking for, Steve will walk through his allotment with you in detail.
     
  12. Johnny V

    Johnny V Senior Stratmaster

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    They take nice pics of all of them, and they're very helpful based on my limited contact with them, but if a 3TSB is what appeals to him, there's not much a 2TSB can do about it.
     
  13. mrgurulus

    mrgurulus New Member!

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    May 11, 2012
    I have a original fender stratocaster 1965 but is restored. I want to sell it because I just play piano
     
  14. blueworm

    blueworm Senior Stratmaster

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    Hi,

    I suggest you go to the "pre-CBS" section of this forum, then open a new thread and post pics.
     
  15. BALIstic

    BALIstic Strat-O-Master

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    I have a 2005 65 NOS.....Mine is fantastic and the only guitar I have that I could definately say I will keep forever. It's the one I want my son to have down the track a way's. "Just Do It " !
     
  16. fezz parka

    fezz parka Senior Stratmaster

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    It depends mostly on what you want out of the neck. The 65 will be slimmer and rosewood. The 54 will be fatter and maple. I own an original '65 and the neck is very thin. But I love it anyway!:D

    The '65 is on the left:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. dmuncaster

    dmuncaster Strat-O-Master

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    I guess 'Time Machine Series' has more to say about the light relic finish, and less to do with historical accuracy?

    In any case, that CS is a fine looking instrument, regardless of the anachronistic details.
     
  18. 65strat

    65strat Strat-Talker

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    I have a 65 CS, and it has a rosewood board. They all do. Not sure what this one is exactly, but a 65 wouldn't have a maple neck.

    Joel
     
  19. dmuncaster

    dmuncaster Strat-O-Master

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    Well I don't know about this particular CS series, but from a historical point of view, it could have a maple neck if it was a late '65. But if so, then it should also be a larger headstock with no skunk stripe and have a 7.75" fb radius.
     
  20. 65strat

    65strat Strat-Talker

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    Not necessarily, the 65 relics from the custom shop came with 9.5 radius fretboards. Other than that one modification they are true to 65 specs.

    Joel
     
  21. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I gravitate to the '54 features, but that Thin Skin is massively overpriced.

    The '65 is not that easy to find, and that's a big hunk off its original street price.
     

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