I previously posted a NGD thread about this guitar about 10 day's ago here:
Before this year I hadn't bought a new guitar since 2009. I've owned 50+ at times in the past but had downsized to the essential few and was very happy with them. The world went ass over tea kettle last year and between long days at home in lockdown and some savings burning a hole in my jockeys, I kinda went on a tear...buying several since March.
I had always wanted a Road Worn Strat but circumstances never gelled. Going through Reverb for hours, as is my wont, I found this 2016 Road Worn. The seller was cool and after a bit of haggling I bought it.
This past week and change has been pretty mind blowing. I dig this guitar so much and felt compelled to write this novella to see if any of my Strat Talk bretheren have had any similar experiences.
First off, I've played dozens of vintage Strat's. Never owned one, but I worked in a Mom & Pop music store that carried a lot of vintage gear. That said, I'm no expert by any means but I do know why those guitars are so revered (past the fact that their valuable).
This RW has some unbelievable volume and resonance played unplugged. I've never had an electric guitar that felt so 'alive' vibrating against my body. To me basic physics dictates that a piece of wood cacooned in a hard plastic shell is going to react differently than a lacquer finished one. This is the first nitro guitar I've owned and it's a palpable phenomenon.
Another thing that made this deal so sweet was that the previous owner had installed Custom Shop Custom '54 pickups in the guitar (the original Tex-Mex pups were included as well). These pickups are completely their own thing, nothing I have sounds like these.
Usually a set of pickups will have very different timbres and sound profiles based on the pickup engaged. For instance the Custom Shop Fat 50's in my American Standard have a pronounced difference between the positions. The bridge pup sounds like a bridge pup, if you get what I mean.
These 54's have a character that is present in all positions. Yes the bridge gets a bit spiky, but the while the neck warms up it doesn't totally sound different from the bridge if that makes sense. I mean it's hard to explain...there's a uniformity and cohesion with these pickups that is incredible to hear.
So I get this very clean, woody sparkle throughout the 5 positions. It's just insane. This RW has been my go to everytime I go into the studio, I just sit in front of the pedalboard and run through combinations. Just running through a Boss Blues Driver into a Keeley Abbey Chamber pedal for a hint of air sounds divine. The sustain is freaky; I'll yaggerjang an A chord Townshend style and the chord just floats for so long.
Enough self-fellation for now, I'm just curious if other Road Worn owners have experienced some of this stuff. I know they're very popular and well regarded but this is another level entirely. If I bought a Custom Shop Strat that felt and sounded like this I'd be completely satisfied.