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Custom Shop authenticity question

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Vindibona1, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. Vindibona1

    Vindibona1 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I happened to come across a Fender Custom Shop Strat recently but there were a couple things that I wouldn't thought would come from the Custom Shop. It was a heavily "relic'd" guitar and appeared to have a nitro finish rather than poly (but I didn't smell it). So my questions...

    1) Does Fender Custom Shop produce guitars without a serial on the headstock? Obviously I can't look inside the body and I neglected to look at the backplate.

    2) This particular guitar had a decal where it there was no attempt made to level the decal with the finish covering it.

    So, without asking for papers authenticating it as a CS model, do these two things jive with what might be produced by the custom shop? This one particular guitar felt really really nice. But I'm told it retails for around $4000.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. michaell

    michaell Senior Stratmaster

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    The authenticity is best established by the Fender Custom Shop Certificate. I own three Fender custom Shop Guitars and all three have the serial number on the back plate. I'm sure Fender Customer Service can help. 1-800-596-9690.
     
  3. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Absolutely that jives. USA and custom shop models have the decal on the headstock OVER the finish, just like what I think you describe. MIM and China Fender/Squier have them UNDER. There would also be no serial number but usually something stamped in the neck plate, and a certificate with that same number on it etc...
     
  4. FredC

    FredC Strat-Talker

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    There will be a red Custom Shop Stamp on the neck heel and in the pocket. If the seller won't show that to you, pass.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    You won't see many decals like that! That's the earliest one of three that the Custom Shop have used, & use of that one ended in the early to mid 1990s, so it's pretty rare.

    "Does Fender Custom Shop produce guitars without a serial on the headstock?"

    Of course - just like on the AVRIs, the serial number is usually on the neckplate. On the vintage style models the CS product will usually have a serial number with an R prefix, although the earliest CS guitars with the round decal may have a V prefix, like the AVRIs.

    All CS guitars should have one of the three different CS decals on the back of the headstock. Though don't be taken in by that alone - these CS decals are for sale on eBay so it's easy to slap one on a fake.

    As usual, Fender customer service are pretty helpful with confirming the details of a guitar if you send them the serial number & a link to some pics.
     
  6. blueworm

    blueworm Senior Stratmaster

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    There are different models of Custom shop. And there are also "designed by Custom Shop" (or whatever) strats out there - which are of much less value than CS.

    If it's heavy relic'ed then it is most likely a Time Machine series. It MUST have decal on top of finish, and SN engraved on neckplate, usually starting with 'R' (but not always), and the CS logo on back of headstock. Also such CS have their body with "Relic" stamped under the PG.
     
  7. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    "Custom Shop Designed" is meaningless yet still misleading guff. Fender should be ashamed of devaluing the CS name in this way. Strats & Teles were "designed" by Leo Fender, small tweaks to that design don't make it new.

    The only exception to your comments above is that the earliest CS relics were done as an outsourced job by Vince Cunetto. And, for some reason I don't understand, (probably rarity) these Cunetto relics seem to command a premium.
     
  8. Vindibona1

    Vindibona1 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I do believe the guitars I saw like this are genuine CS models. I hadn't realized that the decal on the top was one of the CS trademarks. Interesting. I just forgot to check the back plate. That's easy enough to do. I did play more than one like this and they were top quality guitars for sure.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  9. Danmax

    Danmax New Member!

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    Okay, I'll talk about Fender but let me toss this in first. One of the Gibson Les Paul Model I have has the S/N stamped on the rear of the headstock, along with "Made In USA". That's all fine & dandy but lets face it, counterfeiters are getting so good, if they go on eBay & buy the replacement Headstock veneer, they can have all the information on the rear stamped. Along with this LP I'm talking about, if it has custom shop stamped on it, doesn't matter that much. Even if I have the original paperwork, The custom Pickups could be changed & lets face it, if it's plugged into a good amp & lets say a buyer plays it, as long as I have the guitar set up properly, I could tell them anything because they'd say it sounds great, I'll buy it.
    Fenders & their "Custom Shop" stamp, those can be reproduced & even an educated tech guy probably wouldn't know the difference. If I had a CS stamp, a stamp that allows me to put a date on it & all I'd need is the correct S/N & it would sell. My thought on the matter is, if I put good Pickups into any of my Strats, good Tuners, new Knob's & Pickguard on it, it would sell but damn, why would I sell it? If it sounds that good, I'd save it [like I am] for my grandsons...... I have a lot of silver coins. Counterfeiters in China are getting so good, I only but directly from the US Mint or coins that have been verified & graded by a 3rd party grading company & they're getting so good, the coin holders are being faked, so what should we do. As for any used guitars I buy, they go to Motor City Guitar & I have the Tech guy there go over it. I have one in there now getting all new wiring, pots & Pickups with the manufacturers name stamped on the bottom plate, plus I have a folder for each guitar on my computer with pictures of everything I have in each guitar. Plus I make sure to get the original shipping box & store them in the garage, up in the rafters.......
     
  10. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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