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New guitar in my future...Custom Shop?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by 3bolt79, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Senior Stratmaster

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    Hi all,

    I have been buying and selling guitars, a lot of strats, over the past year. I will be coming into some money, soon, as part of a lawsuit that I have already won (sorry can’t divulge the amount or what the lawsuit was all about). But I will have enough money to buy any strat I want, even a vintage one.

    I was thinking about ordering from the custom shop, but what they seem to offer is remakes of vintage guitars. I’ve been looking for awhile, and so far the guitar that is closest to what I would order, spec wise, is the Robin Trower signature guitar. It has everything that that I want. I just don’t like the fact that it’s a signature instrument. If I could order one by the specs, the only things that I’m not really crazy about is the Sperzel Tuners, and the fact that it is a four bolt neck. But the trower is hella expensive.

    But it has a 7.25 radius finger board, jumbo frets, abalone dots, a Texas special pickup in the bridge, and I like the crimson burst finish, six hole bridge, and bullet truss rod, and big headstock. All things that I would want.

    Are the custom shop guitars really made from scratch, or are they just assembled from parts like the rest of them? Could I get them to build me one to spec? Or am I just limited to what models they list on their website? Really, the trower would be perfect if I could change out the tuners, but I can live with them. Does the custom shop do SS frets?
     
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  2. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    It depends.

    On any of them there are machines parts, but they all have a healthy amount of hands on work that does into them. It also depends on what you want.

    Cruise Reverb and you can find tons of late 60’s reissues and most of them have a 9.5” radius.

    I’ll also state that a properly set up 7.25” radius will bend like a dream.
     
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  3. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Senior Stratmaster

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    My 79 bends like a dream, and the action is just a little higher than I would have normally set it, had it been a 9.5. I really like the bullet truss rod adjustment. But yeah I could definitely get a a big headstock 60’s used for far less money. It’s just that with the exception of the tuners, the trower is just what I would have done. Anybody know if the custom shop does SS frets?
     
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  4. Bodean

    Bodean Just A Simple Man Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Just curious. Why Fender CS?
    There are individual builders out there that would probably give you more individual attention than them, and probably have it done a lot sooner.
     
  5. axejock

    axejock Strat-O-Master

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    Educate an inept Fender affectionado...do you have a photo of Robin Trower Signature guitar? Sounds cool, but I have never seen one.
     
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  6. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Senior Stratmaster

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    According to the custom shop’s website the guitar actually has a 9.5 radius, not 7.25, as was reported during an interview. Not a deal breaker. Here’s a photo.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Senior Stratmaster

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    I thought about getting another custom Suhr or Tom Anderson. I might give John Page a call, as he’s in Oregon, or email him.
     
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  8. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I've had a number of CS Strats, and five out of six were outstanding. The sixth was also amazing, but I could see buffer swirls in the finish that drove me nuts. It was a very light relic, but it was pretty old, so they obviously hadn't got the process down yet. All the other finishes have been outstanding. Necks are amazing. Handwound pickups are fantastic.

    If the Trower specs suit you, buy it. It's not like you'r playing an EVH stripe model so closely associated with a particular artist that it sticks out.
     
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  9. Ferpie

    Ferpie Strat-O-Master

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    I would get a piece of history if I was you, CS are nice and all but there’s something about a vintage guitar you will never be able to recreate in a shop, and it’s the 50 years of existence. You’ll more than likely stumble on an other occasion to get a CS guitar, heck, you could probably go to your nearest bank and get it tomorrow. A 50s or 60s Stratocaster is something that will travel time way beyond your lifetime and to be part of its journey for a real Fender enthousiast is a privilege most won’t even be able to touch.
     
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  10. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Senior Stratmaster

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    Yeah the trower specs are pretty much what I’m looking for. Maybe one will come along used at a good price. There are like nine of them on Reverb right now. Various colors. I have used those same sperzels on a Carvin and a gretsch Brian
    Setzer before. I just found the locking wheel to be uncomfortable to tighten.

    You are absolutely right that nobody would pick up on the fact that it’s a signature guitar like if I would play an EVH stripe, and it doesn’t come with a reliced finish, which I am glad for. I just sold my American Professional strat yesterday, as I’ve never really bonded with it. Gotta have the jumbo frets.
     
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  11. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    I currently have three custom shop guitars in the range and they’re all exceptional guitars.
     
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  12. Deathray

    Deathray Strat-Talker

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    That thing is freakin’ gorgeous, build specs aside! I’m a huge Trower fan, if the things weren’t so expensive, I’d have one. Just because.
     
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  13. Antstrat

    Antstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    Can't answer any of your questions but cool that you can get whatever you want, very happy for you!
     
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  14. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Senior Stratmaster

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    Yeah, I could buy just about any guitar I want. It’s funny, but until just recently I had to scrape enough dough to have the three really good ones I have now. And people are saying to me buy a pre CBS guitar, but I don’t want to spend that much money on a guitar.

    I know a guy that owns a music store, and the only guitar that he’s had, out of all the vintage ones IVe played at his shop, that I really even liked, was a 1957 burst strat, and the 79 strat that I actuallly did buy. Now that I could spend a large amount, I really don’t want to. I just like the way that the newer guitars play better.
     
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  15. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    I’m in a similar boat... I’ve got a bit of dough put aside and my wife has even suggested I get myself a special guitar, something new (all of my guitars I've bought used except for the Ibanez I bought when I was 17). I just find myself looking at used sonic blue classic Player 60’s and shoreline gold Classic Player 50’s or mid 90’s Strat Pluses. It was way easier dreaming big when it wasn’t really possible.

    That Robin Trower Signature Strat looks pretty cool. I checked with the local big box music shop (online) and it shows it with a 7.25” radius fretboard for the two that they carry (Arctic White and Crimson Burst). The price doesn’t look bad for a brand new signature CS guitar. Funny thing is that Reverb has them listed used for a bunch more than the big box has them brand new.

    I say go for it. You’ve earned it.
     
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  16. Neil.C

    Neil.C Most Honored Senior Member

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    @3bolt79, From what I have seen the Robin Trower CS Strats are available over the counter in some big music stores. The price is not outlandish either.

    Find a shop that has one in stock and go and see if ticks all of your boxes.

    If it does, treat yourself, you deserve it. :thumb:
     
  17. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Senior Stratmaster

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    Thanks, I will definitely get it if it’s a 7.25 radius. I will have to see who’s got one in Oregon. I did notice that Reverb had some that were ridiculously priced. I really like the crimson burst, but I also like black. Maybe someone in Portland will have one. I have to be up there in a week or two.
     
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  18. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Senior Stratmaster

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    Thanks Neil
     
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  19. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

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    I think it's a risk. I went out specifically to try and find a Custom Shop guitar and played LOTS of them. In the end, for me, the PRS Silver Sky played better than any of them, but that had other issues I didn't like.

    I think the problem is that even if you get a guitar built to your specs, you may not like it when you play it. There's an intangible thing about guitars that make some work for you, and others not. My number one has been through 3 necks, 2 bodies and about 6 pickup configurations until it felt right, and now there's nothing to compete (for me).

    If you have a spec you know well, and think it will suit you when it's done, give it a go. But you still might end up with a guitar you don't bond with.

    Or maybe get something made by one of the other boutique builders or brands. Have you tried any Suhrs lately? I tried a few and the necks are fantastic.
     
  20. echoes71

    echoes71 Senior Stratmaster

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    They will build them to your specs, so long as they offer those specs on their spec sheets, this is teambuilt mind you, with a Masterbuilt you have more leeway, but from the sounds of it, you just want a teambuilt. The best thing to do is to get a quote from a dealer on what you want. Sweetwater reps can do it for you, or if you want a smaller shop, I can recommend Music Gallery in Chicago, they were great when I did mine. Never hurts to just get a quote, you are under no obligation to order.

    They are handbuilt in terms of body carve, neck carve & finishing, fretboard set up and finishing, and the entire set up itself. They also pick out the woods, which the CS has their own supply of. Of course tuners and bridge are machined as well as pots, switches etc. Pickups depend on whether you get ones that are premade by them or handwound by Josefina which of course drives up the price.

    I have nothing but good things to say about my CS guitars.
     
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