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2003 Fender Custom Shop Todd Krause Masterbuilt 1960 Closet Classic Stratocaster Sonic Blue w/ Case, COA


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Up for sale, a 2003 Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilt Todd Krause 1960 Stratocaster Closet Classic in near mint, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case and COA. The highest tier of Fender's Custom Shop, the Masterbuilt models are individually created by Fender's top craftspeople. This particular Strat was hand-crafted by Todd Krause, and with a 30 year career at Fender (and to date almost a quarter century as a Master Builder), Krause has helmed numerous high profile artist models for players including Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, David Gilmour. As such, Todd Krause is uniquely qualified to create Fender's best, especially in the Stratocaster pantheon.

This Masterbuilt 1960 Stratocaster faithfully replicates the feel and aesthetic appearance of a guitar that's been carefully played for decades, with a pitch perfect Sonic Blue nitro lacquer finish over a solid alder body. Apparent from the moment you strike your first chord, this Strat has a clear and snappy acoustic tone with surprising projection and piano-like clarity, and these qualities translate well through the stock Custom Shop black bobbin pickups for an array of familiar and vital Fender tones. These early '60 Custom Shop coils deliver sparkling cut in the bridge position, with thicker tones and bell-like harmonics from the neck position single coil. The pickups are governed by a five-way pickup selector switch, and the middle pickup is wound with the same polarity as the neck and bridge, just like genuine vintage examples. The guitar weighs a modest 7lbs 10oz and balances well on a strap too. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this Custom Shop Masterbuilt is dialed in with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.

The quartersawn maple neck has a medium C profile carve with more shoulder and roundness as you travel up the fingerboard and rolled fretboard edges for added comfort, measuring .835" deep at the 1st fret and .970" at the 12th. Additionally, the gloss nitro lacquer on the profile has a silky smooth feel with simulated palm wear for an effortless, fast feel. The thick slab rosewood fretboard features clay dot inlay and is jet black and incredibly tight-grained, and while the board is very likely Brazilian, we're awaiting confirmation from Fender Support. The fretboard has a modern 9 1/2" fretboard radius, with flawless jumbo fretwire that retains its full factory height with perfectly rounded crowns. The bone nut measures 1.650" in width. On the headstock, the factory aged Kluson Deluxe single line tuners turn smoothly and hold pitch well. The waterslide decal on the headstock face is intact, with wear on the “F” of Fender and central to the Stratocaster portion, while the Custom Shop chevron and Todd Krause signature on the reverse side is flawless.

The electronics function as intended with untouched solder joints and black bobbin Custom Shop pickups which feature notably beveled, staggered alnico magnets. The hardware shows simulated patina on the saddles and vibrato mounting screws, and the pickup covers and knobs are factory aged as well, framed by a mint green pickguard. Cosmetically, it's always difficult to separate the factory relic treatment from honest playwear, but suffice it to say that this guitar is near mint with barely a scratch on the Sonic Blue nitro lacquer gloss beyond the simulated factory wear which is mostly limited to broad horizontal finish checking.

The original brown tolex Fender G&G hardshell case is included along with the COA and a couple hangtags including the postcard showcasing this guitar from Nico Nico, a premium Fender dealer in Japan.