Up for sale, a 2019 Fender Custom Shop NAMM Limited Edition 1959 Stratocaster Journeyman Relic in near mint condition, complete with all factory paperwork, the COA, and G&G hardshell case. Part of Fender's "Journeyman Relic" series, this Strat faithfully replicates the feel, appearance, and tone of Fender's Pre-CBS golden age, and this particular example is finished in custom color Daphne Blue.
A stunning limited run Custom Shop model that reproduces all the hallmarks of the first "slab board" Stratocasters, this '59 model features a two-piece alder body paired with a quartersawn maple neck capped with a AAA rosewood slab fingerboard. A couple player-friendly tweaks include a 9 1/2" radius fingerboard, and 6105 fretwire that has more crown and overall meat than vintage fretwire while still maintaining a relatively slender footprint.
Sonically, this Strat is loaded with its stock trio of Fender's Fat 50s single coils. Featuring black fiber flatwork, push-back cloth wire, staggered hand-beveled Alnico V magnets and Formvar wire, the Fat 50s are some of Fender's best single coils to date. Reverse wound in the middle position for quintessential Strat quack, the sound is broad and bell-like at the neck, delivering chewy sparkle and cut at the bridge. The guitar weighs 7lbs 11oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with fresh 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.
The quartersawn maple neck has an inviting medium C-shaped carve with particularly full shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges on the thick slab board, measuring .830" deep at the 1st fret and .980" at the 12th (please note this 1st fret measurement, while exacting in its accuracy, is deeper than the .800" depth disclosed on this model's build sheet). The jet black, tight-grained thick slab rosewood fretboard has a modern 9 1/2" radius, with practically perfect 6105 fretwire that shows just a hint of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-2. The guitar plays cleanly in all registers with a responsive truss rod and arrow straight neck. The bone nut measures 1.650" in width. On the headstock, the Kluson-style tuners turn as they should and hold pitch well, and the Custom Shop Limited Edition chevron is present too.
All of the electronics function flawlessly, with three Custom Shop Fat 50s black bobbin pickups and an untouched harness. Plastics comprise ivory pickup covers and knobs and a three-ply wide-bevel pickguard with very faint greening. The chrome bridge base and jack plate are immaculate, with saddles that are aged as part of the factory relic treatment. The vibrato is very responsive and jumps back to the original pitch with ease, even when performing deeper dives. While on a relic it's always difficult to separate factory aging from natural playwear, suffice it to say this guitar has been sparingly played since new, and the Daphne Blue nitro lacquer finish is pitch perfect in its execution.
The original brown tolex G&G hardshell case is included, along with the COA and all factory paperwork.