Fender Japan '57 Stratocaster ST57G-65 Charcoal Blue 1993
Fender Custom Edition '57 Strat, charcoal green finish with gold hardware, made in Japan 1993-4. The Custom Edition was the spicy section of the mid 90s catalog, featuring some previously unseen shapes and setups and some bold finishes on classic models. This twist on the '57 Strat has a body made from American Basswood, a different species from the standard basswood seen on many MIJ models, selected for it's delightfully streaky grain. To get the tonal variation into the finish, the luthiers would singe the body with a blow torch, just like the famed 'charcoal burst' finish of a year or two before. Once that was done, they'd apply the blue stain and clear coats; so the streaks and depth in the grain is a real feature. It's fun with this particular example, as it almost looks black in low light or at a distance, but up close... dang, it's gorgeous. The neck on this is pretty chunky: it's a classic '57 style D shape, so while the nut is a regular 42mm width, there's a bit of girth in the back which serves to fatten up the midrange in the tone and make you choose your notes a bit more carefully. The vintage style single coils lend this a lively, fat spanky tone, it's got heaps of punch and attack through the bottom end and an eloquent, slicing treble that really gets your notes singing. Plus, the gold hardware looks sweet... yes.
Model: Fender '57 Stratocaster (ST57G-65)
Made: Japan, 1993-4, Fujigen plant, (serial O016215)
Finish: transparent charcoal blue (CCM), 1-ply white guard
Body: American basswood
Neck: 1-piece maple w/ skunk stripe, 7.25" radius, 25.5" scale, 42mm nut
Pickups: Fender Japan ST-Vintage x3
Cosmetic condition notes: mild finish wear. Headstock has a few marks on the end and bottom edge. The neck has a few dimples on the back, it's smooth in the hands. The back has a minor chip on the top horn and back bottom corner, as well as a few light scuffs around the body. The sides have dimples and scuffs around the whole body, no major marks. The front has widespread dimples and checking lines as well as some play wear on the guard and top horn. Overall: good condition (7/10).
Playing condition notes: Neck is straight, action is low, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electronics tested and working properly. Frets have minor wear only, 8/10 for fret life left. Setup with fresh 10/46 Moonshiners strings.