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Introducing Our Fender Custom Shop 69 Stratocaster Journeyman Relic!

We have decided to add another addition to the Music Gallery Family of Fender Custom Shop models, with our new 1969 Stratocaster Journeyman Relic! The often scoffed at CBS Era from Fender (1965-1985) may not have been the hey-day in terms of craftsmanship but that's certainly not a problem with the Fender Custom Shop today! Plus, some of the design concepts born during this period were flat-out KILLER! So we took our favorite CBS-era year of 1969 and had the Fender Custom Shop build them with some modern specs, hand-wound pickups, and a super light Journeyman Relic finish! Read on to learn all there is to know about this wonderful new addition to the Music Gallery Family!

Fender Custom Shop 1969 Stratocaster Journeyman Relic

The Alder chosen for this 2 piece body is sorted thru for its weight so these guitars have come in under 8 lbs so far. Alder is a well-balanced tonewood, that is punchy, and doesn’t get in the way of the pickups at all! Easy to work with, loved by builders and players alike, Alder is a blank canvas to my ears. The 69s come finished in a multitude of colors, some period-correct and others not, and they sport a Journeyman Relic level of distressing. Though, these are even a little light for a journeyman, taking a small step towards a closet classic. The bodies are finished in Nitrocellulose lacquer so they will continue to age and weather check-up if allowed to.

Three Tone Sunburst on this Fender Custom Shop 1969 Strat

The neck is carved from a piece of Rift Sawn Maple. Rift Sawn Maple is more stable than your typical flat sawn piece due to the angle at which it is cut. The neck is shaped to a 69 U Shaped Profile which is considered by many to be the perfect profile for a Strat. It has a full feel thanks to some broad shoulders and with a depth measurements of .850-.910, this wonderful feeling neck is enough for many Fat Neck'ed Tele Lovers. Or rather Tele players who prefer Fat Necks, not people who play Tele's who also have physically fat necks. What was I talking about? Anywho, a Maple Fingerboard adheres to the Maple Neck so no skunk stripe on the back of these bad boys. The fingerboard carries a 9.5" radius and has 21 Narrow-Tall (or 6105 Frets)installed in it. The playing surface is fantastic and the neck profile is just exceptional!

A close upshot of the fingerboard on a 69 Strat Journeyman Relic

The finish on the neck of a 69 Strat is a little different than many earlier models. The finish on the fingerboard and back of the neck is Polyurethane hence the lack of any wear that makes it through the finish. Poly is more durable than Nitro and will most likely not age unless your sweat is like the blood from the original Alien. The face of the headstock is finished in Nitrocellulose so it will continue to age. We had them tint the finishes to match and look authentic, we think they did a great job!

The large headstock on our 69 Strat Journeyman Relic

Love it or hate it, the large headstock is here to stay! While it’s not technically an ’original’ Fender design, it has stood the test of time, becoming a must-have for many of us doing our best Hendrix impression, and become a cult favorite for those players looking for something different but not TOO different. Of course, our 69 Strat’s have the Large Headstock along with the Large Bold and Gold Logo of the era. The Schaller-made F Stamp Tuning Pegs offer way better functionality than the real tuners of the era, which were notorious for stability issues. These tuners are German-made and are sure to last decades!

The back of the Headstock on a Fender Custom Shop 1969 Stratocaster Journeyman Relic

For the pickups, we've chosen quite the compliment. We've selected Handwound 69 pickups for the neck and middle positions along with a Handwound Texas Special pickup in the bridge. We have found this combo to be particularly useful since the 69 bridge pickup is very bright and thin sounding. By adding the Texas Special, we've beefed up the bridge position making it far more useful. Even in position 2, we still get great quack and chime, so you know these pickups pair beautifully! We tied these hand-wound single-coil pickups to a 5-way switch, master volume, and 2 tone controls for easy to navigate Strat-style controls. The guitar sounds great cranked up but it also sounds so sweet clean, this truly is a phenomenal sounding instrument.

Take a listen to the 1st batch here in the hands of Pete Flynn!

We are super stoked about this addition to our fold of Custom Shop Fender Strat's! The 1969 Strat has been a long time favorite thanks to the Big Headstock and just about the Perfect Neck profile. Throw in a choice pickup compliment and you have an undeniably inspiring guitar. If you don’t see the color you are looking for, let us know. There is a good chance we already have it on order and if we don’t we’d probably love to see it too!

• Fender Custom Shop
• 1969 Stratocaster
• Journeyman Relic
• Weighing under 8 lbs
• 2 Piece Alder Body
• Rift Sawn Maple Neck
• Maple Fingerboard
• Light Tint Polyurethane Neck Finish
• Nitrocellulose Headstock Face Finish
• 1969 U Shaped Neck Profile
• 4 Bolt Design
• 9.5" Fingerboard Radius
• 6105 Frets
• 1.650" Nut Width
• .850" depth at 1st fret
• .910" depth at 12th fret
• Bone Nut
• Handwound 69 Pickups: Neck and Middle
• Handwound Texas Special Bridge Pickup
• Master Volume Control
• 2 x Tone Controls
• 5 Way Blade Switch
• Certificate of Authenticity
• Original Hardshell Case


1 comment

  • Dear musicgalleryinc.com webmaster, You always provide in-depth analysis and understanding.

    Latisha Calwell

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