This Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilt 56 Stratocaster Relic by Carlos Lopez in Fiesta Red is one of those special guitars, it just feels right the moment you pick it up. A lightweight Alder Body, Handwound Pickups, and a perfect feeling neck are highlights of this build. Plus, Fiesta Red with a Maple neck has us loading up some Hank Marvin tunes to enjoy.
Carlos Lopez is one of the more recently appointed Masterbuilders though he is by no means new to Fender. Hired as a factory employee in 2006 then moved on to the Custom Shop in 2007, I'd say that's a pretty fast track to success as a builder! Carlos worked on Teambuilt guitars until 2017 when he became Todd Krause's apprentice and was then bestowed with the highest honor Fender can place upon its builders in 2019. Carlos did a Roadshow for us in 2019 and he was full of insight, tricks, and tips.
The body of this guitar is made from 2 pieces of Alder, which were sorted for their weight, so this guitar weighs in at 7 lbs 8 oz, just about the perfect weight for a Strat! This guitar is finished in Fiesta Red and then aged by Carlos. It's not a heavy relic or a journeyman, but it's got just the right amount of wear n' tear!
The neck is made from a quarter sawn piece of maple with a 10/56 profile. The fingerboard radius is shaped to a 9.5" for easy big-bends and vibrato. Twenty-one 6105 Frets are installed which are a taller-than-vintage fret. 25.5" Scale Length, 1.650" Nut Width, and a bone nut round out the important details. This is a highly playable neck, with expertly rolled fret edges. A perfectly broken-in feel is something only the Masterbuilder's can achieve and Carlos most certainly achieved it on this!
A set of hand-wound pickups are wound to 1956 Spec so they truly nail the sound of the era. They are sparkly, chime-y, brash in the bridge, and fat and hollow in the neck. A reverse-wound-reverse-polarity middle pickup allows for hum-free operation in positions 2 and 4. A master volume, 2 tone controls, and a 5 way switch to grant access to all the sounds.
The Music Gallery has been a Fender Custom Shop dealer since it's formation in 1987. We keep a bevy of Fender Custom Shop instruments in stock at all times. Whether you're looking for a Stratocaster, Telecaster, Precision Bass, Jazz Basses, Jaguar, or Jazzmaster, we can help you design or find the special instrument you're looking for!