A staple here at The Music Gallery is our Fender Custom Shop 63 Stratocaster Journeyman Relic guitars. Finished in Chocolate 3 Tone Sunburst, constructed with an alder body, quartersawn maple neck, AAA-rated Rosewood, and Hand-wound pickups, all the ingredients are prime!
Our 63 Strats feature a 2 Piece Alder body, sorted for lightweight. This guitar weighs in at .... Alder is a punchy, assertive-sounding wood, that pairs perfectly with the Maple/Rosewood Neck. I call it the Vanilla of Tonewoods in that it isn't bass-heavy or bright, it's very well balanced across the EQ spectrum and seems to influence the tone with a lighter touch.
The neck is made from Quarter Sawn Maple and AAA Rosewood Fingerboard. The quartersawn maple neck increases stability and typically requires less adjustment. Though this method of cutting wood means you won't get as many pieces out of a log, it does mean the pieces will be less susceptible to moving as humidity and temperature change. So even though these Strats have thin necks, they are exceptionally rigid!
AAA Rated Rosewood fingerboards are hand-selected for how dark they are. The Fender Custom Shop still has a nice stash of Rosewood so their fingerboards continue to look great, sometimes even like Ebony! Rosewood doesn't have as much attack as a maple fingerboard. While it doesn't produce the snap and pop that Maple does, it does sing, sustain, and bloom in a way that Maple does not.
This is a great neck for a typical Strat Player. It is slim in the lower positions, lending itself to fast playing and easy riffing. A nice taper thickens things up on your way up the fretboard. Big bends are easier and vibrato is less of a chore. A 9.5" fingerboard radius paired with 6105 frets sure doesn't hurt either! The 1.650" Nut Width and 25.5" scale length combine for that classic Fender Feel.
The electronics are a set of Handwound 60s Stratocaster Single Coil Pickups. These pickups have a rich low end, smooth mid-range, and sweet top-end that is never harsh or brash. A perfect pairing with Alder and Rosewood, these guitars are perfect for Rock and Blues! The controls are traditional Strat: Master Volume, 2 Tone Controls, and a 5-Way Pickup Selector Switch.
Our 63's are weight controlled and weigh under 8 lbs. This one weighs ... oz. They are comfortable on a strap or seated, thanks to perfectly sculpted body counters and balanced wood selection. Alder typically isn't as lightweight as Swamp Ash and Rosewood is usually heavier than Maple. In other words, keeping these guitars light isn't easy but the Gurus at the Fender Custom Shop have the good stuff!
Search "Fender Custom Shop 63 Stratocaster Journeyman" on our website to see how many have come and gone, what's currently in stock, or just for inspiration!