When the Stratocaster first launched in 1954, Leo Fender's goal was to build an affordable, workingman's instrument by simplifying the design and streamlining the production process. The result is a versatile, expressive guitar that has now become ubiquitous across all genres of music as a Swiss-army-knife guitar. Nevertheless, an interesting consequence of Leo's genius is the mutability of the design. While Stratocaster parts aren't exactly 100% interchangeable, players have always experimented with Fender templates. Sometimes when you combine the right parts, you can create something unique that tells its own story.
This Partscaster was influenced by the Flared Headstock Stratocaster of the late-'60s. It starts with a genuine circa-1975 Fender neck that has been refretted with medium jumbo frets and properly converted to four-screw configuration from the original three bolt design. This neck has seen the years, and the wear provides authentic mojo. The original bullet truss rod is still functional, and there is a small repaired area from some old string trees (it now has the proper string trees). From there, the body is Swamp Ash with an aged black nitrocellulose finish. The neck pocket is a great fit, and because of that, the guitar feels stable and has nice resonance and sustain.
For pickups, this Partscaster is outfitted with Fender Custom Shop '69 Stratocaster pickups—the perfect fit to capture the late-'60s Flared Headstock vibe. It has a Callaham tremolo bridge, Kluson six-in-line tuners, CTS pots/switch—it's all good to go, and it's set up right. Thanks to the top-notch parts throughout, this Partscaster is a real player that does the strat thing very nicely.
This Partscaster is a hard guitar to argue with. The aged black/tortoise would look great on stage, that's for sure. But it'll also get plenty of attention in your living room. All in all, this Partscaster plays and sounds like it should be a lot more expensive. It includes a basic Gator gig bag that is nothing fancy, but it's more than sufficient to get around.