An Fender Custom Shop 1962 Stratocaster replica with a gold-sparkle finish
Boasting an eye-catching, gold-sparkle finish, this 1962 Stratocaster replica is an early example of the quality craftsmanship coming out of the Fender Custom Shop.
Signed by then Custom Shop manager John Page, the certificate of authenticity is an important component in determining the value of this Strat.
Hector Montes, whose name is stamped on the neck next to the date stamp, was most likely responsible for sanding the body to shape its contour.
I have an early Fender Custom Shop 1962 Stratocaster replica with a gold-sparkle finish. And after disassembling the guitar, I’ve found some interesting information about who was involved in building it. I also have the original case, a certificate of authenticity signed by John Page, and all the case candy. Is this trash or treasure?
Richard Grant in Guelph, Ontario
Do you really need to ask if it is trash or treasure? Maybe a more appropriate question would be to ask how much of a treasure it is! The Fender Custom Shop is one of the finest custom-guitar facilities in the U.S. and they’ve certainly produced some amazing (and valuable) instruments over the years. Let’s begin with a little bit of Fender Custom Shop history.
Back in 1985, Fender nearly went bankrupt under the ownership of the Columbia Broadcasting System before an investment group led by Bill Schultz purchased the fledgling company from CBS. Schultz and his crew then began revamping Fender to return the company to its roots. The Fender Custom Shop got its start in 1987 with luthiers John Page and Michael Stevens at the helm. Known for producing outstanding luthiers, both of these craftsmen would later go on to start their own successful guitar businesses after their tenure with the Custom Shop.
Part of the motivation behind the start of the Custom Shop was that Fender’s R&D department was fielding a lot of requests for custom guitars by artists, and the company wanted to shed the dark image of CBS. Under their ownership, customization of guitars was not often an option. So Page and Stevens were summoned to head up this boutique lutherie shop where the plan was to produce five or six guitars a month. But work orders for custom guitars reached nearly 600 in the first month, and the operation expanded to keep up with demand.
Your Fender Stratocaster has a serial number of VO469XX, but what is more important is the neck-stamp date of October 29, 1990. The name Hector Montes is also stamped on the neck right next to the date. According to John Page, he believes Montes was probably responsible for sanding the body to shape its contour. Art Esparza was doing the final set up on guitars in the early 1990s, and his name is printed in the neck’s mortise joint. Page mentioned that J.W. Black probably painted your guitar. And Black was known for painting the sparkle-finished guitars at his home instead of at Fender so to not contaminate the paint booth. Page also thinks that your guitar was one of several early Fender Custom Shop instruments sent out to select guitar dealers to promote the Custom Shop.
Your guitar is based on a 1962 Fender Stratocaster and boasts many unique features including Lace Sensor pickups, a highly figured maple neck, a Brazilian rosewood fretboard with abalone-dot inlays, pearloid pickguard, gold hardware, and the ultra-hip, gold-sparkle finish. The cool thing about your Strat coming from the Custom Shop is that it is more than likely a one-of-a-kind guitar.
An important component that helps determine the value of a custom instrument such as yours—or any guitar for that matter—is how much documentation you have. Whenever possible, get as many details as possible in writing if the guitar has a history. This applies to a famous person previously owning the guitar to the origins of where it was built. It’s fantastic that you have the certificate of authenticity documentation from the Custom Shop manager, and all the original equipment that came with the guitar. Without all this, it’s nothing but a story that would be reflected in the value.
Evaluating Fender Custom Shop guitars is often a difficult task because each instrument is unique. I typically look at what the guitar is based on (in this case, a 1962 Stratocaster), the value of the additions/improvements (pickups, hardware, finish, etc.), how old the guitar is (20 plus years in this case, which is an early Custom Shop model), and who worked on it. Of course, the overall evaluation factor is also based on the desirability of the guitar. In mint condition, I estimate your guitar is currently valued between $2,500 and $3,000. Keep all that documentation and case candy, and this guitar will be a treasure for years to come!
Zachary R. Fjestad is author of Blue Book of Acoustic Guitars, Blue Book of Electric Guitars, and Blue Book of Guitar Amplifiers. For more information, visit bluebookinc.com or email Zach at email@example.com.
Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
D'Addario XPND Pedalboard
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Outlaw Effects introduces their next generation of NOMAD rechargeable battery-powered pedal boards.
Available in two sizes, NOMAD ISO is a compact, versatile tool that offers the convenience of a fully powered board plus the additional freedom of not having to plug into an outlet. NOMAD ISO is ideal for stages with limited outlet availability, quick changeovers, busking outdoors, temporary rehearsal locations, and more.
NOMAD ISO builds upon the legacy of the ultra-convenient and reliable NOMAD rechargeable pedalboard line originally launched in 2018. The brand new NOMAD ISO editions feature eight isolated outputs (1 x 9V DC, and 1 switchable 9V/12V DC) for even more versatility and clean, quiet power. With an integrated lithium-ion battery pack boasting 12800mAh capacity, NOMAD ISO can fuel a wide array of pedals, and will last over 10 hours* on a single charge.
Each NOMAD ISO pedal board includes adhesive hook & loop pedal-mounting tape, eight (8) standard DC connector cables, and one (1) reverse polarity DC cable, giving you everything you need to build your ultimate "off-the-grid" rig. A rugged, road-ready padded gig bag with shoulder strap is also included, to safely protect your gear while you're on the move.
NOMAD ISO S
NOMAD ISO S: MSRP $309 / MAP: $249
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 5 ¼"
NOMAD ISO M
NOMAD ISO M: MSRP $349 / MAP $279
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 11"
More info: https://www.outlawguitareffects.com.
Dunable announces new Minotaur model featuring Grover Rotomatic Keystone tuners.
The Minotaur's DNA is rooted in their classic Moonflower model, which Dunable discontinued in 2017. However, they have long since wanted to create a fresh take on a carved top guitar design, and various attempts to rework the Moonflower led them to a brand new concept with the Minotuar.
Dunable's goal is to give the player a guitar that plays fast and smooth, sounds amazing, and gives maximum physical ergonomic comfort. The Minotaur's soft and meticulous contours, simple and effective control layout, and 25.5" scale length are designed to easily meet this criteria.
- 25.5" scale length
- Dual Humbucker
- one volume, one tone, push pull for coil splitting
- Grover Rotomatic Keystone tuners
- Grover Tune O Matic bridge with brass Kluson top-mount tailpiece
- jumbo nickel frets
- 12" fretboard radius
This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
Adding to the company’s line of premium-quality effects pedals, Missing Link Audio has unleashed the new AC/Overdrive pedal. This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal – the only Angus & Malcom all-in-one stompbox on the market – brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
The AC/OD layout has three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone. That user-friendly format is perfect for quickly getting your ideal tone, and it also offers a ton of versatility. MLA’s new AC/OD absolutely nails the Angus tone from the days of “High Voltage” to "Back in Black”. You can also easily dial inMalcom with the turn of a knob. The pedal covers a broad range of sonic terrain, from boost to hot overdrive to complete tube-like saturation. The pedal is designed to leave on all the time and is very touch responsive. You can get everything from fat rhythm tones to a perfect lead tone just by using your guitar’s volume knob and your right-hand attack.
- Three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone
- Die-cast aluminum cases for gig-worthy durability
- Limited lifetime warranty
- True bypass on/off switch
- 9-volt DC input
- Made in the USA