Vintage Vibe, Master Built Magic, and Cheap Cool
By Sophie Dockx
Three to go
At one time I had three Strats in my workshop: a 1963 sunburst worth 9.000 Euros, A 2001 white Custom Shop, master-built by John English, worth 5600 Euros, a 2004 Mexican ‘Buddy Guy’ signature strat, worth 600 Euros.
They all needed a fret leveling job, and they all needed new strings and a proper set-up.
All three are built to exactly the same design, and they all had alder bodies, and Maple necks. They were all fitted with three single coil pickups each, and sported a vintage-style Fender Synchronized tremolo bridge The Buddy Guy had a maple fretboard, the two others had rosewood fretboards.
Which one did I like the most? Not an easy question to answer, since I am four ‘I’s.
I like listening to guitar playing, I like playing guitar myself, I like teaching guitar, and I like working on guitars. To each guitar, I am audience, user, instructor, and caregiver.
Each guitar that comes in, gets plugged into the dry channel of my Roland Jazz Chorus.
It is not the most musical of amps, but it is plain honest. Tube amps are instruments in their own right, that is why I find it difficult to distinguish between the sound of the guitar, and that of the amp. It is like tasting a Frankfurter, wrapped in a bun, embedded in tasty Sauerkraut and with French mustard on top. You can say you had a great hotdog, but you can’t really say much about the Frankfurter inside it, that way, right?