Fender Masterbuilt - what do you think? Todd Krause vs. John Cruz

Earplayer

Member
Messages
562
Hi there!

After thinking about a Wildwood 10 i came to the conclusion to get a Masterbuilt - Custom Order... what do you think? Which builder would be the best? Todd Krause or John Cruz...?

The specs would be:

Masterbuilt by Todd Krause or John Cruz
Weight between 7lbs. and 8lbs. (most important thing is: alive-sounding, resonant and balanced)
Selected Alder Body
Selected high-grade Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard
Selected Quarter Sawn Maple Neck
Heavy Relic Faded Olympic White
Nitrocellulose Finish
Mid 60s "C" Neck Shape
Compund Radius from 7.25“ Radius to 9.5" Radius
Clay Dot Inlays
25.5" Scale Length
1.650" Width Real Vintage Bone Nut
6105 Fret Wire
Higher Stringtree (Stringtree not heavy reliced to avoid tuning issues)
Nickel Hardware
Vintage Tremolo (Setup free floating – bends up minor 3rd on G-String ; 3 springs)
Vintage Underwound Pickups *) handwound by Abigail Ybarra
„Small“ Volume-„Treble Bleed“ Circuit (Cap and Resistor) to save highs and lows when turning down the volume-pot
NOS Sprague Tone-Caps
3 matched 250k CTS dimple Pots
5 Way Switch
Volume, Tone, Tone
3 Ply Heavy Aged Mint Pickguard
Aged Vintage Style Tuners with Nickel Buttons
Strings: Pure Nickel 0.10-0.46
COA and Hardshell Case

*) Tone/Sound should be close or very much like the „good old ones“ for example: Thomas Blugs (´61 Strat) , John Mayer (Black Strat),…. warm but clear – balanced and well together….


All the best,
Tom.
 

dmaji1

Member
Messages
148
thats pretty much everything i want in a strat, except for the relicing

oh and id go for John Cruz
 

StratStringSlinger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,290
Nice specs. I just got a Wildwood 10, a team build...just loving it. How about Jason Smith? From the pictures I've seen, I really like his style.

By the way...of the specs you list...what is different than regular WW10 specs (besides the obvious pickup change). Thanks!
 

ducatisteve

Member
Messages
1,395
I think most if not all the WW10's have a 10" radius, and don't think any use braz for the fingerboard.
 

rickc007

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,915
I've had guitars from both of them.
And have spoken to both of them.
Shame they don't post here, you would see how
knowledgeable they are

Huge fan of both

Wouldn't classify one as better than the other

They both make killer V necks
Both extremely experienced at filling custom orders

You going to be a Happy Camper
 

TresGatos

Member
Messages
1,552
For a relic, I'd absolutely choose John Cruz.

I love Todd Krauses work but to me he's the go-to guy for shiny new MBs, Cruz and now Jason Smith are the relic guys. I unfortunately think Jason Smith "tries too hard" on his relics, where Cruz has the touch.

Good luck, that'll be a keeper!
 

AaeCee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
19,062
Yeah, can't miss with either. I have a MB Strat relic from Todd Krause. The build quality is as perfect as you'll find anywhere, and the relic treatment is unreal.....just the right amount of 'functional wear' (rolled fingerboard edges, no sharp edges anywhere, back of neck smooth as silk, etc.), and the overall look is very consistent with no detail left out.
 

Strat God

Member
Messages
142
What about finding a John English MB? It's pretty much accepted that John was the all-time greatest Master Builder Fender ever had- and the value will only go up as he's gone now.

Just a thought - I'm not intending to stir the pot. If it's between those two I'd go with Cruz.
 

zSPECTREz

Member
Messages
64
Either one. I've owned several from both.

If time considerations matter...you may be looking at a lengthy wait for Cruz. Last time I checked with my dealer it was a 2+ year wait (he's pretty booked). I've done numerous orders with Todd...AVG wait has been about 8-10 months. That said, I did just hit the year mark waiting for the two he's currently building for me.

What about finding a John English MB? It's pretty much accepted that John was the all-time greatest Master Builder Fender ever had- and the value will only go up as he's gone now.

John English's guitars were/are very special. I have a '56 Closet Classic he built, that is just mind blowing!! BUT, he is not the "BE ALL, END ALL". The two best strats (vintage included) I've EVER owned or played are built by Todd. Ironically, as I think about my current guitars...ALL of the Cruz strats...have been traded or sold away. So take that for what it's worth, I guess.

Why not consider any of the other builder's? Yuriy, Kendrick or Dennis? All of those guys build some damn fine guitars as well. And, Greg Fessler too....I think he's the best kept secret in the Custom Shop! A great guy too.
 
Last edited:

high Noon

Member
Messages
77
A WW 10 59 Strat....

DSC05589.jpg


DSC05591.jpg
 

R13D

Member
Messages
4,688
For a relic, I'd absolutely choose John Cruz.

I love Todd Krauses work but to me he's the go-to guy for shiny new MBs, Cruz and now Jason Smith are the relic guys. I unfortunately think Jason Smith "tries too hard" on his relics, where Cruz has the touch.

Good luck, that'll be a keeper!
Agree with this post 100%
 

Joe_Steeler

Member
Messages
810
Todd Krause for me. I have two of his and are exquisite.

I've always thought John Cruz should spend some time in solitary confinement for some of the relicing he does to guitars. Wayyyyy over the top, abusive treatment.
 

Fu78

Member
Messages
57
I own guitar from both of them.
Krause (WW 10 59), Cruz (61, 57, strat & 58, 60 tel)

They are both Great builder

Personally, I like Cruz more

some of my MBS

Todd Krauses (WW10 59), Jason Smith (69), John Cruz (61 builder select)
frontcopy.jpg
 
Last edited:

Earplayer

Member
Messages
562
THANK YOU GUYS! :JAM

It seems that both are favoured over the rest of the Masterbuilders from a LOT of guys.

For me John Cruz would be my choice because he builds really great looking stuff - the Relics are awesome plus he has built John Mayers black Strat - i really like the Pickups in that guitar nice underwound pickups...

Todd Krause has probably the best reputation and is a Senior Masterbuilder who has built guitars for Clapton, Beck, etc. - a lot of people say that he has the best skills in building a guitar... hmm...

HELP:dunno

Well... the WW10s are really great guitars and i would go for it - BUT i am a sucker for great vintage-sounding underwound pickups so the overwound pickups in the WWs are not really what i am looking for... it seems that they can´t give you much detail and they are a bit dark sounding....

... i also think that the 10" radius is a bit too much for me - i really can say that i don´t like a 12" radius on any strat. much prefer a 7.25 to 9.5" with the right frets... so a compound radius would be my choice - how do you think about that???

All the best!
 

rickc007

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,915
I agree with what you said

John Cruz was the guy that made the run of 100 SRV #1's
Think he was also the guy that analyzed Rory's #1 for the Rory Gallagher tribute
He has the most/best relic history

Todd is the man, and build Clapton's guitars.
I spoke to him at NAMM once about the V necks on them.
If I went NOS, or Closet Classic, specially Clapton specs
I would ask for Todd,
For Relics I would ask for John Cruz
Same as someone else pointed out

There are a few compound radius Masterbuilts around
I wouldn't let the pickups stop you also
You would have no problem selling them, and you
really need to dial the pickups in to the wood, and the tone
you are looking for
 

fox5150

Member
Messages
384
THANK YOU GUYS! :JAM

It seems that both are favoured over the rest of the Masterbuilders from a LOT of guys.

For me John Cruz would be my choice because he builds really great looking stuff - the Relics are awesome plus he has built John Mayers black Strat - i really like the Pickups in that guitar nice underwound pickups...

Todd Krause has probably the best reputation and is a Senior Masterbuilder who has built guitars for Clapton, Beck, etc. - a lot of people say that he has the best skills in building a guitar... hmm...

All the best!

I remember reading a post by Mike Eldred on Fender's forum that John Mayer built his own strat...
 

carbz

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,738
Why not try and snag a Danocaster? For about 1/3 of the price you'll get just as nice looking if not nicer relic IMO. Though I've never owned a masterbuilt I just couldn't see paying that kind of dough just because its a hand assembled guitar. I just don't buy into the fact of paying big money for hand selected wood either. **** Tommy over at USA custom guitars supposedly hand selects the wood for his necks and bodies which you can pick up for under $500 unfinished. Just my opinion. Once you start pushing $2500 for a strat I feel there is an advantage being taken of. To answer your question though I prefer the work Cruz as IMO he clearly does some the nicest relic work.
 

Earplayer

Member
Messages
562
yeah john mayer was at the fender factory and basically built his own strat - but you know it was assembled by john cruz and from what i´ve been told john cruz was the main mastermind behind the project...

well i could sell the pickups from the ww10 but i would have to pay a lot of cash and then i would have to tweak it to my needs anyway - that was the main reason why i wanted a one-off to my specs... almost the same cash and no tweaking afterwards.

of course to get a guitar from the fender custom shop means a lot of cash and that means some extra cash for the fender brand logo on the headstock too... but i think fender makes really good stuff and i think their masterbuilders are one of the best ever.

pretty good example of my favourite tone (original pre cbs 61 strat / old plexi 1987 lead model) - check out the clips:
http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.php/613938-thomas-blug

imho the only way to get that kinda tone/sound is with nice underwound pickups - i think the wildwood 10 strats can not be that precise - they are punchy/meaty sounding (really good)- hope that makes any sense...
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom