Question-Fender Masterbilt 50th anniversary Strat

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by toneman335, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. toneman335

    toneman335 Member

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    I was trying to recall.... what was the retail and street price of the Fender Masterbuilt 50th Anniversary Strat when they were new in 2004?
    Also, are they considered to be a prime example of a Strat?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
  2. BPlexico

    BPlexico Gold Supporting Member

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    Large range on street price - between $3000 - $3500.

    Absolutely wonderful guitars.

    Barr
     
  3. bluesman69

    bluesman69 Member

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    Retail for the Masterbuilt 54 was $5400

    Wasn't that convenient?
     
  4. Shark Sandwich

    Shark Sandwich Member

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    these guitars are fantastic. . .I had two, now down to one. For a masterbuilt strat they're cheap. When you factor in the unique features, (knobs, pickup covers, special pickups, big neck, pat. pend saddles, special case, etc) it becomes a no brainer. Get one.
     
  5. toneman335

    toneman335 Member

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    I know they were built by several different guys in the Custom Shop. Are there any significant differences between the builders in this run of Strats? If so, can you explain your insights?
     
  6. ~el gringo loco

    ~el gringo loco Member

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    I played a few of them when they were current, and while I liked them well enough I didn't get sufficient wood to want to buy one at retail. To me, the coolest thing about 'em is that they're very true to what a 54 strat was -- I remember playing a real deal 54 a Gruhn's shop for an hour 10 years earlier and thinking it was sublime -- and the 54 MB's copped that vibe, IMO.

    Fast forward to late 2005 and I found a NOS John English 54 MB hanging on the wall of a store that needed to move some inventory, and it took me about 10 minutes to decide to buy that guitar. The guitar is made of great wood and really nice hardware/pickups, it's impeccably crafted, and it's got a certain "sing" in in it that comes from the inside out. Chords ring very true and even up and down the neck, and it's a far warmer guitar than it's ash/maple construction would suggest.

    [​IMG]

    What I like about it the most, though, is that it's the evolutionary link between a blackguard tele and a slab board strat. It's got a vibe that suggests Leo really was just trying to make a better tele when he dreamed up the strat, and as a tele player I like that a lot. It's a better guitar, all up, than a great '61 strat I used to own, and it's the only strat I think I'll ever need.

    [​IMG]

    As far as the differences between the other masterbuilders, if you know John English's work it's easy to see that this guitar is built "in the style of John English". The others I played didn't have that -- I played a couple of Yuris that were really cool and very true to a '54, and I played a Flemming that I thought was cool but nothing special. One thing they all have in common, at least, in the small sample I've played, is great wood, really nice hardware, cheap plastic -- I can see why Fender changed quickly -- and great attention to detail. Every guitar comes together differently, though, and my experience is that it's hard to generalize about something as personal as a guitar.

    Hope this help, and yeah, if you dig it, check 'em out . . .

    ~j
     
  7. Knucklehead

    Knucklehead Member

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    Those Masterbuilt '54s are my favorite comtemporary Strat. I know what you mean about the ones that John English built in the run; they are superlative.
     
  8. bluesman69

    bluesman69 Member

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    My Yuriy Shishkov 54 is flawless.
     
  9. cffluntouch

    cffluntouch Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a Todd Krause and I agree with all the positives above. Mine has had a bit of a sticky neck, but other than that the finish checking, tone, vibe, and especially the neck carve and shape are outstanding. It think it is the perfect Strat neck shape.
     
  10. Bluestar

    Bluestar Gold Supporting Member

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    +1 - I feel the same way about my '54 by Mark Kendrick - it's everything I want a Stratocaster to be. Is there a "bad" one out there? Sure, that's statistically possible, but I haven't heard of it. Play one, and IMO I'll bet you'll be adding a post like those above.
     

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