Tell Me Why I Need a Custom Shop Strat


Hello All -

I have a Fender Deluxe Strat that I think is perfect. It's the latest model with a compound radius neck. The neck is straight as an arrow and the fretwork is great. I've replaced the pickups with Fralins. I've added the Callaham trem block. Basically, this guitar plays, sounds and looks perfect.

Still, though, I find myself GASing over the idea of a Custom Shop strat. I'm not interested in a Custom Shop for the nitro finish, styling, etc. I've just got it in my mind that a Custom Shop strat must be even better. But given the quality of my current guitar, it's hard for me to see how a Custom Shop could be any better.

For those of you who had a "perfect" strat and then bought a Custom Shop, did you find that the Custom Shop was even better? If so, in what sense? Or did you regret spending the extra money?



Gold Supporting Member
I have an AmDlx that I also think is perfect. The only way you can tell for yourself is to go play one. It's about feel and playability IMO. I've played a couple, and while I agreed that they were "better" than mine, they weren't 3X the price better IMO. I'm not a Strat guy really, and the one I bought because it just sang to me when I played it in the store. I look for that much more than I look for "custom shop" on the label.


Silver Supporting Member
You just got GAS. I tell you what , I love strats too. I don't own a custom strat and never played one. If you buy one let me know if it was worth the difference.


You need one because you don't have one.
Then you will notice something else you don't have, and you'll need that too.


Your guitar is pretty custom shopped right now. I don't think it would necessarily be better, different. .

Possible to find a MIM that is better than a CS. not that likely, but CS does not guarantee better. The thing is, that you have better odds of getting a better instrument with a CS, but you can always get a dog. and many of them are so-so.

I've had a lot of great CS guitars myself. I've talked to someone who bought a $4K(!) CS Wildwood 10 strat, and soon after the honeymoon, they liked their old one better. Then it's up for sale.

Grass is always greener. My grass is sort've brownish green, and I like it that way because it doesn't grow as fast, so I don't have to mow as often.


Dang Twangler
You don't need one, but it's okay to want one. FWIW if spend the 3000 on jewelry for your lady you will probably have the same short-term improvement in self-worth without the long wait. :)


CS guitars are a cut above but I can't justify the extra money given how nice Fender production guitars can be.

My .02....I have one of the new series AmDlx's also as well as an Eric Johnson Rosewood. Both are easily the equal of the CS NOS '56 I sold a couple years ago.
Now.... my AmDlx is approaching 9 pounds...manageable but odds are a CS guitar would have a lighter premium wood body. My EJ on the other hand is CS quality all the way... quarter-sawn bound neck, 7 pounds... gorgeous in every way.


As the owner of a fantastic CS strat I can say if you are content with what you've got you don't need one. I got mine because it combined all the features of m dream strat. I wasn't happy about paying for it lol, and it was pretty cheep in the scheme of things. If I could have gotten the same guitar as a production model for less money I would have, but I have no regrets.


Silver Supporting Member
Isn't it kind of odd that CS Strats are, generally, NOT custom?
Did I miss something about how one orders them? Most seem to be on the rack.


Don't think you need one. I've played a number of CS Strats, and IMHO they may be better in certain aspects but tonally they not pretty far off form the American Dlx or the Mexican Road Worns!! I had all of them, and the only one left now that I use is the RW strat. Go figure.


Active Member
In my experience it wasn't worth it. I've owned 2 Fender custom shop guitars. One of them lasted about 6 months and the other was returned to the dealer within their 30 day return period. They are the only expensive guitars that I've ever purchased and ended up selling. I own other guitars that cost just as much money, and I'm completely happy with them. One of the Fender custom shops had severe finish issues and had the frets so heavily rolled that you could barely play the high e string. The guitar that replaced that one didn't have any glaring issues, but after having it for 6 months or so, I decided I preferred my American Standard with Fralins. It just wasnt anything special at all. I purchased both guitars new from well known online dealers.



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