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FDP Forum / Fender Custom Shop / 63 Cruz Masterbuilt Strat


United Kingdom

Nov 14th, 2015 03:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

Delivered today- 63 Cruz sunburst relic, ash body, 65 neck, aged white pickguard (nice change from mint green). Hand wound pickups that say Jospehina on the bottom.

I grew up with many MIJ, CIJ Fenders, then got an AVRI 65 Jag which was a huge step up in quality. I had a team built CS in the mix which needed work to get going but was my no 1 until now.

Opening the case provided a waft of laquer and new case- so good. First thoughts- the relicing was not over done, no arm wear. It looked old but not fake. It had the same presence of quality as the AVRI (strangely the team built didn't have that feeling for me). The neck stood out- so nicely aged but not worn down to wood. The edges show some wear and fingerboard is rolled (unlike team build which had sharp edges). It make the worn to wood TB neck (although super comfy) look fake in comparison. I set it up as per my liking- decked bridge, raised the action a touch, polished frets and oiled fretboard- ready to go.

The nut and fret work are top quality (as they should be for the price) so no trip to the tech. Man, it resonates like crazy- vibrations in the ribs from neck and body. The step up from team build is quite a big one in this instance (don't get me wrong, the other vibrates well and is a tone machine). It must be the wood selection that assists this? For a brand new guitar, it sings and is snappy. The neck is a real winner. I was surprised at such a difference and feel the price is no way worth it, but I doubt you'd get a better from a new guitar. I can't wait for how it will settle and improve in time.

So I'm very happy with the purchase. I expected good, but not this good. Nice little details like Cruz signing a piece of masking tape and putting it in the control cavity like they used to.

No pics. Whatever thread goes up mentioning relics, the same tired people will post their views on why they don't 'get' relics, then someone gives the worn jeans analogy. Someone will post some spiteful comments about it looking fake regardless of how well the relicing is done. I don't want to put my guitar up for scrutiny. I just want to express my gratitude to John Cruz for producing such a fine instrument.


Edmond, OK

Jan 23rd, 2016 04:30 PM   Edit   Profile  

Sounds good to me. I'm sure you are a happy camper.



A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever.
Feb 7th, 2016 06:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

MrP22, congrats on your next step in CS evolution-- I am one rung below you and climbing. I had had my eye on a 2014 build '56 heavy relic, the series equipped with the John Cruz Master Design pickups, my point of commonality with your post. Over the past two decades, I progressed from revulsion at the thought of beating up a perfectly good guitar to getting, then appreciating, what the CS was doing. These are hand-built instruments made of hand-selected pieces that have hopefully (certainly not always) gone together to produce a happy synergy-- as such, I now appreciate that the team gave my individual instrument a "personality" in its finish, as well as a strong "family resemblance" to the other instruments in that build series-- it's pretty entertaining to Google images of my build description (I can also do this for my 2014 L-series) and instantly recognize the guitars that went down the line at the same time and with the same team, all with their slightly different "wear" patterns.
Anyway, this one: I am privileged that I can experiment with things like weight, neck cut and dimensions, pickups, etc, by occasionally finding a strat that I like with the parts I am curious about and buying it. I dunno about you cats who religiously run the racks (I used to before I had kids and a house to maintain), but it takes me several months to a year and many hours to determine whether something works for me. I bought this one for its flat-sawn 10/56 neck, its Cruz Master Design pickups, and its low weight (7lb. 5oz., fairly light for alder). Actually DON'T like the aged sonic blue color, and am deliberately challenging the thing to win me over by its personality. Thus far, that is happening.
Firstly, for all of us warned to try out the 10/56 profile judiciously before buying, no worries. This was instantly one of my favorites. I thumb over frequently and this is the best profile I have found for that, and the sanded-down bare-wood finish on the back enhances the feel ON THIS ONE. I will not tell you that I can hear differences between flat- and quarter-sawn, but all of the original oldies I have handled were flat-sawn. What I can hear is this thing's voice-- its uniqueness justifies its place in my rack. I have not, in my somewhat limited experience, heard a set of pups like these. Yes, they are a bit upper-mid forward, but retain much of the sparkle some of my darker vintage-voiced sets have plus enough fundamental low to project the full "stratified" note. I play solo, do not play in a band and do not need to cut though a mix. However, this one CUTS, and would be the first one I would grab if I did meet up with a few old friends and needed to be heard. I have not popped the pickguard yet (that's coming with a setup I will do), and I am not expecting to find J.C.'s initials on them, but that would be very nice indeed...


United Kingdom

Feb 13th, 2016 09:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

It's 3 months down the line and only yesterday I played a different guitar. I'm definitely still a happy camper.

Morgenholz- sounds like you got a good one. I'd like to hear the Cruz pickups, mine has Josephina's in it. Sonic blue has always been a favourite of mine. I had a CS tele that was in LPB, bought after I had been drinking. Also the neck had a bump in it that the truss rod couldn't fix. I had to have the frets dressed a certain way to compensate for it. I never grew to like that colour and stripped it. Sonic blue though has its charms. I hope it grows on you.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Strat, Tele, Strat, Tele...hmmmmm
Mar 10th, 2016 06:13 AM   Edit   Profile  

My favorite guitar is a CS Time Machine 1956 Strat that was mostly made, IIRC, by Fred Stewart. This guitar was a gift from Fender in the old days when I first started sponsoring the FDP and I was at the factory to pick the body, neck, and a very specific sunburst finish I wanted. I forget what pups are in it now (and I've never taken it apart to look) but as Strats go, it's a damn work of art.

Don't know much about what they're doing now but they sure were turning out some lovely guitars when I was more closely related to Fender.

Oh, the serial number for the Strat is FDP001.


United Kingdom

Mar 25th, 2016 03:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

Sound like very interesting strat. You have any pics of it Chris?

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Strat, Tele, Strat, Tele...hmmmmm
Mar 26th, 2016 01:02 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've never bothered photographing it. It looks like a sunburst Strat but with a nicely flamed neck.


United Kingdom

Mar 27th, 2016 09:12 AM   Edit   Profile  

It was the 'specific sunburst' that caught my interest. What were you going for?

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Strat, Tele, Strat, Tele...hmmmmm
Mar 27th, 2016 10:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

They were doing these with a two-tone burst as I recall but there was a '56 in a Japanese book about Fenders or Strats in particular (I really don't recall) that had an interesting sunburst pattern that was not a two-tone but not quite the three-tone that became the standard. I showed the photo to Eldred and said that's the finish I wanted. I guess one would say it's a very slight three-tone burst.

I'll see if I can't get a photo and put it up in the next day.



May 17th, 2016 04:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

MrP22 I am getting my first masterbuilt quote...should be to me later this week.

would you mind telling how much yours cost?

Sounds like a great guitar...congratulations.


United Kingdom

May 25th, 2016 01:51 AM   Edit   Profile  


(This message was last edited by MrP22 at 03:43 PM, May 25th, 2016)

FDP Forum / Fender Custom Shop / 63 Cruz Masterbuilt Strat

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