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Fender Custom Shop

Custom Shop Stratocasters vs Standard Strats - What's the difference?

In the realm of electric guitars, the debate between Custom Shop Stratocasters and Standard Strats has long intrigued musicians and collectors alike. At Make'n Music, where tone has been cultivated since 1973, this discussion takes center stage amidst a backdrop of premium boutique offerings and a commitment to unparalleled customer satisfaction. Delving into the nuances of playability, sound, and craftsmanship, the distinction between these two iconic instruments becomes a journey through innovation and tradition.

Masterbuilt Guitars


  • Neck Profile: Custom Shop Stratocasters often feature premium neck profiles with rolled edges and a narrower width, providing a comfortable and fluid playing experience.
  • Frets: Hand-dressed frets on Custom Shop models ensure smooth fretting and effortless string bending.
  • Weight: Custom Shop Stratocasters are often meticulously balanced for optimal weight distribution, enhancing playing comfort and reducing fatigue.


  • Pickups: Custom Shop Stratocasters feature hand-wound pickups with custom specifications, delivering a wide range of tonal options and increased clarity and articulation.
  • Electronics: Upgraded electronics, such as vintage-style wiring and custom potentiometers, provide a more responsive and nuanced tonal response.
  • Resonance and Sustain: The use of premium woods and meticulous construction techniques enhances the natural resonance and sustain of Custom Shop Stratocasters.

Comparison to Vintage Models

Custom Shop Stratocasters are often compared to vintage models due to their adherence to traditional specifications and attention to detail.

  • Playability: Custom Shop models may offer a more refined and comfortable playing experience due to modern innovations, such as improved neck profiles and advanced fretwork.
  • Sound: Vintage Stratocasters are prized for their unique tonal characteristics, which can be difficult to replicate exactly in modern instruments. However, Custom Shop models often come close to capturing the vintage sound, while providing more consistency and reliability.

Fender Custom Shop Electronics

Comparison to Standard Production Models

Custom Shop Stratocasters stand out from standard production models in several ways:

  • Materials and Craftsmanship: Custom Shop models utilize premium woods, hand-crafted components, and meticulous attention to detail throughout the construction process.
  • Playability and Sound: As mentioned earlier, Custom Shop Stratocasters offer enhanced playability and sonic capabilities, exceeding the standards of regular production models.
  • Exclusivity: Custom Shop instruments are produced in limited quantities, making them highly sought-after by collectors and discerning players.

As you navigate the world of electric guitars, the choice between Custom Shop Stratocasters and Standard Strats remains a personal one, defined by individual preferences and aspirations. Whether you're drawn to the vintage allure of traditional craftsmanship or the modern innovations of bespoke design, Make'n Music stands ready to guide you on your musical journey. With a legacy rooted in tone and a dedication to excellence, our commitment to providing the finest instruments ensures that your musical endeavors are met with unmatched quality and satisfaction.

Build Your Own Fender


Make'n Music has been the original home of tone since 1973 and for over 50 years we've been committed to meeting the needs of our customers. Make'n Music offers a hand-picked selection of premium boutique and custom gear. Our Northfield, IL showroom is open and comfortable with private, soundproof demonstration rooms for a pleasant shopping environment while our website is regularly updated with an incredible array of custom electric guitars, tube amplifiers and effects pedals. Knowledgeable and courteous sales professionals are always available to help make sure the gear you want is the best choice to suit your needs.

Whether you're looking to pick up a new hobby, push sonic boundaries or simply tweak your tone, Make'n Music is the place!

Fender Custom Shop

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