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1998 Fender Vince Cunetto Custom Shop Stratocaster ’60s Relic [*Demo Video]

1998 Fender Vince Cunetto Custom Shop Stratocaster ’60s Relic [*Demo Video]

Regular price $7,995.00
Regular price $8,495.00 Sale price $7,995.00
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1998 Custom Shop 60's Strat from the legendary Vince Cunetto! Stunning aesthetic in Fiesta Red with a matching headstock featuring a quality Brazilian Rosewood slabboard serving as an homage to the iconic early '60s examples. Plays great featuring a slim-C profile neck and sounds great producing a bright, focused sound with a really distinct mid-scoop characteristic in positions 2 & 4 that is sure to please any Strat lover! Good overall shape with some moderate playwear, and a distinct road-worn aesthetic. A quality custom shop build! Includes COA and original hardshell case.

Check out the feature from our luthier Tyler in the ECG Newsletter:

"The birth of the legend of Vince Cunetto is truly one of the great stories of the solid body electric guitar’s modern era. He got his start as so many of us did: as a vintage guitar fanatic without the means to collect vintage guitars. Through a years-long process of trial and error during the late 80s and 90s, he devised a method for finishing and aging guitars in an alarmingly convincing fashion, especially considering what was available at that time.

A stickler for detail, he even pioneered a new method for accurately reproducing Fender headstock decals from photographs of originals. He began manufacturing and selling these decals at guitar shows, which of course soon caught the attention of Fender. Rather than threats of legal action, though, Jay Black of the Custom Shop offered Cunetto employment at Fender. What started as a job producing decals soon expanded to include aged parts, hardware, and soon thereafter complete aged instruments. His first aged guitars for Fender were a ’51 Nocaster and a ’57 Strat built for the 1995 NAMM show. As an experiment, Jay Black advertised these guitars on display as genuine vintage examples for the public to inspect. Thousands of industry professionals visited the booth, and not a single one suggested either of the guitars were anything but genuine 50s Fenders. Once this fib was admitted, hundreds of orders rushed in for similarly aged instruments. The now-ubiquitous “relic” was born.

While these were technically Fender Custom Shop guitars, none of the finishing or aging was done in-house in California. From 1995 until the end of 1998, every single aged Fender guitar built was first constructed at their factory, then shipped to Vince’s shop in Missouri for his proprietary finishing and relicing process. These carefully guarded methods were never disclosed to Fender, even after their relationship dissolved in early 1990. This is what makes Cunetto instruments so special and desirable. They look nothing like what the Fender Custom Shop would go on to produce at their Corona factory, and in many respects are more convincing and authentic than anything Fender has managed to build to this day.

Batches of guitars in Cunetto’s shop never numbered more than 40 instruments and received a level of individual attention to detail that simply could not be reproduced at a larger scale with less-specialized craftsmen. These early Cunetto guitars are as much pieces of art as they are tools, and will surely be regarded in decades to come as holy-grail pieces of Fender history. This Fiesta Red example of an early 60s Stratocaster features a Brazilian rosewood fretboard as well as gold hardware and a matching headstock. Its original Fender certificate of authenticity is included as well as the original hard shell case. This is everything you want in a vintage Strat and will only continue to appreciate through the coming years."

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