SMG Review: Fender Custom Shop Robin Trower Signature Stratocaster

The Fender Custom Shop Robin Trower Stratocaster

FENDER HISTORY

The Fender Stratocaster, often referred to as the “Strat,” is an electric guitar designed by Leo Fender, George Fullerton, and Freddie Tavares in 1954, and manufactured continuously by the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation to the present. It is a double-cutaway guitar, with an extended top horn for balance while standing. Along with the Gibson Les Paul, it is one of the most common models of electric guitar in the world.

In its original form, the Stratocaster was offered in a 2-color sunburst finish on a solid, deeply contoured ash body, a one-piece maple neck with 21 frets, black dot inlays, and Kluson machine heads, until 1956, when Fender started making bodies made from solid alder. There was also a set of available custom colors that wasn’t standardized until 1960. These custom colors were mostly automobile lacquer colors made by DuPont and could be had for an extra 5% cost. The single-ply, 8-screw hole white pick guard was a unique concept that allowed mounting all electronic components—except the recessed jack plate—in one easily removed assembly. Subsequent Stratocaster designs (by both Fender and imitators) may or may not have improved on the original in usability and sound, but vintage Fender models are still often worth large amounts of money, and many prefer the timbre of older models.

OFF THE RACK

Legendary guitarist Robin Trower helped define an era of blues rock guitar. The Robin Trower Signature Stratocaster features custom pickups created by Trower and Fender master builder Todd Krause, with a reverse wound/reverse polarity middle pickup (including a humbucking option in the second and fourth positions). They are said to be 50’s and 60’s reissue pickups that have been modified with a bit more gain. The neck pickup is very open and smooth sounding which gives Trower his signature tone. The middle pickup is a bit warmer but with a bit more twang while the bridge pickup sounds a lot like a Texas special pickup, very hot and gainy. The alder body has a superb tone and resonance much like the classic 70’s strats. The custom C-shaped maple neck has a flat fingerboard with jumbo frets and narrow spacing. The Trower Signature Series Strat has a large 70s-style headstock with 70s-style decal. This axe is fitted with a classic synchronized tremolo bridge and locking tuners. Definitely a dream-come-true Fender. Very comfortable and has a beefier tone than your standard Strat, giving you everything you need to rock the house.

THE SPECS

  • Alder body
  • Custom C-shaped maple neck
  • Custom pickups with RW/RP and humbucking option in 2nd and 4th positions
  • Synchronized tremolo bridge
  • 70s-style headstock with ’70s decal
  • Bullet truss rod adjustment
  • 4-bolt neck plate

THE LOW DOWN

Overall this is one of the best sounding and best feeling Fender guitars I have played. I get very picky about Fender Guitars because I am not usually a fan of their necks. This axe passes with flying colors. It has a unique tone, fast flat neck that gives you superb action and tone while the pickups range from an open warm to bright high gain Texas twang and everything you need to stand out on stage. Yes it is a signature guitar on the high end price range, but once you pick it up, you will see it’s worth every penny. If you are looking for that Trower, Hendrix or Johnson tone, you need look no further. This axe is super versatile and can get any tone you need with room to spare. Try one out.  You will not be disappointed.

Pros: Fast flat neck. Superb tone. Locking tuners. Custom pickups. 70 headstock.

Cons: N/A

Price Range – $2,975.00 – $3,495.99

Till next time, thanks for reading and keep on shredding!

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  • Esty

    That is a very cool guitar! 🙂

  • Vince

    Flat neck??????? Whats the radius?

  • David Gennaro

    11 grade, Bridge of Sighs , killer

  • Martin Taft

    Love that 70’s jumbo headstock, the reverse wound center pickup gives it the hendrix vibe. The gain possibilities are over the top.

  • Love the Guitar. His amps were good too. I saw Robin Trower @ The HOB on Sunset Blvd. He was great. There’s a wonderful blues power moment in the set and it was worth the wait.

  • will

    This guitar rocks. I have the midnight wine burst. Love the fat headstock and the way it looks in different lighting. Stays in tune after heavy playing.

  • I own a few guitars, but this trower strat is the only one i play now, i’ve had it for a year and half, does everything really well- sold off alot of guitars since i got it.

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