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New for 2023, the Fender Custom Shop introduces the ’56 Stratocaster Journeyman Relic. More than 65 years after its namesake predecessor, the instrument is loaded with looks, sound and vibe that expertly evokes the Stratocaster in its original golden era.

The two-piece select ash body exudes balanced highs and sweet midrange with lively resonance, with an off-center seam and wrapped in stately Journeyman Relic flash coat lacquer finishes in Aged White Blonde, Wide Fade Two-Color Sunburst, Aged Black and Aged Sherwood Metallic. This special treatment imparts the look of a guitar that has changed hands or been handed down over the years, mostly played around the house and the occasional jam session or weekend gig. This generally well-cared-for look includes light finish checking, several “friendly” down-to-the-wood nicks and dings, some dulling of the hardware, and general moderate playing wear. The look of a very lucky find, in short.

The one-piece flat-sawn maple neck has a chunky ’54-style Soft “V” profile, topped by a comfortable vintage compound-radius (7.25”-9.5”) maple fingerboard that flattens slightly toward the nut for easy bending, with 21 medium vintage (47095) frets and a bone nut. All three Custom Shop hand-wound ’55 Strat pickups (reverse-wound/reverse-polarity middle pickup for hum cancellation in switch positions 2 and 4) deliver crystal-clear highs and well-balanced midrange, with ’54-’58 vintage Strat wiring and five-way switching. Other premium features include a single-ply parchment pickguard, Custom Shop vintage synchronized tremolo bridge, vintage-style tuners, wing string tree with nylon spacer, deluxe hardshell case, strap and certificate of authenticity.


Brand Fender Custom Shop
Model2023 Collection Time Machine 1956 Stratocaster
Finish ColorAged Black
AgingJourneyman Relic
Finish TypeFlash Coat Lacquer
Weight7.52 lbs.
Body Wood2-Piece Select Ash with Offset Seam
Neck WoodOne Piece of Maple
Neck Shape'54 Soft V
Neck Dimensions.950 1st - 1.000 12th
Fingerboard Radius7.25" to 9.5" Vintage Compound Radius
InlaysMicarta Dot
Scale Length25.5"
Width at Nut1.625"
Nut MaterialBone
Frets21 Jescar Medium Vintage 47095
Pickups3 Custom Shop Hand-Wound '55 Single-Coils (RWRP, Middle)
ControlsMaster Volume, Tone 1. (Neck/Middle Pickups), Tone 2. (Bridge Pickup); 5-Way Switch
SwitchingPosition 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup, Position 3. Middle Pickup, Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickup, Position 5. Neck Pickup
BridgeCustom Shop Vintage Synchronized Tremolo
PickguardSingle-Ply Parchment
CaseFender Deluxe Tweed Hardshell

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Serial Number: CZ569565

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