Serial Number Video

It's hard to imagine a world in which all Fender Stratocasters were the exact same color, but that was the state of things when Howard Reed Jr. walked into McCord Music Company in Dallas, Texas in 1955 and placed a special order that would change the world of electric guitars forever. He looked at the rows and rows of sunburst Stratocasters, decided he wanted something a little different, and made history by asking "Can I get that in black?" Reed then proceeded to make his Strat famous across all of Texas by barnstorming with Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps, an early rock and roll outfit of great regional renown. Ever the savvy self-promoter, Reed glued his initials onto the upper bout of the guitar to make sure that everyone who saw him would remember his name. Who knows, H.A.R. may have even influenced a certain well-known Texas bluesman to follow in his footsteps and display his own initials prominently on a certain Sunburst Strat...

Such a historic guitar had to spend some time in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and though the original H.A.R. Strat now resides in a private collection, the geniuses at the Fender Custom Shop have chosen to enshrine it in a different way: by building an exacting replication for their Private Collection. Master Builder Dennis Galuzska spent untold hours toiling to recreate every one of the original's dings and scratches accurately, and his effort really shows, because this guitar looks just like it's spent most of its life in Texas juke joints!

Of course, when a guitar looks like its been gigged to death, that usually means that it sounds and plays fantastic, and Mr. Galuszka has done an exceptional job capturing the mojo of H.A.R.'s original axe. The hand-selected one-piece ash body is light and resonant, the hand-wound '55 Custom Shop pickups sound like they came out of a time machine, and the '54-style U-shaped neck is a breeze to play. Truly, this H.A.R. Stratocaster is a fitting tribute to its owner, and it is one of the finest Stratocaster reissues Wildwood has ever had the privilege of showcasing. We are proud to show it off to our fantastic customers, and we hope you find it as inspiring as we do!

Tonal Evaluation

I have to admit that I feel a little guilty over how long I spent playing this guitar to evaluate it, because I probably could have just written the word "perfect" and been done with it. But, that felt a little too easy, and I wanted to jam some more, so I figured I'd elucidate a little further. Of course, "perfect" is a highly subjective term (since it all boils down to personal preference), but my favorite Stratocasters have a dry, loud, woody, midrange-heavy sort of sound, and I can't think of any that do that tone better than this serial. The fundamental of each note comes through with great power and clarity in all pickup positions, and there's a little upper-midrange snarl and treble sparkle across the board as well. The neck pickup is as beefy as they come, with deep bass and transparent trebles. The middle pickup sounds like a punch to the gut from a belligerent bluesman, with tight bass response and aggressive midrange. Playing in the bridge position is the sonic equivalent of biting into a crisp, fresh-picked Golden Delicious apple on a fall day: sweet and satisfying, but with some accompanying tartness that will induce a mean guitar face as you bend up that minor third. I think this is my personal favorite Strat that I've played since I started working at Wildwood, and I am envious of whoever gets to take her home.

Condition Report

This Master Built Strat is in excellent condition with no issues to report. Includes the original hardshell case and COA.


Brand Used
Master BuilderDennis Galuszka
ModelMasterbuilt Private Collection HAR Stratocaster
Finish ColorBlack
Finish TypeNitrocellulose Lacquer
Weight7.17 lbs
Body WoodAsh
Neck WoodFlat Sawn Maple
Neck Shape'54 "U"
Neck Dimensions.910 1st - .970 12th
Fingerboard Radius7.25"
Scale Length25.5"
Width at Nut1.650"
Nut MaterialBone
Frets21 Vintage-Style
Pickups3 Custom Shop Hand-Wound '55 Single-Coil Strat
Controls1 Volume, 2 Tone, 3-Way Switch
BridgeVintage Tremolo
TunersVintage Style with Nickel Buttons
PickguardSingle-Ply Parchment
CaseLimited Edition Hardshell Case with Embroidered Custom Shop Logo

Why Order from Wildwood Guitars?

An instrument from Wildwood isn't just an ordinary guitar. It's your guitar. Each and every instrument we sell includes a full, point by point setup, an exhaustive evaluation, and expert shipping procedures, with first class, industry leading standards from start to finish. Why? Because you deserve it.

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Wildwood Pre-Owned
Serial Number: R90855

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