Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilt Paul Waller 1963 Stratocaster – Korina
The People's ChampWildwoodians, we recently received four '63 Stratocasters from Master Builder Paul Waller with figured korina bodies, and their unprecedented beauty literally shut our shop down. Before we opened this morning, we took them all out of their cases and put them on stands so that we could gawk at them more easily while working, but their exquisite looks demanded our full attention. It may not have been the most productive way for us to prepare for a busy Saturday, but hey, sometimes we can't help ourselves when confronted with aesthetic perfection.
Part of the reason these guitars are so exciting is the rarity of figured korina. There is a plentiful supply of korina in Africa, it's a difficult wood to build guitars out of because of its chemical composition. It's quite a moist wood, and when the water drains out of it, it often splits and you obviously can't build a guitar out of split wood (don't worry--luthiers like Paul dry and stabilize the wood before beginning the build). Furthermore, in the wild korina is quite susceptible to stains from fungus and bacteria seeking nourishment from its natural sugars.
So, finding an untouched piece of korina big enough to build a guitar with is rare. Finding such a piece with beautiful figuring like the planks Paul Waller used for these Strats is rarer still. It's like he pulled a needle out of a haystack in a field with two dozen haystacks in it!
Such rare, beautiful wood would make for an impressive aesthetic by itself, but these Strats also have gorgeous finishes, superb relic jobs, and AAA rosewood fretboards. Oh, and the pickguards are further evidence of Paul Waller's masterful touch--I think the staff spent a full five minutes gushing about how great they look.
Of course, rare wood and sweet looks are only half the reason why these guitars brought all work at Wildwood to a grinding halt. We expect Masterbuilt Fenders to sound great, but these baller Wallers have exceeded our lofty expectations. Korina sounds heavenly with Stratocaster electronics in it! It has a warm, punchy sound that often draws comparisons to mahogany, but its midrange has a bit more chewiness and sweetness and its highs are sparklier and livelier. It's also more responsive! This makes for an overall timbre that has classic elements of Fender tone while also sounding fresh and exciting.
And, speaking of exciting and new, these korina-bodied killers have Paul Waller's new Troposphere pickups in them, and they deserve to be a Custom Shop fixture! Their tone is clear yet expansive, lush, and three-dimensional. It makes for a supremely expressive playing experience, especially in conjunction with the sweet sound of korina.
We are proud to showcase these '63 Strats that sprang from the bench of Paul Waller. Their rare beauty and incredible sound are sure to provide Fender fanatics with a lifetime of inspiration, and hope you are as delighted with them as we are.
|Brand||Fender Custom Shop|
|Model||Masterbuilt Paul Waller 1963 Stratocaster|
|Finish Color||Faded 2-Tone Sunburst|
|Master Builder||Paul Waller|
|Finish Type||Nitrocellulose Lacquer|
|Neck Wood||Riftsawn Maple|
|Neck Shape||'60 Oval "C"|
|Neck Dimensions||.860 1st - .980 12th|
|Width at Nut||1.650”|
|Frets||21 Medium Jumbo|
|Pickups||3 Handwound Troposphere Single-Coils|
|Controls||1 Volume w/Treble Bleed, 2 Tone, 5-Way,|
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