This story originally appeared in the May/June 2018 issue of Elite Traveler.
There are few more iconic rock-star accoutrements than the Fender Stratocaster. Eric Clapton’s weapon of choice, Buddy Holly’s preferred companion (and Kurt Cobain’s occasional punching bag), the Strat has been wielded by many megastars. First introduced in the 1950s, the Strat has been revamped, and this model, along with 16 others, comprise the American Professional Series. With a slew of technological upgrades developed by ‘pickup guru’ (aka chief engineer) Tim Shaw, the treble-bleed circuit is tailored specifically for the guitar’s voice, and the V-Mod single-coil pickups are voiced precisely for each position, mixing alnico magnet types to produce powerful, nuanced tones. The modern ‘Deep C’ shaped neck with narrow-tall frets makes bending strings a breeze, and the color schemes can be customized. As with previous versions of the Strat, left-hand versions are available so you don’t have to play it upside down à la Jimi Hendrix, unless you really want to.
From $1,960, fender.com