Vintage Fender Strats, Custom Shop & Boutique S-types, Guitar Parts, Auctions & Sales!


Tokai 'Springy Sound'- The Original Strat-Clone

SRV Texas Flood Cover Guitar

Tokai Springy Sound Strat Guitar Copy(

Back in the '70's- early 80's, Japan's Tokai company was making some of the most blatant replicas of popular Gibson and Fender guitars.

Lawsuits eventually forced Tokai to dial back the look-alike knob, but those old "Springy Sound" models have become somewhat of a cult collector's guitar.

Think about how wild this is. This Tokai model was NOT a copy of the Fender Strats of its time-- it was an attempt at replicating earlier "vintage" Strats. You see, back when guitar players were first talking up the Pre-CBS era instruments, someone in Japan was listening. Tokai weren't the only ones, but they best represent good quality in that niche. So in effect, they helped kick off the re-issue industry, as well as Gibson and Fender outsourcing "more affordable" models.

The really wild part is that now, "vintage" Tokai clones of vintage Fender Strats are becoming collectible and gaining cult status on their own. This only leads one to assume that other folks must be making counterfeits of Tokai Springy-Sound models.

Anyone remember the movie Multiplicity with Michael Keaton?

But wait! It gets even crazier! An article by Larry Meiners at states that Stevie Ray Vaughan was featured on the 1985-1986 Tokai Guitar Catalog cover. But wait-- there's more! He also states that SRV's guitar, pictured on 1983's Texas Flood album cover art, is a Tokai Springy Sound, and that the Tokai headstock labeling was removed before the album covers were printed-- however, the giant pre-release music store posters plainly displayed the headstock labeling shown in the above photo!

Click Here for more SRV-related Tokai photos.

Current Tokai listings at eBay

MIJ Guitar Listings-
Search S-types by Tokai, Fernandes, ESP, Bacchus, Fender Japan and others.

Hi-end Strats

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Conrad Oberg- Young Blues Wonder!


12 year old Conrad Oberg of Jacksonville, Florida is more than just a young guitar wonder. Born 3.5 months premature, at under 2 lbs-- it was a wonder that Conrad survived. On top of that, young Oberg is blind except for 15% vision in one eye.

Except for being white, Conrad fits the classic stereotype of a bluesman. But he hasn't let the "white" thing or stereotypes hold him back. Music is shaped by those who focus on the heart and soul. And historically, some of the strongest musical focus has come from artists who, ironically, lack the sense of physical sight.

Conrad, like most of our Young Guitar Wonders, was demonstrating his talent by age 3, and plays keyboards too. Performing in public for the last 7 years; touring many of the Blues fests and venues across the South has brought Conrad into contact with several of our greatest living and recently passed Blues legends. Like an old soul himself, he seems right at home with such company as Ray Charles, Dr. John, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Guy, Pinetop Perkins, Honeyboy Edwards, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, etc. is loaded with videos, photos and a great bio. Discover more about Conrad, and check for his appearances should you happen to be around the South, USA this Summer.

Pop culture is a lot like popcorn; little kernels puffed up with hot air. The real power of soul is ensured when young artists come along who mystically, but very naturally celebrate the roots and substance of our music culture.

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Fender & Ford Pairing Strat and Shelby Mustang!

The Play Loud-Go Fast Sweepstakes has just been announced. Fender & Ford have created a matching Stratocaster/Shelby Mustang pair. Only two pairs were produced. One pair was auctioned by Barrett Jackson and the second will be given away in a sweepstakes you must enter by Dec. 31, 2007.

This is mucho cooler than that Worst Act thing. We're talkin' a serious car and a serious Fender Custom Shop Strat mocked up with Shelby Mustang juiciness. The auctioned pair brought $600K, of which 100% was given to the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation-- is that cool or what!!

Click Here for the official Business Wire press release.

Better yet, CLICK HERE to enter the sweepstakes at

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Stratoblogster Migrates to New Blogger!

Here's my favorite comic strip item of the week, just to celebrate successfully moving this blog to the new platform. Pin It Now!

A Strat For Friday #18 Anderson Drop Top Hollow

This Tom Anderson Drop Top Hollow Classic has a transparent teal finish, bound maple top on an alder body.

Doncha just wanna dive into the finish and go for a swim? Help! Lifeguard!! I'm drowning!!

Click on the photo for a much better look and specs.

The almond colored body binding works so well with the teal color and the white pearl pickguard. has tons of great looking Strat & Tele type guitars to drool over. It was real tough to narrow down and choose this one.

FRIDAY Strat Archive

Hi-end Strats
- including Anderson guitar links

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Elmo Karjalainen & Deathlike Silence

Finland's Strat-o-Brother Elmo Karjalainen holds guitar duties for the band Deathlike Silence, a classic Euro-Metal band whose sound recaptures the majesty of pre-shred Euro-legends, i.e. Rainbow, Iron Maiden, early Scorpions and MSG.

It's funny that they don't list the above as influences at all. But instead, cite more contemporary, angry, black-metal bands as their influences.

After some pondering, I've concluded that Finnish and Scandinavian bands in general just don't have the same angst as other places. Actually, they seem happier, as evidenced by Deathlike Silence's strong melodic choruses, vocal harmony sections and the incorporation of female lead singer "Ms. Maya" into the mix. Check out the tune House on Haunted Hill at , where Elmo tends to take a Blackmore/Schenker approach.

Elmo's solo stuff at is much more Art Rock/Fusion inspired. Go there and listen to Sanna, a contemplative instrumental in the vein of Jeff Beck's Who Else album.

If you appreciate the roots of early Euro-Metal, both Elmo & Deathlike Silence are sure to please.

Strat-o-Brother's Directory

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Upcoming VG Strat Accessories!

As you wait around for the Fender-Roland VG Strat to become available, let's consider some accessories.

Stratoblogster Labs, in coordination with the aforementioned companies-- plus Warner Bros, hopes to further expand the VG Stat's capabilities by introducing, The VG Strat Virtual Virtuoso iGloves for Guitarists (VGSVViGG).

That's right, you read right-- the VGSVViGG's will come pre-programmed with 10 all time greatest guitar solos (sorry, no Stairway), and utilize Blue Tooth technology to coordinate left and right igloves with eachother and the VG Strat. VGSVViGG's will only function with VG Strats.

The igloves actually train a player's hands to play the pre-set solos, and will include variable speed, key and alternate tuning settings. Advanced features allow players to play and store up to 10 minutes of original solos and clone them to another pair of VGSVViGG's. They are made with a non-stick, heat proof material and will include a bonus plug-in for tossing pizza dough like a real pro.

The current prototype permits up to 4 fingers only. The major bugs remaining, once handled, will allow full 5 finger design and function. We expect to have a 5 finger prototype soon, pending approval of more carrots for the R & D budget. Click image for demo vid.

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Stratoblogster Guitar Blog FEATURES DIRECTORY


Just one more way to help YOU have more fun than humans should be allowed to have. The following links are directories for subjects & categories I post about repeatedly as well as anything considered useful or helpful. Kind of a cheesy Sitemap. I said cheesy.

Once in a while, I post something that is worthy of one of these directories.

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Fender to Build Eddie Van Halen Guitars

Jan. 22, 2007
It was only a matter of time...

We just found out that Fender Custom Shop will build 300 replicas of Eddie Van Halen's original "Frankenstein" guitar; the model most associated with EVH's burst to guitar-god status in the late 70's. I recall portions of that era.

Similar to the recent Eric Clapton "Blackie Strat" and Jeff Beck Tele projects, the 300 EVH guitars will be replicated down to the last cigarette burn and ding. They'll also be marinated 30 days in a concoction of Schlitz Malt Liquor and Marlboro butts-- otherwise known as "Brown Sound Liqueur" (ok, I made that last part up).

Expect the "Kramer" on the headstock to be replaced with a non-Gibson family name. Of course this would only be in order to not remind people about comedian Michael Richards' recent onstage behavior. Yeah, that's it. That's the ticket.

It's not currently known how much these guitars will
cost or if part of the profits will be used to provide Hawaiian shirts for third world youngsters. Nor is it known if these will be sold exclusively through Guitar Center outlets. We do hear that EVH and Fender are planning a full EVH product line. Perhaps the 300 guitars are just to get the ball rolling.

I definitely want a Fender-EVH bobble head doll.

The Van Halen band is slated to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this Spring. There is also word of an upcoming VH tour, in which I've heard Ed's 15 year old son Wolfgang will be replacing Michael Anthony on bass. As for the singer, yeah you guessed it, there are rumors that Diamond Dave may...

I just want a bobble head doll OK!

Read more about it:
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Tronical PowerTune System Tunes Your Guitar!


2009 Ed Note: This is the stuff that ended up in Gibson's Robot guitars.

Like most guitar players, I've always dreamed of a system that senses the pitch of your strings and makes the tuners crank themselves till your strings are in tune.

It's perfectly normal to have these dreams, especially if you play a Strat. Well, now it's possible! Just introduced at NAMM, the German made PowerTune System from Tronical retrofits into your Strat without any drilling or modifications. The system consists of a direct replacement floating bridge for Strats (or tune-o-matic for Gibsons), a controller/knob replacing the Volume control and the mini servo-powered tuners.

The Tronical website has a cool demo video. Besides the fact that the hardware requires no modding or drilling, I'm really impressed that your alternate tunings can be entered into memory, intonation can be adjusted and if you're jamming with an old piano that's flat-- you simply tune one string to a piano note, activate an "enter" function-- and the system will tune the other 5 strings to that reference string.

The tuning gears and rechargeable battery compartment behind the headstock are bulkier than normal, but other than that, there isn't any clutter. It's even possible the added mass at the headstock will improve your sustain.

In some ways, I think this is cooler than the VG Strat, because it helps an anolog guitar at being an analog guitar by simply tuning, intonating and accomodating alternate tunings. It doesn't promise to help your Strat sound like a philharmonic orchestra, a Star Wars weapon or do your taxes.

PowerTune® is endorsed by the legendary Uli Jon Roth and costs about $800. Though I can't personally justify spending that much to not have to do my own tuning, I'm still really impressed. The features of this product definitely reflect engineers working closely with real guitar players. This isn't more pricey junk that goes in & out of style. There will always be a need to get tuned up more easily. If you have sufficient disposeable income this beats any piece of recreational equipment that could cripple you or a Vegas trip that could also cripple you.

From: and

Note: As of this writing, I'm trying to determine if this tuning system functions correctly with Buzz Feiten set up guitars. Stay tuned (pun) for update.
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30th Annual Dallas International Guitar Festival!

If you missed Winter NAMM Show, just know there are more cool things coming up!!

Here's the scoop on the big Dallas Guitar Fest, from festival coordinator Mark Pollock:

"We want to get the word out to everyone about the 30th Anniversary Dallas International Guitar Festival. Last year's was the biggest and best ever! Fifty four bands played. This year promises to be even bigger. You aren't going to want to miss it..."

APRIL 20, 21 & 22 2007

" ...Three days of live music on three different stages!
This is an event you will want to share with your friends!
Thanks for your support!"

For more info. visit: or catch Mark direct at:
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Fender's New Digital VG Strat vs Ned Lud

Cary at Electric Guitar Review, our roving Winter NAMM '07 correspondent, has all the goods and links you need on Fender's new digital "VG Stratocaster". Looks like Fender & Roland have teamed up to take on the Line 6 Variax set-up. Visit the EGR link above for the hot scoop!

CLICK HERE for my REAL coolest new product pick from Winter NAMM '07.

Hey, what's the "VG" stand for? I can't find it anywhere. Is this something that I should just know from ultimate hipness and groovitude?

"Variable Guitar"
"Virtual Guitar" (probably)
"Ventriloquist Guitar"
"Viagra Guitar"
"Variax Gags"
"Very Good"
"Vulcan Grip"
"Volcano Grunge"
"Vinyl Gravity"
"Vinnie Giglionni"
"Vapid Granola"
"Vortex Gratification"
"Voluptuous Girls"

Oh, I did learn a new word, Luddite, from Cary:

"An individual who is against technological change. Luddite comes from Englishman Ned Lud, who rose up against his employer in the late 1700s. Subsequently, "Luddites" emerged in other companies to protest and even destroy new machinery that would put them out of a job. A neo-Luddite is a Luddite in the Internet age."

I've just decided to be a LUDDITE, at least until sombody tells me just WHAT THE HELL VG STANDS FOR!!!!!!!

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Nick Sterling-- White Punks on Blues?

From Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan to Kenny Wayne Shepherd to Nick Sterling to Fredrik Halland to Quinn Sullivan; we're talkin' about White Punks on Blues. Legends to young wonders, the Blues never grows old. By "Punks" I mean the attitude of picking up a guitar instead of a slide rule, a book on etiquette, a mersham pipe or a fraternity sweater.

White Punks can be on various things, but when they choose Blues they rule the world!

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Video of Philip Sayce Solo Guitar Lesson

Please pass the superglue! Here's our Strat-o-Brother, "In Yo Face, Sayce" (sort of a boxing name), doing the Ali Shuffle on a most loyal Strat. That Strat knows to obey, if it wants to keep the rest of its paint!

Wonder if this is frets generation 2 or 3?

CLICK HERE for a live performance video of Spanish Castle Magic with Sayce's Peace Machine band, at the Yahoo! Year End Party. Check out the Jimi at Monterrey Pop moves!

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A Strat for Friday #17 Rothstein Custom

Rothstein Strat( is the home of Rothstein Guitars. Andy Rothstein builds custom Strat and Tele-type guitars-- basses too.

Not only that, Rothstein also builds mods that you can purchase, including loaded pickguard configs. The website is a wealth of great info. for any Strat geek.

If that weren't enough, Andy is also a very cool guitar player; a great advantage for any luthier. So you can imagine when he builds an instrument, the attention to tone and playability is top priority.

Our Friday Strat #17, the "Translucent Black Burst S", is simply loaded with goodness through and through. Yep, if Wheaties featured Strats on their cereal box, this unit would be on it. The headstock is even normal... whew!

Specs hi-lites :

Buzz Feiten System
Body: Chambered ash with flame maple top. Thin urethane finish.
Pickups: Evans noiseless
Hardware: Callaham

Click Here for a complete build documentary with more photos and specs! Be sure to explore the rest of the site for ultimate Stratisfaction!

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ZVEX Nano Head Mini Amp-- Nuclear or Nucular?

The ZVEX Nano Head mini guitar amplifier is the biggest 1/2 watt in the industry.

How do they do it? Maybe it's nuclear or "nu-cu-lar". No matter how pronounce it, I think atomic energy could be involved.

Click Here for sound samples from the ZVEX site.

Find ZVEX dealers at GUITAR GEAR STORES directory.

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog." Mark Twain

"I have arm-wrestled here and there... guys seem to want to test my strength." Shania Twain

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'DiPinto Galaxie 4 Ready for Takeoff, Over! ccchk!'

DiPinto Galaxie Guitar(photo:

Blast off "to the moon, Alice!", with the Galaxie 4 from DiPinto Guitars of Philadelphia, PA-- home of the famous cheesesteak sandwich, that big- still cracked bell and the now Iverson-less '76ers.

Pictured is the Galaxie 4 Los Straitjackets model in Silver Sparkle with gold pearl pickguard. The headstock face is also gold pearl. Click on the photo to visit a much better photo at the DiPinto Guitars website. This is the guitar played by the one and only Eddie Angel, surf guitar master.

The guitar features a Jazzmaster style floating trem, DiPinto's own single coil pickups, pearl tuners and a choice of either 4 rocker switches or one 5 position pickup switch. Those 4 red rockers resemble lipsticks or miniature cruise missiles emerging from their silos.

Besides the G4, DiPinto builds quite an array of guitars ranging from their serious Metro Archtop models to their sporty Mach IV solidbodies.
DiPinto has a look for Blues players, Surf Players and Jazz Players alike. They even make a killer "V" style guitar called the Hellion for our Metalhead shredder buddies.

If you like what Reverend and Eastwood are putting out, ya better check out the DiPinto line.
And then enjoy a fine cheesesteak sandwich, that is, if you can find one outside of Philly.

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Philip Sayce Put's His Strat In YO FACE!!!

Recently hearing Strat-o-Brother Philip Sayce for the first time was like getting run over by a Kenworth sized, Strat tone haulin', churnin' urn of burnin' monster groove, steamrollin' down the highway of desire!

Or something similar to that.

Prior to releasing his 14 song solo effort, entitled Peace Machine, Philip toured with and performed guitar duties for the likes of Jeff Healey, Melissa Etheridge and Uncle Kracker. Beyond just another solo guitar album, Peace Machine's cuts are well crafted songs with vocals, strong melodies and grooves. I've used the word groove three times now.

Hot steaming platters of smoked Strat-o-Back rib tones, enough to tip over Fred Flintstone's car and dim the lights at Kenny Wayne Whats-his-name's house, are served up by Sayce's superglue callused fingers of 13's guage doom, accompanied by vocals sweet and soulful enough to prevent the ladies from even thinking of turnin' down the volume.

That previous paragraph was one entire sentence! SAVE ME FROM MYSELF!!!

To experience the groove of Philip Sayce, and you will (Oh yes, you WILL), just check out the sights and sounds at:

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Beginner's Guide to Guitar

Beginner's Guide to Guitar is for new guitar players, guitar teachers, parents and anyone who knows someone starting out on guitar. It's also good review info. for intermediate players. The simple layout menu and easy to navigate pages include sections on accessories, effects, acoustics, electrics, bass-- and even banjo.

The accessories and effects sections list various items; describing their purpose and use. The guitar sections cover different types of guitars, their components, typical cost ranges and how to purchase them.

I wish there was info. like this when I was 12! The info. is concise and easy to read. Pin It Now!

Online Interactive Guitar Tab Generator

(photo from wiki) features a free interactive guitar tab generator tool that you can save in text form for print- outs. They call it an ASCII Tab Generator. "ASCII" stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. All this means is, you use your keyboard and mouse. is a brand new website designed for networking bands and musicians. When you're not generating gallons of your own TAB, be sure to explore what the site has to offer.

"TAB" is a top guitar related internet search term. And why not? How can any guitar player refuse such cold, crisp refreshment, with no bitter aftertaste-- AND it's SUGAR FREE! How can you not like TAB?

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Consider a Mexican Made Stratocaster !

MIM Strats for DIY upgrade projects.
MIM Strat
Thinkin' about a Mexican Strat? You're not alone.

At around $400, the Fender Standard Stratocaster Guitar is a great value.

I usually talk about the high end gourmet Strat world-- but keep running into guitar players who love their MIM Strats. It just keeps happening.

Usually the body wood spec is Alder (I've also seen poplar), and you can get either maple or rosewood fretboard. These come with a gig bag, but decent molded cases are available for $79. At this point, still under $500, you have the standard platform to upgrade from if needed.

Some folks spend a few hundred more for an American made model and still want to do upgrades, so it kinda makes sense to start low and use the difference you saved for hot rodding.

The Stagemaster Project blog documents a guy upgrading an old Squier Stagemaster (Strat type) because he really liked the feel of the guitar, in spite of its "status". Obviously, Squiers have some cheesy hardware, but $350 later, he had the pots, switches, pickups, shielding materials, knobs and even the pickguard he wanted.

My early 80's Japanese Kramer Focus has a super light body. I was told it's poplar (not confirmed). The pots and pickups were upgraded, and it has a great Strat sound.

Still, I haven't determined the reason so many folks rave about their Mexican Strats. Maybe it's just the relief of getting a sound they expected would cost them much more. Or maybe Fender was shipping the wrong wood to their Baja facility. It's still a mystery to me.

PG magazine's Finding a Strat and Giving it a New Soul article has tips and insights on MIM upgrade projects.

"Made in USA" is important to many folks, and I respect that. However, if you close your eyes and follow the sound, you may be in for a surprise that will also please your budget.

Find MIM Strat deals at eBay!

Killer Guitar Components- Brass blocks & claws.
(major sustain & tone upgrade for MIM & MIJ Strats)

Pimp Your Strat!
(DIY mod resources & parts suppliers!)

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Fender - Panasonic Thing Confusing?

This photo is supposed to represent "confusion".

I just read a real FLUFFY article at about FMIC and Panasonic Automotive Systems Company America getting together to develop... something nifty. According to the piece, the two companies plan to: "...Collaborate on In-Vehicle Entertainment Systems...".

Whatever that means-- the low-definition article left me clueless. I guess it's gonna be another "I totally don't know what that is, but I want it." thing.

See what the First Act- VW thing started! I still like the Chrysler bobble-heads with the Fender gear in their Jeep Compass though.
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Stratoblogster Labs-- Gas Hybrid Guitar Preamp

In our continuing series, documenting cutting edge technology for the Strat culture, here you see me siphoning gasoline into my Strat for the new hybrid guitar preamp system I've been invited to test.

A January 2010 federal mandate requiring all guitar preamp systems to be at least partially gasoline powered, is intended to reduce the rate of 9V batteries overflowing our landfills.

As my prototype arrived with neither batteries or gas, it was necessary to procure fuel from an available source (a neighbor's SUV).

It's difficult to see in this photo, but in the interest of SAFETY, I've wrapped the auxiliary cord/fuel line tightly around my neck several times to inhibit the inhalation of dangerous fumes, as well as provide good strain relief!

This new technology is similar to what NASA developed for converting astronaut pee back into Tang. Watch for this at NAMM by 2009!
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Stratoblogster Labs Directory

Strange Guitar Ideas

Funny, unusual Stratocaster guitar blog posts
And now, the ridiculous debut of Stratoblogster Labs!

"Stratoblogster Labs" is a series documenting my research & development into cutting edge technology for the Strat culture. Legitimate links are also included-- whatever that means...

Pictured here with proper safety attire, I demonstrate my latest trem technique employing two, count 'em TWO bars in my left hand... for one crisp, smooth action.

Don't try this anywhere but home!

(baby carrots are my current, allowed post-holiday snack)

Stratoblogster Labs Directory:
Guitar World Contributions

Gas Hybrid Guitar PreAmp
Online Guitar Tab Generator
VG Strat Virtual Virtuoso iGloves for Guitarists
'Easy Button' Strat- Fact or Myth?
Theme Wah Wah Pedals
More "Steves" Play Guitar
50 Custom Shop Strat Ideas
Telecaster Health Alert
Sonicare Toothbrush Tuner
Relic-tile Dysfunction Treatment
Relic Guitar String Process
VIAGRIT- Relic-tile Dysfunction Treatment
FRAG- Free Radical Acceleration Gel (RELIC YOURSELF!)
Good Guitar Tone in Your Hands? Still Waiting?
REHAB Series Strat
Guitar Vibrato Technique Explained
Stratoblogster's 1973 Guitar Game Controller
Baby Boomers' Massage-O-Jam-Matic Rockin' Chair
Squier Relic Series? The RUG BURN Series!
Tone vs Gear Acquisition Syndrome
Food & Beverage, Friday Strat Combinations
BLINDFOLDED Guitar Playing
Ideal Guitar Nut Material Theory
Stratoblogster BBQ Sauce Recipe
Stratoblogster PIZZA Crust Recipe
NUT SAUCE (not related to bbq sauce)
Online Test for Pitch, Rhythm, etc.
Potential Viagra Side Effects for Guitar Players
Gibson DUSK TIGER WOODS Guitar??
GAS or Parenthood? Feasibility Comparison Analysis
About Guitar Strings, Buy Bulk But NO Coated Strings!
Guitar's Early Influence on Winter Olympic Equipment
MOJO, Definition of
Find Your Power for Playing Guitar
Easy Summer BBQ Tips!
A Relic Guitar Smile
Reliable Guitar Stands?

What's Hiding Underneath Your Calluses?
Joe Gore & More... - plus a history of GP Magazine 
Marshall Potato Chips?
Gear Demo Vids Gone Wild?
Pre-Treating New Strings with WD-40
Guitar Collecting Isn't a Mental Dysfunction!
Cracking the Code of Left-handedness
Popular Guitar Design is Player Driven
Paralleling Jimi Hendrix with Robin Williams - Posted at Guitar World online.
63 Strat Volume Knob Anyone?
Relic Guitar Evolution
Allen Holdsworth's Guitar Passion - Discover your passion!
Clapton's Crossroads Solo - Covers and perspectives...
What Really Makes a Guitar Hero? 
Decoding Guitar Tone Psychobabble - Useful tips for tone!
A-432 vs A-440 tuning standard
Neural Optic Therapy - addressing pain and/or coordination 
Instrumental Guitar Covers Done Right
Just Say "No!" to Black T-shirts
What Ever Happened to YOUR Favorite Guitarist(s)
Blind Guitar Player Advantages

More from the lab soon!!

Pimp Your Strat!
(mod-wiring resource links and parts suppliers)
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StingRey Vasquez & Tightrope


Like so many guitarists, Tucson's Rey Vasquez got real serious about guitar when he discovered Stevie Ray Vaughan. He'd already been playing the guitar awhile, and had his first electric at age 8. Then one night, a few years later, Rey's dad rousted him out of bed to check out SRV on Saturday Night Live.

Pretty cool dad, huh!

At that point, Rey got focused on his playing, acquired a Strat and really dove into the Blues. Similar to our other Strat-o-brother, Todd Tijerina, Rey spent some of the 90's in Chicago, frequently participating in the weekly jams at Buddy Guy's Legends club.

Rey is in Tucson now fronting his SRV tribute band, StingRey Vasquez & Tightrope. In response to my question about his gear, Rey had this to say:

"...My main Strat is "Kid Leche", a 1990 Mexican Strat with various mods to it including Fender Texas Special pick-ups, custom shop electronics, and various other cosmetic stuff. ..

I currently run a Fender Hot Rod Deville that has been "hot-rodded" even more by a local amp tech. Depending on the venue, I'll run another Deville or a 4x10 tweed extension cab.

My effects run as follows: Boss DS-1, Ibanez Tube Screamer (both modded by Analog Man), Voodoo Labs Sparkledrive, Tremolo, Analog Chorus, and Micro Vibe; Boss DD-3 (modded by Analog Man), and a Boss TU-2. I wire everything up with George L's and Monster cable.

Last but not least, I would like to stress that even though it looks like I use a lot of effects, I use them sparingly. It's still just fingers, steel, wood, and imagination!..."

Listening to Rey's playing, what distinguishes him from the multitude of SRV wannabe's is his fundamental grasp of standard blues guitar. Counting Albert King, Freddie King and Hubert Sumlin among his influences, Rey really gets those Albert King semi-tone bends beyond simply mimicking SRV. Listen to "So Excited" on Rey's myspace site (click on photo or photo credit).

A recent interview at included this response, I thought was really cool:

"...If Stevie Ray were alive and ready to jam with you, what song would you choose? 'I would probably pick "Machine Gun" by Jimi Hendrix. Stevie never did it live, but I would love to do that song with him. The original still brings tears to my eyes. '... "

Anyone traveling to Tucson soon, for bidness or pleasure, oughta catch a Tightrope gig. This Strat-o-Brother is Certified Blues!

Strat-o-Brother's Directory

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A Strat For Friday #16 - Langcaster

Langcaster Guitar(photo:

Jan 12, 2007
New Zealand luthier Joh Lang's motto could be: "And now for something completely different!"
The body of the guitar pictured is carved from a wood called "Kauri" that is 35,000 years old! This is beautiful stuff, and Lang's website has plenty of photos! I don't know how resonant it is, but Lang seems to be a pickup wizard too, and builds some kind of special low impedance pickups.

Yes, I said 35 THOUSAND years old! They have the carbon dating certs to prove it. Watch for a Fred Flintstone signature model!

Lang is anything but conventional-- but he nonetheless knows the Strat shape is a winning platform for his creations. Legendary Dutch guitarist Jan Akkerman is endorsing the Langcaster guitar line. Lang's headstock designs are another story-- and as we all know, the headstock thing really gets me going. But I promise to spare you here. You'll either love it or hate it-- there is no in between. This Kauri wood is just mind boggling stuff!

Discover all about Lang and his exotic works at
Click Here for the full scoop on Kauri wood.

If you didn’t read this at Guitar Blog, it’s been bootlegged! © 2006 - 2015 JP Holesworth. All rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted, distributed or duplicated without author’s written permission.
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Fender's Vintage Hot Rod Strats

Electric Guitar Review has the scoop on Fender's latest Vintage Hot Rod series. I don't have a photo here because...

Because they're Strats!!! You oughta know what they're gonna look like. One of Fender's new features is their "thin skin" nitrocellulose lacquer finish, no doubt intended to increase playing pleasure. I'm all about that! Expect these to be introduced this month at NAMM.

Go to the above link and get the scoop.

Find suppliers for hot Strats and parts at Guitar Gear Stores.

Super Strat Listings at eBay - Custom Shop, Masterbuilds, Artist Series, etc.

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Strat-O-Brother Guitarist Directory

Best Stratocaster Players

Stratocaster guitar players(photo: Sir Harrison)

Many indie artists are featured in our directory, along with names you're sure to recognize. Please take some time to check out some names unfamiliar to you!

Also check our Strat-o-Sisters and Young Guitar Wonders directories!

Strat-O-Brother Guitarist Directory:

Aaron Squirrel progessive electric blues
Alex Raz rock
Alex Tintinalli electric blues rock
Andrew Goldring electric blues rock...
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Know a Bass Player on a Budget?

I mean a water tight budget!!! Ever heard of the Bogden Box Bass? It probably won't be at NAMM.

Steve from sent me this one. First of all, Steve says:

"Hey Joe, this is not quite a Fender strat, but maybe it's still a fit for your blog.


Is Steve trying to tell me something about my blog? So far, this item isn't in Steve's blog.

So, check out The Bogden Box Bass at:
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2007 Fender Custom Shop Calender


Have you gotten one of these yet? Now's a great time to order one for under $12!!
This is a 16 month calendar folks! So why spend $24.95 on that stupid beagle calender at the mall? I have nothing against beagles, ok.

What's with the four extra months anyway? Can you name them? Click Here to find out.

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Young Guitar Wonder Directory

Kids who play guitar
kids who play guitar
Quinn Sullivan at age 4 - 2003
(photo: David W. Oliveira/ Standard-Times)

They are the Voodoo Children, the next phase of the South Saturn Delta Force-- whatever ridiculous thing you wanna call them. In many ways, they are an unexplained phenomenon... much like Indigo Children. Humans born in the 80's, 90's or even this new century, aren't expected to pick up the guitar, and want to play in the style of Hendrix, Albert King, The Ventures, Santana or SRV.

Are they rebelling against their parents' music? Not this time. Are they unduly influenced by their overbearing stage parents? Not necessarily (click on the above photo and read the news article excerpt).

Ray Goren interview in 2013, at age 14. Watch all this for licks and words of wisdom from an old Blues soul. 

My search for guitar players sometimes yields a young guitar wonder. Most people are familiar with Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Dweezil Zappa & Jonny Lang. Even Stevie Ray Vaughan was re-focusing the lens for us on a part of guitar culture born decades earlier, he himself, a young wonder. They're out there.

Many Strat-o-Sisters are included, as more & more of the female gender, from a very young age, are wanting to wail with a guitar. Loud electric guitar soloing is no longer a male domain. Does this reflect feminism? Nah-- it simply reflects soul.

"With the power of soul, anything is possible." Jimi Hendrix

Young Guitar Wonder Directory:

Aaron Squirrel electric prog blues
Alex Raz rock
Alex Tintinalli - electric blues/rock
Andrew Goldring electric blues/rock
Austin Crum - electric blues/rock
BassGirl5809 - Amazing young bass player
Ben Lapp - Acoustic fingerstyle- slapping
Billy Norris electric blues/fusion
Brandon Neibauer - electric blues/rock
Bryan Baker jazz-fusion
Carson Brock - electric Blues/Rock (Austin,TX)
CC - Rock
Chelsea Constable - Progressive Rock & Blues
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram - Electric Blues
Cole Citrenbaum electric blues
Connor "Wild Thing" - Rock
Conrad Oberg electric & acoustic blues
Davy Knowles electric blues/rock
Desiree Bassett electric blues/rock/metal
Dusty Ciggaar electric blues
Edward "Eddie Blue" Yakkel - electric blues
Eric Steckel electric blues/rock
Fletcher Barton - Rock
Fredrik Strand Halland electric blues
Grant Austin Taylor electric blues
Guido della Gatta - electric rock
Hayden Fogle - electric blues
Hero Ha "The Fifth Beatle"
James Hunter - electric blues/rock - One Eyed Rhyno band
"Jimmy" - 10 year old bass player from Illinois (likes Jaco!)
Jimmy Bowskill electric blues/rock
Jacqueline Mannering Rock
Jake Haldenwang electric Blues/Rock
Jeff Howard - electric/jam/blues/rock
Jessica Jezzy Lewis - electric rock & jazz
Jo Shaw Taylor electric blues/pop
Josh Gooch blues rock
Julian Lage blues/jazz
Justin Weed blues rock

Levi Platero electric blues/rock/gospel
Lucciano Pizzichini electric blues/rock
Luis Metal Kid - electric rock
Lydia Warren electric blues
Marcus King - electric blues/fusion
Matthew Curry electric blues (lefty)
Mitch Laddie electric blues
Mike Imbasciani electric blues/classic rock
Myles Mancuso electric blues/classic rock
Nick Poczynek Rock
Nick Sterling electric blues/rock/metal
Nick Veinoglou electric blues
Nina Attal - electric blues rock
Orianthi electric blues/rock/metal
Preston Dow - electric/rock/blues/jam
Pipoquinha, Michael David - Jazz/Funk BASS
Quinn Sullivan electric blues/pop
Ray Goren - BLUES
Royal Hayes - Eclectric electric blues & rock
Ryan Watson - ROCK
Shock - Blues Rock
Sol Philcox electric blues/rock/country
Tallan "T-Man" Latz electric blues
Tal Wilkenfeld jazz girl bass player
Taylor Marvin - Electric Blues & more
Toby Barnett - Eclectic, Jeff Beck whammy technique
Tyler Dow Bryant Texas blues
uke3453 - 5 year old Japanese kid with ukelele
Zakk Knight - BLUES

Also check out:

Guitars Not Guns

Kids Rock Free (A Fender non-profit music education for ages 7-17, offering scholarships).

The Blues Foundation (International Blues Challenge - Youth Showcase & Blues in the Schools)

Brotherhood of the Guitar - Famous Rock Photographer Robert M. Knight's profiles of young guitarists.

If you didn’t read this at Guitar Blog, it’s been bootlegged! ©2006 - 3000 JP Holesworth. All rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted, distributed or duplicated without author’s written permission.

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Stig Mathisen- 21st Century Renaissance Guitarist

Strat-o-brother Stig Mathisen, Norwegian artist/guitarist extraordinaire, currently lives in Los Angeles while attending USC's Studio/Jazz Guitar Masters Program.

EDITOR NOTE (6/1/07): Stig is currently working in legendary metal band Alcatraz, following in the footsteps of Alcatraz guitar Alums Steve Vai & Yngwie Malmsteen. Visit: for the band's current tour and recording details!

I just don't know how to do the guy enough justice in this blog.

Stig has been immersed in the highest levels of guitar education for quite some time, and has a mile long list of credentials in his bio at

Stig does it all too. He does Classical, Jazz, Fusion, Blues, Metal and more, with great skill and musicality-- and has worked one on one with the likes of Scott Henderson, Mike Stern, Carl Verheyen, Steve Trovato and others.

As you can imagine, Stig lists a diverse group of influences too, which you must also read when you visit his site.

In addition to the eclectic music player menu, there's also Stig's videos. The link is located just under his main site photo, next to the "pics" link. Three videos include performances of Surfin' With the Alien, a Zappa tribute band solo and a classic Jazz standard.

Like I said, Stig does IT ALL-- and quite well!! In the bit of email correspondence we've had, Stig has been most gracious and willing to share his impressions of working with Scott Henderson, one of my favorite musicians. He also let me know it would be an honor to be featured in this blog... to which I can only respond with a Yabba Dabba Doo!! Who-- little old blogger me??

So, PLEASE click on Stig's photo or the myspace link above to check out his story, music and videos. It's a real honor to discover fine guitarists like this guy.

My job is to make sure you discover them too!
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G&L Comanche Electric Guitar HoneyBurst

Best G&L Dealer
The Comanche Electric Guitar has a swamp ash body (alder on opaque finishes) with a gorgeous figured maple top. One-piece bird's-eye maple neck is incredibly well-finished; a tinted gloss gives it a vintage vibe and a glasslike smoothness. Jumbo frets make it amazingly easy to play. Deluxe guitar hardware includes a dual-fulcrum bridge and Schaller locking tuners. 3 MFD Z-coil pickups deliver excellent, clear, cutting tones.

By all accounts, this is an extremely well built production Strat alternative. Click Here for lots of Harmony Central reviews.

Click on the photo to visit G & L's main website.

Stratoblogster's preferred G&L dealer:

GUITAR ADOPTIONS - These folks offer some sweet gear lines, good deals, plenty of inventory and the knowledgeable personal service you'd expect from a hometown guitar shop.

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