Fender Custom Shop 2012 Closet Classic Stratocaster Pro
Images Custom Shop 2012 Closet Classic Stratocaster Pro
C-profile, 22-fret maple neck, Gotoh Vintage tuners, Pro Closet inscription on the back of the headstock and Custom Shop logo.
2-parts swamp ash body, access heel, Nitro lacquer, Custom Shop backplate, 3 single-coil pickup spaces (nothing to allow a humbucker).
3 Abby Red Hot (Abigail Ybarra) 69/Hotless type single coil pickups
2-point vibrato and a modern, flat nut
"Pro" stands for "prototype", and "Closet" for the finish which evokes a guitar which aged in its case, looking at it from close you’ll see the wood’s veins or the crackles on the paint. Be aware: this is NOT a Relic model.
A rather lightweight, well-balanced guitar which combines both the modern and vintage sides of a Strat, IMO I’d put it more on the modern side. As for the access heel, it’s a bit dumb from them but it should have also been featured on the upper part of the heel, here only the lower part was planed which is still fine but prevents it from providing anything revolutionary.
As I’ve owned many a Fender AM Std which I’ve customized myself, well, I didn’t fall in love with this one axe. The famous Ybarra Red Hot pickups haven’t been a shock to me, I even feel like the original Fender 69 Custom Shop pickups sound much better with their bordering-modern sound – here it’s essentially a pure modern sound, the Hotless aspect takes part of the charm away, it sounds straight and flat like any good Hot Noiseless and lacks personality. Even in clean mode it’s just “meh” (I hate that feeling that I’m getting the exact same sound I get from my AM Std which I customized with Hot Noiseless), but with an overdrive it clearly lacks punch and a mere Smoke On The Water allows you to quickly see the guitar’s limits – chords sound muddy and arpeggios sound sharpish with an unnatural balance of sounds, to me changing the pickups is a necessity if you really want to turn it into a keeper...
Its retail price was €2900 when it came out (but street price was already €2500 or even €1900 on some websites back then), with the Dakota Red color taking the cake – it sold very badly and I believe so did the other finishes. I’m not a Fender purist, but starting from a certain price level I expect a guitar to have a unique charm, both in term of sound and aspect, while here neither aspect managed to convince me. That’s the way it is...
When you are ready stands still...
It’s about a guitar of certain characteristics with unique features. Biggest advantage is the weight of this axe. Significantly low weight without losing the tone/sustain.
Excellent pickup quality, can perform great under any conditions. Hot might be a slightly misleading term since the output is moderate.
Tonewise this guitar has something that can’t be easily described and might let you down when used on ss amps, but shines when plugged to high gain tubes. You might get the feeling that the EL34s won’t reveal more than the 6L6s.
The oxymoron is that even though the guitar looks quite vintage ish the sound and the playability is 1985++ oriented.
The fretboard seems ideal for lead style playing, something which is also being supported effectively by the bridge that it has. Chunky 60s C shape preserves the sustain and maintain the volume of higher freqs. Contoured Heel is also a great asset of this guitar, something that can be considered as an evolution of the common joint (of course there is nothing remarkable here but still a nice detail to have, compared to the common ones) while justifying that the “pro stands for prototype” moto. The appearance of the cracked nitrocellulose suits great to the 50s style string tree and pickguard.
Red hot Abby PUs - Awesome fat signal and sound when recording and of course on one of the last new guitars to feature her hand wounds...
Swamp Ash - One of the best woods to go avoiding the extra weight
Vintage look of the beautifully matched guitar parts
Perhaps not the best instrument for a working musician since it’s a bit hard to perform well on everything, while being mostly lead playing-style oriented.
Fender Custom Shop 2012 Closet Classic Stratocaster Pro tech. sheet
- Model:Custom Shop 2012 Closet Classic Stratocaster Pro
- Series:Custom Shop Stratocaster
- Category:STC-Shaped Guitars
- Added in our database on: 01/05/2012
RED/BLACK/3 TONES SB
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