New for 2023, the Fender Custom Shop introduces the ’68 Stratocaster Deluxe Closet Classic Maple. 55 years after its namesake predecessor, the instrument is loaded with lightly aged looks, sound and vibe that expertly evoke the Stratocaster in the late 1960s.
Its two-piece select alder body wears Deluxe Closet Classic lacquer finishes in Three-Color Sunburst, Aged Vintage White, Aged Blue Ice Metallic and Aged Teal Green Metallic. This finely aged finish treatment imparts the look of a guitar owned with pride, well cared for and religiously polished over many years. Moderate finish checking and hardware oxidization, along with mild parts discoloration, combine into the distinct look and feel of an instrument that has evolved into something complex and refined, like a fine wine.
The flat-sawn maple neck has a ’68-’69-style “U” profile with a slightly thicker in-hand feel, topped by a round-lam maple fingerboard with a 9.5” radius, 21 narrow tall (6105) frets, bone nut and a period-correct polyurethane finish. Three Custom Shop hand-wound ’69 Underwound Stratocaster pickups deliver clear, airy tone with expressively sensitive dynamics, along with ’68-’69 vintage Strat® wiring and five-way switching.
Other premium features include a three-ply parchment pickguard, Custom Shop vintage synchronized tremolo bridge, Schaller® “F” tuners, wing string tree with nylon spacer, deluxe hardshell case, strap and certificate of authenticity.