We're compiling the best Holiday 2016 music gear deals. See them here.
The story goes that Jimmy Vaughan wanted a signature strat based on his 50s model that was cheaply made so he wouldn't be afraid to wreck them on tour with the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Enter Fender Mexico.
This stratomicastro-thingy has a 50s style soft V neck with a maple board and skunk stripe but a convenient headstock-adjusting truss rod. The 1 ply pickguard is period correct. the texmex pickups sound pretty good stock. The guitar sports an AVRI bridge and cold rolled steel sustain block. The pots are good quality CTS 250Ks and the tone cap is a good quality chicklet type. The wiring incorporates JV's own simple mod of putting the 2nd tone control on the bridge rather than the middle pickup. I much prefer this wiring scheme and since getting this guitar always make this switch on strats. These guitars are slathered in thick layers of polyester paint which probably masks some tone, but what do you want for the kinda scratch these go for?
Mine has been modded and hacked up so many times over the 10+ years since I bought her used for 250-odd bucks at Dadddy's Junky Music in New Britain CT. I also had a real tendency to throw this guitar off the stage if I broke a string and it survived admirably apart from 2 small heel cracks that were easy to manage. The finish has seen better days.
Currently mine is taken apart. I have a custom celluloid tort shell pickguard sitting around that's based on the GFS brian may pickguard kit. Mine has a straight bridge pickup. Its half-wired right now as I keep losing interest in doing the soldering required to put it all together.
When done it will have my own proprietary hum-cancelling system (I love inventing shit, go science!), 2 Angeltone prototype pickups (A2 stagger poles neck, A5 flat poles bridge) and 1 GFS Brighton Rock bridge pickup, a brass sustain block (just to try out, I may switch back), 3 on-off switches, 3 phase switches and 2 push-push pots to switch the mid and bridge pickups between series and parallel wiring. its a cool scheme, but I am a bum sometimes. Instead of working on the wiring I am typing this review and listening to records.
I did up a prototype of this wiring that was great but I also had left spots with alligator clips and stuff to work on fine tuning my noise cancelling design... so I have to rebuild the thing on the new pickguard to accommodate my finished hum-canceller circuit. I also have a pair of really awesome looking black bakelite knobs w/aluminum metal top inserts for the master volume and tone. Its going to be a very retro guitar with its peeling Olympic white finish and Queen-meets-JackWhite appointments.
This guitar is usually referred to as Strato-Castro. Just because it sounds funny... Cuba libre, bendejos!