My Review of the FENDER MIJ ST68-HO 1968 Fender Zebrawood Stratocaster.

Squealing Pig Guitars are delighted to have played and Sold Some amazing Strats over the past year – From Hank and Hendrix, to SRV, Beck, Clapton, Knopfler, Mayer and many more, there is no denying the influence that a Fender Strat or Tele has had on popular music for over 60 years – As well as studying and dissecting a selection of the finest vintage Strats and Teles from the golden era.

I felt it necessary to make a personal review of the Above Guitar. Whilst i come across some extremely nice instruments from time to time which make me question whether i have enough storage space in my house, i never shared the belief that their was a perfect Guitar. Afterall, i often change my playing style, which requires that beefier Les Paul sound or the effortless playability which a Prs Provides.

We all can relate to the this feeling of infatuation im sure. When you walk into a Guitar store and that Nitro Glistened Finish Captures Your focus and your helplessy drawn towards her. The Curves are bountiful and the Flamed detail is enough to leave you staring in all the wrong places. This is bad news Gentleman. Its love at first sight. At first, the looks caught your attention. But then, you realized there was something much deeper there. You hope for more then just a pretty Headstock and you are delighted to discover that your neck and hands align and that you are mutually compatible. As you got to know each other, there is no question in your mind: She is the one. Now before my review proceeds i would like to apologize to my Wife if shes reading. She will be happy to discover that with (great Dissapointment) i will not be adding her to my collection. for obvious reasons my wife comes first.... right after my 1968 Strat and Prs Wood Library.

The 1968 Reissue Fender Japan Custom Zebrawood Stratocaster is one of the most interesting strats in my collection. It is very light, due to the chambered body, and the neck/fretboard is bound beautifully, as is the body. It has USA vintage pickups stock and sounds incredible. The wood is extremely rare, which is why they didn't make many of these originally in 1968, and it is also the reason why Fender Japan didn't make many reissues of them either. It really is a collector's dream stratocaster. I've had (and have) a lot of Strat-style guitars, as they are my favorite guitar design, but this one is very special. You could have hundreds of them lined up and most people would pick this one as the most beautiful. Its fit, finish and tone are done with astounding attention to detail.

I fully appreciate that not all guitar players buy into the serious vibe of this Strat. Afterall its not entirely a true representation of a vintage strat – With that im sure you can appreciate the Beautiful Thin Skin Zebrawood body. Furthermore Zebrawood is porous, so for a new shiny gloss finish to stay this way for a number of years, a thicker base coat is required. However this approach tends to damped the guitars natural resonance – It is generally accepted that a thin finish, be it nitro, poly or urethane, allows the guitars to breathe and resonate – This is the beauty of the aged approach in that a far thinner base coat and nitro finish is required, as you are not trying to produce that perfect shiny, like new, glass finish. Consequently you can expect this guitar to age Nicely. Coupled with the fact that this guitar has a chambered Body you can expect alot of Resonance and fatter/fuller sounds.

The feel of the neck is pure vintage 60’s old school – It retains the popular vintage C profile, albeit with an extra ounce of meat on it – So additional girth without feeling fat. This is an easy neck to handle, for either chord work, fluid licks, or just to dig in and attack a few big blues bends all add up to ensure a user friendly playing experience – Set-up with a fluid easy action, that responds to a light touch and allows for effortless string bending without any choking out on big blues bends

After you’ve played this Strat for a while on overdriven amp settings, then try it out on a clean amp setting you’ll find it is so succulent, very warm and musical, with an angelic quality about it – On overdriven amp settings make sure you control the amp from the guitar and use the Strat’s volume pot – This will ensure you explore the guitars full vocabulary and in doing so find it is loaded with soul, emotion and expression – Subtle changes on the volume pot deliver a more chilled out voice that retains all the guitars expressive qualities – Playing all 5 switch settings, tweak the volume pot, playing different styles, both on chord work, riffs, licks and solos, through clean or over-driven amp settings and you only start to see, or hear, what is so special about this Strat – Even played unplugged you’ll discover a lively acoustic tone with plenty of depth and resonance to it – I always say it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that ring and this Strat rings like a bell that has been struck by a big clanger – Fender Japan don’t tell you all the secrets that are behind the Build, but you can hear it is something special – Like ‘Mama’s favorite recipe’ the magic ingredients are in there, be if I told you what they were then I’d have to shoot you.