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Chad Underwood builds amazing Fender-style guitars. Consistently the best that I’ve personally gotten the chance to play, and I have had the opportunity to compare them to several vintage Strats. He builds completely vintage-style S and T’s, so if vintage-style is what you’re into, he’s a great choice. Based in Lexington, Kentucky, he partners with Ron Ellis, the pickup builder in San Diego CA. Ron’s pickups are also the best that I have heard for true replicas of vintage tone.

My dad and I (he is also a great guitar player!) have three Underwood Strats between us. One myself and him two. These are Pre-Lawsuit headstocks. He later changed to his own headstock design. Here is mine in what is close to Fiesta Red, with Ellis ‘64 Strat pickups:

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Here are my dad’s two: Daphne Blue with Ellis ‘64’s, and Sunburst (maple neck ‘55 copy) with Ellis ‘54’s.

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All swamp ash bodies. These guitars sound phenomenal, and I love them very much!
 

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With the quality of parts available these days, you can build yourself a strat to your exact specifications for a fairly reasonable price.
My longest serving strat is a Japanese Fender though.
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Or, you could do a combination of what @zztomato suggests.

Most people can assemble a guitar with a few basic tools. The finishing touches and or wiring could be applied by a local tech.
 

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I look forward to picking up a fender american pro with the deep C neck some time. Naturally theres one for a good price available right now, but timing is terrible haha.

I havent tried any boutique brand S styles really, as I've been fine with mexi fenders thus far. Only reason I want the Am Pro specifically is that neck profile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I look forward to picking up a fender american pro with the deep C neck some time. Naturally theres one for a good price available right now, but timing is terrible haha.

I havent tried any boutique brand S styles really, as I've been fine with mexi fenders thus far. Only reason I want the Am Pro specifically is that neck profile.
Hope you get it!! I think it’s awesome to play Mexican strats. The tone is in your fingers not gear. I’m learning that the last 1.5 years as I really start to play, and not just collect. Thanks for the response will check out an American pro!
 

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50 years of playing strats and owing at least one from every decade since the 50's.
This is one of the finest, hands down. Chambering takes the conventional slab body to another level.
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I’m not a real strat guy but I do have a fender from the ‘90’s. The scale length takes about ten minutes to adjust to. I bought a Mexican tele with a maple board and I’m kind of looking for a strat with same. Not being a real s player, I wouldn’t go for a boutique build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I’m not a real strat guy but I do have a fender from the ‘90’s. The scale length takes about ten minutes to adjust to. I bought a Mexican tele with a maple board and I’m kind of looking for a strat with same. Not being a real s player, I wouldn’t go for a boutique build.
I love strats and teles with a maple board!
 
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