If there is such a thing as a beautiful mongrel, then this is it. This is a very well built pre-CBS Strat, assembled from genuine vintage parts by legendary Sydney guitar builder Romney Godden. And it is classic example of the result being greater than the sum of its parts.
So let’s flash back to northern Sydney in 1976 where Romney’s guitar workshop above the (also legendary) retailer Farrell’s Music, was buzzing with pro players who needed to get the best out of their instruments. Sydney’s live music scene was mighty healthy back then, with the better bands pulling big crowds all over the city 4 – 5 nights a week. And Romney Godden was one of the very best guitar doctors in town. He is no longer with us, but his work lives on. And this is a fine example of his skill.
This guitar was built to order for the current owner in 1976, and it has stayed in his ownership ever since. Over some time, Romney sourced some of the very best parts to build this guitar, and make it something special – and certainly something rather better than what Fender was selling at the time.
Romney sourced an original 1964 Fender Strat body in Olympic White from a client. And he paired that with an absolutely beautiful Fender neck with a curved rosewood fingerboard dated 2nd December 1962. To that was added a Fender Strat bridge from 1966, a neck plate from 1973, and some pickups the owner cannot remember the identity of. In the 80s these were replaced by the EMG pickups which still reside on the guitar.
The neck was refretted with Dunlop jumbos, and are still in fine condition today. Romney also replaced the dot markers with handmade mother-of-pearl units. Many Strats had their original Kluson machine heads replaced with stronger Schaller tuners back in the 70s, and the same was done here.
Into the mix was added some top quality DiMarzio pots & 5 way switch, along with Romney’s impeccable wiring which has remained untouched.
The original colour was refinished in black nitro, with a pickguard & control knobs to match, and the result was the stunning black beast you see today.
Later updates include some new bridge saddles, and two trem springs. To protect this fine creation, the owner had a top quality aluminium flight case professionally built to order.
The end result of all of this fine workmanship is a one of the best Strats we’ve seen here at Premier Guitars. It may be a bitsa, but it’s a beauty. It has one of the best playing necks you’ll ever come across, and everything about this instrument feels properly vintage.
This is a killer player grade vintage Strat, and priced accordingly. You could search the top end of the Fender Custom Shop, Masterbuilt or otherwise, and you’d be hard pressed to find something that plays as well as this one.