Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilt Paul Waller 1963 Stratocaster HSS Heavy Relic Dirty Shell Pink
One of a Kind Masterbuilt Paul Waller '63 Strat HSS
Truetone Music is proud to have a long and close relationship with Fender, especially with the Custom Shop. Every so often, we make a pilgrimage there to sit down with Masterbuilders to cook up a batch of amazing guitars. Sometimes we go for vintage-styled recreations, sometimes we go for modernized tweaks. Sometimes it's a classic color, sometimes it's a totally new color or even reclaimed wood. No matter what, they always knock it out of the park!
This very unique 1963 Stratocaster is a result of this partnership. In 2019, we met with Masterbuilder Paul Waller and came up with the idea for this guitar. We specifically asked him what he was interested in doing and worked on the design together. That was the genesis of this unbelievably awesome guitar.
One of the first things you'll notice, of course, is the color: Dirty Shell Pink. This was Paul's idea, and it gives the guitar a real vintage appearance. It's not as "pink" as Shell Pink normally is....it's more faded, and yet darker at the same time. This makes for a very distinct look, one that we have seen before. We really didn't know what the outcome would be when originally spec'ing it out, but couldn't be happier with the result. It's truly unique.
The neck looks amazing too, being made from beautiful AAA Flame Maple. It has all of the feel & comfort you would expect from a masterbuilt instrument, especially with the 60's Oval C neck shape. Paul really does amazing work with the fine details on a neck, from the perfectly seated frets, rolled edges and overall playability. Right off the bat, it's one of the best playing necks of any guitar we have here. It's topped with a AAA Rosewood fretboard that has a compound radius (9.5 - 12") and Narrow Tall (6105) frets. This makes it extremely easy to play, even up high on the neck when bending notes.
For the pickups, we entirely went with Paul's suggestions. Part of the main point of designing this guitar was to do an HSS Strat, to showcase a new humbucker that Paul designed. It’s essentially a double single coil, in that there’s no elevator plate. It’s just two underwound coils to make one “Fender” sounding humbucker. His thinking was that he always liked the theory of a humbucker in the bridge on a Strat, but felt it could use some attention. So, he started playing with ideas and landed on this double coil creature. The end goal was to have the bridge balance nicely with the neck and middle pickups, something that is often missing with most combinations. The coils are wound like vintage coils, with slug magnets on each coil, no elevator plate, and potted in shellac.
To match that, we agreed to go with a Handwound Texas Special in the middle position, which has the output and heat to pair well with the humbucker. This over-wound pickup can really cut through the mix, but also has the ability to stay graceful when playing clean. For the neck position, it was determined that a Handwound '69 Strat pickup would be perfect. The clarity and transparency created by the unique coil wind and magnet structure works especially well with pedals. It has a great low end to thump and the high end soars. It matches up well with the humbucker, which is especially important due to the wiring.
At Paul's suggestion, we went with a special wiring setup, called the "1/2 Blender Strat". That gives the guitar a twist that many players will recognize as a popular modification. The 1/2 blender wiring turns the second tone control into a blend pot while the pickup switch is in Position 1 and 2, allowing you to mix the neck pickup in, shaping your tone to precisely match your taste.
We stayed period correct for the hardware, going with vintage tuners, bridge, etc. This guitar has all of the mojo of a vintage instrument, with the twist coming with the pickups and of course the finish. It comes with the original hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity.
Paul Waller is a Southern California native with woodworking in his blood. He built his first guitar at age 14 in his high school woodshop, and after graduating from the acclaimed Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in 2000, joined Fender in 2003. He spent two years working closely with master arch-top craftsman Bob Benedetto, and became steeped in the many facets of building techniques from all the Custom Shop’s Master Builders. After an extensive seven-year apprenticeship, Waller became a Master Builder in 2010. Since then, his work has become known all over the world, and is responsible for some of the most prestigious and recognizable guitars to come from Fender. We've been fortunate enough to receive a few of them, including the famed 9-Neck guitar in 2018. Not only are Waller's talents amazing, he is also a pleasure to work with, and we're always happy to partner with him on designing unique guitars like this '63 Strat HSS with a humbucker created by the master himself.
A Masterbuilt instrument is like no other, and this is truly a one of a kind. Come to Club Fender at Truetone Music to experience it today, or make it yours right here.
- Serial # R120911
- Weight: 7.4lbs
- Model# 9211002712
- Finish Package: Heavy Relic
- Finish: Nitro Lacquer
- Color: Dirty Shell Pink
- Body: Alder
- Neck: AAA Flame Maple
- Neck Shape: 60's Oval "C"
- Fretboard: AAA Rosewood
- Frets: 21
- Fretwire: 6105 Narrow Tall
- Radius: 9.5 - 12.0" Compound
- Neck Nut Width: 1.650"
- Neck Thickness at 1st Fret: .820"
- Neck Thickness at 12th Fret: .935"
- Neck Butt Width: 2.200"
- Pickguard: 3-Ply Parchment
- Neck Pickup: Handwound '69 Strat
- Middle Pickup: Handwound Texas Special
- Bridge Pickup: Handwound Master Design Paul Waller Humbucker
- Bone Nut
- Tuners: Vintage
- String Guide: Vintage
- Bridge: Vintage Synchronized Tremolo
- Neck Plate: Vintage
- Back Plate: Parchment
- Switch: 5 Way
- Wiring: 1/2 Blender
- Case: Custom Shop Brown