Well this is really interesting. Fender keep finding ways to keep their product offerings fresh, and they’ve had a lot more hits than misses. The Pawnshop Series is an excellent case in point. Recently, they’ve introduced a new model that I must confess has me really excited. The Fender Pawn Shop ’70s Stratocaster Deluxe is a great idea. It’s a Strat hardtail body (I own two hardtail Strats, a 1980 model and a 2006 Robert Cray model), with a Tele front pickup (awesome!) and a sweet, bright humbucker. Check and check. It’s got a maple neck, bullet truss rod access, and 22 frets. It comes in 3 colours, and they’re all cool in their way.

I’ve played one briefly, and it’s nearly perfect. I really want one. If/when I get one, I will swap out the bridge saddles because I really like the Graph Tech saddles. I first tried them when I literally wore out the original saddles on my 1980 Strat, and I loved them. I put a set on the Robert Cray and those were a big improvement for me. The only other thing on this Pawn Shop model might be the Jazz bass knobs - I’m just not sure about them. They don’t look that cool to me. What do you think?

Fender Pawn Shop 70s Stratocaster Deluxe

Meanwhile, over at Gibson, they’ve introduced a really affordable US-made Les Paul Junior (or LPJ). Tempting, but if I go by my gut, the 70s Pawn Shop Strat Deluxe is where my money would go.