One of the most fascinating things about the Stratocaster is its endless potential for customization/mutation. Here are two on the inner fringes of what you can do to a Strat before it ain’t a Strat no more:


So close! The composite checkerboard body is so cool — maple and I’d guess mahogany — but then you see the pickups are from EMG’s Select budget line. To beat some more on my favorite metaphor, it’s like wearing a tuxedo T-shirt under a hip-looking sport coat.

Oddball overdrive — a finish that defies description beyond the inadequate “brown;” a scalloped rosewood fingerboard, a harsh mistress for players who have never thought about what they really do with their fretting hand; and it’s a Telecaster neck to boot. If I had room and the money, I would have bought the shit out of this one, it’s truly one of a kind.