From The Shop

Quilt Top Strats

Dale Wilson, who became a master builder for the Fender Custom Shop in 2011, recently completed two breathtaking beauties that must be seen to be believed.



Wilson crafted a pair of Fender Stratocasters from light ash bodies, topped them with 5A quilted maple, and added two different fingerboards and headstocks that will surely turn heads.

Of course, the stain of each Strat also set them apart.  One is a rich Burnt Sienna that features a slight burst towards the edges that matches well with the quilted maple pickguard.

The other boasts a deep Green finish with a pearloid pickguard that recalls clouds hovering over a forest, especially with a solid rosewood neck and headstock adding to the earthy feel.

The guitars are based on models that Wilson originally produced for a trade show in Tokyo a few years ago.  A similar group was also on display at the 2012 NAMM Show.

“The ones at the Tokyo show were all stained, and I thought one would look bitchin’ with the natural headstock,” Wilson said.  “I just went for it.  These ones with the quilted tops are similar to those.”

Wilson also pointed out a few features that he’s particularly fond of on the Sienna Strat.

”It also has a dark rosewood fingerboard,” he explained.  “The headstock and neck are a 5A birdseye.  It’s incredible.  On the back of the neck, if you look closely, it looks like it’s dripping down the neck.  That looks pretty cool.”

The breathtaking finishes of these might recall some of the more startling finishes used on other high-performance brands that lend themselves to metal enthusiasts.

But Wilson believes that the Sienna paired with a maple pickguard brings the Strat to the next level.


“A lot of those other high-performance guitars have a similar finish, but sienna is something that I thought would look amazing on it — that reddish-brown deal,” Wilson said, addressing the comparison.  “And that against that against the maple pickguard, I thought it was going to look incredible.  But it wasn’t something that I had seen prior.”