In May 2011 I found myself in a guitar shop in another county prepared to buy myself a Custom Shop Strat. I had begun looking in order to find ‘the one’ that had that ‘Little Wing’ tone, springy, bright, cutting yet delicate, glassy yet warm. I knew the sound I was after and when I phoned around the usual stores within a 100 mile radius, I came to Guitar Village in Farmham, Surrey, UK. I took my daughter for the drive on a Saturday morning to try several CS Strats that the guys at the store thought would interest me, including two near visually identical ‘60 Heavy Relic Strats that eventually became my final shootout. The one that got me was an ex-demo dated May 2009 that the store had also discounted to below everything else. I just loved it and it had everything I was looking for, and the tone just had that extra magic. It plays beautifully and it sounds amazing, and I cherish it along with my CS 2005 Nocaster Relic. The pickup set says Bridge; Texas Special, Md; RWRP Fat50, Neck CS69 Over the past month I have been looking at the capacitor of my Nocaster and bought eventually a replica wax and paper that fits the vibe, and because postage cost from the USA outweighed the cost of the capacitor, it made sense to get a period correct capacitor for my Strat too. With me so far? I have never been inside the Strat before and although I had a new nut after a breakage, it has never otherwise been repaired, only professionally serviced, but now I have the soldering iron in hand to install the capacitor and after nine years I get to see inside. Abby Ybarra pickups, dated August ’08, November ’08 and April ’09. I can’t believe my luck and I wonder why Guitar Village didn’t know. Why is this fact not listed on the spec sheet from the Custom Shop? (I have the advert still). I’m over the moon, and to think I paid just £2,150 for this brilliant guitar. Do guitars just get Abby pickups in them from the Custom Shop without fanfare? It is a team built guitar, not a Masterbuilt. Today is a good day.