“Ronnie Wood has a ’55 hardtail Strat and that one was incredible. And then Nile Rodgers’ Hitmaker Strat – that one’s incredible”: Fender’s Master Builders on what makes a good Stratocaster – and the best Strats they’ve ever played

Fender Master Builders Austin MacNutt and Phil Waller
(Image credit: Ryan Piorkowski (FMIC))

What makes one Fender Stratocaster ordinary and another out of this world? It’s a question players have pondered for the last seven decades – and who better to explain than Master Builders Paul Waller and Austin MacNutt of Fender’s Custom Shop.

We join them to talk vintage tone, miracle mods and sanding – lots of sanding…

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Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson is Editor-in-Chief of Guitarist magazine, Britain's best-selling and longest-running monthly for guitar players. He started his career at the Daily Telegraph in London, where his first assignment was interviewing blue-eyed soul legend Robert Palmer, going on to become a full-time author on music, writing for benchmark references such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Dorling Kindersley's How To Play Guitar Step By Step. He joined Guitarist in 2011 and since then it has been his privilege to interview everyone from B.B. King to St. Vincent for Guitarist's readers, while sharing insights into scores of historic guitars, from Rory Gallagher's '61 Strat to the first Martin D-28 ever made.