For decades, Michael Landau has served as a top-tier session guitarist, playing – by his estimate – on over 700 albums and soundtracks, by artists including Pink Floyd, Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell and countless others.
The two electric guitars – one a US-made, Stories Collection model, the other a made-to-order Custom Shop instrument – have a number of things in common, with a couple of notable differences, as well. We'll take you through both below.
First up is the more attainable of the two models, the Stories Collection Landau Strat.
For starters, the guitar is built with an alder body with a faded red lacquer finish and a custom C-shaped maple neck that boasts a 25.5" slab rosewood fretboard with 21 Narrow Tall frets, white pearloid dot inlays, a 7.25" radius, and a bone nut.
Sounds on the Strat come by way of a pair of custom Michael Landau Ultra Noiseless single-coil Strat pickups – in the neck and middle positions – and a custom Landau CuNiFe Wide-Range humbucker in the bridge. These are adjustable via the standard Strat control layout – two tone knobs and a master volume, and a five-way blade pickup switch.
Hardware-wise, the axe sports a six-saddle, vintage-style synchronized tremolo with bent steel saddles and Fender ClassicGear tuners, with a serialized, four-bolt custom neck plate with "Coma" artwork and a reprint of Landau's signature at the back of the headstock serving as neat signature touches.
The Fender Stories Collection Michael Landau "Coma" Stratocaster is available now – with a Vintage-Style navy blue case with brown ends and a gold interior, with "Coma" embroidery included – for $2,799.
It also comes with a number of unique accessories: a Coma booklet written by Landau himself, a Coma sticker set, custom guitar strap and Coma pick tin (with limited-edition Michael Landau guitar picks), plus a roll of PTFE plumbers tape for the tremolo.
Also on offer is a made-to-order, ultra-limited-edition Custom Shop replica of Landau's Strat.
Though similar in many ways to its less painstakingly-built counterpart, the Custom Shop Landau Strat stands out with faded, hand-drawn artwork and a finish that's been relic'd by Custom Shop Master Builder Todd Krause.
Unsurprisingly, the hand-made, Custom Shop version of Landau's signature Strat is a wee bit more expensive than its Stories Collection counterpart, ringing up at an even $15,000.
“I’m honored to have had the opportunity to work with Fender and the Custom Shop to help artists around the world get their hands on a Coma Strat," Landau said in a statement. "I’ve used this guitar for the majority of my life and it’s definitely my most personal guitar. The sound, the weight and the body contours fit me like a glove – this guitar has always felt like home to me.
"Not to sound overdramatic, but I should probably be buried with the Coma guitar, we've been through a lot together.”
For more info on both guitars, visit Fender.