“I’m honored to deliver a more approachable guitar to the next generation of players”: Fender makes Mike McCready’s iconic 1960 Stratocaster accessible to the masses with new signature model

Fender has rekindled its partnership with Mike McCready for a second signature guitar based on the Pearl Jam legend’s iconic 1960 Fender Stratocaster.

The two first teamed up back in 2021 to produce a meticulous Custom Shop recreation of McCready’s heavily worn Strat, which – until quite recently – was believed to be a ‘59 example, when in actual fact it heralded from 1960.

For all its uber-desirable Custom Shop beauty, that limited-edition model (which McCready says he mistook for the real deal) was vastly unobtainable for many Pearl Jam fans, weighing in at $15,000.

Now, the Big F has sought to rectify this and make McCready’s fabled sunburst Stratocaster more accessible to a wider pool of players, once again constructing what is dubbed “a faithful recreation” of the six-string – this time with a $1,899 price tag.

The guitar itself doesn’t come as a surprise. After all, McCready confirmed its existence well over a year ago, previously telling Guitar Player that “we’re working on a more affordable signature model now, because obviously this limited-run Custom Shop model is a relatively expensive guitar”.

With accurate Road Worn relicing that pays close attention to the original ‘60 model, this Mexican-made McCready Strat recruits an alder body, slim C maple neck and 9.5”-radius rosewood fingerboard, the latter of which is complemented by 21 frets and dot inlays.

As for hardware and electronics, vintage-style tuners and a vintage-style tremolo line up alongside a trio of custom Mike McCready single coils that have been voiced to those found on the original guitar.

On the face of it, owing to its more accessible price and impressive authenticity, we imagine McCready’s second signature Strat will be just as (if not more) popular than the Custom Shop predecessor.

And that’s saying something, given that the Custom Shop guitar proved popular among many of the Pearl Jam player’s peers, finding its way into the hands of his bandmate Stone Gossard, as well as St. Vincent and Willow

For McCready, this latest Strat, which hails from Fender’s Ensenada factory, marks a key milestone for him.

As he notes, “With the release of my artist signature, I’m deeply honored to not only further solidify my partnership with the brand, but to deliver a more approachable guitar to the hands of the next generation of guitar players featuring the state-of-the-art craftsmanship Fender is known for and a distinct tone that holds a special place in my heart.”

The Mike McCready Stratocaster is available now for $1,899.

Head over to Fender to find out more.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.