As Fender solid colour finishes go, it doesn’t get much more classic than that, and it belies the fact that Wong’s signature guitar is a quietly radical take on the Leo Fender design. Based on Wong’s much-loved Highway Strat, these artist models have a slightly scaled down body of solid alder.
Wong estimates it at “three per cent” smaller. There is contouring. This is a Strat that is easier to dance with, which makes sense when for Wong when playing with funk collective Vulfpeck.
This is a 21st-century Strat design and as such it draws from the American Ultra design template, with a bolt-on maple neck that’s fashioned into a Modern D profile. It is topped with a 10” to 14” compound radius fingerboard, comprised of rosewood with rolled edges for a premium touch. The neck heel has been sculpted, too. Like the American Ultra series, this waves you on through to the upper frets.
There are some aesthetic touches that are unique to Wong but they are minimal. No one is going to be put off by a signature on the back of the headstock and a custom-stamped neck plate. This is one of those signature models that don’t repel the general guitar playing public on sight. And with these new, err, old finishes, this could maybe even tempt some purists down from the mountain.
As you might expect, we have a set of Wong's Seymour Duncan Clean Machine single-coil pickups, a five-way pickup selector, volume and dual tone pots, but a push-push switch on the second tone pot sends the guitar into position 4, effectively allowing you to access the spankiest, most funky tone on the Strat at the touch of a button.
Position 4, by the way, is where you’ll find Wong most of the time. Speaking to MusicRadar upon his Strat’s launch in 2021, Wong described the switch as his “panic button”.
“I thought about doing a Jaguar or Jazzmaster thing, where there is like an up-down switch, but I thought I’d be a little more clever, so I got the idea of a panic button!” he said. “This tone control is a push-push knob, so any time when I feel like I might potentially hit it out, I have just got this button I can hit, and when it is up, no matter where the pickup selector is, it stays in fourth position.
“It is super fun, because now it is just wherever and I have got my sound and I don’t have to worry about whether I am going to hit it or not. And then, I can just hit it right back and the pickup selector is back in play. We really wanted to have an actual wiring thing that would just solve all of my problems.”
Other features include locking tuners, a vintage-style six-screw synchronized tremolo, and inside you will find a hair tie. Why? Well, Wong uses it as a string dampener.
These limited edition finishes are available now and priced £2,449 / $2,249. For more details, head over to Fender.