Fender releases the opulent Flame Koa Top Stratocaster

(Image credit: Fender)

Fender has released the latest in their limited-edition Rarities series (opens in new tab) of high-end electric guitars (opens in new tab) in exotic tonewoods.

The Flame Koa Top Stratocaster joins a series that includes the immaculately figured  Red Mahogany Top Telecaster (opens in new tab), Flame Ash Top Stratocaster (opens in new tab) and Flame Maple Top Stratocaster (opens in new tab).

The Flame Koa Top Stratocaster has a solid ash body with a premium piece of figured koa on top, a modern C-profile European maple neck with a 9.5-inch radius fingerboard, and 21 narrow-tall frets completing what should be a relatively contemporary feel. 

The koa certainly makes a statement, but perhaps the Tim Shaw-designed pickups are the most radical choice here.

Shaw is Fender's pickup guru and chief engineer (opens in new tab) and here he has designed a humbucker with the Filter'Tron cover in the bridge position, with two overwound, gold foil-covered Hot '59 Strat singlecoils in the middle and neck positions. Controls-wise there is a five-way blade selector switch, master volume and two tone knobs – one for the neck pickup, the other for the bridge and middle. 

Other details include a bone nut, a six-point synchronised tremolo and aged white plastic. controls. It comes with a deluxe hardshell case.

The Rarities Flame Koa Top Stratocaster is available now for $2,499/£2,249/€2,599. See Fender (opens in new tab) for more info. 

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.

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