1996 Fender Stratocaster Custom Shop 'Mary Kaye' Vince Cunetto Relic + OHSC

1996 Fender Stratocaster Custom Shop 'Mary Kaye' Vince Cunetto Relic + OHSC

Fender |  1996fcssmk

From the dawn of the relicing craze, an example from the master....

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Just sneaking in as a dictionary definition vintage guitar, we have this very cool 1996 Fender Stratocaster Custom Shop ‘Mary Kaye’ Vince Cunetto Relic.

Fender’s history is littered with iconic names like Tadeo Gomez or Abigail Ybarra, all of whom are touchstones and the icing on the cake when we find a vintage instrument. When we venture outside the ‘classic’ period and delve into the rebirth of the brand, other names emerge with their own mythology and story. One such story is that of Vince Cunetto and the Fender Custom Shop.

Cunetto was already producing reliced guitars and parts to order and was approached by Jay W Black of the Fender Custom Shop after they started receiving more and more requests for Masterbuilt instruments with a worn in feel. With a green light from John Page (head of Custom Shop at the time) Cunetto set up shop in Missouri and received his first consignment of parts in May of 1995.

This continued until 1999 following some changes at Fender and a move to bring more processes in-house. These instruments that Cunetto worked on during this 4 year period are held in high regard by collectors as the processes he developed where not transferred to the Custom Shop when they parted ways making these reliced instruments quite sought after.

This guitar does look the part. The body has been aged nicely, the one piece ash showing through the blonde finish as you’d expect. There is also some wear from the past 30 years present which add to the look. The neck has the wonderful soft V profile to give it that genuine late 50s feel. This too has been finished well, the lacquer worn on the back so you get that vintage feel. The fretboard too has been reliced but does not seem to be worn by use. The frets have plenty of life left in them.

There has been a small repair on the back of the headstock along the line of the tuner screw holes. It has been glued at the back and along the side but the face of the headstock is unaffected. The cigarette burn mark is part of the relic process!

The plastics are in good condition and the electronics haven’t been touched.

The guitar comes with its correct hardshell case and all the case candy, COA etc you see in the pictures.

Acoustically this guitar is wonderfully resonant, the ash and maple combination always a winner. Amplified the pickups cover the classic strat tones, all easily accessed via the five way switch. The soft V neck is so very comfortable and easy to play.

Guitar relicing is certainly a divisive subject but this instrument really captures the essence of these rare guitars with a clear future as a classic and compared to quite a few of more recent Custom Shop output, this is a league apart and quite a bargain!

If you have any questions about the item, feel free to contact us using the form below. All fields are required.

At a glance

Model: Stratocaster
Year: 1996
Finish: Blonde

Modifications: None
Repairs: Fracture repaired at top of headstock along the tuners. Only visible on the back of headstock as has not reached all the way through.
Weight: 3.44 Kg

Case: Correct tweed
Fingerboard: Maple
Tuners: Correct Kluson Style tuners

Pickups: 3 x Correct Single coil pickups
Hardware: Correct Gold Plated
Neck Profile: '57 Soft V profile
Pots: Correct 250K CTS




We are located in Cheltenham, the capital of the Cotswolds, UK. All items are in stock and can be viewed and tried out through a variety of vintage amplifiers, by appointment only, at our brand new lounge/showroom. We despatch virtually anywhere in the world and we have enormous experience in hassle-free, safe shipping.

ATB Guitars (By appointment Only) 15 Regent St, Cheltenham, GL50 1HE United Kingdom

Landline: 01242 697607‬

Mobile: 07842 001007

Overseas: +44 (0)1242 697607

ATB Guitars, 15 Regent St, Cheltenham, GL50 1HE United Kingdom