Todd Krause has built exquisitely crafted custom instruments for many of the world’s greatest artists, including Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, David Gilmour, Robbie Robertson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Robin Trower, Roger Waters and many others.
His guitar-building apprenticeship began in early 1981 at Jackson/Charvel guitars. Krause arrived at Fender in 1991 and steadily rose through several roles, including one-off instrument builder, R&D model maker, and woodworking machinist. He became a Custom Shop Master Builder in 1997 and has since created countless distinctive instruments, all of which embody his personal design philosophy: “Form and function are the biggest part of it,” he said. “It’s about the way an instrument sounds and feels. It has to look cool, and it has to compel you to play.”
Why We Love This
We've had quite a few pre-owned Masterbuilt Fender's come through the shop over the last year or two, but this fantastic Todd Krause built '56 Strat is the first new Masterbuilt we've had. We couldn't think of a better way to kick off our move into more Masterbuilt guitars than this Capri Orange '56.
This color...!!! Love at first sight for us, we have to admit. It's not one you see often but it makes so much sense on a Strat as it perfectly captures that early 60s / California / let's all pile into the Beetle and hit the beach vibe.
Moving past the color, the next thing we fell in love with was, well, it was two things actually - the weight (or lack thereof), and the neck carve. The carve is a dead-on ringer for the real '56 Strats we've had pass through the shop - if you're into subtle V carves, this is your neck. It's depth and subtle V shape fill your hand perfectly which makes lead or rhythm playing a breeze.
On to the most important part - the tone. Holy moly. You've read about it, we've read about it, and it's a widely held view that when you look to a Custom Shop for pickups, you want the Josefina pickups. These Josefina Fat 50s sound remarkable, and, remarkably close to a real '56. This era of Fender (mid-50s), to our ears, has a beautiful top end chime...it's closer to a Tele than the more compressed 60s Strat sounds we're all familiar with. Open, articulate, chimey...just gorgeous stuff that gets you darned close to a vintage guitar. Yes please.