Kids SRV Strat
To be honest I don't know much about "Kids" guitars and I'm not going to write a history here. There's sites around that mention and go into too many details about these great guitars hand made by Japanese luthier Hiroshi "Kid" Kido.
He apparently made completely hand made guitars from the eighties through to the late nineties until he closed after having a stroke.
He was more famous for Gibson copies but also made fender clones, as seen here. He made many copies of famous people guitars usually with their "endorsement" of sorts.
He made copies of Rory Gahlager's Fender Stratocaster, Claptons SG and Brian Mays "Red Special" among many others.
He would copy these guitars from pictures (pre internet) and send them one and if they were "satisfied" with the guitar he would make a small run of hand made copies to sell. This one is obviously a copy of the famous Stevie Ray Vaughan's #1 Strat.
The first thing that strikes you about this guitar is just how WELL MADE it is. This is an amazing piece of workmanship. I have personally built over 100 guitars from scratch and in my repair shop I have set up/repaired/worked on thousands more and every so often you pick up a guitar and go "holy crap, that's how you make a guitar" and I can tell you this now, VERY rarely do I pickup a "real" Fender and say that.
Guitars made like this by people like this are in another league completely. They don't feel like "normal" guitars. There's something special about them.
The next thing you realize about this guitar is how THIN the neck is. Now, I'm a Mosrite player and they have THIN necks. This neck is getting as thin as any Mosrite I've played. This neck is THIN. I don't know how else to say it ?
I've played some thin Fender necks including some late 50's and very early 60's necks but this one is different ? I'm assuming Kids "guessed" the profile based on other Fender necks from this period but I've never played one quite like it.
The maple is so hard and the fretboard isn't rosewood but some unidentified, almost walnut looking timber ?
Personally I could also do without the jumbo frets, but Stevie used them so obviously there here for authenticity. This really should be strung with heavy strings and tuned half a step down to do it justice.
The "relic'ing" isn't like modern relic'ing. Remember, this was done before this fad was mainstream AND it was done from photos, and close up it doesn't look like contemporary relic'ing that can be (and can not be) very convincing when done properly. This is obviously more of an overall "feel and look" from a distance thing. This is a homage to a certain guitars look, not a replica as such.
The pickups on this were VERY low output too. I don't have a problem with this at all as generally you get better frequency response out of low output pickups and you can turn your amp up a little more. Two great things for "tone"
It seems odd that Stevie's original would have had such low output pickups, so again, I'm not sure why the Kids has it, but it's certainly not an issue.
There's no brand or indication of what these pick ups are so I can only assume they were custom made by of for kids based on original Fender pickups. The electronics are all Japanese showing that back then, "boutique" gear like this didn't insist on inferior quality USA made parts for "mojo"
I'm not a Strat fan or a SRV fan but it's not every day you get to work on and dissect a piece of art and history like this. From the moment I took this out of the case I could tell it was a high quality instrument and it didn't disappoint in any respect from that.
All up, it's too heavy for me (I mean HEAVY) and it's a Strat and it's an SRV Strat at that, but this is one of the finest playing and sounding instruments I've had the pleasure of working on and thanks to it's owner for trusting me with it.
.........and if you EVER wanna get rid of that neck for a more comfortable one, let me know. I'll take it off your hands.