Let's admit it - we'd all rather have a guitar we'd reliced ourselves through years of hard gigging, but thanks to the thick polyester finishes of the last 30 years or so, the only way that's going to happen is if you attack your guitar with a pickaxe every night. Escalating costs in the vintage market also mean that to most of us a real knocked-about guitar is simply not an option. All praise to Fender, then, for coming out with affordable models that look good, play nicely, and sound great.
At nearly £900 these guitars are not cheap. They sit between the USA-made Highways with their naturally quick-wearing nitro finishes and the USA Standards with their superior quality - but those are a different beast entirely. When you strap one of these on, they seem to make you play differently. You want to attack them more, unafraid of damaging them, and they respond with the road-warrior spirit that they set out to emulate. Sure, they're not real, but after a few minutes you forget that and just get on with playing. In all honesty, who wants a shiny new guitar when you could have one that looks like this? I'm sold.