PERFECTING THE STRAT
When it comes to the history of the electric guitar it’s origin can be traced back to the mid 1950’s and two specific people: Les Paul and Leo Fender. Both men were looking for ways to make the acoustic guitar louder so that it could be heard with an orchestra without the feedback that came from using a microphone on a hollow body.
Les Paul developed his electric guitar around the designs of a solid body version of an acoustic guitar. Rather than using a hollow acoustic with a microphone he used a 2 piece solid body made out of a railroad tie with the microphone mounted to the solid wood. This allowed the mic to be run hotter without the feedback from the hollow body.
Leo Fender based his electric design on a Spanish style lap steel guitar. He decided to mount it to a piece of wood for portability and mounted the microphone directly to the wood. This guitar soon developed into the Fender Broadcaster which soon became Esquire which eventually became the Telecaster and then evolved into The Stratocaster.
While Les Paul designed his guitar to be a solid body version of an acoustic guitar, Leo Fender took a radical new approach with the sleek contours and cutaways of the Stratocaster, a bolt on neck and straight string pull across the headstock The Les Paul seemed to be an evolution of the acoustic guitar but the Stratocaster was something totally new. It was the cutting edge of 1950’s technology.
All guitars today are derivatives of these first two designs by these groundbreaking men. And while Les Paul’s contributions cannot be overlooked , we at Pasquale Custom Guitars are proudly rooted in the Fender historical camp and have chose to base our guitar designs off of the innovations Leo Fender had inspired.
Sadly to say the Stratocaster has not really evolved since then. It went through some cosmetic changes in the 70’s when CBS took over the company but for the most part it hasn’t changed. This is why companies like Ibanez and ESP guitars could come along and gain such a strong foothold in the industry because as playing styles evolved people were desperate for something better.
As a young player I set out looking for my “perfect” guitar, however I soon realized that big companies like Ibanez and ESP were corporations and their primary function was to move products. They were not as concerned with building my perfect guitar as they were with convincing me that their guitar was my perfect guitar. I soon started to realize the power of the advertising dollars that were being spent on “convincing” me of this and it was then that I realized that I would never again buy a guitar “off the shelf”.
Thus I began my mission to “Perfect the Strat”. I wanted to take the fundamental concepts of the Stratocaster design and fine tune them specifically for the individual player. This could only be done if I controlled every element of the manufacturing process.
Thus the concept of Pasquale Custom Guitars was born.