Braking stylistic ground as the first
Fender production instrument to offer
an “F” hole in a Stratocaster-shaped body,
the ’72 also brings back the bullet-style trussrod,
three-bolt neck, and “F”-style tuners that
were hallmarks of ’70s-era Strats. I always
thought the accessibility of the bullet trussrod
was a good idea, but the three-bolt neck
was ultimately deemed less stable than the
four-bolt variety, and the original “F”-style
tuners were among the shoddiest ever produced.
For this new model, however, Fender
has brought their functionality up to modern
standards while maintaining the period look.
Though the ’72s neck pickup looks like
the ones in the Mustang Special, the Enforcer
Wide Range humbucker here sounds more
like a PAF, with more bite than delivered
by the Mustang’s pickup. The ’72’s bridge
pickup, however, responds much like the one
in the Mustang, albeit with a little more airiness
courtesy of the ’72’s semi-hollow body.
A vintage P-Bass-style switch plate harbors
just a Master Volume and a Blend control
that sweeps from full bridge to full neck.
If the sonic changes are not as obvious as I
would have liked, there are still a couple of
cool sounds to be had between the extremes.
In both clean and dirty applications, the ’72
offered up a vibe reminiscent of a Gibson
ES-335, with a slight Fender undertone.
Finely finished frets and a solid setup
made this Pawnshop model a pleasure to
play. If a humbucker-equipped semi-hollow
with a unique look is on your list,
you should definitely give the ’72 a try.
More from this Roundup:
Fender Pawnshop Series and 60th Anniversary Telecaster