For many years, I had a couple of guitars and occasionally picked one up, and even more occasionally actually tried to learn something (I still half-know a couple of Clapton songs from the Unplugged album from those days). Then in October 2012, it’s safe to say that something changed my life, and that was the release of Rocksmith in Europe. That prompted me to pick up my guitars and start playing and learning more seriously, almost every day since then, and has led to me creating this website, among other things.
When I started playing Rocksmith, I had three guitars – my horrible strat copy, my Lag Arkane and my acoustic. I mostly played it with my Lag for most of the first year, but in August 2013 I decided that I would like to have another guitar to play with (I hardly ever played with the strat because it was so bad). I went to Ghent one Saturday, intending to go to a big shop that I knew there, but without telling people on their Internet site, they were moving that weekend, and neither the old shop nor their new one was open (that shop has gone downhill badly, and I was highly disappointed when I eventually visited their new shop, so I shan’t name them). I turned to my mobile phone to search for another guitar shop in Ghent, and found a small one not too far away (The Sound Factory).
At that point, I knew very little about guitars. I’d taken my Lag with me, and I asked the guy in the shop to help me find a guitar that would complement that one (HSH with a Floyd Rose). Luckily, they weren’t very busy that day, and he was perfectly happy to let me sit in a corner and try any guitar I wanted. I stayed there for about 2 hours and tried something like 15 different guitars, finally settling on the Fender Pawn Shop ’72. It certainly wasn’t because it was a Fender, it was because I liked the sound and the feel of the instrument. At €799, it was a bit more expensive than I’d really intended, but that’s hardly unusual in life!
The Pawn Shop series were some guitars that Fender produced around that time (they seem to have largely dropped them now), and they were advertised as guitars that might have been made in the vintage era but weren’t (and might therefore be found in pawn shops, hence the name). They were unusual variations on Fender’s models. In the case of the Pawn Shop ’72, it’s basically a Strat body with two humbuckers and an f-hole. The controls are also unusual, since it only has a volume knob and a blend knob, no tone and no switch.
This is my only Fender guitar – I don’t own a Strat or a Tele, or any of the other classic Fenders. For some reason, I’m not very keen on them, partly because I prefer humbuckers to single coils. These days, I don’t play this guitar very often although there’s no real reason for that. I see it as rather a vanilla guitar – it’s well made, nice to play, sounds decent but doesn’t really stand out for anything in particular. On the other hand, it’s probably my son’s favourite one, and when he comes round and plays, that’s usually the guitar that he picks.
Since this guitar is no longer made, I include the specifications below.
- Model: Fender Pawn Shop ’72
- Scale length: 25.5″
- Woods: Alder body, Maple neck, Rosewood fretboard with Vintage Cream inlays
- Weight: 3.5kg
- Neck construction: Bolt-on
- Fretboard radius: 9.5″
- Frets: 21
- Nut width: 42mm
- Neck depth at fret 1: 21mm
- Pickups: Enforcer Humbucking Pickup (bridge) + Wide Range Humbucking Pickup (neck)
- Controls: 1 volume, 1 pickup blend
- Bridge: 70s style Hardtail Stratocaster Bridge