These Fender Michael Landau Coma Stratocasters are based on the heavily modded HSS 1959 Stratocaster that has become known as Coma. Available as either the US-made Stories Collection or as a more expensive made-to-order Custom Shop model.
Michael Landau Coma
The original Michael Landau Coma Stratocaster was purchased in 1974 when he was 16 years old and was already a non-original ’59 Strat missing the factory-fitted ’59 pickups.
Therefore, Landau didn’t feel too bad about modifying it even further throughout his career.
Apparently, the name Coma came about during a drunk conversation with friends at a party in the 1980s. A decade with single-named artists, such as Bono, Prince, Sting and Flea.
The name was passed to this heavily modified ’59 model, which was essentially just the body at this point. Having had the bridge, neck and pickups changed multiple times. Just that original alder ’59 body always resonated beautifully and so it was the one constant on this Strat over the years.
Fender Stories Collection
The US-made Fender Stories Collection version is the more affordable of the two iterations of the Coma Strat, It is based on the modified alder 1959 Strat body and is paired with a custom C-shaped maple neck with a 25.5″ slab rosewood 7.25″ radius fretboard fitted with 21 Narrow Tall frets, white Pearloid dot inlays and a bone nut.
It has a faded red stain finish with the Coma name emblazoned on the top horn and Fender has copied the bridge routing of the original. At some point in its life, there would have been a locking bridge system on the original.
It has a pair of custom Michael Landau Ultra Noiseless single-coil Strat pickups in the neck and middle positions and a custom Landau CuNiFe Wide-Range humbucker in the bridge position.
This model ships in a vintage-style navy blue case with brown ends and a gold interior with “Coma” embroidered inside the case.
MSRP – USD 2799/ EUR 2779 *
Custom Shop Build-to-Order
The Custom Shop replica of Landau’s Strat is a build-to-order, limited edition and costs a lot more. This $15,000 version comes with faded, hand-drawn artwork and a finish that’s been aged by Custom Shop Master Builder Todd Krause.
I think that ‘Michael’s hand-drawn “COMA” on the body in permanent marker just as he had done years ago’ being used as an upsell is really pushing marketing to the maximum.
If you really feel the need to simulate an artist’s personal guitar, then this would be the one to aim for.
Personally, I can think of cheaper ways to achieve owning a great guitar. But, I understand that for some collectors/guitarists, owning a limited edition is desirable, especially if they want to mimic a particular musician.
It has certainly bragging rights and I get that aspect. Though, I am not sure that makes it a better guitar in any way.
Plus, I still in my head associate Mike Landau with James Tyler Guitars.
MSRP – Around USD 15000
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- Coma Strat: Fender
- Custom Shop Coma: Fender