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Fender Rarities Quilt Maple Top Stratocaster

Fender Rarities Quilt Maple Top Stratocaster  ·  Source: Fender

Every month, Fender announces a new guitar in a series of instruments made in limited numbers using exotic woods and high-end hardware. Some have looked better than others, but many have been pretty over the top. Enter the Quilt Maple Top Stratocaster: Has Fender finally gone too far?

Fender Quilt Maple Top Stratocaster

I’m just going to state right now at the beginning of this post that I do not like the look of this Strat. You may love it of course, but to my eyes it is pure fugly. For some perspective, take a look at some of the other Fender Rarities Series releases here.


Fender Quilt Maple Top Stratocaster

Fender Quilt Maple Top Stratocaster


Rarities Quilt Maple Top Stratocaster rear

Fender Rarities Quilt Maple Top Stratocaster rear


Now that we’ve let the looks of this guitar sink in, let’s take a look at the specifications. This Stratocaster has a solid one-piece rosewood neck with a soft ’60s C-shape profile and a 9.5-inch radius fretboard loaded with narrow-tall frets. It should play very smoothly and present no problem for string bends.

It comes with the highly figured quilted maple cap affixed to a two-piece roasted alder body. The guitar has a single-ply gold anodised aluminium pickguard, a bone nut and a six-point synchronised tremolo.

Vintage 65

This Rarities Strat model is fitted with three Vintage 65 single-coil Stratocaster pickups controlled via a five-way blade selector switch with a master volume and two tone knobs. Nice pickups, to be sure, but overall this is a relatively standard setup for a modern Strat. Yes, the hardware and electronics are certainly top notch. But I’m afraid that this guitar makes me feel a little sick every time I look at it. Then again, I’m not a big fan of bling and quilted maple.

What do you think of this model? Is it turning your stomach or loosening your wallet? Let us know in the comments section below.

RRP – USD 2499/ GBP 2249 / EUR 2599 inc deluxe hardshell case

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by Jef
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10 months ago

Indeed, the question is, does this add anything to playability or sound? Highly doubtful. It’s just another instrument for people who want to spend a lot on something not really worth it. Oh well… we’ll be getting more of this stuff for sure now eh!

10 months ago

I love it. Usually not a fan of bling either, but when it’s well executed it works. This isn’t overly flashy but it’s well put together and I can easily see this guitar on the festival stage in the hands of a master bluesman (or woman…)

oh, ditch the captchas, you’re not that special

David Parker
10 months ago
Reply to  Covergirl

I feel the exact same way. I see this as very tastefully done. I’m normally not a fan of quilted tops (especially on Fenders) but it works on this one. They applied the stain (or whatever they do to emphasize the grain) in a very subtle way. The coloring is perfect with the creams, light browns and gold, set off by the dark brown of the rosewood neck. Fantastic. Even the back is cool with the transparent brown coloring and the light brown skunk stripe.

10 months ago

It’s a beauty!

…as long as you don’t look at its’ top

James Farmer
10 months ago

This series of bling Strats & Teles smells of Marketing Strategy Desperation Syndrome. It is subjective for sure, but as an old-timer Weekend Warrior in honky tonks and many years wielding a Olympic White ’62 Reissue Strat, yep, these Blingcasters make me feel a bit sick and honestly, disappointed in the Fender Company.

10 months ago

Never much of fan for quilted maple, even on LP’s. Have to agree about the looks. I think what takes it over the top is the one piece rosewood neck. The contrast of dark color neck against the natural maple body just doesn’t do it for me. I feel Fender bodies can look good with colors, like Seafoam green for instance that would look horrible for a Gibson. Unless it is an all rosewood body ala the George Harrison tele, I can’t see too many other finishes working well with this neck. For the price you can put together a… Read more »