Back in 2012, Fender issued a range of guitars under the ‘Pawn Shop’ monicker which comprised a rag bag of standard Fender guitars, each with a unique twist to it. Hence, the tagline “guitars that never were but should have been”. Well, to be honest, I was never interested in them. Until I saw this TV broadcast:
HARU was playing a Fender Pawn Shop Mustang Special at GIRLS FACTORY 13. Fast forward to January 2015, I saw HARU playing the Pawn Shop Mustang with my own eyes at Tachikawa and Maebashi, kinda like this:
I wasn’t really looking for it but I chanced upon one on eBay from a shop in Cleveland, OH. Three hundred-odd squids (before tax) on a buy-it-now deal. Which is half of what the RRP should’ve been in the UK. I shut my eyes and clicked on buy. Heh. It took just over two weeks to reach the UK. It didn’t come with a gig bag but it was well packed. And it was smaller than I thought it would be, which prolly why HARU likes it as she likes smaller necks (note her Skullsilver design).
I named her AoiHARU-chan.
To complement AoiHARU-chan, I bought a Fender monogrammed strap just like HARU. The pawn shop-y bits on the guitar are the bridge (this one has a fixed bridge, without the Mustang bridge saddle) and the wide range Enforcer pups. I still have no idea how to use the phase slider switches (I keep them on ‘middle’) but it has a three-way pup selector switch as well.
I have used wide range pups before as my Thom Yorke Tele has them. Tone-wise, think of a half-way house between a typical Fender single coil pup and a humbucker. One feature which I really like is the string-through alder body, which is more like a Tele than a regular Mustang.
On my first proper test, I cranked the gain up. AoiHARU-chan sang. Kurt would’ve been proud:
There’s an audio recording I made using BIASFX on my iPad. Check it out:
Body Material: Alder
Body Shape: Mustang®
Body Finish: Polyester
Neck Shape: ’60s “C”
Number of Frets: 22
Fret Size: Medium Jumbo
Position Inlays: Dot
Fingerboard Radius: 9.5″ (241 mm)
Neck Material: Maple
Neck Finish: Urethane
Nut Width: 1.650″ (42 mm)
Scale Length: 24″ (61 cm)
Neck Plate: 4-Bolt
Truss Rods: Standard
Truss Rod Nut: 3/16″ Hex Adjustment
Pickup Configuration: HH
Bridge Pickup: Enforcer™ “Wide Range” Humbucking with Downsized Wide Range Covers
Neck Pickup: Enforcer™ “Wide Range” Humbucking with Downsized Wide Range Covers
Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Middle Pickup, Position 3. Neck Pickup
Special Electronics: Coil Selector Switch for Each Humbucker
Controls: Master Volume, Master Tone; Pickup Toggle Switch; Coil Selector Switch for each humbucker
Hardware Finish: Chrome
Bridge: 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Strat® Strings-Through-Body Hardtail
String Nut: Synthetic Bone
Tuning Machines: Vintage-Style
Strings: Fender® USA Super 250L, NPS (.009-.042 Gauges)
Unique Features: Double Humbucker Configuration, Hardtail Bridge, Unique Pickup Switching with 15 Options, Short Scale, Offset Mustang Body Shape
Pickguard: 3-Ply Mint Green
She actually started using it on the short live house SCA WA MADA HONKI DASHITENAI DAKE tour at the tail end of 2012.
Lit. ‘blue spring’, but this was more because of its colour, and HARUNA of course.