Back in 2012[1], 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 video:

HARU was playing a Fender Pawn Shop Mustang Special at GIRLS FACTORY 13[2]. Fast forward to last January, 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 last month, 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 another recording I made but I’ll leave it for the next blog post when I will write about a new guitar app I bought for the iPad. Before that, here are Aoiharu-chan‘s specs:

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: Rosewood
Fingerboard Radius: 9.5″ (241 mm)
Fingerboard: Rosewood
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

[1]I think.
[2]She actually started using it on the short live house SCA WA MADA HONKI DASHITENAI DAKE tour at the tail end of 2012.
[3]Lit. ‘blue spring’, but this was more because of its colour, and HARUNA of course.