NGD Fender Richie Kotzen Stratocaster

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Pablo, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. Pablo

    Pablo Resident Wanker

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    Well, I may as well admit it... Hi, my name is Eske and I have rampant GAS (Hello Eske).

    I’ve been the extremely happy owner of a Kotzen Telecaster for a couple of years now and have always wanted to see if the Strat would live up to its Tele sibling and had kept my antennas out for a sale on one of the Japan only fiddles.

    Hence, when one came up on Ikebe Gakki for 128.000 JPY, I was overwhelmed with GAS.

    Here are the first quick and dirty pics from its arrival in sunny Denmark:
    [​IMG]
    Cleared customs the day before yesterday and already delivered to my home... I think that’s a new record for the Danish postal service!
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    Let’s get cracking!
    [​IMG]
    O.k.... there’s a bubble wrapped guitar box inside the Ikebe Gakki shipping box...
    [​IMG] Well, inside the bubble wrapped guitar box, was a bubble wrapped gigbag that holds a bubble wrapped guitar... This is how to ship a guitar!!!
    [​IMG]
    And here she is, next to her sister...

    I tried my best to get some decent photos of the Strat, but the lighting in my shed/studio is pretty poor and the weather outside is utterly horrendous with sleet and hail taking turns at reshaping my face... luckily, Ikebe Gakki sent me a few pics before shipping the guitar:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So far, my impressions are extremely good - this thing positively rings, when I strum it and the fretwork on the jumbo frets is absolutely brilliant. The neck is ever so slightly slimmer than the very beefy neck on the Tele and perhaps even more comfortable, than the supreme comfort that the Tele offers. The Kotzen Strat is surprisingly lighter than my Tele. I’d still consider it medium weight, though.

    The custom Kotzen pickups are a very nice and clear vintage-y affair and the in-between tones are downright adfictive. With this said, the Kotzen Strat is a part of a bigger picture, that includes modding another guitar for EMGs (I’m on a nostalgic ‘80s trip these days), which is why I’ll probably end up moving my Mojotones into the Kotzen, when I come around to the EMG thing... absolutely NOT necessary, it’s just a preference thing.

    The only negative so far, is the wobbly trem arm - I completely forgot my dislike for Fender’s screw-in arms and will need to find a solution to that ASAP... I’ll probably go Wudtone, as it is both extremely stably and maintains the vintage look.

    Anyway, that’s it so far for my initial impressions... there might be a future update, when I’ve lived with this thing for a bit longer.

    Cheers

    Eske
     

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    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  2. IbanezDaemon

    IbanezDaemon Raptus regaliter

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    Beautiful! A very classy lookin' Strat!!
     
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  3. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    That looks really classy man! I love the white white burst and it is quite unusual to see on guitars or to be dome right!

    I had my eye on the Richie Kotzen tele as it's a sick looking guitar but the thick neck scares me lol!

    Even though you mentioned the latter pictures are from Ikebe, my brain farted for a moment and I was "damn how many guitars does this dude have?"!
     
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  4. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Congrats!

    Absolutely killer duo you got there.
     
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  5. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Congrats! Interesting to know they slimmed down the neck for the strat.

    Also, I didnt know it existed :lol:.
     
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  6. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Plays Authentic ® Contributor

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    Congrats... As a huge RK fan I approve :yesway:
     
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  7. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    His Tele Sig is one of the best Tele's on the market player wise. It does great under a variety of applications.
     
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  8. InHiding

    InHiding SS.org Regular

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    I'm usually not a fan of stats but this one looks nice :)
     
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  9. Kaura

    Kaura bum

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    That's a gorgeous Strat!

    How was the ordering process from Ikebe Gakki? How long did it take to get delivered? I'm thinking of ordering from there sometime in the future since it's pretty much the only way to get those JDM Fenders.
     
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  10. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Plays Authentic ® Contributor

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    I think we’re going to need to see a cover of the end solo from Devil’s Hand now...

    ;)
     
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  11. Fred the Shred

    Fred the Shred Shrederick

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    What a great catch! Happy NGD! :)
     
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  12. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metal™

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    I never knew he had a sig strat. I love that finish on that body :yum:

    HNGD
     
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  13. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    so cool!
    congrats.
     
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  14. mlp187

    mlp187 Burrito Master Contributor

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    Holy geez that is one beautiful strat!!! Congrats!!!
     
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  15. mikernaut

    mikernaut pixel pusher

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    congrats! those are killer lookin.
     
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  16. walkhard

    walkhard SS.org Regular

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    that. is. awesome.
     
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  17. ArtDecade

    ArtDecade John Bohlinger's Dank Stash

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    I don't like the guitar but you have great taste in guitar players. Kotzen is a master!
     
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  18. beerandbeards

    beerandbeards Majestic Shoveler

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    Sooooooooo sexy!!!

    I always wanted the Tele but the neck is thicker than preferred.
     
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  19. Adieu

    Adieu SS.org Regular

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    This way up??

    O rly lol
     
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  20. Pablo

    Pablo Resident Wanker

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    First of all: thanks for all the kind words - it's absolutely wonderful being able to share these silly things with fellow gear heads!

    Believe it or not, I'm not even that big of a Kotzen fan... Don't get me wrong, I do have a couple of his albums and have MASSIVE respect for the guy. But that's not why I somehow ended up with his two signature fiddles.
    Frankly, I really just fell in love with the Tele - the contours, neck shape, jumbo frets and DiMarzio PUs combined to offer an extremely atractive package, that proved to be downright irresistable when I first played it. I know have picked up the Strat hoping it will live up to my Tele... and so far, so good!!!
    I really dig the the finish and vibe of the thing in the flesh. Don't get me wrong, it's absolutely flirting with being garish... but to me, it pulls it off and really works in person. To my mind, the Kotzen Strat is pretty much a Mary Kaye Strat on steoroids!

    Honestly, you shouldn't be scared of the neck on the Kotzen Tele. Sure, it's pretty deep (mine is a whisker below 1" at the nut), but the 42mm nut width paired with the neck shape (more of a U than the deep C that Fender claims) and wonderfully rolled freboard edges makes it really accessible.

    Moreover, my wife will happily tell you that I have WAY too many guitars... Wheras I am always a guitar shy of the perfect number...
    Honestly, the difference in neck shape could easily be a question of who was sanding my particular neck. With that said, I've heard the same before from other Kotzen Strat owners, so perhaps there really is a slight spec difference between the Strat and the Tele.

    There are decidedly few Kotzen Strats floating around outside of Japan and I wouldn't have know of it either, if I didn't love window shopping on-line Japanese guitar stores. Moreover, I'd actually never seen one in the flesh before mine landed - I just bought it off my love of the Tele. As you will probably have guessed, the Kotzen Strat is a JDM model - available in Transparent White Burst and Transparent Red Burst... both really cool, but to me the transparent white burst is the one to get.
    You are not wrong: since I got it, my Kotzen Tele is my most recorded guitar. It simply does so much stuff incredibly well!
    My Kotzen Strat is the fourth guitar I've bought from Ikebe Gakki and the transactions have all been extremely smooth - I really can't recommend the highly enough.

    The entire proces took 9 days from first enquiry with Ikebe Gakki to delivery at my house. Please bear in mind that this includes delay in correspondance (due to the eight hour time difference), shipping, three days in customs here in Denmark and two additional days of the local Danish postal service mucking about trying to move the parcel the final 200 miles...
    I wish - me trying to copy Kotzen is by its very nature an excercise in futility... I did already do my piss poor rendition of "Fooled Again" though... To me, that is the quintessential Kotzen Strat track.
    Honestly, just give it a bit of time - you'll come to appreciate the extra girth... or something ;)

    Again: thank you for all the kind words and if you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer them.

    Cheers

    Eske
     
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