Hey Guys,
I'm seriously considering buying one of these CS Strats but am wondering if anyone "out there" has experience buying an already-built Custom Shop from a dealer like Sweetwater rather than having it
"built to order"?
Any do's or don'ts??
Thanks in advance.
Well; if there is something you absolutely must have in your Strat, or if you are intent on having a truly "one of a kind" Strat, then by all means, go with a Custom Shop guitar. Beyond that, I don't believe that the Custom Shop models are significantly "better" in any respect than the regular U.S. offerings. If I were in the market for a high-end Fender Strat, I'd go with the American Deluxe model.

Now, if you simply want a Strat that came from Fender's Custom Shop, then you might as well buy one from one of the musical instrument stores. You won't have to wait for it, and if there is anything wrong with it, you can get it replaced a lot easier than by going through the Custom Shop directly.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
Thanks for the reply.
I actually have a hefty amount of store credit with Sweetwater after a major studio upgrade that I "have" to spend rather than cash in.
I've always heard great things about the CS Strats.
I've also heard the folks who say it's a plain waste of money, but the all just sound bitter.
Some of those colors are gorgeous and yeah, I could have it at my door before my next gig :-)
There's no question that there's a significant upcharge for CS strats, and of course at the price range you're getting into there are diminishing returns because there's just not that much you can improve on a strat before it turns into something else. But CS strats tend to be really, really good. I can't say I'd be comfortable dropping over 3K on a strat, but that's just me. IMO the American Vintage series are 95% as good for $1000 less, and even that is an awful lot of money for what has always been a simple, utilitarian instrument. So you might want to see if you can play a CS strat locally before you buy one online to see if you like it enough to pay twice as much as you might for one of the high-end USA Fenders.

Personally if I had $3,000+ in credit at Sweetwater I'd be looking at two instruments, or an amp and a guitar, or that Bruce Egnater amp building class.