Gear Review: Cory Wong Signature Fender Stratocaster Guitar

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Cory Wong is not your typical guitar hero, which really makes him stand out in the field of other guitarists. Wong is a Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist, podcast host, and producer based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has performed and recorded with a who’s who of musicians, including Jon Batiste, Dave Koz, Chris Thile, and Ben Rector. 

The Fender Cory Wong Strat that American Songwriter received for review is definitely a player’s guitar and is based on Cory’s No. 1 guitar. The satin transparent Sapphire Blue finish on the scaled-down alder wood body automatically draws your attention. The modern D neck shape feels like the guitar has already been played fresh out of the gig bag. Fender deluxe locking tuners are a great feature especially with the standard Stratocaster six screw tremolo and Wong’s aggressive playing style. 

Sonically, this guitar sounds much different than your standard strat for multiple reasons.  All three single-coil pickups are specially wound Cory Wong Seymour Duncans. The built-in Treble-Bleed circuit provides cleaner high-frequency notes when playing at lower volumes to achieve more musical nuances. When you compare Cory’s Strat to a standard model, you’ll notice the headstock is modified a bit and the back heel, where the neck attaches to the body, is beveled in toward the neck pocket. This is really comfortable when playing the guitar standing and it reminds me of the Fender Ultras that had a similar heel in the ‘90s. 

Other unique case candy includes a hair tie for string muting, rubber strap locks, Cory’s name on the neck plate, and back of the headstock. If you visit Wong’s website and YouTube performance videos, you’ll see how truly versatile he is as a musician, although he is predominantly known for his Funk Music styles. Cory is very demanding on his music gear and expects them to deliver just like he does in the studio and on the stage. This is a high-performance Stratocaster that was designed off of Wong’s favorite guitar but has many features that all musicians can appreciate. 

Hanging up at a guitar shop or sitting in a stand, you can’t really tell or hear what makes this guitar stand out from the pack.  Once you play it and plug it in and take a closer look and listen, then you understand how this model is an evolution of Leo Fender’s original design from back in 1954.  If you are looking for one guitar that can cover a wide variety of sonic landscapes the Fender Cory Wong Stratocaster is definitely worth checking out. The attention to detail sets this apart from the pack. At $1,999.99 for an American-made guitar that is close to a custom shop model, it is priced fair.        

Photos courtesy Fender / Cory Wong

Leave a Reply

Songwriter U: The Realness of Your “Why”

Old Crow Medicine Show Preview Upcoming Album with Latest Single “Paint This Town”