Similar Listings

Originally $1,099, now $899 ($200 price drop)
Originally $1,000, now $809 ($191 price drop)
Originally $1,950, now $1,799 ($151 price drop)

Looking for a more affordable alternative to the Knopfler Artist Series Strat (if you can even find one for sale)?  After a long agonizing consideration, I've decided to part with my custom built MK61 from my personal collection. With a custom made body, finish and pickguard assembly, this guitar is surely unlike any other Strat you have played.

The body was custom ordered, made and finished by Guitar Mill USA. It is a solid 1 piece Swamp Ash 60s spec body finished in Hot Rod Red gloss nitrocellulose lacquer. This color is nearly impossible to find without custom ordering as this body was. MK famously had his '61 painted this color in the 70s around the time of the first dIRE sTRAITS album. The finish is in excellent condition with one touch-up spot on the top edge of the neck pocket where the lacquer started to flake. It is fitted with genuine Fender Chrome hardware featuring an American Special vintage Stratocaster tremolo with steel sustain block, genuine Fender Classic 60s reissue 3 ply Mint Green pickguard with Aged White pickup covers, knobs, tips and tremolo cover. The extra Aged White tone knob is included in case you wish to remove the Black volume knob.

The pickguard assembly was assembled here in the E11even Guitars Custom Shop. It features genuine Fender Custom Shop Fat 50s bridge and middle pickups with a DiMarzio FS-1 in the neck position, CTS 250K master volume and tone pots with .047uf Orange Drop capacitor and a 1 Meg CTS neck volume pot, CRL 5 way switch and a Pure Tone dual contact jack. Read on to the final paragraph for a detailed explanation as to how I arrived at this particular wiring configuration.

The neck is a 2013 genuine Fender Classic 60s reissue in excellent condition with only a few signs of use. It features a Maple stock with a 7.25" radius Rosewood fretboard, 21 vintage frets, Fender synthetic bone nut, standard C rear profile and aged tint gloss poly finish. It is fitted with Gotoh SD91 vintage tuners and string tree. The frets have been leveled, crowned and polished and the Rosewood fretboard conditioned with natural oils. I love these older Classic 60s necks and they are my go-to necks for my vintage 60s Strat builds whenever I can get them.

The guitar weighs 7.4 lbs and is strung with a new set of GHS Boomers 9-42 gauge strings, as this is documented to be the gauge MK used at the time. The tremolo is setup traditional floating. The guitar includes the new Fender Deluxe padded gigbag shown and will ship UPS with a signature required for delivery.

Thanks for looking and please see our shop page for more cool custom guitars and quality parts including a Knopfler Dream Machine tribute!

Why this wiring configuration?
...It is documented that MK used a DiMarzio FS-1 in the neck position of his '61 in the late 70s and most notibly on Sultans. Naturally I wanted to emulate this configuration as closely as possible and decided that the Fender CS Fat 50s set would likely be the closest match to his '61 tone even though they used Texas Specials in the Artist Series guitar. Those are hotter output pickups and so I opted to go with something I thought would be closer to vintage '61. The problem I encountered was I could not get a good balance between the Fat 50s and FS-1. The DiMarzio was just too much louder of an output that it overpowered the others no matter how I adjusted the pickup heights. Then I had an "Ah Ha" moment. When you look at photos of MK's '61 from back then, you see he had a Black knob on top, a Volume knob in the middle and a Tone knob on the bottom. It is not documented if the middle Volume knob was just a normal tone control with a volume knob on it or if it had some other function. Then I thought; Mark is a very practical guy who would have gone with the easiest fix to a problem, as evident by his use of duct tape to hold his 3 way switch in the "#2 or 4 positions" as 5 way switches were not yet available. Maybe he had the same balance issue I did when putting the FS-1 in the neck position. Maybe to remedy this, he had added a second volume control for the FS-1. Not only to allow him to balance it with the other pickups, but also to allow him to shape the tone of the #4 neck/middle combo by adjusting how much of the neck pickup was in the mix... Perhaps I let my imagination run away with me here, but this was all very logical to me based on what I was hearing with my guitar. So I went ahead and rewired a 1 Meg CTS pot in the middle knob position to act as a volume control for the neck pickup only, made the lower Tone knob a master tone control and left the top knob as a master volume control. I decided on this configuration knowing that I would instinctively reach for the master volume on the top knob. When you roll the middle Volume back to about 8, it is nicely balanced with the other pickups. So this volume control can also be used as a slight boost as well. I'm very pleased with the end result.

Reverb Buyer Protection

Reverb has your back if your item is lost, damaged, or doesn't match its description. Simply report any issues within 7 days and we'll help you get a full refund.Learn more about Reverb Buyer Protection.

Listeda year ago
ConditionExcellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.learn more
  • Stratocaster
  • Hot Rod Red Nitro

e11even guitars

Springville, PA, United States
Joined Reverb:2018

Reverb Gives

Your purchases help youth music programs get the gear they need to make music.

Carbon-Offset Shipping

Your purchases also help protect forests, including trees traditionally used to make instruments.

Oops, looks like you forgot something. Please check the fields highlighted in red.