Michael Stevens / Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilt "LJ" (1990)

No longer for sale.
Financing with Affirm


This rare, low serial number, 1990 Michael Stevens / Fender Custom Shop "LJ" just in on consignment!

Who is Michael Stevens you ask? In 1986, Michael was hired to become the Founder and Senior Design Engineer of the Fender Custom Shop along with John Page. During his time with Fender, Michael and his team designed and built guitars for some of the biggest names in music - the Eric Clapton and Robert Cray model Strats, Danny Gatton Tele and Waylon Jennings Teles, even Junior Brown's legendary "GuitSteel" guitar. As if to add an exclamation point to his extraordinary talents, Michael is the first person in the history of Fender to have his name on the front of the peghead on an instrument of his creation.

The Stevens "LJ" was named for Larry Jacobson, founder of Guitar Resurrection, and a key player in Michael's early career. At a time when the Fender Custom Shop had no from-the-ground-up designs of its own, and unlike any guitar Fender had produced, the Stevens designed LJ displayed some very unusual Gibson-like characteristics. It's believed that less than 30 of these guitars were ever produced by the Custom Shop team.

What really makes these guitars so highly regarded/exceptional is the feel and tone. Some guitars truly have a life - dare we say "magic" - to them. This is without a doubt one of those guitars. The LJ really rewards nuanced playing and has the ability to cover an incredible range of tones thanks to its clever, and very useable, tone controls (see specs for full details).

One of the most surprising elements of the LJ, given its Gibson-like specs, is its tone - and man-oh-man does this guitar sound incredible! There's more Fender Strat-like tones in it than you'd think given the humbucker/mahogany/maple specs. Anything from Strat "2 and 4" position tones to more complex LP-like tones are available. Add in a coil-tap and TBX control and you've got one hell of a versatile, bold, powerful, and musical guitar. 

Speaking of feel, this guitar practically plays itself. The set up is spot on and players with a lighter touch will really appreciate how this guitar "gets out of the way." Anything you want to execute - tricky lead runs, finger busting chord voicings, etc...this guitar proves itself time and again to be an ally.

This LJ is in excellent, near-mint condition. There is no fret wear to speak of, no major dings or finish scratches, and no repairs. There is a little bit of finish fading on the back of the neck from playing, but no dings or divots to speak of - it feels very smooth when playing. 

It can be tricky to express just how amazing some guitars are in text form - it's something you have to experience ultimately. That said, we cannot recommend this guitar highly enough. This is a special opportunity to own not only an amazing instrument, but a rare part of Fender's history. Don't let this one pass you by. Priced with original hardshell case. 

On consignment, no trades please.


  • Highly Figured Western Maple Top
  • Honduras Mahogany Body and Neck 
  • Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard
  • Brazilian Rosewood Headstock Overlay 
  • Grained Ivoroid bound headstock, neck, and body
  • TBX control for neck pickup
  • Push/Pull pot on master volume and bridge pickup tone (coil taps)
  • Nitrocellulose finish throughout 
  • 24.625" Scale Length 
  • SN: 0015
  • Weight: 8lbs 11oz

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