June 17, 2013 in Blog

Fender’s Acoustic Custom Shop

fasc1When it comes to guitars, amplifiers, and a variety of other stringed instruments, the name Fender has become a benchmark by which others in the industry are measured. Fender Musical Instruments Company has its headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizone, but its reach and influence goes beyond its geography, transcending musical styles and touching many generations of music lovers and performers.

Since its founding in 1946 by Leo Fender, the company has been the leader in the conception and manufacturing of popular guitars, basses, banjos, mandolins, violins, and guitar amplifiers. Much of that magic happens at their two manufacturing centers in California and Mexico, but a new facility was more recently opened. The Fender Acoustic Custom Shop in New Hartford, Connecticut is where the … Continue Reading

June 10, 2013 in Blog

The Mystery of the 0001 Stratocaster

stratgilmourAll great creations begin with a prototype. Iron Man’s armor began with the Mark I, all of the world’s airplanes can trace their roots to the Wright Brothers’ Flyer I, and all Fender Stratocasters started from the 0001 model. This incredibly valuable and sought after guitar currently resides in the hands of Pink Floyd guitar legend David Gilmour.

This famous guitar has been used by Gilmour in many stage performances. It was first seen in 1978 on the live promo clips filmed for his first solo album. It is also featured in Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2. The 0001 Stratocaster can also be heard on Paul McCartney’s Back to the Egg album and … Continue Reading

June 3, 2013 in Blog

A Quick History of Fender Amps

oldfenderampWhile Fender is highly regarded in the music world when it comes to their legendary guitars, they don’t often get the respect they deserve when it comes to their high quality amps. Let’s take a historical walk through some of the legendary amps Fender has put out over the years.

The K&F Woodie

Produced in 1946 when the Fender Electric Instrument Company was still K&F Manufacturing, which was run by Leo Fender and Doc Kauffman. These amp’s finishes were baked in a family oven. Created with a “gray crinkle” finish, few of these have survived today and they are considered rare collectables.

Tweed

These amps are appropriately named after their cloth covering, which is composed of varnished cotton twill (whose feel and … Continue Reading

May 23, 2013 in Blog

Fender ’57 Bandmaster Amplifier

Fender '57 Bandmaster ReissueOne of the iconic older amplifiers in Fender’s history is the old 1957 Bandmaster amp with 3-10″ speakers. Fender has reissued the amp with PCB board electronics and 4-10″ speakers, but for the purists out there it’s the old point-to-point hand-wired Bandmasters that set the standard for what this amp should sound like.

Preferred by a great many of touring pros the original ’57 Bandmaster is the sound of Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend and many others. Some would call it the holy-grail of non-reverb tube amps. If you want more proof look at all the knock-off versions of this amp being made by smaller amp builders everywhere.

So, last year … Continue Reading

May 15, 2013 in Blog

Gratuitous Fun in a Fender Video

OK, there is no real reason to post this video — except the music rocks, the bands deserve some promotion and the video scenes are just too cool. Check out each of the bands in this video and you’ll find some great new music. Oh, and you’ll see the new line of American Vintage Series guitars, too. Here’s the vid.

Like the music? Here’s some links:
Deke Dickerson – www.dekedickerson.com
The Gore Gore Girls – www.goregoregirls.com
Rapael Saadiq – www.raphaelsaadiq.com
The Californian – www.thecalifornian.bandcamp.com/album/sea-of-love-ep
The Love Me Nots – www.thelovemenots.com
The Black Angels – www.theblackangels.com

May 14, 2013 in Blog

Hendrix Exhibit at the Fender Visitor Center

Until the end of May, 2013 the Fender Visitor Center in Corona, California is hosting a special Jimi Hendrix exhibit. A first of it’s kind for the Visitor Center, which normally is full of Fender memorabilia, this exhibit contains all manor of Hendrix memorabilia and also includes photos and details supplied by Eddie Kramer, Jimi’s recording engineer.

May 10, 2013 in Blog

Fender Springs New Models For May 2013

Fender, Corona, CaliforniaWhile everyone else is concerned with dropping those extra pounds for swimsuit season, Fender is fattening up their famous Standard, Classic and Cabronita Series with an array of cool new guitars and basses. Some of the “new” guitars and basses being announced are truly new and unique. While others are changes and improvements in some of their existing lines of Strats, Teles and basses.

The Classic Series now features period correct finishes. This means you’ll see nitrocellulose lacquer finishes on the 50s Stratocaster, Telecaster, Precision Bass and Jazz Bass as well as on the 60s Stratocaster and Jazz Bass. So, let the controversy about what’s better, nitro or poly, … Continue Reading

May 10, 2013 in Blog

Fender CS Employee Abigail Ybarras Retires, New Apprentice, Los Lobos Performs

Abigail YbarraWhat does the name Abigail Ybarras have in common with guitar giants such as; Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Buddy Holly, Eric Johnson and Stevie Ray Vaughan?  They all earned their living with a Fender guitar not too far from their side.

Abigail worked at Fender since since 1956 and in 1958 started her legendary job of handwinding Fender pickups.  Next time you pop off the pickguard of your Stratocaster look for the initials AY as builders often initialed the necks, bodies and pickups of Fenders.  After over 50 years of making pickups Abigail Ybarras retired and passed the torch to her apprentice Josefina Campos.  Campos has been working with … Continue Reading

May 9, 2013 in Blog

Fender Custom Shop Ltd Editions, May 2013

DSC_8439Fender Custom shop just released a few of the most ornately detailed instruments its ever produced.  We’ll take a look at the Limited Jazzmaster Pro, Limited Custom Deluxe Jazzmaster, Limited La Cabronita “Luchador” Stratocaster, Limited La Cabronita “Gato Gordo” Jaguar and the Limited Relic 1955 Precision Bass.  Each Custom Shop instrument comes with its own certificate of authenticity, limited case, picks, polishing cloth, strap and a cable.

First up is the Limited Jazzmaster Pro.  It sits in the Pro Collection of the Fender Custom Shop.  It takes the best of both worlds both old and new and combines itself into a lean mean fighting machine.  It stays lean with a single … Continue Reading

February 8, 2013 in Blog

New American Vintage Series “Pure Vintage” Stratocaster Nitro Finish

59-2Up until a few days ago, I was a bit confused on the finish details of the new American Vintage Series line of guitars. Folks were already yelling about a polyurethane base coat “sealer” under the nitro finish. In reality, they didn’t know, so the assumptions made their way. All along, the details were right on Fenders website!

The “Flash-Coat Lacquer” Finish

The finishes on most new American Vintage guitars and basses consist of three coats: sealer, color and a topcoat, all of which are 100-percent nitrocellulose lacquer and are hence quite thin. This is a vintage-style finish treatment that lets an instrument “breathe” with a more natural resonance since it … Continue Reading