May 15, 2013 in Gear Reviews

Fender American Vintage Series Features

Ever since the first reissues left the then new FMIC factory in 1985 Fender has spent more and more time trying to get the various “reissue” guitars and basses really right. What started as a Tele here and a Strat there is now a complete series of guitars the American Vintage Series.

Here, VP of Fender Guitars, Justin Norvell explains some of the Vintage Series features and what makes them special.

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 14, 2013 in Gear Reviews

Fender Cabronita Tele Thinline in action

Earlier this week we told you about some new Fender guitars and basses for Spring. One of the more unique guitars in the bunch was the Fender Cabronita Tele Thinline. Now, we’ve got the new Fender Cabronita Tele Thinline in action in this video demo. This new Classic Player model comes in three finishes: White Blonde, 2-Color Sunburst and Shoreline Gold. For more product details, visit

May 13, 2013 in Historic Fenders

Historic Fenders: John Mayer’s Black1

“This guitar has the fourth position pickup from heaven.” – John Mayer

Black1You wouldn’t know it by looking at it, but John Mayer’s Black1 Strat is one of the newer additions to the ever growing list of Historic Fender Guitars. After coming into some downtime after his Heavier Things World Tour, Mayer began contemplating building his own custom Stratocaster from the ground up. He called the Fender Custom Shop and they invited him down. The rest has become music history.

Mayer said he came up with the idea for the guitar while playing Fender’s Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute Stratocaster, which is a distressed, relic style Strat. Mayer said that he fell in love … Continue Reading

May 11, 2013 in Gear Reviews

Eric Johnson Compares his ’57 Strat to a new ’59 Reissue

You be the judge – according to Eric the new Fender American Vintage ’59 Reissue Strat sounds, feels and plays like his original 1957 Strat that’s famous for all those silky smooth EJ tones we’ve come to know over all these years. Let us know what you think via the comments below the video.

Maybe in the hands of Eric Johnson all Strats sound great? Could it be that “tone is in the hands?” But there is no doubt that the new Fender American Vintage ’59 Strat is a mighty fine example of Fender’s current crop of reissue guitars. Available everywhere for about $2,300 street price you can pick one up and do your best comparison for yourself.

Buy an American Vintage ’59 Stratocaster … Continue Reading

May 11, 2013 in Tips & Lessons

Green Day – When I Come Around

greendayGreen Day’s Dookie album is one of the albums I credit with having a huge impact on my early teenage years. I was in my early teens when it was released, but due to the fact that I wasn’t allowed to watch MTV and the internet didn’t exist yet, it took a year or so for me to find out about it.

This was one of the first albums that really felt like it spoke directly to me. I could relate to these dudes. So naturally, as soon as I picked up a Fender like Billy Joe’s I was learning these songs. Like most kids my age, I was a big fan of Longview, Basket Case, and Welcome To Paradise. But the … Continue Reading

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

May 7, 2013 in Gear Reviews

Upgrade Your Stratocaster Pickups

change strat pickupsOne of the easiest ways to improve the sound of your Fender Stratocaster is to upgrade the pickups. Stratocasters are famous for their signature look of three single coil pickups, but these single coil pickups can have a humming sound that you may not like. Some Stratocasters have their middle pickup wound backwards in order to act as a humbucker. In order to combat this humming noise, Fender players have the option of upgrading to more advanced pickups.

Deciding to upgrade to better pickups is only the first step. Fender offers an extensive collection of pickups that each offer slightly different sound and action. Each of the pickup sets listed below can be purchased new for around $200. The … Continue Reading