Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) has announced an all-new Mid-Year Collection. The collection features seven highly collectible, limited-edition models with various finish options – all showcasing the innovative spirit of the legendary Fender Custom Shop. The endless display of creativity continues with two, limited edition creations from Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov – the Front Row Legend Esquire and Pacific Battle Strat® and Tele® guitars –both also debuting at Summer NAMM.
A testament to the Custom Shop’s constant quest for innovation, the 2017 Mid-Year Collection showcases new roasted wood bodies, necks and finishes, as well as a Dual-Mag pickup design and other new features. Each model pushes the limits of guitar building to spark inspiration for future custom guitars. All Mid-Year Collection guitar headstocks wear the Fender Custom Shop 30th Anniversary decal and will be available for one year only, starting July 2017.
“For 30 years, the Fender Custom Shop was built on a rich history of innovation – and these Mid-Year collection guitars show that spirit is alive and well,” said Mike Lewis, VP, Product Development – Fender Custom Shop. “This collection of guitars is not only eminently collectible, but gives guitar enthusiasts a rare chance to own a historic, limited-edition model celebrating the Custom Shop’s 30th anniversary.”
The foundation of Yuriy Shishkov’s Front Row Legend Esquire is 100-year-old Alaskan yellow cedar reclaimed from original bench boards used at historic Los Angeles music venue, the Hollywood Bowl. Guitars will have a different original “seat number” on the top of the body – making each truly unique. The Pacific Battle Strat® and Tele® guitars have pickguards crafted with aluminum skin from a B-25 used during Pacific battles in WWII.
NEW Fender Custom Shop Mid-Year Collection: Launching July 2017
Limited Edition Relic® ’56 Fat Roasted Strat® – £3,539
The Limited Edition Relic ’56 Fat Roasted Strat boasts a fiery tone, thanks to a roasted maple neck and roasted alder body with Relic lacquer finish, matched to hand-wound Fat ‘60s Strat pickups with Fat ‘50s wiring as the special sauce. This wiring offers bold tone with transparent bloom while reducing treble loss when adjusting the instrument’s volume. It also smooths the control tapers, avoiding the typical hotspots when adjusting your volume or tone. Other features include an AA birdseye maple neck with “10/56 ‘V’”-shaped profile, 9.5″ radius fingerboard, 21 6100 jumbo frets, gold 8-hole pickguard and American Vintage six-point synchronised tremolo. A deluxe hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity are included. This guitar is offered in two finishes: Aged Black or Aged Desert Sand.
Limited Edition Relic® Black Roasted Dual-Mag Strat® – £3,539
The Relic Black Dual-Mag Strat looks like it’s been played for years on stages while offering all the modern luxuries you expect from a Fender Custom Shop guitar. Dark and daring with sultry black-on-black looks, this beauty brings a booming sound, thanks to the roasted alder body and ultra-stable quartersawn roasted maple neck that gives it a darker look while warming up the tone and making it more resonant. Additional features include a Relic lacquer finish that lets the body breathe with unrestrained tone, flat-lam rosewood fingerboard, Jescar® 6100 jumbo frets, 9.5-12″compound-radius fingerboard, ‘60s-style “Oval C”-shaped neck profile, hand-wound Dual-Mag pickups with Vintage White covers, Strat Blender with Greasebucket™ wiring and a black Relic pickguard. Includes a deluxe hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity.
Limited Edition Heavy Relic® ’59 Roasted Strat® – £3,619
Stand out from the crowd with the Limited Edition Fender Custom Shop Heavy Relic Strat, a throwback to one of the most exciting times of Stratocaster development. ’59 saw the debut of the rosewood fingerboard, bringing a new look and sound to the Strat®. The two-piece, nitro-finished alder body’s Heavy Relic treatment, roasted neck, gold anodized pickguard and Texas Special® pickups lend this guitar superior looks and sound. Other features include a lacquer-finished quartersawn roasted maple neck with a “’59 Esquire C”-shaped profile, 9.5″-radius flat-lam rosewood fingerboard, 6100 jumbo frets and Vintage Modified #2 wiring. Easy playability, tonal versatility and nostalgic, gorgeous looks make it desirable for every player, and a must for every collector. Includes a deluxe hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity. This guitar is offered in four finishes: Aged Sherwood Green Metallic, Aged Fiesta Red, Aged Olympic White and Wide-Fade 3-Colour Sunburst.
Limited Edition Relic 50s Thinline Telecaster – £3,539
The Telecaster® guitar is a legend for a reason, its definitive sound has cut across every musical genre. The twang and the feel made the Tele® a music machine that’s been cemented in history by some of the world’s biggest artists. The lightweight Thinline body and Relic ‘floral finishes’ hark back to a time when the Tele became the favoured guitar of stage heroes, while giving it an attitude all its own. This guitar also features a stable quartersawn maple neck with ’57-style “Soft V”-shaped profile, 9.5″-radius fingerboard, modern Tele wiring with a Greasebucket™ tone circuit, vintage-correct Tele® bridge with brass saddles, hand-wound Custom Shop Original Blackguard bridge pickup and Texas Special® neck pickups, parchment pickguard and vintage-style tuners with the classic Fender logo. Familiar enough to latch on to and cool enough to fall in love with, this Telecaster includes a deluxe hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity. This guitar is offered in two floral finishes: Pink Paisley and Blue Flower.
Artisan Thinline Strat – KOA – £4,039
A hollowbody Strat that brings a new level of tone, resonance and beauty, the Artisan Thinline Strat Koa is crafted from select tone wood and elevates function to the level of form. The thinline body adds warmth and a new dimension of variety to this Strat guitar’s formidable sound. Built for the stage, this exciting instrument features a stunning, parchment-bound AAAA koa top over a roasted Okoume body, a nitro-finished medium roast AAA birdseye maple neck with a ‘63 Strat “C”-shaped profile, 9.5″-12″-radius flat-lam African Blackwood fingerboard, a trio of hand-wound Custom Shop ‘60/’63 single-coil Strat pickups, vintage clay dots, a bone nut, an 8-hole gold anodised pickguard, Vintage Mod #2 wiring and an American Vintage six-screw synchronised tremolo. Includes a deluxe hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity.
Limited Edition Relic® ’64 Special Stratocaster® – £3,639
An absolutely gorgeous guitar, the Limited Edition Relic ’64 Special Stratocaster pops with a unique colour-over-colour finish. The striking contrast between the two paint colours grants a subtle hint of sparkle that glistens when the lights hit it just so. Eye-catching and ear-pleasing, thanks to the hand-wound Custom Shop ’64 single-coil Stratocaster pickups, this tone machine is made for the spotlight. Other sterling features include a hand-selected two-piece alder body with nitrocellulose lacquer finish, an AA flame maple neck with a ’63 Strat “C”-shaped profile, round-lam maple fingerboard, 6105 frets, Vintage Modified #2 wiring and a three-ply parchment pickguard. Includes a deluxe hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity. This guitar is offered in two finishes: Aged Aztec Gold over Gold Sparkle or Aged Sage Green Metallic over Champagne Sparkle.
Limited Edition Journeyman Relic® Twisted Tele® – £3,299
Everything you want in a Tele and more, the Limited Edition Journeyman Relic Twisted Tele is one handsome tone machine. The secret to this guitar’s tone is right there in the name; the hand-wound Twisted Tele pickups set the foundation by cranking out hot, high-output Telecaster guitar tone, while the Greasebucket™ tone control allows you to roll off the highs without losing volume. The Bigsby® B-5 bridge and tailpiece add a retro vibe while the Journeyman Relic finish gives it the look and feel of a guitar that’s seen service on many a stage. Other features include a select two-piece, off-center ash body with lacquer finish, a lacquer-finished rift-sawn maple neck with 10/56 “V”-shaped profile, 9.5″-radius fingerboard, jumbo frets and one-ply parchment pickguard. Includes a deluxe hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity. This guitar is offered in three finishes: Aged White Blonde, Wide-Fade 2-Colour Sunburst and Aged Blue Sparkle.
NEW Creations From Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov: Built To Order In Limited Quantities
Front Row Legend Esquire – £10,089
From its humble beginnings as a makeshift stage to its now-legendary status as one of the best concert venues in Southern California, the Hollywood Bowl is part of the rich tapestry of Hollywood history. This natural outdoor amphitheatre has hosted performances by some of the most well-known and respected artists of every musical genre; from Frank Sinatra to Jimi Hendrix and everyone in-between, the Hollywood Bowl has been bathed in pure musical magic for decades. Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov captured and distilled that mojo, adding a healthy infusion of Fender’s timeless style and history with the incredible Front Row Legend Esquire. This guitar is crafted from 100-year-old Alaskan yellow cedar reclaimed from the original bench boards that have been resonating with the sounds emanating from “The Bowl” since 1919. The heritage of the Front
Row Legend Esquire doesn’t stop with the wood; its design is based on the legendary single-pickup precursor to the Telecaster. This guitar has the same punchy tone and snappy attack that vintage Esquire guitars are known for, but with the added touches only a Masterbuilt guitar can have. Vintage enthusiasts are sure to love everything about this guitar from its ‘60s-style “Oval C”-shaped quartersawn maple neck, 7.25″-radius fingerboard and vintage frets, to its original-spec Broadcaster bridge pickup, oxidised brass hardware and push-pull volume pot for additional tonal flexibility. The wood’s original patina, with its cracks, bolt holes and scratches is preserved, and the boards were hand-selected for the coolest and most distinct markings. Every guitar also has a different original “seat number” on the top of the body, so each is truly unique. An ultra-thin satin finish preserves the look of the wood in its original condition.
Pacific Battle Tele® / Pacific Battle Strat® – £7,569
Seeing plenty of action in the Pacific Theatre, the B-25 Mitchell bomber was known for its durability, power and versatility— approximately 45 of those planes remain airworthy today. The Pacific Battle Strat and Tele have a two-piece select ash body that purrs with warm tone and rich sustain. The lacquer-finished transparent green stain grants a classic, military-style appearance, and the tarnished brass knobs and hardware further add to its rugged, war-torn appeal. In a touch of unrivaled authenticity, the pickguard is crafted from the aluminum skin of a B-25, so it’s seen a fair bit of action. The Pacific Battle Strat and Tele also feature a smooth-playing, lacquer-finished “C”-shaped mahogany neck and a 9.5″-radius ebony fingerboard with 6105 frets. The Tele includes a pair of hand-wound Custom Shop Texas Special pickups, while the Strat boasts Custom Shop Fat ’50s pickups, including a reverse-wound/reverse-polarity middle pickup for superior hum-cancellation when combined with the bridge or neck pickup. Includes a custom Army-green deluxe hardshell case and a B-25 model plane to proudly display alongside your guitar.
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To watch the official Fender Custom Shop 30th anniversary documentary, click here.