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Fender Custom Shop

There are very few other groups of guitar builders that possess the mystique of the Fender Custom Shop. Years of studying and repairing vintage Fender Guitars have granted the master luthiers profound insights into what makes their guitars sing. The classics are classics for a reason, so if you’re looking for an extraordinary butterscotch Telecaster, or an elegant sunburst Stratocaster, they’ve got you covered. On top of that, they’ve unveiled some subtly (and some not so subtly) postmodern axes that brilliantly expand on tradition. As always, fit and feel are essential, so they offer a wide range of specs and relicing options, ranging from “journeyman” to “heavy”. These are more than just instruments, these are custom shop Fender Guitars hand-built by some of the best in the game. The custom shop is free and encouraged to take their favorite branches from the Fender family tree and graft them onto something totally new.

The Origin of Fender Custom Shop

In 1965 Leo Fender sold his company to CBS, and the quality of the instruments declined. With the exception of a few cool new models, most of the changes made during this period were implemented to save money. In 1984, the company began its triumphant return to grace when its employees rallied together under their CEO, Bill Schulz, and purchased the company back from CBS.

Although they needed to continue large-scale musical instrument production in order to stay viable, the new leadership wanted a division dedicated to honoring the precise attention to detail that initially distinguished their guitars. In 1987, the Fender Custom Shop was founded. Some of their first builds were for sponsored artists. Former Master builder, John Suhr, made a tweed twin for Eric Clapton. They built a tele for Danny Gatton. Before long, many of these signature models were made available to the general public along with other unique interpretations and configurations of their classic designs. The Custom Shop came to function as Fender’s R&D department, constantly experimenting and innovating. For luthiers, it also came to represent the pinnacle of solid-body guitar luthiers. What started as a duo of master builders has expanded into a team of 11, each with thousands of instruments already under their belts. The Custom Shop is like the NASA of Rock & Roll. They employ the brightest minds, keenest eyes, sharpest ears, and most dexterous fingers they can find. As a result, a custom shop fender is one of the most coveted 6-strings in the world.

The Origin of Fender

Fender Musical Instruments evolved out of a humble radio repair shop run by Leo Fender and his partner Clayton Orr “Doc” Kaufman, a former employee of Rickenbacker. In addition to fixing tube radios, they had been commissioned on occasion to construct PA systems for local dance halls. This experience, combined with the growing popularity of electric Hawaiian lap steel guitars, led them to begin experimenting with their own guitar amplifiers and pickups. Over the course of many experiments and designs, K&F created a “pick-up” test rig that, rather than being a retro-fitted arch-top or lap-steel, boasted key qualities of each. This hunk of solid, resonant yet feedback-resistant wood featured a neck that you could fret, and it soon became so popular with clients that they began asking to borrow the “test-rig” for gigs, clearly they were on to something. Leo decided to refine the instrument with the intention of combining the volume and metallic intensity of the lap-steel with the versatility and general aesthetic of a traditional, “Spanish”-style guitar. Doc wasn’t comfortable venturing into such uncharted waters, so Leo embarked alone, and Fender Electrical Musical Instrument Company was born.

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  • Fender Custom Shop 70th Anniversary LTD Fat 54 Stratocaster - Aged Black Fender Custom Shop 70th Anniversary LTD Fat 54 Stratocaster - Aged Black

    Fender Custom Shop 70th Anniversary LTD Fat 54 Stratocaster - Aged Black

    Fender Custom Shop
    $5,025.00
    Fender Custom Shop 70th Anniversary LTD Fat 54 Stratocaster - Aged Black Welcoming in this beautiful Fender Custom Shop LTD Fat 54 Stratocaster in Aged Black. Is it possible to beat a good ol' black strat? I don't think so! This is a magnificent 70th...
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  • Fender Custom Shop LTD 1961 Telecaster - Journeyman Candy Apple Red Fender Custom Shop LTD 1961 Telecaster - Journeyman Candy Apple Red

    Fender Custom Shop LTD 1961 Telecaster - Journeyman Candy Apple Red

    Fender Custom Shop
    $4,700.00
    Fender Custom Shop LTD 1961 Telecaster - Journeyman Candy Apple Red Welcoming in this gorgeous Fender Custom Shop LTD 1961 Telecaster with a Journeyman Relic in Candy Apple Red. Featuring an alder body, a hand-wound twisted tele pickup in the neck, a...
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  • Fender Custom Shop LTD 1961 Telecaster - Journeyman Aged Olympic White Fender Custom Shop LTD 1961 Telecaster - Journeyman Aged Olympic White

    Fender Custom Shop LTD 1961 Telecaster - Journeyman Aged Olympic White

    Fender Custom Shop
    $4,700.00
    Fender Custom Shop LTD 1961 Telecaster - Journeyman Aged Olympic White Welcoming in this gorgeous Fender Custom Shop LTD 1961 Telecaster with a Journeyman Relic in Aged Olympic White. Featuring an alder body, a hand-wound twisted tele pickup in the...
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  • Fender Custom Shop LTD 1951 Telecaster Relic - Butterscotch Blonde (2021) Fender Custom Shop LTD 1951 Telecaster Relic - Butterscotch Blonde (2021)

    Fender Custom Shop LTD 1951 Telecaster Relic - Butterscotch Blonde (2021)

    Fender Custom Shop
    $3,699.00
    Fender Custom Shop LTD 1951 Telecaster Relic - Butterscotch Blonde (2021) Just in on consignment is a Fender Custom shop LTD 1952 Telecaster in Butterscotch Blonde. This is a 2021 model in excellent condition with virtually no play wear. This Tele...
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  • Fender Custom Shop LTD 1954 Journeyman Stratocaster w/ Roasted Maple Neck - Desert Tan Fender Custom Shop LTD 1954 Journeyman Stratocaster w/ Roasted Maple Neck - Desert Tan

    Fender Custom Shop LTD 1954 Journeyman Stratocaster w/ Roasted Maple Neck - Desert Tan

    Fender Custom Shop
    $4,950.00
    Fender Custom Shop LTD 1954 Journeyman Stratocaster w/ Roasted Maple Neck - Desert Tan Just in from the Fender Custom Shop is a LTD 1954 Stratocaster in Desert Tan with an absolutely gorgeous roasted maple neck. This early Stratocaster is full of...
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  • Fender Custom Shop LTD 1962 Jaguar Deluxe Closet Classic - Shoreline Gold Fender Custom Shop LTD 1962 Jaguar Deluxe Closet Classic - Shoreline Gold

    Fender Custom Shop LTD 1962 Jaguar Deluxe Closet Classic - Shoreline Gold

    Fender Custom Shop
    $5,750.00
    Fender Custom Shop LTD 1962 Jaguar Deluxe Closet Classic - Shoreline Gold Welcoming in one of the most beautiful Fender Custom Shop pieces we have seen in a long time! A Fender LTD 1962 Jaguar with a stunning Deluxe Closet Classic Relic in Shoreline...
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  • Fender Custom Shop 1966 Stratocaster DLX Closet Classic - Lake Placid Blue #4360 Fender Custom Shop 1966 Stratocaster DLX Closet Classic - Lake Placid Blue #4360

    Fender Custom Shop 1966 Stratocaster DLX Closet Classic - Lake Placid Blue #4360

    Fender Custom Shop
    $4,599.00
    Fender Custom Shop 1966 Stratocaster DLX Closet Classic - Lake Placid Blue #4360 Here we have a beautiful Fender Custom Shop 1966 Stratocaster DLX Closet Classic in a gorgeous Lake Placid Blue finish. We absolutely love these late 60's closet classic...
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  • Fender Custom Shop 1964 Telecaster Journeyman - Candy Apple Red Fender Custom Shop 1964 Telecaster Journeyman - Candy Apple Red

    Fender Custom Shop 1964 Telecaster Journeyman - Candy Apple Red

    Fender Custom Shop
    $4,399.00
    Fender Custom Shop 1964 Telecaster Journeyman - Candy Apple Red-"USED" *We do all our own photography.  The guitar pictured is the exact one you will receive! Here we have a stunning '64 Telecaster Journeyman in Candy Apple Red!  It features...
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  • Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition Dual P90 Stratocaster Journeyman - Faded Aged 2-Color Sunburst Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition Dual P90 Stratocaster Journeyman - Faded Aged 2-Color Sunburst

    Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition Dual P90 Stratocaster Journeyman - Faded Aged 2-Color Sunburst

    Fender Custom Shop
    $5,200.00
    Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition Dual P90 Stratocaster Journeyman - Faded Aged 2-Color Sunburst Guitarists who prize timeless Stratocaster style and the familiar warmth of P90 pickup sounds will find the best of both worlds in the Fender Custom Shop...
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