Two Fender Custom Shop series introduced

4th Apr 2014 | 10:30

Two Fender Custom Shop series introduced
Two Fender Custom Shop series introduced
Check out the top on the Artisan Walnut-Top Strat...

Fender Custom Shop has introduced two new ranges, the Artisan Series and the Master Design Series.

The Artisan Series aims to put the spotlight on specially selected tonewoods, with the emphasis on good looks, unique figures and hand-rubbed finishes. The first models from the Artisan Series set out its stall, with a pair of eye-catching Maple-Top Strats and a Walnut-Top Strat looking every inch the high-end part.

The Master Design Series meanwhile is an opportunity for Fender's top luthiers to show off their skills and design guitars that suit their own tastes. The 1950s Relic Strat was designed by Todd Karuse, while the 1963 Relic Strat was deamt up by John Cruz.

Those Custom Shop boys really do love a bit of relicing...

Click through our gallery for pictures and full specs.

For more information visit the official Fender Custom Shop website.

Fender press release

The Fender Custom Shop is proud to introduce the two latest collections of handcrafted instruments, the Artisan Series and Master Designed Series.

With the Artisan series, the Fender Custom Shop pulls out all the stops for high-end instruments of remarkable tone, look and feel. In a first for the Custom Shop and inspired by Master Built instruments created for the 2013 Tokyo Guitar Show, this series is built to spotlight fine woods with distinctive figures, hand-rubbed stains and gloss finishes. Team-built for a limited time only, Artisan series instruments are also outfitted with a wealth of special appointments and features that contribute to their striking sound and style.

The Fender Custom Shop Master Design Series is in essence what instruments Master Builders would build for themselves given the opportunity. In this case, legendary Master Builders John Cruz and Todd Krause conjured up their personal “dream” Stratocaster guitars and worked with the renowned custom shop team to develop and build them to spec. Now, through the Master Design Series, their dream guitars are available in limited quantities to musicians all over the world.

The two-piece alder body has an off-center seam and a faded Two-color Sunburst nitrocellulose lacquer finish that Cruz says “shows signs of period-correct wear without really going over the top.” Other premium features include a quarter-sawn maple neck with a larger “C”-shaped profile and no back finish (for a smooth, fast feel), 12”-radius round-laminated rosewood fingerboard with comfortably rolled edges and jumbo frets, three-ply mint green nitrocellulose pickguard, vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge with brass block for more overall tonal liveliness, an extra-sturdy larger-diameter trem arm, and nickel/chrome hardware. Includes case, cable, strap, tool kit and certificate of authenticity.

Two Fender Custom Shop series introduced
Artisan Spalted Maple-Top Stratocaster
Looks good enough to lick if you ask us.

Fender Custom Shop Artisan Spalted Maple-Top Stratocaster specs

  • Color: Buckeye
  • Body Material: Alder with Spalted Maple Top
  • Body Finish: Hand–Rubbed Stain with Urethane Finish
  • Body Shape: Stratocaster®
  • Neck Material: AAA Flame Maple
  • Neck Finish: Urethane
  • Neck Shape: Soft "V"
  • Scale Length: 25.5" (64.8 cm)
  • Fingerboard: Maple
  • Fingerboard Radius: 9.5" (241 mm)
  • Number of Frets: 22
  • Fret Size: Narrow Jumbo
  • String Nut: Graphite
  • Nut Width: 1.6875" (42.8 mm)
  • Position Inlays: Black Blocks on Maple; Mother of Pearl Dots on Rosewood
  • Bridge Pickup: Custom Shop Fat '50s with Lipstick Cover
  • Middle Pickup: Custom Shop Fat '50s with Lipstick Cover
  • Neck Pickup: Custom Shop Fat '50s with Lipstick Cover
  • Controls: Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 2. (Bridge/Middle Pickup)
  • Pickup Switching: 5-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup, Position 3. Middle Pickup, Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickup, Position 5. Neck Pickup
  • Pickup Configuration: SSS
  • Bridge: 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with Block Saddles
  • Hardware Finish: Chrome
  • Tuning Machines: Fender Standard Cast/Sealed Staggered with Ebony Buttons
  • Pickguard: 4-Ply Tortoiseshell
  • Switch Tips: Chrome
  • Unique Features: Buckeye Finish
  • Included Accessories: Case, Cable, Strap, CruzTools® Tool Kit, Certificate of Authenticity

Fender Custom Shop Press Release

The Artisan series Spalted Maple-Top Stratocaster features a dramatically figured spalted maple top accentuated by a new "buckeye" finish.

Other highly distinctive features include chrome "lipstick" pickup covers, special chrome control knobs, chrome tuners with ebony buttons, a choice of one-piece maple neck and fingerboard or rosewood fingerboard.

Two Fender Custom Shop series introduced
Master Design 1950s Relic Stratocaster
Fender Master Builder Todd Krause had his wicked way with this Relic Strat.

Fender Custom Shop Master Design 1950s Relic Stratocaster specs

  • Model Number: 1551950185
  • Series: Master Design
  • Color: Moss Green
  • Body Material: Lightweight Alder
  • Body Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer
  • Body Shape: Stratocaster®
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Neck Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer
  • Neck Shape: 10/56 Large "V"
  • Scale Length: 25.5" (64.8 cm)
  • Fingerboard: Maple
  • Fingerboard Radius: 9.5" (241 mm)
  • Number of Frets: 21
  • Fret Size: Narrow Jumbo
  • Nut Width: 1.650" (42 mm)
  • Position Inlays: Black Dot
  • Neck Plate: 4-Bolt with "Master Design" Engraving
  • Bridge Pickup: Custom Shop Shielded Fat '50s Single-Coil Strat
  • Middle Pickup: Custom Shop Shielded Fat '50s Single-Coil Strat
  • Neck Pickup: Custom Shop Shielded Fat '50s Single-Coil Strat
  • Controls: Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 2. (Bridge/Middle Pickup)
  • Pickup Switching: 5-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup, Position 3. Middle Pickup, Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickup, Position 5. Neck Pickup
  • Pickup Configuration: SSS
  • Bridge: Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo
  • Hardware Finish: Gold
  • Tuning Machines: Vintage-Style with Fender Logo
  • Pickguard: Shielded 1-Ply Parchment
  • Included Accessories: Case, Cable, Strap, CruzTools® Tool Kit, Certificate of Authenticity

Fender Custom Shop press release

The Fender Custom Shop Master Design 1950s Relic Stratocaster is the finely crafted work of longtime Master Builder Todd Krause. It expertly evokes the sound, style and spirit of the Stratocaster’s first decade, while offering several modern touches and the impeccably distressed look of a relic finish treatment.

Its alder body features a Moss Green nitrocellulose lacquer finish accented by gold hardware, with a maple neck and fingerboard with a comfortable modern 9.5”-radius and 21 narrow jumbo frets.

Sparkling Strat® tone comes from three shielded Custom Shop Fat ’50s single-coil pickups, offered here with shielded modern wiring and five-way switching for optimal tonal versatility, plus a vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge. Includes case, cable, strap, tool kit and certificate of authenticity.

Two Fender Custom Shop series introduced
Master Design Series 1963 Relic Stratocaster
Straight out of '63. Oof.

Fender Custom Shop Master Design Series 1963 Relic Stratocaster specs

  • Model Number: 1551960803
  • Series: Master Design
  • Color: 2-Color Sunburst
  • Body Material: Lightweight Alder with Off-Center Seam
  • Body Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer
  • Body Shape: Stratocaster®
  • Neck Material: Quartersawn Maple
  • Neck Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer
  • Neck Shape: Large "C"
  • Scale Length: 25.5" (64.8 cm)
  • Fingerboard: Round-Laminated Rosewood
  • Fingerboard Radius: 12" (305 mm)
  • Number of Frets: 21
  • Fret Size: Jumbo
  • Nut Width: 1.650" (42 mm)
  • Position Inlays: White Dot
  • Neck Plate: 4-Bolt with "Master Design" Engraving
  • Bridge Pickup: Master Design Single-Coil Strat
  • Middle Pickup: Master Design Single-Coil Strat
  • Neck Pickup: Master Design Single-Coil Strat
  • Controls: Master Volume, Master Tone, Blend
  • Pickup Switching: 5-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup, Position 3. Middle Pickup, Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickup, Position 5. Neck Pickup
  • Pickup Configuration: SSS
  • Bridge: 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo with Brass Block
  • Hardware Finish: Nickel/Chrome
  • Tuning Machines: Vintage-Style with Fender Logo
  • Pickguard: 3-Ply Mint Green
  • Included Accessories: Case, Cable, Strap, CruzTools® Tool Kit, Certificate of Authenticity

Fender Custom Shop press release

The Fender Custom Shop Master Design Series 1963 Relic Stratocaster is meticulously designed by longtime Master Builder John Cruz to embody classic early-’60s look and soul, with mods under the hood that deliver remarkable modern tonal versatility.

Its special Master Design single-coil pickups provide greater output, more midrange and a sweeter tone for soloing, with a reverse-wound/reverse-polarity middle pickup for hum cancellation in positions two and four. Its custom wiring features five-way switching, master volume control, master tone control and a special blend control built into what would normally be the second tone knob. This blend control offers the neck and bridge pickups together in positions one and five, and all three pickups together in positions two and four.

The two-piece alder body has an off-center seam and a faded Two-color Sunburst nitrocellulose lacquer finish that Cruz says “shows signs of period-correct wear without really going over the top.” Other premium features include a quarter-sawn maple neck with a larger “C”-shaped profile and no back finish (for a smooth, fast feel), 12”-radius round-laminated rosewood fingerboard with comfortably rolled edges and jumbo frets, three-ply mint green nitrocellulose pickguard, vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge with brass block for more overall tonal liveliness, an extra-sturdy larger-diameter trem arm, and nickel/chrome hardware. Includes case, cable, strap, tool kit and certificate of authenticity.

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