HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (July 19, 2019) – Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced the limited edition 2019 Fender Custom Shop Mid-Year Collection and two, artist signature models for Stevie Ray Vaughan and Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy), debuting at Summer NAMM in Nashville, Tenn.
Built for true fans and bass aficionados, the Phil Lynott Precision Bass® celebrates the 50th anniversary of Thin Lizzy’s formation and what would have been Lynott’s 70th birthday on August 20, 2019. “Thin Lizzy was always my favorite band growing up,” Fender Custom Shop Senior Master Builder John Cruz said. “After finishing up the Gary Moore limited edition artist signature model, it just made sense that Phil should be honored as well, since he used his trusty 1978 Precision Bass throughout his career. This project is a very special tribute to a fallen hero, and to fans, like myself, who Phil inspired to play music.”
In true Fender Custom Shop fashion, Cruz honed-in on playability and set out to replicate all the details, including subtle modifications Lynott made, such as the mirrored pickguard and bridge. Fans will also notice the bass doesn’t appear overly beat up, because Lynott took good care of the instruments that inspired him to make music. Cruz also took special interest in adding unique touches that true fans will appreciate – like the custom-made leather strap, custom leather wristband and Lynott’s signature mirrored aviator sunglasses that he often wore in concert. A custom anvil case brings the package all together.
Also joining the Summer NAMM Fender Custom Shop artist signature lineup is the Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Stratocaster® Relic® – an all-new aged version of NOS SRV currently in the Artist Signature Series. Almost single-handedly responsible for the electric blues revival of the 80s and 90s, Vaughan used his beloved Strat® to blaze his way to the top of the charts. Perfect for blues players or any guitarist looking for pure, hot Stratocaster tones. The artist signature model is built to order and features relic lacquer finish in Faded 3-Color sunburst and closet classic hardware.
“Stevie Ray Vaughan’s impact on modern music has been profound,” said Mike Lewis, VP, Product Development – Fender Custom Shop. “The new SRV Relic model is an incredibly special piece, and it’s not a replica of anything he ever played. Vaughan co-designed it with the Shop before he passed, and it’s truly a means of honoring something completely fresh and original. While this Stratocaster has been in the Fender artist signature series since the early `90s, it now is getting new life as an NOS version in the Fender Custom Shop.”
SRV heavily modified his Strat to match his energetic, yet controlled, playing style. We included a trio of hot, high-output Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special pickups for fiery, authentic Fender tone that’s as big as the Lone Star state. As an homage to his personal hero, Jimi Hendrix (who’s also been known to pick up a Strat) SRV used a left-handed vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge on his guitar, allowing him to work the tremolo arm with his elbow—a modification we cheerfully recreated. The two-piece body is crafted from alder selected for its weight and grain, and its NOS lacquer finish will age and wear in a distinctly personal way, just like the original. The tinted riftsawn maple neck has an “Oval C” profile that’s slightly thinner on the treble side, making it easier to bend those strings into the stratosphere—a precise recreation of his favorite guitar’s neck profile. Other features include 5-way pickup switching, vintage-style wiring, 3-ply Black “SRV” pickguard, vintage-style tuning machines, bone nut and round string tree. Includes deluxe hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity.
Also new to the Fender Custom Shop offering in 2019 are four Mid-Year Collection models – all limited edition and until Summer NAMM 2020 and built-to-order. The Poblano features roasted bodies, a 1960s feel and Josefina Campos’ Poblano pickups born out of the Fender Custom Shop. The `55 Dual Mag Stratocaster features a faded and aged Journeyman Relic finish with all the dings and scratches, giving the guitar character paired with comfort and playability. Under the hood, this guitar features a Strat 1⁄2 Blender wiring along with a GreasebucketTM tone circuit that preserves your gain when rolling back the tone control. The pickup routes and control cavity are shielded and grounded for reduced EMI while the anodized Gold pickguard is a cool aesthetic touch, as are the “transitional” ’54 pickup covers and ’55-style knobs.
The Vibra Tele is an early version of an early `50s modified tele, featuring a Bigsby® tremolo and all the bells and whistles and modifications. Available in Black and Butterscotch Blonde, the model also features a humbucking and single coil pickup in the neck and bridge, respectively, for equal, fat tone. New additions also include Jazzmaster® guitars with a twist of black and pink paisley designs, modifications for warm tone and an added RSD bridge, exclusively done in the Fender Custom Shop.
“The Mid-Year Collection is an opportunity to surprise and delight our customers, showing off new developments and capabilities born in the Fender Custom Shop – from finish options to new pickups and electronics,” said Lewis. “Every model in these collections pushes the limits of guitar building and serves as inspiration for future custom guitars.”
The 2019 Artist Signature and Mid-Year Collection Custom-built models making their debut at Summer NAMM, include:
- PHIL LYNOTT PRECISION BASS® – $12,500.00
- STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN SIGNATURE STRATOCASTER® RELIC® – $5,000.00
- 2019 LIMITED EDITION ROASTED POBLANO STRAT® RELIC® – $4,300.00
- 2019 LIMITED ‘55 DUAL-MAG STRAT® JOURNEYMAN RELIC® – $4,300.00
- 2019 LIMITED EDITION ‘50S VIBRA TELE® HEAVY RELIC® – $4,900.00
- 2019 LIMITED EDITION PAISLEY JAZZMASTER® JOURNEYMAN RELIC® – $4,650.00
2019 Fender Custom Shop Mid-Year Collection (Available for order through July 2020):
2019 LIMITED EDITION ROASTED POBLANO STRAT® RELIC®
An evolution of the original Ancho Poblano recipe—a trio of spicy hand-wound Ancho Poblano single-coil Strat pickups, fat neck and Vintage Modified #2 wiring— the Limited Edition Roasted Ancho Poblano Strat Relic turns the heat up to 11. It’s been said the neck has the most effect on a guitar’s tone after the pickups; a fat neck equals fat tone. We took that to heart when crafting the Limited Edition Roasted Ancho Poblano Strat Relic—giving it a fat “’59 C”-shaped profile and roasted the riftsawn maple neck. Roasting the wood gives it delicious resonance by removing moisture, while also darkening it for a sumptuous aesthetic. Only the artisans at the Dream Factory could have come up with this combination of ingredients and made them so delectable. The roasted alder body wears a Relic lacquer finish that lets the body “breathe” with enhanced tonal resonance while giving this Strat the look and feel of a well-loved, often-played companion. The 9.5”-radius rosewood fingerboard hosts 21 jumbo frets for a satisfyingly comfortable feel that hits the spot in an inspiring way. Other features include RWRP middle pickup, 5-way switching, vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge and tuning machines, 3-ply Black pickguard, bone nut and wing string tree with spacer. Includes deluxe hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity.
2019 LIMITED ‘55 DUAL-MAG STRAT® JOURNEYMAN RELIC®
Combining original-era Fender style with modern refinements and hand-wound Custom Shop Dual Mag pickups, the Limited Edition ’55 Dual-Mag Strat Journeyman Relic could only have been created by the visionaries of the Fender Custom Shop. Calibrated for balance and volume, the Custom Shop Dual-Mag single-coil Strat pickups are a unique design, based around a proprietary blend of magnet types. Alnico 2 magnets temper the treble strings while alnico 5 magnets give a piano-like punch to the bass strings. All pickups are wrapped with copper tape and grounded to reduce EMI. The two-piece ’55 select ash body has deep contours and a Journeyman Relic lacquer finish for comfort—like a comfy pair of blue jeans—while the tinted, one-piece, rift-sawn maple neck sports a “’54 Soft V”-shaped profile. The 7.25”-9.5” compound-radius fingerboard and 21 #6105 frets give the neck a welcomingly comfortable playing feel. Under the hood, this guitar features a Strat 1⁄2 Blender wiring along with a GreasebucketTM tone circuit that preserves your gain when rolling back the tone control. The pickup routes and control cavity are shielded and grounded for reduced EMI while the anodized Gold pickguard is a cool aesthetic touch, as are the “transitional” ’54 pickup covers and ’55-style knobs. Other features include 5-way switching, vintage-style synchronized tremolo and tuning machines, bone nut and wing string tree. Includes deluxe hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity.
2019 LIMITED EDITION ‘50S VIBRA TELE® HEAVY RELIC®
The artisans at the Fender Custom Shop created a Tele lover’s dream: the Limited Edition ‘50s Vibra Tele® Heavy Relic®, the crème de la crème of Tele guitars. We started with a ‘50/’51 Blackguard single-coil bridge pickup, then added two of the most popular, time-tested Tele mods: a Bigsby® B5 vibrato tailpiece and a Seymour Duncan® Seth Lover humbucking neck pickup. Placed directly at the seventh harmonic for perfect, balanced tone, this pickup adds a unique note to the traditional Tele twang. Dual Stack HS Tele wiring ensures the pickups play nicely with each other, from an electrical standpoint; dual-stack 250k and 500k potentiometers guarantee each pickup operates at optimum resistance. The two-piece select ash body wears a thin Heavy Relic lacquer finish, giving it the look of an instrument that’s spent its life being played onstage. The one-piece tinted quartersawn maple neck has a“’57 Soft V” profile and a 9.5”-radius fingerboard with 21 #6105 frets for a contemporary playing feel. Other features include 3-way switching, period-correct Black phenolic pickguard, 21 narrow-tall frets, vintage-style tuning machines with Fender logo, bone nut and disc string tree. Includes deluxe hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity.
2019 LIMITED EDITION PAISLEY JAZZMASTER® JOURNEYMAN RELIC®
Created in 1968, paisley finishes were inspired by the San Francisco “Flower Power” movement and first appeared on the Telecaster®. To pay homage to this classic aesthetic, the artisans at the Dream Factory put their imaginations to work and created a pair of Paisley Jazzmaster guitars—one in classic Pink Paisley, and one in
Black, both with a matching nitro-finished Paisley pickguard. The two-piece alder body wears a nitro lacquer finish that’s received a Journeyman Relic treatment, giving it the look and feel of a well-loved stage veteran. Sporting a comfortable “’62 Jazzmaster C”-shaped profile, the rift-sawn maple neck has a 9.5”-radius rosewood fingerboard with 21 #6105 frets for a familiar playing feel. Rich and throaty-sounding, the pair of hand-wound Jazzmaster pickups are connected with vintage-style wiring; we also kept the famous rhythm/lead circuit intact to ensure authentic tone and performance. For snappy tone and perfect intonation, we added an RSD Jazzmaster bridge, an upgraded touch that could only come from the Fender Custom Shop. Other features include vintage-style tuning machines, bone nut and wing string tree with metal spacer. Includes deluxe hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity.
Fender Custom Shop models will be available for purchase at local authorized dealers and on can be previewed at www.fendercustomshop.com throughout 2019 and beyond.