“This year’s collection will set a new standard for excellence in the world of custom guitar”: Fender pays homage to golden era guitars and pushes the boundaries of contemporary design with 2024 Custom Shop collections

Fender Custom Shop Custom Collection 2024
(Image credit: Fender)

Fender has set its sights on establishing a new benchmark for electric guitar brilliance with its no-holds-barred 2024 Custom Shop collections: the Limited Edition, Time Machine, Postmodern, American Custom, Artisan and Vintage Custom families.

In total, six separate lineups have been announced as part of the comprehensive drop, with each arriving with a very specific design objective, from paying homage to golden era guitars to pushing the boundaries of contemporary designs.

To do so, the Big F has pulled out all the stops, dipping into its arsenal of aesthetic, functional and tonal appointments to deliver a range of luxuriously finished, meticulously relic’d, Bigsby-clad instruments that span its Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster, Jaguar and bass guitar lineups.

“Crafted by the industry's most skilled artisans, these guitars represent the pinnacle of excellence, blending innovation with the rich heritage of Fender,” says Mike Lewis, VP of Product Development at the Fender Custom Shop,

“Each collection tells a unique story, from the timeless elegance of the Limited Edition and Time Machine models to the groundbreaking features of the Postmodern and American Custom collections to the nostalgic journey of the Vintage Custom designs.

“We're confident that this year’s collection will captivate artists, players, and collectors alike, setting a new standard for excellence in the world of custom guitars.”

Read on to find out more about the design briefs of each collection – and to marvel at some of the stellar builds on display.

Fender Postmodern

Fender Custom Shop Custom Collection 2024

Fender Custom Shop Postmodern Telecaster Journeyman Relic (Image credit: Fender)

The Postmodern collection serves a fairly self-explanatory purpose: to deliver the best features of the past, coupled with a range of modern materials and innovations. This combination is said to lead to the potential for a “wider range of individual musical expression and creativity”.

For the Class of 2024, Fender has gone big on Bigsbys and f-holes, introducing two Strats and a sole Telecaster that all arrive with a single f-hole on the upper bout. The latter model has also been fitted with that aforementioned B5 vibrato.

Fender Custom Shop Custom Collection 2024

Fender Custom Shop Postmodern Stratocaster Journeyman Relic (Image credit: Fender)

Thanks to the Journeyman relicing, each instrument looks to have been lifted straight from the archive, though with some telling contemporary tweaks: compound radius fingerboards for the Strat, Tomatillo pickups for the Tele, and a huge range of finish options for the lot.

Other standout specs include the Tone-Saver Bleed and Greasebucket tone circuit for the Strats, and Fat ‘50s Tele wiring for the, erm, Tele. Essentially, these both give greater tonal control over each of the guitars’ pickup assembly.

Prices start from $4,975.

Fender Time Machine

Fender Custom Shop Custom Collection 2024

Fender Custom Shop Time Machine 1964 Jaguar Journeyman Relic (Image credit: Fender)

The Time Machine, by comparison, forgets about modernity and doubles down on heritage, “crafting meticulous replicas using the same techniques and tooling used to create the originals all those years ago”.

Again, the collection is comprehensive, with each model arriving with the Time Machine relic process. Highlights include the 1964 Jaguar Journeyman – which features a ‘62-style C-profile neck, Custom Shop ‘62 Jaguar pickups, and period-correct matching painted headcap – as well as the Heavy Relic’d ‘57 Stratocaster.

Fender Custom Shop Custom Collection 2024

Fender Custom Shop Time Machine 1957 Stratocaster Heavy Relic (Image credit: Fender)

As the name of the latter implies, this Strat is very relic’d indeed, arriving in a choice of battle-worn finishes that hope to evoke “decades of intense playing and touring”. Specs are faithful, too, with the guitar featuring Tomatillo single-coils, that Greasebucket tone circuit and a ‘57-style V neck profile.

Fender American Custom

Fender Custom Shop Custom Collection 2024

Fender Custom Shop American Custom Telecaster NOS (Image credit: Fender)

If the Time Machine models were fully focussed on the past, the American Custom guitars look the other way, dubbed “the Fender of modern times – and then some”. Three ultra-pristine instruments make up this family, with the Telecaster arriving in a choice of Sapphire Blue Transparent or Honey Blonde colorways.

That single-cut also flashes a compound 9.5”-12” radius, a two-piece ash body and a roasted flame maple neck, fashioned to a ‘57-style Soft V profile.

Fender Custom Shop Custom Collection 2024

Fender Custom Shop American Custom Stratocaster NOS (Image credit: Fender)

As for the Strat, maple and rosewood fingerboard-equipped iterations have been issued, with both coming loaded with Dual-Mag pickups, Fat ‘50s Blender Strat wiring, vintage Custom Shop hardware, and black anodized pickguards. There are a range of finishes on offer here, too: Vintage Blonde, Aged White Blonde and Wide-Fade Chocolate Two-Color Sunburst, just to name a few.

Prices for the American Custom range start from $4,225.

Fender Vintage Custom

Fender Custom Shop Custom Collection 2024

Fender Custom Shop Vintage Custom 1959 Stratocaster (Image credit: Fender)

Only one Vintage Custom instrument has been introduced, with the 1959 Stratocaster TCP helping Fender in its quest to produce “early, almost prototypical, transitional and ‘first rev’ versions of classic Fender models before they were refined into their present day form”.

It’s an objective that makes for an especially unique Strat, with this particular model – available in Three-Color Sunburst, Faded Aged Sonic Blue or Fiesta Red – arriving with a flash-coat lacquer finish for more ‘organic’ sustain, a 7.25”-9.5” compound radius and hand-wound ‘59 single-coils.

“The Vintage Custom 1959 Stratocaster is the legendary guitar you know and love infused with '59 mojo,” says Fender. The price for this Strat is $4,175.

Fender Limited Edition

Fender Custom Shop Custom Collection 2024

Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition 1964 Bobbed Telecaster Thinline Relic (Image credit: Fender)

The Limited Edition collection, as the name suggests, is reserved for limited builds, which are treated to “features reserved only for certain artists and masterbuilt instruments”.

For this year, highlights include the ‘64 L-Series Strat and ‘64 “Bobbed” Tele Thinline. The former is said to capture an “especially distinctive and sought -after” Stratocaster, opting for ‘63-style C-shape neck profile, compound vintage radius fingerboard and hand-wound ‘64 single-coils.

Fender Custom Shop Custom Collection 2024

Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition 1964 L-Series Stratocaster Heavy Relic (Image credit: Fender)

The Tele, on the other hand, combines a few fan-favorite specs, offering a semi-hollow ash body, Wide-Range humbuckers, ‘72 Thinline wiring and a custom bridge with Custom Shop Research Special Design brass saddles.

Fender Artisan

Fender Custom Shop Custom Collection 2024

(Image credit: Fender)

Capping off the custom collection, the Artisan series comprises a range of custom-built masterpieces, composed from a range of exotic tonewoods and specially selected appointments. In essence, each model is “a beauty to behold – the culmination of sonic perfection, passion and purity of design – with authentic Fender spirit at the core”.

Fender Custom Shop Custom Collection 2024

(Image credit: Fender)

For evidence, look no further than the Maple Burl Jazz Bass and the Koa Dual P-90 Strat, both of which opt for unorthodox body woods in effort to bring an ornately elegant aesthetic and functional twist to the platform.

Head over to the Fender Custom Shop website to browse the full range.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.