Fender has pulled out all the stops for its 2022 Masterbuilt collection of electric guitars and bass guitars, unveiling more than a dozen one-of-a-kind creations that usher in a wave of show-stopping aesthetics and appointments.
There’s one for every Masterbuilder in the Fender Custom Shop, meaning there are unique builds from Andy Hicks, Austin MacNutt, Dale Wilson, Dave Brown, Dennis Galuszka, Greg Fessler, Jason Smith, Kyle McMillin, Paul Waller, Ron Thorn, Todd Krause, Vincent Van Trigt and Yuriy Shishkov.
Read on to find out more about the new Fender Masterbuilt models, which will be available this September from Fender Custom Shop Showcase Dealers.
Fender Masterbuilt Custom '50s Telecaster Journeyman Relic by Todd Krause – $8,450
Leading the way is Krause's Journeyman Relic '50s Tele, which opts for a more vintage vibe via its subtly worn Candy Tangerine colorway. Other standout specs include Josefina hand-wound '50 and '51 Blackguard pickups and a '51 Nocaster bridge.
Certainly one of the more tame offerings of the 2022 Masterbuilt catalog, but by no means any less ornate.
Fender Masterbuilt Custom '50s Telecaster by Yuriy Shishkov – $9,000
A similar six-string arrives in the form of Shishkov's own relic'd creation, which favors a Transparent Orange finish and luxurious gold hardware. Again, it's gone for a classic look, and pairs its old-worn aesthetics with Josefina hand-wound '63 Tele pickups and vintage-style tuning machines.
Fender Masterbuilt Custom '51 Precision Bass Journeyman Relic by Vincent Van Trigt – $9,525
For the first bass of the bunch, Van Trigt has turned his attention to four-string fun with the '51 Precision Bass, which is inspired by the sound of the H22 Gold Foil pickups created by Curtis Novak.
It flaunts a three-piece okoume and maple body, complete with white pearloid top binding, as well as a three-ply white pearl pickguard and '60-style Jazz Bass U-shape neck profile.
Fender Masterbuilt Custom '60s Electric Lettuce Stratocaster by Paul Waller – $8,850
Spearheading the Strat charge is Waller's appropriately named Electric Lettuce example, which flashes a dazzling Electric Lettuce Gecko Sparkle Burst finish. Born after Waller asked Fender Custom Shop painter Jay Nelson to “do whatever color he wanted”, the Strat also features a Josefina humbucker, a four-ply brown shell pickguard and Modern Strat wiring.
Fender Masterbuilt Custom '60s Esquire by Jason Smith – $8,650
What do you get when you pair Surf Green with Silver-Green-Blue Flake? A really nice looking Tele, it turns out. Smith's six-string of the same colorway is inspired by his love for one-pickup guitars, and employs a Josefina Texas Special single-coil, Full Throttle Esquire wiring and Schaller F tuning machines.
Fender Masterbuilt '69 Stratocaster Relic by Greg Fessler – $9,100
Speaking of pastel green finishes, Fessler's heavy – and we mean, heavy – relic '69 Strat features the remnants of a Sea Foam Green colorway, which is paired with a maple fretboard and four-ply brown shell shell pickguard.
It also boasts Josefina '69 Strat pickups with RWRP middle, an American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo and a '69-style U-profile neck.
Fender Masterbuilt Custom Buffalo Telecaster Relic by Dale Wilson – $13,175
Winning the 2022 Masterbuilt collection with its originality, Wilson's Buffalo Tele features artwork of, you guessed it, a buffalo, which was designed by Dave Newman – an artist who has worked extensively with the Fender Custom Shop in the past.
The pickguard, neck and headstock also come equipped with some intriguing artwork in keeping with the wild theme, with the Tele offering Josefina and '51 Nocaster pickups to ensure it sounds as good as it looks.
Fender Masterbuilt Custom Dual P-90 Stratocaster Journeyman Relic by Andy Hicks – $9,400
Inspired by Hicks' love for vintage guitars, the dual P-90 creation comes loaded with Custom Shop pickups and a hardtail bridge, and features an intriguing chambered Michigan mahogany body. The color is a snazzy TV Yellow, which contrasts nicely with the black pickguard and dark fretboard wood.
Fender Masterbuilt Custom Precision Bass Special Relic by Dave Brown – $9,550
Brown's none-more-vintage contribution to the catalog is his relic'd Precision Bass: a sure-fire favorite among those who are fans of ornate, no frills four-strings.
A practical creation concerned mainly with tone and performance, it features a Jazz Bass bridge pickup, individual volume controls for each and a side-mounted jack to allow for a master tone knob on the pickguard.
Fender Masterbuilt Custom P90 Telecaster Heavy Relic by Austin MacNutt – $10,675
The Telecaster was the first guitar model MacNutt ever built, and so the Master Builder has revisited his roots for this gloriously styled P-90 Tele, which flaunts an aged Tobacco Sunburst finish, a pair of Custom Shop pickups and a two-piece ash body with 3A flame maple top.
Fender Masterbuilt Custom Purple Sparkle Stratocaster by Dennis Galuszka – $8,700
Described a happy accident that was treated to NOS urethane instead of relic-ready lacquer, Galuszka's hypnotic Strat couldn't get more purple if it tried: the Purple Sparkle body lines up alongside a Purple Metallic neck as well as a purple headstock, and features black inlays and black hardware to emphasize the black burst vibe.
It's also got Josefina Fat '50s Strat pickups, an American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo and Vintage Strat wiring.
Fender Masterbuilt Custom Telecaster Junior Journeyman Relic by Ron Thorn – $9,775
The penultimate offering and the final Tele of the list, the Junior Journeyman by Ron Thorn flashes revered korina wood for the body and neck, which is said to provide a more pronounced midrange spike.
Elsewhere, it comes equipped with A5 and A2 P-90s in the bridge and neck, respectively, and flashes a rare Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, painted headcap and a set-in neck joint.
Fender Masterbuilt Custom Two-Tone Stratocaster by Kyle McMillin – $9,450
If you've made it this far, give yourself a pat on the back. Last up is McMillin's mesmerizing Two-Tone Stratocaster, so named for its ability to combine traditional tone and appeal with contemporary Fender design.
Aesthetically speaking, it boasts an Inca Silver top with Pewter back and sides, all of which are paired with a single-ply anodized aluminium pickguard and vintage-style tuning machines with white pearl buttons.
Again, Josefina hand-wound pickups make the cut, and are controlled by Modern Strat wiring.