Rodgers' ultra-bright, clean and propulsive guitar work – a great deal of it played on a white Stratocaster with the neck of a 1959 model and the body of a 1960 model – has powered innumerable hit songs, from Madonna's Like a Virgin to Daft Punk's Get Lucky three decades later.
The new Hitmaker Strat is a faithful recreation of that beloved anchor of Rodgers' arsenal, and is the first production line Rodgers signature Strat (an ultra-limited edition Custom Shop recreation of the Hitmaker (opens in new tab) was introduced in 2014).
Finished in Olympic White, the Hitmaker Strat is built with a slimmed-down, more aggressively contoured 1960 Strat alder body, and a ’59 Strat-profile, one-piece maple neck with a 9.5” radius fingerboard sporting 21 medium jumbo frets.
The guitar is powered by a trio of custom single coils voiced specifically to replicate the quack and bell-like chime of its Rodgers’ original. These are controlled by your standard Strat control set of two tone knobs (controlling neck and middle/bridge), a master volume and a five-way blade pickup switch.
In terms of hardware, the Hitmaker is adorned with a hardtail string-through bridge (unusual for that period) with period-correct bent-steel saddles, a mirrored chrome-plated brass pickguard, locking Sperzel tuners, and a set of speed knobs.
Though the Strat gives off a somewhat minimalist air, there are a few sweet signature touches scattered throughout.
The front of the headstock, for one, is adorned with Rodgers’ signature, while the back of the headstock features his logo plus that of his band, Chic. The neck plate, meanwhile, also features a Hitmaker logo.
“I’ve heard people say the Hitmaker is a $2 billion dollar guitar,” Rodgers said in a statement. “When playing it, I’ve been a part of making some of the biggest-selling records of all time: David Bowie, Chic, Diana Ross, Daft Punk, Madonna and so many others.
“All I know is that it’s been my constant companion for almost fifty years. I can’t stop myself from playing it for hours each and every day. I’m therefore thrilled that now almost anyone can buy their own Hitmaker.
“Fender really got it right and focused on every little detail that made the original special,” he continued. “It’s going to be surreal to hear that unique sound on a record I didn’t make.”
The Fender Nile Rodgers Hitmaker Stratocaster is available now for $2,599, including a custom vintage-style case sporting a Hitmaker-embroidered interior, and custom certificate of authenticity.
For more info on the guitar, visit Fender (opens in new tab).