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Fender resurrects the mid-'60s Marauder offset, this time with a built-in delay circuit

The debut episode of Fender’s Dream Factory video series spotlighted the Stratocaster 1, a futuristic carbon-fiber electric guitar designed in collaboration with Saleen Automotive.

Now the company has unveiled the second installment in the series, which focuses on the Marauder, an experimental offset design from the '60s that never made it into production, but has now been resurrected by Master Builder Carlos Lopez.

“I don’t think people were ready for it back in the Sixties,” Lopez says in the video. “I think it was too odd, there was too much going on.

“I think people are finally ready for it.”

Lopez goes on to explain that the Marauder was likely designed to capitalize on the popularity of offset models like the Jazzmaster and Jaguar.

(Image credit: YouTube/Fender)

When it first appeared in the mid-'60s, the Marauder boasted stealth single-coil pickups that were wound hot and were incredibly loud. 

“It wasn’t a useful instrument,” Lopez says. “It never made it into production.”

Later in the decade, eight prototypes of a redesigned Marauder were built before the project was abandoned.

In crafting the new Marauder, Lopez took apart and scanned one of these prototypes and made CAD files for every aspect of the instrument, from the body to the plates to the pickguard.

(Image credit: Fender)

He then collaborated with Delta Spirit singer and guitarist Matthew Logan Vasquez, who requested to have a delay built into the guitar.

Fender’s Stan Cotey provided Lopez with the delay circuit, which was installed underneath the tone wheels and slider on the upper horn. One request Vasquez had was to include a “horizontal switch instead of vertical so you don’t accidentally kick it on.”

You can check out the results in the above video.

"It was a whole different guitar from what I was originally planning to make," Lopez says. "It was a challenge and I wanted to take that challenge."

For more information, head over to Fender.

Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.