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Fender unveils 5 ultra-high-end Master Built guitars to benefit live music crews

(Image credit: Fender)

Fender is offering up five eye-popping one-of-a-kind Custom Shop Master Built electric guitars, as well as a select number of exclusive signed guitars by Fender signature artists, on Reverb.com to benefit Live Nation’s Crew Nation global relief fund for live music crews.

100% of the net proceeds from the sales of the guitars, which are featured in the Official Fender x Crew Nation Reverb Shop, will go toward helping touring and venue crews continue to make a living during the coronavirus pandemic.

The five Masterbuilt Custom Shop guitars were constructed, for the first time ever, by Fender Master Builders working in teams of two.

Each guitar’s neck plate is engraved with a commemorative logo to mark the one-of-a-kind instrument as well as the collaboration, and both Master Builders also signed the back of the headstock.

You can check out each guitar, with details straight from Fender, below.

Yuriy Shishkov and Kyle McMillan: Fender Crew Nation Tele ($14,700)

(Image credit: Fender)

Master Builders Kyle McMillin and Yuriy Shishkov worked in their garages to meticulously shape, sand and finish this guitar using every ounce of their expertise. Each element, detail and custom appointment was executed with the highest degree of attention, even as the instrument took shape outside the physical walls of the Fender Custom Shop. Shishkov created the body artwork, in which the classic Fender Stratocaster headstock intertwines with heart and scrolled-silver inlay work to illustrate Fender’s dedication to its struggling partners in the music world.

The guitar’s two-piece ash body has a redwood burl top features custom hand-engraved artwork with silver lace inlay, green diopside stone and diamonds, as well as a NOS nitro lacquer finish. The single-piece AAA birdseye maple neck features silver lace inlay, green diopside stone, diamonds; ivoroid nitro binding; a large “C” profile; and a 9.5-inch radius fingerboard with medium jumbo frets. “Josefina” hand-wound Tele pickups feature three-way switching and modern Tele wiring.

Other features include a custom brown-shell pickguard and control cover; ’58-’63 Tele bridge; Schaller deluxe tuners; strap locks; a “Build at Home” neck plate by Fender Custom Shop Principal Master Builder Ron Thorn; a bone nut and disk string tree.

Jason Smith and Dennis Galuszka: Fender Crew Nation Tamo Strat ($8,700)

(Image credit: Fender)

This luxurious Strat boasts one of the last pieces of tamo ash available in the shop, along with a highly figured maple neck and “Josefina” hand-wound pickups. The result is a beautiful and elegant guitar with tone to match.

The chambered ash body has a figured tamo ash top and an NOS lacquer finish. The tinted AAAA flame-maple neck has a flat-lam AAAA maple fretboard with a 9.5-inch radius and 21 narrow tall frets. Josefina hand-wound ’60s Strat pickups (with reverse-wound/reverse-polarity middle pickup) feature five-way switching and Vintage Modified #2 wiring.

Other features include a three-ply white nitro pickguard; a Custom Classic Strat tremolo; “Build at Home” neck plate by Fender Custom Shop Principal Master Builder Ron Thorn; vintage-style tuners with brown-shell buttons; a bone nut and wing string tree.

Ron Thorn and Paul Waller: Fender Crew Nation Korina Strat ($7,600)

(Image credit: Fender)

Before coming to work in the Fender Custom Shop, Ron Thorn ran his own custom guitar workshop from home. During the first part of the 2020 global pandemic lockdown, Thorn and fellow Fender Custom Shop artist Paul Waller were both eager to collaborate, so Waller worked as a socially safe guest at Thorn’s home and home workshop.

Thorn had a beautiful piece of korina wood that he was saving for something special, and the two decided it would be a perfect start to the collaboration they envisioned. Waller also had some hand-wound Abigail Ybarra pickups in his back pocket. They decided both were ideal for the project at hand.

The guitar’s korina body has an NOS lacquer “walnut burst” finish. The quartersawn korina neck features a ’60-style oval “U” profile; a flat-lam Macassar ebony fingerboard with a 12-inch radius; and 21 medium jumbo frets. “Abby” hand-wound Fat ’50s pickups feature five-way switching and Vintage Modified #2 wiring.

Other features include a gold anodized pickguard; RSD Strat bridge with narrow spacing; “Build at Home” neck plate by Thorn; vintage-style tuners; a bone nut and wing string tree with metal spacer.

Greg Fessler and Dale Wilson: Fender Crew Nation 2 Tone Tele ($7,200)

(Image credit: Fender)

Dale Wilson and Greg Fessler collaborated on this classic “meat-and-potatoes” Telecaster. Fessler and Wilson wanted to keep it simple and bring it on home with tried-and-true appointments allowing their colleagues to use their talents on exotic woods and such. That’s exactly what they did, even as both craftsmen were separated by lockdown in their respective homes. Fessler did the wiring and custom Relic body finish, while Wilson worked on giving the neck its extremely comfortable rolled edges and the final setup.  

The guitar features a two-piece select ash body with a Journeyman Relic lacquer finish. It also has a single-piece tinted flat-sawn maple neck with a ’52 “U” profile, 9.5-inch fingerboard radius and 21 medium jumbo frets. “Josefina” hand-wound Twisted Tele pickups feature three-way switching and modern Tele wiring.

Other features include a ’52 parchment Tele pickguard; ’58-’63 Tele bridge; “Build at Home” neck plate by the Fender Custom Shop Principal Master Builder Ron Thorn; vintage-style tuners; a bone nut and disk string tree.

Todd Krause and Carlos Lopez: Fender Crew Nation ‘56 Strat ($7,000)

(Image credit: Fender)

Through years of collaboration, master builders Carlos Lopez and Todd Krause bring a wealth of tasteful know-how and expertise to any project. Lopez apprenticed with Krause for many years, so both craftsmen find an easy workflow just like old times.

A hallmark of this build is the simple aesthetic of color contrast and combining an ash body with a single-piece maple neck (a favorite Krause combination). The color is inspired by a 12-string guitar Lopez once built for the NAMM show, which Krause suggested they use in combination with a custom single-ply black acrylic pickguard. The result is a simple-but-stunning build any player would find irresistibly inspirational.

The guitar features a two-piece ash body; a single-piece quartersawn maple neck with a 10/’56 “V” profile and 9.5-inch radius fingerboard with 21 medium jumbo frets. “Josefina” hand-wound pickups feature five-way switching and modern Strat wiring. Other features include an American Vintage Strat tremolo; “Build at Home” neck plate by Fender Custom Shop Principal Master Builder Ron Thorn; vintage-style tuners; a bone nut and wing string tree.

All Master Built guitars come with a deluxe hardshell case, strap and certificate of authenticity.

Artist-signed models

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Eric Clapton Strat in Pewter

Eric Clapton Strat in Pewter (Image credit: Fender)
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Flea Signature Active Jazz Bass in Shell Pink

Flea Signature Active Jazz Bass in Shell Pink (Image credit: Fender)
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Tom Morello Strat

Tom Morello Strat (Image credit: Fender)
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Duff McKagan Deluxe Precision Bass in Black

Duff McKagan Deluxe Precision Bass in Black (Image credit: Fender)
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Brad Paisley Road Worn Tele

Brad Paisley Road Worn Tele (Image credit: Fender)
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Jeff Beck-autographed American Professional Stratocaster

Jeff Beck-autographed American Professional Stratocaster (Image credit: Fender)

The artists signed models, meanwhile, include an Eric Clapton Strat in Pewter ($7,500); Flea Signature Active Jazz Bass in Shell Pink ($3,500); Tom Morello Strat ($2,600); Duff McKagan Deluxe Precision Bass in Black ($2,500); Brad Paisley Road Worn Tele ($2,450) and a Jeff Beck-autographed American Professional Stratocaster ($3,300).

To check out the Master Built and artist signed guitars and basses in full, head over to the Official Fender x Crew Nation Reverb Shop.