Fender's stunning new Custom Shop Violinmaster guitar is based on a 1713 Stradivarius violin

The Fender Custom Shop's new Violinmaster guitar
(Image credit: Fender)

From the meticulous replica of Buddy Guy’s “holy grail” Stratocaster it built for Jason Momoa to its sleek collaboration with Lexus, the Fender Custom Shop's recent creations have been impressive, to say the least.

The shop's latest build though, is on another level entirely.

Inspired by master violinist Joshua Bell and his 1713 “Gibson ex-Huberman” Stradivarius violin, Fender Custom Shop Principal Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov has created the Violinmaster Telecaster Relic guitar, a custom electric guitar like no other.

The guitar, for starters, has a hollow flame maple body with a hollow carved arch top that's built from the same Italian "Stradivari" spruce used for the legendary Stradivarius violins, and features proportionately scaled Stradivarius violin f-holes and purfling.

The neck, meanwhile, is made of Bosnian flame maple and features an oval “C”-shaped profile, headstock truss rod adjustment and no skunk stripe. Its round-laminated ebony fingerboard boasts a 9.5”-radius and 22 medium jumbo frets.

Sonically, the Violinmaster is armed with not only a pair of TV Jones Thunder'Blade humbuckers, but also a trio of passive piezo pickups. Controls come in the form of a pair of volume knobs – one for the piezo and one for the 'buckers – a tone knob, and a three-way blade switch.

Additional hardware on the Violinmaster includes a floating bridge with four interchangeable saddles (Bronze, Ocean Coral, Buffalo Horn and Ebony) that will come in a small “violin case” made from leftovers of the body’s core flame maple, black tuning machines with ebony buttons, and a graphite nut with a disc string tree.

“When I started designing the Violinmaster, I had to include as many violin elements in the guitar as possible,” Shishkov said in a statement. “With a Telecaster ‘backdrop’ platform, I was able to include violin-style arched carved profiles in the back and top, violin purfling, a newly designed 'floating' bridge, strings tailpiece and most importantly a proportionally scaled copy of the Huberman Stradivarius violin 'F' holes.

“In the 'Violinmaster' concept, I wanted to 'blend' the violin and classic Telecaster guitar together without adding something that a guitar player wouldn’t ever need," he continued. "For me, innovation is a never-ending process which is a part of my job. It helps me make something better, new, or even the impossible.” 

Stradivarius violins are, to put it as mildly as one can, not cheap, and neither is this custom beauty. Limited to just 60 examples, the Fender Violinmaster guitar will sell for $30,000 a pop. 

The guitar comes with a deluxe hardshell case, strap and certificate of authenticity.

For more on the guitar, stop by the Fender Custom Shop.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.