The Fender Custom Shop has unveiled its 2021 Prestige Collection.
The collection stems from a challenge Fender gave to each of its Custom Shop Master Builders – to build a guitar with "no boundaries." The end result came in the form of 10 eyebrow-raising axes, each designed by an individual Master Builder.
You can read more about each of the guitars below.
Carlos Lopez Double Neck Marauder
Fender's Carlos Lopez Double Neck Marauder was inspired by a combination of two of Lopez's favorite guitars, the Electric XII and the Marauder.
“Love the fact that the 12 string is on the top side, just how it should be," Lopez said of his creation.
All pickups on the guitar were designed and built by Curtis Novak, and according to Lopez, “the color and feel of the creation just has to be experienced in person.”
Chris Fleming Jazz Telecaster
Inspired by his love of b-bop jazz guitar and classic Tele design, Fender's Chris Fleming Jazz Telecaster features a semi-hollow mahogany body with a tortoiseshell bound spruce top, a custom-designed and machined Fender Jazz Tailpiece, a Tilted Snake Head headstock, and Brazilian rosewood custom wood appointments.
Sonically, it sports a single humbucker pickup and volume control, with the goal of matching an archtop feel with the look of a Telecaster.
Fender Dale Wilson Tapestry Tele
A collaboration with L.A.-based artist Pamelina, the Fender Dale Wilson Tapestry Tele features a flame top, back, and neck, plus Josefina hand-wound “OBG” (bridge) and Twisted Tele (neck) pickups.
“I’m always drawn to guitars that have wood as a canvas,” Wilson said. Of the artwork, Wilson says that it's “a beautiful combination of scrolls against a backdrop of flame maple with a barely noticeable burst on the edge."
Greg Fessler Tamo Ash Tele
The Fender Greg Fessler Tamo Ash Tele features a Tamo Ash top that Fessler had been saving for a special occasion, a Tamo Ash body, a flame maple U-shaped neck with abalone dots, a “Sawed-Off” Vintage-Style Tele bridge, and Seymour Duncan Vintage P90 pickups.
Kyle McMillin Custom Burled Redwood Strat
Inspired by woodworking and resin art on social media, the Fender Kyle McMillin Custom Burled Redwood Strat features a unique resin top. McMillin says the guitar is “stunning and beautiful in both appearance and sound,” and is one of his favorite Fender builds to date.
Paul Waller Sugar Surprise Strat
Also inspired by Pamelina, the Fender Paul Waller Sugar Surprise Strat is a light-up model (!) with Josefina hand wound pickups and a unique abstract/Sugar Skull dual-themed look.
Scott Buehl Acrylic Jazzmaster
Having built a few acrylic Strats over the last couple of years, Scott Buehl decided – after a number of requests – that it was hight time to build an acrylic offset model: the Fender Scott Buehl Acrylic Jazzmaster.
Given the increased weight, Buehl routed the entire pickguard perimeter clear of the acrylic, keeping the guitar relatively light (acrylic is much heavier than wood). Described by Buehl as "an attention getter," the unique Jazzmaster also boasts Josefina hand wound Jazzmaster pickups and an RSD Jazzmaster bridge.
Todd Krause Box Top Tele
Inspired by amp cabinet construction, the Fender Todd Krause Box Top Tele features, unusually, a maple top inset into the body of the guitar with a box joint.
Pickups are a more standard Josefina hand-wound “OBG” in the bridge and a ‘55/’56 Tele in the neck.
Vincent Van Trigt Flamingo Sunset Telecaster
Inspired by a '60s-era Tele and a ‘60s-era cocktail bar, the Fender Vincent Van Trigt Flamingo Sunset Telecaster features cocktail bar neck inlays, a roasted body and neck, Josefina hand-wound ‘63 Tele Pickups, and custom artwork by Ian Ward.
Yuriy Shishkov Leaves of Tears Stratocaster
The luxurious Yuriy Shishkov Leaves of Tears Stratocaster features a “wrapping” silver wire inlay pattern around the body with diamonds and diopside stones on each of its branches and a quilt maple wood body.
We have no word on the prices of these guitars yet, but given their exclusive, hand-built nature, we reckon they could approach, and often surpass, the five-figure mark.
For more info on the guitars, stop by fendercustomshop.com.
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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.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.