The Fender Custom Shop's Master Builders have announced a new line of "Student" guitars.
A series of 12 one-off models inspired by Fender's short-scale, small-bodied Student guitars of the 50s and '60s, the new Student line is a tribute to the Fender Play Foundation, which – according to Fender – has donated over $1 million in resources and equipment to help increase access to music education.
The program hopes to support more than 35,000 students by the end of 2023, and 1 million students nationwide by 2030.
The first four models in the 12-guitar series – two Musicmasters and two Strats – have been unveiled in full. All proceeds from the sale of the guitars will go toward the Fender Play Foundation.
First up is a Musicmaster designed by builder Paul Waller. The guitar features a two-piece alder body, 24.75”-scale flat-sawn maple neck with a 9.5”-radius round-lam rosewood fretboard, and a Fiesta Burst finish.
Elsewhere, the guitar features a single Wide-Range Cunife neck humbucker – controlled by individual volume and tone controls – a vintage-style Strat Hardtail bridge, and vintage-style tuning machines.
Builder Dennis Galuszka's Musicmaster, meanwhile, features a quartersawn maple neck with the same 9.5”-radius round-lam rosewood fingerboard, and a Copper Sparkle finish.
Elsewhere, the guitar boasts a pair of Curtis Novak pickups (a Wide-Range humbucker in the neck and a Tele unit in the bridge), controlled by individual volume and tone knobs and a three-way switch. Other appointments include a Hardtail Subsonic bridge, vintage-style tuning machines, and a custom "FPF" logo inlay at the first fret.
The first of the two Strats unveiled is a '62 Blue Ice Metallic model by Greg Fessler, which features a two-piece alder body, 9.5”-radius quarter-sawn maple neck, and a flat-lam rosewood fingerboard with 21 narrow tall frets.
Sounds on the guitar come by way of a set of hand-wound Fat ‘50s single-coils with an RWRP middle, controlled by a five-way switch and Strat Blender Wiring.
Other appointments include a 3-Ply parchment pickguard, an American Vintage synchronized tremolo, and vintage-style tuning machines.
Last but not least is an Oxblood-finished short-scale Stratocaster by Carlos Lopez. This guitar is built with a two-piece ash body, and a 14” radius quarter-sawn maple neck boasting a rosewood fingerboard with 22 narrow tall frets.
Sonically, it features a single DiMarzio Super Distortion humbucker controlled by a single volume knob.
Each Fender Play Foundation Student model guitar comes with a deluxe hardshell case, strap, polishing cloth, and certificate of authenticity.
For more info on the Fender Play Foundation, stop by fenderplayfoundation.org.
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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.
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