Fender Custom Shop Artisan Series
Fender Custom Shop launches the Artisan Series, a new line of handcrafted guitars that feature highly figured wood.
Nile Rodgers Hitmaker Strat
These instruments were inspired by the Master Built guitars created for the 2013 Tokyo Guitar Show, which grabbed the attention of the majority of attendees.
The new Artisan Series currently features three Stratocaster guitars that highlight premium woods with distinctive figures, hand-rubbed stains and gloss finishes. According to the official statement, "With the Artisan series, the Fender Custom Shop pulls out all the stops for high-end instruments of remarkable tone, look and feel."
All three guitars will be built by the Fender Custom Shop team for a limited time only, applying top-tier level attention to detail in terms of materials and craftsmanship. Each one will come equipped with the brand's top-of-the-line appointments and modern features.
These new guitars share the same design pattern, attaching a bolt-on maple neck to a double cutaway alder body - to keep it "Fendery". The three models differ mainly on the type of figured maple top or walnut top used.
The one-piece flame maple neck used on all guitars are carved to a soft V shape, and you are given the choice to pick between maple or rosewood for the fingerboard. Guitar specifications follow traditional Strat measurements, including the 25.5" scale length, 9.5" fingerboard radius, 22 narrow-jumbo frets, and 1.6875" nut width.
There are two maple top models to choose from, first of which is the more traditional looking Artisan Series Quilt Maple-Top Stratocaster, which has a figured quilt maple top and a new finish called “tiger-eye” burst. On the other hand, the Artisan Series Spalted Maple-Top Stratocaster features a dramatically figured spalted maple top accentuated by a new "buckeye" finish.
The Artisan Series Walnut-Top Stratocaster is the third guitar to come out of this line. As the name implies, it has a great looking walnut top that is also accentuated by Fender's “buckeye” finish. This by far is my personal favorite from among the three.
The Artisan Series are all equipped with three Custom Shop Fat '50s single-coil pickups with chrome lipstick pickup covers. These are routed to a five-way pickup selector and three chrome control knobs that adjusts the master volume, neck pickup tone and bridge/middle pickup tone.
Other features include chrome tuners with ebony buttons, 2-point synchronized tremolo with block saddles, graphite nut, 4-ply tortoiseshell pickguard and chrome switch tips.
Pricing information for all three models will soon be available. Visit Fender for more information.
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There's no denying that pickups play a major role when it comes to electric guitar tone. By simply replacing your pickups, you can substantially change your tone for the better.