Fender Custom Shop Nile Rodgers Hitmaker Stratocaster

Fender Custom Shop introduces the limited edition Nile Rodgers Hitmaker Stratocaster, a replica of the "Hitmaker", Rodger's road-worn 1960 Strat.

Nile Rodgers Hitmaker Stratocaster

This limited edition remake faithfully copies the vintage Hitmaker Strat that recording session legend Nile Rodgers used on many of his hit songs.

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If you are not familiar with his name, it is highly probable that you have heard the sound of Nile Rodgers and his Hitmaker Strat a number of times. This artist, guitarist, producer, composer and arranger have a huge number of chart-topping songs under his belt, spanning his entire career which is no on its sixth decade. He is considered as the pioneer of the disco/R&B guitar genre, thanks to his band Chic, and the sound of the group Sister Sledge which he co-produced in the late '70s.

Fender lists down the names of artists that worked with Nile Rodgers, which is basically a list of the who's who of the various musical eras! Here is what they said on the press release: "A torrent of innumerable session, writing, production and film music credits commenced in the 1980s and continues today, with Rodgers making essential contributions to work by David Bowie (Let’s Dance, 1983), Dianna Ross (Diana, 1980), Debbie Harry (Koo Koo, 1981), Duran Duran (“The Reflex” and “The Wild Boys,” 1984; Notorious, 1986), Madonna (Like a Virgin, 1984), INXS (“Original Sin,” 1983), Robert Plant (The Honeydrippers: Volume One, 1984), Jeff Beck (Flash, 1985), Thompson Twins (Here’s to Future Days, 1985), Mick Jagger (She’s the Boss, 1985), Al Jarreau (L is For Lover, 1986), Steve Winwood (Back in the High Life, 1986), B-52’s (Cosmic Thing, 1989), the Vaughan Brothers (Family Style, 1990), Michael Jackson (“Money,” 1995) and many others. More recently, Rodgers and the Hitmaker contributed to 2013 hit albums True by Avicii and Random Access Memories by Daft Punk, including the former’s multi-platinum hit, Get Lucky."

The original Hitmaker is a 1960 Stratocaster with a 1959 neck, which Rodger's acquired via a trade-in long ago at a small shop in Miami Beach. Now the guitar bears its scars proudly, showcasing the many years that its owner has put it to good use. Eventually, Fender Custom Shop was able to get their hands on the original Hitmaker and decided to produce a limited run replica of the instrument as a tribute to the man and his instrument.

The new Fender Custom Shop Nile Rodgers Hitmaker Stratocaster features a light alder body and one-piece straight-grain maple neck. The maple fretboard radius is 9.5” and it carries 21 frets. The body is wrapped in a lacquer Olympic White finish that has the appearance of age, mimicking the battle scars of the original.

To achieve tones that Nile Rodgers would approve of, Fender equipped the guitar with three Custom Shop 1969 single-coil Stratocaster pickups. The vintage sounding pickups are wired to a five-way switch, master volume knob, and two tone knobs that control the neck and middle pickup respectively. Other features include a chrome-plated brass pickguard, three white “speed” knobs, vintage-style hard-tail bridge, and locking Sperzel tuners.

Pricing information is not yet announced, but it would be expected to command a premium price tag. Hopefully this collaboration will result in a more affordable production model version, that hopefully has the some of the mojo and musicality as the original Hitmaker itself! Head over to Fender for the complete specifications.

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