At the new Fender Acoustic Custom Shop in Connecticut, Fender's finest luthiers have dedicated themselves to creating acoustic guitars that blend the best of modern Fender design with outstanding instrumental artistry generations in the making. Built with the best materials, techniques and traditions, Fender Acoustic Custom Shop instruments ring true with discerning players everywhere as U.S.-made instruments of tonal excellence, striking design, superb playability and loads of distinctive Fender personality.
Fender introduced a welcome shot of youthful West Coast energy and innovation to the acoustic guitar world more than half a century ago. Today, the Fender Acoustic Custom Shop stakes an exciting new high-end claim amid the establishment, with a well-crafted collection offering both bold and traditional instruments. Combining exceptional features and workmanship with Fender style and innovation, each Fender Acoustic Custom Shop guitar is a pleasure to play and an instrument to prize.
The Fender Acoustic Custom Shop's Pro Custom Series offers focused limited editions of fine acoustic guitars handcrafted by our master team in New Hartford, Conn. With rich tone woods and advanced construction techniques, they cover an attractive wealth of acoustic designs, including traditional-style instruments and models based on Fender's innovative and acclaimed '60s-era acoustic guitars.Browse the Pro Custom Series
The Fender Acoustic Custom Shop's Collector Custom Series pairs our finest instruments with the talents of highly regarded contemporary graphic artists. With our guitars as their canvases, the results are one-of-kind acoustic instruments of fascinating creativity and personality—great-sounding and highly distinctive-looking collectors items to be cherished by a fortunate few.Browse the Collector Custom Series
The Fender Acoustic Custom Shop's Master Designed Series presents instruments of highly limited production but unlimited design excellence. Handcrafted by our top luthiers with beautifully exotic woods and other fine materials and features, they span the acoustic guitar world from the traditional to the bold, with familiar Fender design elements from our own acclaimed acoustic heritage.Browse the Master Designed Series
Tim Shaw has spent most of his life involved with music and wood. A talented luthier and musician, he got his first guitar at age 13 and his first electric bass at 15. He's performed regularly ever since.
Schooled early on in guitar repair, he refined his craft in several shops and a small guitar factory before a stint at Gibson, where he lent his design skills toward many well-known acoustic and electric instruments there. He also created and patented several pickups for acoustic and electric guitars.
Shaw arrived at Fender’s R&D department in 1996 and has been a major driving force behind Fender acoustic instruments. In designing guitars and building prototypes, he has traveled the world seeking materials and resources to make Fender acoustic instruments the best they can be.
Most recently, Shaw's work has taken him to New Hartford, Conn., where he creates distinctive acoustic designs for the Fender Acoustic Custom Shop. There, he plays a leading role in creating the finest acoustic instruments Fender has ever offered, combining classic Fender vibe and playability with traditional craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology.
World-renowned master luthier Ren Ferguson grew up in Fender's historical Southern California homeland, where he initially taught himself the art of guitar repair by fixing travel-damaged instruments from nearby Los Angeles International Airport. He honed his skills to an expert level all on his own, offering to purchase damaged instruments for less than the repair costs and proceeding to take them apart, bit by bit, to understand their inner workings. “Where others may have served an apprenticeship under a master, I just did it and figured it out for myself,” he says.
A bluegrass fan and musician, Ferguson also worked on mandolins, banjos and other stringed instruments throughout the 1960s.
Enthralled by meticulous craftsmanship, fine art inlay work, hand-carved arched tops and more, he added machine work and manufacturing processes to his repertoire while in the Navy in the late 1960s. Ferguson ran his own Southern California luthiery through the mid 1970s, and a stint at the Flatiron Mandolin Company preceded his career at Gibson, where he did extensive work on the company's flat-top acoustic guitar line.
Ferguson arrived at Fender in 2012 as the newly appointed R&D chief acoustic engineer, and he now brings his invaluable expertise and more than half a century of instrument-building experience to the Fender Acoustic Custom Shop in New Hartford, Conn.
Music Zoo recently toured the new Fender Custom Shop Acoustic factory digs in New Hartford, Conn., noting in their part one factory tour blog, “The guitars we will be seeing and strumming coming out of this gorgeous 1849 brick factory building will be, without a doubt, the very best acoustic guitars ever to wear the word ‘Fender’ on the headstock.”
Head to the New York City based retailer’s website, themusiczoo.com, for more exclusive photos and commentary from their factory visit.