9 Amazing Finishes from the Fender Custom Shop
See these amazing top-of-the-line guitars from the NAMM floor.
By Mike Duffy
The Master Builders from the Fender Custom Shop always stand out at the annual NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif., with an eye-popping display of guitars and basses, and this year was no different.
With an array of stunning finishes and rare materials, the Custom Shop collection never ceases to amaze. And that's before they are even played, as the stellar tones always match with the stellar looks.
In 2020, the builders once again pulled out all the stops, and you can see 10 of these Custom Shop beauties below.
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This Artisan Thinline Strat has an NOS lacquer finish on a two-piece select roasted ash body with a cocobolo top and aged natural back and sides.
A 1956 Stratocaster takes it back to the Strat's early years with a heavy relic body that allows the two-tone Sunburst finish to peek through the aged Candy Apple Red topcoat.
An Artisan Double Esquire Custom Thinline shines with a gnarled buckeye burl top on a roasted pine body with binding around the top. A tinted AAA roasted birdseye maple neck only adds to its natural feel.
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Greg Fessler masterbuilt this Esmeralda Tele NOS out of a two-piece alder body and blessed it with '63 Tele pickups hand-wound by Custom Shop Master Pickup Winder Josefina Campos herself. Truly a work of art, the Esmeraalda Tele also stands out with art from Sarah Gallenberger.
A 50s Strat NOS also masterbuilt by Fessler is called "Dreamsong," with colorful artwork by Madison Roy and an anodized pickguard.
Master Builder John Cruz designed the artwork on this Celtic Strat, which features a rear-loaded chamber select alder body adorned with gold leaf and custom graphics, in addition to TV Jones Classic pickups.
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Fessler also built this 1969 Stratocaster NOS with a highly figured flame maple top that seems to be on fire due to the Trans Orange Burst finish. It also boasts hand-wound Josefina '69 Strat pickups.
You sure don't see a lot of offset Tele Basses around, and this Tele Bass NOS from Master Builder Jason Smith is even more exclusive with a planetary Solar Eclipse Burst finish.
Masterbuilt by Carlos Lopez, this Electric XII DLX Closet Classic is out of this world with a starry Deep Space Metallic look and a laquer finish that ages gracefully.