Flame Tops and Thinlines: Inside the Fender Rarities Collection
Fender's Rarities Series features limited-edition, upscale, boutique-style models with high-end finishes and unique woods.
By Mike Duffy
Fender's Rarities Series is a true boutique experience.
These limited-edition guitars feature high-end finishes and unique woods that would have a home in any art gallery, but with premium pickups and special electronics, they are also perfect for the studio or stage.
Fender gave discerning players a look at the Rarities Series in early 2019 with stunning models like the Flame Maple Top Stratocaster, the Flame Ash Top Stratocaster and the Red Mahogany Top Telecaster, and there are four more to join in the line throughout the rest of the year.
Learn more about the latest in the Rarities Series below:
Flame Maple Top Chambered Telecaster
Available now, the Flame Maple Top Chambered Telecaster boasts a chambered, two-piece roasted alder body with a natural flame maple top, separated by a black center stripe - a configuration that will surely turn heads.
The pickups were designed by Fender pickup guru Tim Shaw, who custom made a '50s vintage-style bridge pickups that adds a hotter voice to the Shawbucker 1T pickup in the neck position.
Quilt Maple Top Telecaster
Also available now, the Rarities Quilt Top Telecaster has a vivid quilt maple top and one-piece quartersawn maple neck, along with a customized pickup configuration.
The Pure Vintage ’64 single-coil Telecaster neck pickup is joined by a Custom Shop ’51 Nocaster bridge pickup, providing the Tele twang and smooth midrange of the original.
Aesthetically speaking, the black top binding and black pearloid fingerboard markers complement the Blue Cloud quilt maple top, giving this Tele a refined appearance.
Koa Top Stratocaster
Set to debut on October 8, the Rarities Koa Top Stratocaster offers a wide range of sounds with a pair of custom overwound single-coil Stratocaster middle and neck pickups that sport open-top chrome covers with gold foil inserts. They are matched with a Shaw-designed humbucking pickup with a Filter’tron cover, so players can easily cover everything from fat-sounding leads to sparkling rhythm work.
The quartersawn one-piece European maple neck has a “Modern C” neck profile — perfect for chording and single-note playing — while the 9.5”-radius fingerboard enhances playability.
Flame Maple Top Stratocaster HSS Stratocaster Thinline
Debuting on December 10, the Rarities Flame Maple Top Stratocaster HSS Thinline is elegant with a shimmering flame maple top and rosewood neck that features a comfortable 9.5”-radius fingerboard, 22 narrow-tall frets and a “Deep C” neck profile.
As far as the pickups go, this Strat contains a lot under the hood. A DoubleTap humbucking pickup sits in the bridge position, combining humbucking and single-coil voices. And a pair of Custom Shop '69 single-coil Strat pickups bring vintage-style Fender tone - crisp and articulate - to complement the fat DoubleTap pickup.
All in all, the Rarities Series are meant to be both heard and seen to be believed.