Stradivari Spruce: How the New Fender Custom Shop Violinmaster Came to Be
Inspired by the world-renowned ‘Huberman’ Stradivarius violin, the Fender Custom Shop Violinmaster Telecaster® Relic® is a true masterpiece.
By Mike Duffy
You never know where Fender Custom Shop Principal Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov finds inspiration for his stunning pieces, but one thing is for sure … not only do they sound great, but they are always works of art.
That’s the case with his latest, the Violinmaster Telecaster® Relic®.
Based on the world-renowned “Huberman” Stradivarius violin, the meticulous luthier translated one of the most highly sought-after instruments into guitar form utilizing the same prized Italian “Stadivari” spruce that has made these legendary violins for years.
Shishkov took inspiration from acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell, who has performed with every major orchestra in the world on six continents and served as Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields since 2011.
Bell came to own the 300-year-old Huberman Stradivarius after a chance visit to a violin shop in London to pick up some strings. Little did he know that he was holding history in his hands.
Believed to be one of only five or six instruments made in 1713 by Antonio Stradivarius in Cremona, Italy, the violin belonged to many, including the English violinist George Alfred Gibson. But it eventually ended up in the hands of child virtuoso Bronislaw Huberman, a prominent Jewish-Polish musician who helped create a Palestinian orchestra made up of Jewish artists from other parts of Europe in the early 1930s.
The violin’s winding road eventually found its way to Bell in London in 2001.
After playing a few notes, Bell realized how special it was, and it hasn’t left his side since — from performing at countless high-profile events with musical superstars from every genre.
Conducting extensive research on the origins and construction of the Huberman Stradivarius, Shishkov worked tirelessly to create the masterpiece that is the Violinmaster Telecaster® Relic®. Limited to 60 master-built units worldwide, this is truly a prestige item.
• A hollow-carved archtop and back construction
• Italian “Stradivari” spruce top and Bosnian Flame Maple back and neck
• Fender patent-pending floating bridge with four interchangeable saddles, ranging from bronze, ocean coral, buffalo horn and ebony
• Custom ebony/brass tailpiece
• Copied and proportionally scaled Huberman Stradivarius violin “F” holes
• Newly designed round-lam fingerboard
• Headstock adjust with no skunk stripe
• 22-fret neck
• Violin purfling with an internal soundpost
• Three passive Piezo pickups and two humbuckers for a wide range of tone options
• Hand-polished European violin varnish finish on the body and neck
One of the most exciting instruments to come from Shishkov’s workbench ever, the Violinmaster Telecaster® Relic® stays true to the amazing accomplishments he has offered over the years. It sounds as great as it looks, and is a fitting tribute to one of the greatest violins ever.
Learn more about the Violinmaster Telecaster® Relic® here.