There is nothing like a Fender. Distinctly American, decidedly modern, and definitely tuneful! Many have tried to imitate the look, feel and sound of these iconic guitars, but no one has come close. What makes a Fender so great?
Leo Fender, the company’s founder and namesake, began as an electronic gadget repairman. Fender’s Radio Service repaired radios, phonographs, public address systems and the like. At the time, all of these devices used similar vacuum-tube circuitry. Leo became interested in the design flaws of the circuits and user-(un)friendliness of the designs.
Fender became convinced that manufacture was more profitable than repair and soon started the Fender Electric Instrument Company. Soon thereafter, he introduced his first guitars including the Nocaster, the Broadcaster, the Esquire, the Telecaster and Stratocaster. Although each guitar was unique, they shared similar qualities, namely the way the guitar neck is attached to the body – the “bolt-on” neck was born and Fender offered the first mass-produced electric guitar!
The company associated itself with the youth culture of Southern California, and its marketing literature featured good-looking, surfboard-toting teenagers. Throw in some convertible Ford Thunderbirds and beachside settings. Could you get any more SoCal?! No way!
Additionally, Fender guitars began to be used in beach music by The Beach Boys and other artists; this development further solidified Fender’s position in this quintessential American subculture and art form. As the culture and music of SoCal spread, so did Fender’s association with it and its reach into the mainstream.
The company has transitioned many times, with different owners, different manufacturing processes and interesting business challenges. Fender sold the company to Columbia Broadcasting System, aka CBS, in 1965. This period in company history was marked by rapid growth and innovation.
As the company grew, CBS began to cut costs to drive efficiency and profit. As a result, by 1983, the cost cutting measures began to negatively impact guitar quality.
The company began to shift manufacturing to overseas plants in places like Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China. In 1994, Fender’s plant in Mexico burned to the ground. What a shame!
During each of these transitions Fender added modifications to the design and cosmetics of its guitars. Headstock shapes changed, pickup configurations expanded, tremolo styles were added, and models expanded rapidly. To its credit, Fender kept very good records and serial number methodologies, so it is easy to date and identify every guitar.
Although Fender has many, many models of guitars, two pillars stand out from the rest: the Stratocaster and the Telecaster.
The Stratocaster (or Strat) is immensely popular with live and studio players. It is very likely that your favorite song features a Fender Stratocaster! The guitar features a three pickup design, tremolo bridge, ash or alder body, and maple neck. Some Strats have a mahogany fretboard cap on the maple neck. The guitar’s sound ranges from smooth and silky to bright and chimey. The Stratocaster may be the most versatile guitar ever made. Players like David Gilmore from Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and John Mayer use the Fender Stratocaster extensively.
The Telecaster is also very popular. If you are a fan of country music you have definitely heard a Telecaster’s signature punch and twang! Using similar materials as the Strat, the Telecaster (or Tele) is decidedly thicker and less elegant looking. The body has a fixed bridge and usually features a two-pickup configuration. The guitar may be associated with country music (with famous Nashville pickers like Brad Paisley and Brent Mason using them extensively), but don’t be fooled, the Tele can rock too! Artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen and Radiohead bang on telecasters all the time!
A great guitar is a piece of art, and like a piece of art, you want to be sure you take care of it. If you’re a collector, you know that resell value is a huge factor in purchasing a Fender. If playing is your passion, sound, durability, and playability are going to be more important than resale value, sure, but there are many things you can do as a guitar owner that will do wonders for both. First, make sure your Fender is stored in a case and kept in a clean, dry environment. Keeping a guitar guitar in a moist area, such as a garage or basement, is sure to cause warping in the neck and body. A badly warped neck will render a guitar unplayable and ultimately worthless. Try to hold on to any original paperwork along with your original case. This will help our expert evaluators be sure that you get top dollar for your Fender.
Life happens, and when it does you may find yourself in a tough spot financially. At Pawngo we want to help you get the funds you need when you need them. Fenders can be a valuable commodity, and a great solution for your short term financial goals. After you fill out one of our simple applications, Pawngo will have your Fender shipped, fully insured to our secure facility where our expert evaluators will assess the complete value of your guitar. Once the value is established, your dedicated account representative will send out your final offer. Once you click to accept we can have you fully funded that same day. Click the button above to Get Started Now!