Fender American Design Experience Goes Online

I Heart GuitarOne of the absolute coolest things about my visit to Fender a few years ago was checking out the Fender American Design Experience, a section of the Fender Visitor Center in Corona, California where you could go in and select the parts to build your own personalised guitar or bass. It’s not quite Custom Shop but certainly more personal than a regular production guitar. And now Fender has taken this experience online, allowing you to configure your own Strat, Telecaster, Precision Bass or Jazz Bass from a wide range of options, then have the guitar built and sent out to you all for a pretty dang affordable price. You can make your own design from scratch or use various artist-designed models as your jumping-off point. I used the Configurator to whip up a 65-influenced Strat with Texas Special pickups and a left-handed neck. Oh and I also made a little tribute to the Frank Zappa/Jimi Hendrix Strat in its ‘pre-restored’ configuration. And a tribute to David Gilmour’s #0001 Stratocaster. And a Richie Kotzen-esque Strat. And a couple of SRV-ish ones (one with a rosewood fretboard, one with maple). And a red, humbucker-loaded vintage/modern hybrid something-or-other. And a sunburst-and-gold Telecaster. And on and on. Here they are, followed by the press release.

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FENDER® ANNOUNCES AMERICAN DESIGN EXPERIENCE; INNOVATIVE DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER PROGRAM ALLOWS ANYONE TO PERSONALLY DESIGN GUITARS & BASSES 

Iconic musical instrument manufacturer first in industry to provide program thanks to company’s modular designs

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.  (March 19, 2014) — Fender is pleased to announce the American Design Experience, an innovative new offering on Fender.com that allows consumers to design electric guitars and basses based on Fender’s iconic instruments – theTelecaster®, Stratocaster®, Precision Bass® and Jazz Bass® guitars. Consumers’ personalized designs are then built by hand in Fender’s flagship Corona, Calif.-based facility and delivered to their door within 90 days.

The Fender American Design Experience began in 2011 at the Fender Visitor Center in Corona, located adjacent to Fender’s factory. There, consumers have been able to hand-select instrument bodies and necks, and personally design their own unique instrument, before having it built and delivered to them within a matter of months. Now, Fender is able to provide this program only to people throughout the United States via an innovative digital platform configurator tool on its website atwww.fender.com/american-design.

Several professional artists have designed their own personalized instruments with the American Design Experience, includingNeon Trees’ Branden Campbell, The Cult’s Billy Duffy, thenewno2’s Dhani Harrison, Joe Robinson, and Taylor Swift’s Amos Heller. Consumers can view these artists’ personal designs, and others’, on Fender’s website for design inspiration.

“This is an opportunity to create something that is at once iconic and uniquely yours,” said Heller. … “The (American Design Experience) allows me to express myself not only with my playing, but with the design of the instrument itself.”

Company founder and music industry innovator, Leo Fender, created some of the most successful and beloved instruments of the 20th century thanks, in part, to his steadfast dedication to an instrument’s form and function, which ultimately led to their unique modular designs allowing players to modify various elements of their instruments quickly and easily.

“I’ve always loved the vintage hot rod vibe that Fender brings with their guitars,” said Campbell. “I’ve often had to buy two different basses to piece together all the features I wanted. Now, I have the option to get what I want the first time.”

Within the new online offering, there are multiple options – including body and neck woods and designs, color finishes, pickup and electronics configurations, and more – that lead the user to more than a million potential design outcomes.

“We live in an era of personalization, and few things make a greater statement about people than the music they listen to – yourmusic and how it represents your individual identity,” said Justin Norvell, vice president of Marketing for Fender. “Fender’s entire existence embodies that very concept, because its instruments have always been modular in construction, which has always made them ideal for individual personalization. And the online American Design Experience is the next level of that whole concept – built to an individual player’s specs straight from the factory floor.”

Fender American Design Experience instruments are backed by the company’s limited lifetime warranty, and come with an upgraded hardshell case, a certificate of authenticity with a dedicated serial number, an official Fender product manual, a collectible American Design Experience booklet, strap, polishing cloth, instrument cable and adjustment wrenches.

Consumers are encouraged to share their personal instrument designs with their friends on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, or save their designs to be built at a later date. For more information and to begin designing a Fender American Design Experience instrument, visit www.fender.com/american-design.

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About Fender Musical Instruments Corporation  Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors, whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch®, Jackson®, Takamine®, Guild®, EVH®, Ovation®, Charvel® and Groove Tubes®, among others. For more information, visit www.fender.com .

KMCMusicorp, a division of FMIC, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of musical instruments, accessories and stage lighting equipment, whose brands include Gretsch® Drums, Gibraltar® Hardware, Latin Percussion®, Toca® Percussion, Sabian® cymbals and MBT Lighting, among others. For more information, visit www.kmcmusic.com.