The new Kenny Wayne Shepherd Strat can get it

FENDER® INTRODUCES THE ALL-NEW ARTIST SIGNATURE STRATOCASTER®  WITH BLUES, ROCK LEGEND KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD 

Second Fender Launch, The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Signature Stratocaster® Custom “Hot” Vintage Pickups, Block Inlay Neck and Unique Faded Transparent Blue Finish

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (September 15, 2020)— Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today released the all-new Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster®, the newest result of Fender’s collaboration with one of the most powerful guitarists in Blues-Rock today. It features a chambered ash body, Transparent Faded Sonic Blue lacquer finish and early ‘60s “C”-shaped maple neck. This guitar delivers a punchy, full-throated Stratocaster® tones with three custom voiced pickups created with design input from Shepherd himself to meticulously complement his personal sound. Today, fans can own and play a part of that legacy with the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster®.

“I have been playing Fender guitars for essentially my entire life. To me, Fender defined the sounds of countless music genres and was played by most of my musical heroes. The playability of Fender guitars is unmatched, and the quality of instruments unsurpassed. Our new creation is one I’m exceptionally proud of,“ said Kenny Wayne Shepherd. “I was heavily involved in every aspect of the guitar – from specs to design, especially the Custom “Hot” Vintage Pickups – carefully designed to have a very natural sound; the block inlay neck which really sets this Stratocaster® apart visually; and the matching headstock which I just think has an unbeatable aesthetic. I can’t wait to see what this guitar can do in the hands of other players – I hope this guitar is a tool that inspires others to find their own voice and to truly express themselves and their own love of music.”

There are only a handful of artists whose name is synonymous with the guitar, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd is one of them. Shepherd was inspired to pick up the guitar at the age of 7 after hearing the likes of legends such as Stevie Ray Vaughan as well as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan, B.B. King and Muddy Waters – still some of his current musical influences . “Listening to, and consequently learning, their music gave me the foundation and the knowledge to learn the instrument, which freed me up to explore further and find my own identity within the guitar.” Louisiana’s guitarist and songsmith now boasts a 20-year-strong recording career and has established himself as the leading force behind the blues-rock revival, bringing renewed commercial success to the much-loved genre. A consistently in-demand live act, Kenny Wayne Shepherd has headlined tours worldwide as well as played on major tours with the likes of Buddy Guy and The Rolling Stones in addition to his solo recording career, which now spans nine critically acclaimed studio albums and radio hits including “Blue on Black,” “True Lies”, “Dark Side of Love” and “Somehow, Somewhere, Someway.” Kenny discusses his inspirations, playing style and a glimpse into his new Signature in an episode of Fender’s serialised social video series, Fender Demos. Fender Demos is an educational video series focused on providing a deep dive into Fender’s newest products. The series focuses on showcasing not only the key features and benefits but also the sonic quality of Fender’s instruments, amplifiers and pedals. In addition to product demos, the series also provides valuable beginner, intermediate and advanced tone tips, set-up and maintenance guides and insights to getting the most out of your Fender gear.

The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster® features a chambered ash body for a vibrant and resonant tone, while the Transparent Faded Sonic Blue lacquer highlights a beautiful ash grain. The early ‘60s “C”-shaped maple neck and bound rosewood fingerboard – with a 7.25” radius – offer comfort and playability straight out of Fender’s golden age. Kenny Wayne Shepherd himself worked on the design of the three custom pickups, giving the sound of the guitar its unmistakably striking tone.

“Fender has worked with Kenny Wayne Shepherd for over twenty years and he is an artist who constantly strives for better and never stops innovating, so it’s a perfect match,” said Justin Norvell, EVP Fender Products. “In 2008, we brought fans his first Signature Series model, which offered up Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s legendary playing power at an accessible price point. We see this brand-new Stratocaster® as the next evolution – a testament to what we can create together when the sky is the limit. This guitar is all about quality and personalisation and we can’t wait to see what fans make of it.”

In true tradition, the Fender Artist Signature Series honors iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists. Learn more about the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster® here; product and images of Kenny Wayne Shepherd with his Signature Stratocaster® can be found here

For additional information on new Fender products or to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.

# # #

KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD STRATOCASTER® – $3,999 

Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s fiery leads, meaty rhythms and hard-driving songs have propelled his robust career through nine solo records –three certified platinum, major tours with Buddy Guy, Van Halen, and The Rolling Stones, and an ongoing collaboration with blues-supergroup The Rides, a band he co-founded, with Stephen Stills. The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster® features a chambered ash body for vibrant and resonant tone, while the Transparent Faded Sonic Blue lacquer finish highlights the beautiful ash grain. The early ‘60s “C”-shaped maple neck and bound rosewood fingerboard—with a 7.25”radius—offer comfort and playability straight out of Fender’s golden age. Loaded with three Kenny Wayne Shepherd custom pickups, this guitar delivers punchy and full-throated Stratocaster® tones

ABOUT KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD:

Kenny Wayne Shepherd is over two decades into a recording career that began when he was just 16. He has sold millions of albums worldwide and, in addition to his five Grammy nominations, he has won two Billboard Music Awards, a pair of Orville H. Gibson awards, the Blues Foundation’s Keeping The Blues Alive award and two Blues Music awards. He’s had eight #1 blues albums and a string of #1 mainstream rock singles. His latest release, The Traveler debuted at # 1 on the Billboard Blues Charts and remained in the top 10 for over 26 weeks.

ABOUT FENDER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION:

Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC)–whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel®–follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest-quality instruments and digital experiences across genres. Since 2015, Fender’s digital arm has introduced a new ecosystem of products and interactive experiences to accompany players at every stage of their musical journey. This includes innovative apps and learning platforms designed to complement Fender guitars, amplifiers, effects pedals, accessories and pro-audio gear, and inspire players through an immersive musical experience. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of musical expression for all players, from beginners to history-making legends.

Fender has brought back real CuNiFe Wide Range Humbuckers

For a long-ass time, the Fender Wide Range Humbucker with CuNiFe – copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), iron (Fe) alloy – magnets has been one of those Holy Grail pieces of gear. Why? Well partly because of the tone of course, but also because CuNiFe magnets have been basically impossible to come by. Pickup companies and Fender itself have developed all sorts of models designed to get as close to the sound of those old Seth Lover-designed Wide Range humbuckers as possible, but there’s quite literally nothing like the real thing.

Well now the agonising CuNiFeFoMo is over: Fender has released the first authentic CuNiFe Wide Range pickup since 1979. It’s all there: the full bass, the clear treble, the bell-like mids. If you’ve never played one before, it’s a unique sound and feel. Earlier this year Fender announced an American Original 70s Telecaster Custom with a CuNiFe neck humbucker, and now you can get the pickup separately.

It’s not cheap but hey, a lot of players have waited 40 years for it and you’d pay a lot more for an original one.

New Fender Offsets Make Life Worth Living In This Hellpit

FENDER® RELEASES THREE NEW OFFSET MODELS, ADDS VINTAGE-INSPIRED, METALLIC FINISHES TO PLAYER SERIES 

Mustang®, Duo-Sonic™, Duo-Sonic™ HS, Mustang® 90, Mustang® Bass PJ Join Player Series Family, Inspiring Artists like beabadoobee, Omar Apollo, The Black Pumas, The Regrettes, and Music Lovers Around The World To Create  

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (July 14, 2020)—Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today released new, highly anticipated additions to its Player Series line of electric guitars and basses. The Series now features reimagined Mustang®, Duo-SonicDuo Sonic™ HS, Mustang® 90, and Mustang® PJ Bass models in 10 colours new to the Player Series, including Firemist Gold, Desert Sand, Aged Natural and Burgundy Mist Metallic. Available through local retailers beginning today, each delivers the classic look, comfort and signature Fender sound that has helped shape popular music for over 74 years.

In 2018, Fender introduced the Player Series as a means of empowering players to take that next step in their musical journey. Now, the next generation of artists is bringing these iconic Fender models into a new decade with videos featuring soulful duo The Black Pumas, power-pop band The Regrettes, singer-songwriter Omar Apollo, and U.K. bedroom pop sensation beabadoobee. 

“More people are playing guitar than ever before,” said Justin Norvell, EVP of Fender Products. “Music fans everywhere continue to turn to music and playing guitar in times of hardship and artists are finding new ways to create. Like our artists, we’re always pushing the boundaries of what a guitar can be, giving players products that inspire and deliver quality craftsmanship, timeless design and iconic sound that take their music to new heights. These new offset models are no exception and bring some of our most popular designs and vintage-inspired colours to the Fender brand’s entry point and the forefront of a musical renaissance.”

The Player Series was built to unlock infinite creative opportunities for those looking to express their individual style with Fender’s often imitated–but never duplicated–gear. Mustang, Duo Sonic, Duo Sonic HS, Mustang 90 and Mustang Bass models are available in colours new to the Player Series, including Firemist Gold, Desert Sand, Aged Natural and Burgundy Mist Metallic. These offset electric guitars retail for $1,199 and the Mustang Bass PJ is priced at $1,299. The Player Series continues to set the benchmark for quality and performance, with upgraded, cool features, including: vintage-inspired pickups for legendary tones reminiscent of the world’s most influential records; modern “C” shaped necks for comfort; roadworthy hardware for reliable performance and easier setup; fresh colours; the classic Fender logo and “F”-stamped neck plate for a more authentic Fender look. 

Earlier this year, Fender released the Player Lead series featuring a new solid-body design, hard-tail bridges and cool new wiring options for the unconventional, offbeat, and most importantly, undefined players. The series offers the choice of the Player Lead II (an homage to the late `70s models) and the Player Lead III (a tribute to the original 1982-only model), which both incorporate era-correct Lead Series specs with a blend of the modern Player Series specs offering style, power, and versatility in comfortable, easy-to-play models.

Player Series instruments mark a player’s official entry into the Fender brand and are perfect for a wide assortment of guitarists – from inspirational artists to fans that are just learning online with digital learning app Fender Play®. In an effort to welcome new players into the fold, Fender has created a New Players Buying Guide with resources for beginning players who need gear advice and direction on where to start. 

For a full break down of Player Series specs, click here. For product and artist images of beabadoobee, Omar Apollo, The Black Pumas and The Regrettes, click here.    

For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.  

 #  #  #

ABOUT FENDER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION: 

Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC)–whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel®–follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest-quality instruments and digital experiences across genres. Since 2015, Fender’s digital arm has introduced a new ecosystem of products and interactive experiences to accompany players at every stage of their musical journey. This includes innovative apps and learning platforms designed to complement Fender guitars, amplifiers, effects pedals, accessories and pro-audio gear and inspire players through an immersive musical experience. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of musical expression for all players, from beginners to history-making legends.

Fender Made In Japan models

A few select Australian dealers have recently taken delivery of some gorgeous new Fender Made In Japan models.

The Modern Series includes a Telecaster, Telecaster HH, Stratocaster, Stratocaster HSS, Jazzmaster HH and a Jazz Bass, all of which feature a carved and bound top, compound neck shape (Modern C to D), compound radius fretboard (9.5″ to 14″), either humbucking or Fender Noiseless single coil pickups, locking tuners and luminous side dot inlays. You can see pics of the whole range here.


The Made In Japan Troublemaker Tele is gonna turn a lot of heads. Available in Black, Crimson Red and Arctic White, it has a definite 70s feel with its amp-style control knobs, oversized headstock and twin humbucker layout. Mahogany body, locking tuners… I can imagine a lot of players digging this.


Finally there’s the Aerodyne II, featuring a round-top design for improved playability, a 2-point tremolo bridge, standard-style tuners, and a 9.5-inch radius neck mounted on high quality alder body. Its available in Stratocaster, Stratocaster HSS and Jazz Bass.

You can get all of these beauties from these dealers:

Location Store
New South Wales Guitar Factory Parramatta
New South Wales Haworths Albion Park
South Australia Winston Music
Victoria Billy Hyde
Victoria Sky Music
Western Australia Kosmic Music

 

Fender’s Tom Morello Soul Power Stratocaster is available now!

Ya gotta hand it to Tom Morello: the guy has great taste in creating iconic guitars for himself. His ‘Arm The Homeless’ guitar, his black Tele, and his Fender ‘Soul Power’ Stratocaster, an instrument which is synonymous with his time in Audioslave. You can now own your own reproduction of this instrument, complete with ‘Soul Power’ decal among the case candy if you want to really Morello it out. But this is a very workhorse-worthy instrument in its own right, not a piece of Morello memorabilia (Morellomabilia?), with plenty of cool features to help you unlock your own self expression.

Here’s the press release.

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (March 31, 2020)—Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today released the all-new Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster. Tom Morello collaborated with Fender on his first artist signature Stratocaster which features unique customizations from the original “Soul Power,” like a kill switch that helped shape his radical sound and riffs from the Audioslave era and beyond. Morello takes a creative approach to playing, infusing feedback, unconventional picking and tapping, in addition to heavy guitar effects that all inspired his new signature guitar.  This past year the original “Soul Power” was recently featured at The Metropolitan Museum of Art® and currently resides in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame®. The “Soul Power” Stratocaster is one of the most iconic guitars of the modern rock era and allowed for Tom to create a new sound after his time with Rage Against The Machine. Morello has pushed the boundary of guitar to new limits through his innovative style of playing and heavy metal and punk hybrid riffs.

“This Fender Soul Power signature guitar is made to my exact specifications and is an authentic replica of the instrument that forged my sound in Audioslave,” said Tom Morello. “That was a period of renewed artistic freedom and limitless expression on the guitar for me and Soul Power was the sonic divining rod leading the way. Just as important as getting the specs right however is the charitable/social justice component of my collaboration with Fender. Together we are giving away hundreds of guitars to underprivileged schools and to the Jail Guitar Doors prison rehabilitation program to help unlock creative doors and create better (and louder) futures.”

The Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster features a bound-top alder slab body, originally a limited run Strat®, a “Deep-C” maple neck with a 9.5″-14″ compound radius rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium-jumbo frets and matching painted headstock. Tom’s unique, powerful sounds – from gentle rhythms to screaming feedback, chaotic stutters and more – inspired every detail of the guitar. From a Kill Switch that creates the “Stutter” effects emulating DJ scratching that he is known for, to a Seymour Duncan® Hot Rails™ bridge humbucker pickup that delivers power and dynamics and a Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo System that allows for radical Tremolo effects while staying perfectly in tune – this Strat was built to rock.


“We are extremely honored to have worked with Tom on this project and embark on a long-term partnership throughout 2020,” said Justin Norvell, EVP Fender Products. “Tom’s iconic original “Soul Power” guitar sound created a monumental impact on rock at the time and we’re looking forward to players today being able emulate those unique sounds with the Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster. Collaborations like these continue to keep Fender’s legacy in rock ‘n’ roll alive and inspire the next future rockers of our generation.”

The launch of Morello’s guitar marks the start of his and Fender’s 2020 collaboration in association with the Fender Play Foundation designed to equip, educate and inspire the next generation of players, alongside Tom’s other charitable efforts with Jail Guitar Doors.

In true tradition, the Fender’s Artist Signature Series honors iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists. Learn more about the Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster and access product description here; product photos and images of Tom Morello with his Signature Stratocaster can be found here.  

For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.

# # #

Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster – $2,699.99 is based on the modified Designer Series Strat used during his time in Audioslave and features an alder slab body with binding and a Deep “C”-shape maple neck with 9.5″-14″ compound radius rosewood fingerboard and 22 medium-jumbo frets. Other features include: a recessed Floyd Rose® locking tremolo system, Seymour Duncan Hot Rails bridge humbucker, two Fender Noiseless™ pickups in the neck and middle positions, a chrome pickguard, kill-switch toggle, locking tuners, matching painted headcap and iconic “Soul Power” body decal and a black Fender case.

ABOUT TOM MORELLO:

Incendiary rock guitarist and acoustic troubadour Tom Morello, known for his innovative guitar solos and thunderous chords, is a groundbreaking artist whether in his solo career or as an original member of the rock bands Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, two acts responsible for multiple Grammy Awards and a combined 30 million albums sold worldwide. He’s released four solo albums as The Nightwatchman and formed the band Street Sweeper Social Club with Boots Riley of The Coup in 2009. Morello has also been recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the “100 Greatest Guitar Players of All-Time (#26).” Morello has produced or collaborated with artists of diverse genres including Johnny Cash, Tool, John Fogerty, Anti-Flag, Public Enemy, Joe Strummer, Crystal Method, Calle 13, Dave Mathews Band, Johnny Cash, Linkin Park, Travis Barker and Pete Seeger. In addition, he joined Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band for their 2014 world tour in support of Springsteen’s studio album High Hopes (Columbia Records) on which Morello is featured on eight tracks. In 2016, Morello joined forces with fellow Rage Against The Machine bandmates Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk, as well as Cypress Hill’s B-Real and Public Enemy’s Chuck D and DJ Lord to form the band Prophets of Rage. The band’s debut self-titled album was released in 2017 and scored top chart entries in multiple countries across the globe in its first week. On his latest solo album, The Atlas Underground, Morello transformed his sound, blending Marshall stack riff-rock with the digital wizardry of EDM and hip-hop to create the most ambitious artistic effort of his storied career. The Atlas Underground includes collaborations with Marcus Mumford, Portugal. The Man, the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and GZA, K. Flay, Big Boi, Gary Clark Jr., Pretty Lights, Killer Mike, and Whethan among others. Morello is also a valiant activist across issues of homelessness, poverty, hunger, and social justice, among other causes. Tom is embarking on a reunion tour with Rage Against the Machine in 2020. 

ABOUT FENDER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION:

Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC)–whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel®–follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest-quality instruments and digital experiences across genres. Since 2015, Fender’s digital arm has introduced a new ecosystem of products and interactive experiences to accompany players at every stage of their musical journey. This includes innovative apps and learning platforms designed to complement Fender guitars, amplifiers, effects pedals, accessories and pro-audio gear and inspire players through an immersive musical experience. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of musical expression for all players, from beginners to history-making legends.

Fender launches Eric Johnson ‘Virginia’ Stratocaster

FENDER® LAUNCHES ALL-NEW STORIES COLLECTION WITH ERIC JOHNSON “VIRGINIA” STRATOCASTER®

“Virginia” Stratocaster® Honours Johnson’s Original 1954 Guitar Used to Record “Tones” and
“Ah Via Musicom”

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (February 11, 2020)—Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today released the Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster guitar with the Grammy® award winning artist Eric Johnson. As part of this unique collaboration with the singer, songwriter and guitarist, Fender has recreated Johnson’s 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster in the Fender Custom Shop in limited quantity and on the Fender Corona production line for one year only. Available now at local musical instruments dealers worldwide and on Fender.com, the model is a reproduction of Johnson’s prized 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster with personal touches, celebrating his unique playing style and desire to inspire new musical journeys for guitar players everywhere. Johnson’s “Virginia” Stratocaster will be the first model in Fender’s all-new Stories Collection: a celebration of modified Fender guitars that shaped history’s most iconic music and the details that made them unique.

“Fender and I talked about doing a reissue of my ’54 “Virginia” for the Stories Collection and I wanted to try it in Sassafras, like my original,” said guitarist Eric Johnson. “When I got the prototype from Fender, it had the tone I had been looking for since my original guitar. It has a particular smooth sustained tone but as you turn it up, it has gain like a little violin.”

For the first time, Fender has replicated and released Eric Johnson’s beloved ’54 “Virginia” Stratocaster, the instrument he used to record the Tones record (1987 Grammy® nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance) and the Platinum Ah Via Musicom (1991 Grammy® for Best Rock Instrumental Performance) albums that made him a hero to music fans and guitarists alike. Built in Corona, Calif., these “Virginia” Stratocaster guitars combine extraordinary history and exceptional tone. The rare sassafras body, custom switching and special set-up will thrill players and collectors by showcasing the guitar’s unique silky tone and distinct fine grain appearance.  

Models include the Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster ($4,999) and Fender Custom Shop Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster ($14,999). In the same spirit as the production line version, the Fender Custom Shop masterbuilt “Virginia” will take on the same aesthetic and tone as the original guitar, but in exacting detail with handwound pickups and a flamed maple neck – available in an extremely limited quantity. “When I first took on this project, I was a bit intimidated because of all the intricate specs involved with this guitar,” said Carlos Lopez, Fender Custom Shop Master Builder. “From the Sassafras and flamed neck to the pickups – the challenge was to make sure Eric was happy with it and loved it the first time.” Learn more about the creation process with Eric Johnson and Fender Master Builder, Carlos Lopez in this video.

The Fender Custom Shop version is complete with the same specifications and features as his original, including a 6-saddle American vintage synchronized tremolo bridge with a 2-piece offset seam sassafras body, lacquer finish and custom wiring. Additionally, Eric added a number of personal touches to facilitate his distinctive technique and sound like a GraphTech® high E saddle, flattened 12” fingerboard radius and jumbo frets for optimal playability.

“To this day, Eric continues to release brilliant music, tours constantly and is, to the electric guitar community, a guitar wizard and widely-followed tastemaker,” said Justin Norvell, EVP Fender Products. “It was a perfect fit having Eric Johnson as the first artist in this Stories Collection celebrating modified instruments played by important guitarists that created music for the ages.”

In true tradition, the Fender’s Artist Signature Series honors iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists. In that spirit, the Stories Collection celebrates modified Fender guitars that shaped history’s most iconic music. Learn more about the Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster models and access product descriptions here; product photos and images of Eric Johnson with his Signature Stratocaster can be found here.

For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender and @FenderCustomShop

#  #  #

Fender Custom Shop Eric Johnson “Virginia” Strat ($14,999) & Stories Collection Eric Johnson 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster ($4,999): Eric Johnson already had his 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster when he recorded Tones and the Platinum Ah Via Musicom, groundbreaking albums that made him a hero to music fans and guitarists alike. In 2020, for the first time, Johnson’s 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster will be replicated by both Fender Custom Shop and the Fender Corona Production line. With its rare sassafras body, lacquer finish, custom wiring and more, the Eric Johnson 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster will thrill players and collectors alike with its distinctive look and exceptional tone.

NAMM 2020: New Fender artist models including Tom Morello Soul Power guitar!

I can’t be the only one who has utterly craved a production version of Tom Morello’s ‘Soul Power’ Strat as used in Audioslave, right? Or a replica of Eric Johnson’s legendary ’54 Stratocaster named Virginia. And Slipknot’s Jim Root is a man of great taste when it comes to designing new guitars with Fender. So read on!

FENDER® EXPANDS ARTIST SIGNATURE SERIES LINEUP WITH ROCK AND HEAVY METAL LEGENDS, ERIC JOHNSON, JIM ROOT, TOM MORELLO

Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster® – The First Model Added to Fender’s Stories Collection – Jim Root Jazzmaster® V4 and Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster® Debut at Winter NAMM 2020

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (January 16, 2020)—Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced three new additions to its Artist Signature Series electrics offering – the Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster, Jim Root Jazzmaster V4 and Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster – all debuting at Winter NAMM 2020 in Anaheim, Calif. Developed with rock, blues and heavy metal players in mind, these all-new Artist Signature Series models add performance-ready features and stylistic touches hand-selected by some of the industry’s most iconic players – from Grammy®-winner Eric Johnson and Slipknot guitarist Jim Root to Audioslave and Rage Against The Machine legend Tom Morello. 

For the first time, Fender has replicated and released Eric Johnson’s beloved ’54 “Virginia” Stratocaster, the instrument he used to record hit song “Cliffs of Dover,” the Tones record (1987 Grammy® nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance) and the Platinum Ah Via Musicom (1991 Grammy® for Best Rock Instrumental Performance) albums that made him a hero to music fans and guitarists alike. Built in Corona, California, this extremely limited-edition model combines extraordinary history and exceptional tone. Its rare sassafras body, custom switching and special set-up will thrill players and collectors by showcasing its unique silky tone and distinct fine grain appearance. The Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster will be the first model in Fender’s all-new Stories Collection, a celebration of the guitars that shaped history’s most iconic music and the details that made them unique. 

Both beautiful and beastly, the Jim Root Jazzmaster V4 is the fifth Fender artist signature model for Slipknot guitarist Jim Root; it features active humbucking pickups, a 12″ radius, jumbo frets ideal for heavy playing styles, an ebony fingerboard, block inlays and striking white finish that makes the guitar stand out on stage. Fender worked hand-in-hand with Root to deliver crushing detuned tone with an all-new bold look, culminating in a brutal-sounding signature Jazzmaster model that complements his heavy playing style.

The Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster is based on the modified Designer Series Strat, which Morello used during his time in Audioslave. Featuring an alder slab body with binding, a recessed Floyd Rose® locking tremolo system, Seymour Duncan Hot Rails bridge humbucker and two Fender Noiseless™ pickups, this Strat delivers powerful and unique effects from gentle rhythms to screaming feedback, chaotic stutters and more.

“We are excited to continue to work with such legendary players to help share their story through music,” said Justin Norvell, EVP Fender Products. “Whether it is their first Artist Signature model, or fifth, we continue Fender’s legacy by helping artists showcase the versatility of our instruments. Each Artist Signature model that we reveal at Winter NAMM this year will showcase a variety of exceptional, legendary tones that made music history.” 

Product Details: 

Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster – $4,999 (Launching February 2020) joins the Fender Stories Collection. Eric Johnson already had his 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster when he recorded Tones and the Platinum Ah Via Musicom, groundbreaking albums that made him a hero to music fans and guitarists alike. To this day, Eric continues to release brilliant music, tour constantly and is, to the electric guitar community, a savant and widely followed tastemaker. In 2020, for the first time, Johnson’s 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster will be replicated by both Fender Custom Shop and the Fender Corona Production line in limited numbers. With its rare sassafras body, lacquer finish, custom wiring and more, the Eric Johnson 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster will thrill players and collectors alike with its distinctive look and exceptional tone. 

Jim Root Jazzmaster V4 – $2,699 (Launching March 2020) delivers detuned tone with a bold new look. Fender worked closely with the towering Slipknot guitarist to create a brutal-sounding signature Jazzmaster model that complements his heavy playing style—right down to its signature Daemonum™ open-coil EMG® active pickups, shred-worthy 12” radius fingerboard with jumbo frets, sparse control layout and more. The Jim Root Jazzmaster V4 dispenses with frivolities such as a vibrato, rhythm circuit and tone control. Only crucial essentials remain: a volume control, a 3-way switch and a hardtail bridge. Featuring a mahogany slab body for pronounced lows and mids, brilliant Polar White satin finish, maple neck with bound ebony fingerboard and pearloid block inlays, this powerful machine delivers brutal tone with a striking new look.

Tom Morello Stratocaster – $2,699 (Launching March 2020) is based on the modified Designer Series Strat used during his time in Audioslave and features an alder slab body with binding and a Deep “C”-shape maple neck with 9.5″-14″ compound radius rosewood fingerboard and 22 medium-jumbo frets. Other features include: a recessed Floyd Rose® locking tremolo system; Seymour Duncan Hot Rails bridge humbucker; two Fender Noiseless™ pickups in the neck and middle positions; a chrome pickguard; kill-switch toggle; locking tuners; matching painted headcap and iconic “Soul Power” body decal, and a black Fender case.

In true tradition, the Fender’s Artist Signature Series honors iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists. Learn more about the Artist Signature models and access product descriptions here; images can be found here.  

For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.

NAMM 2020: Fender launches, well, pretty much everything!


Fender is absolutely smashing it this NAMM with their new product launches, including the return of the venerable HM Strat, an affordable Lead model in the Player Series, and some really cool stuff in the Parallel Universe series. Let’s dig in, shall we?

FENDER® SPOTLIGHTS RECENTLY-LAUNCHED AMERICAN ULTRA ELECTRIC GUITAR SERIES, REVIVES MODELS FROM THE PAST AND BRINGS BACK PARALLEL UNIVERSE AT WINTER NAMM 

Fender Introduces HM “Heavy Metal” Strat, Lead II and III models, Reveals All-New Parallel Universe and American Original and Player Series Guitars Now Available In New Models and Finishes

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (January 16, 2020)—Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today debuted its extensive electric and bass offerings for traditional and modern players alike at Winter NAMM 2020. In addition to showcasing American Ultra – the brand’s most modern and advanced electric guitar series, Fender is bringing back models from its past, including the Lead, which will be added to the Player Series. The HM Strat also returns with the same unique look and specs as the original ‘88-‘92 models. Joining Fender’s limited-edition offerings are refreshes of fan-favorites including cult classic Parallel Universe Volume 2 and the highly-acclaimed American Original Series – now offering new models and finishes. 

“We’re excited to present an incredible linup of new instruments at Winter NAMM,” said Max Gutnik, VP of Fender Electric Guitars, Basses & Amplifiers. “Our leading focus for 2020 is our new flagship electric line, American Ultra. Ultra is a great example of the continued evolution of Fender’s classic instruments in a way that remains true to Fender’s original creation yet advances the instrument to serve modern players of all generes. While we look to the future with American Ultra, we are also celebrating our past with the re-release of the all-new HM Strat and Player Lead II and III guitars. The HM Strat and Lead series represent a wonderfully innovative time at Fender and a historic era in music, when musicians and their instruments were changing rapidly, and we’re thrilled to debut them here at NAMM.”

Launched in November 2020, the American Ultra Series is the most advanced guitar from Fender. The series has all-new modern features, state-of-the-art craftsmanship and nuanced design. With 44 SKUs, the American Ultra Series offers many options for players looking for modern advancements, including the Stratocaster®, Telecaster®, Precision Bass®, Jazzmaster®, Jazz Bass® and Jazz Bass® V with an assortment of all-new colors in the $3,899 – $4,499 price range. The Ultra Series is a pivotal moment in Fender history as it offers new body design and contours – marking the first time in decades since the last significant alteration was made to the iconic Fender Stratocaster of Telecaster body shapes. Embracing artist and player feedback is a core driver for Fender’s design process, leading to decades of subtle yet crucial innovations. For more information, click here.

Fender created the Lead model in 1979, featuring a new solid-body design, hard-tail bridges and cool new wiring options. Paying homage, Fender is releasing the Player Lead Series for the unconventional, offbeat, and most importantly, undefined players. The series offers the choice of the Player Lead II (an homage to the late `70s models) and the Player Lead III (a tribute to the original 1982-only model), which both incorporate era-correct Lead Series specs with a blend of the modern Player Series specs offering style, power, and versatility in comfortable, easy-to-play models. For more information, click here. For images, click here.

A true Fender fan favorite and cult classic will also be reborn at WNAMM, the limited-edition HM (Heavy Metal) Stratocaster originally designed and launched in the late-`80s with metal heads and technical players in mind. Built in the same factory as the original, the HM Strat will be available in four original era-correct Day-Glo colors: Frozen Yellow, Flash Pink, Ice Blue and Bright White. For product images and more information on this model, click here.

Also debuting at WNAMM are all-new limited-edition models that make up Parallel Universe Volume 2 ($3,999 – $4,999). Offering even more unique models in the second iteration of Parallel Universe, these combinations of Fender design elements, body shapes and parts are for players looking for the most exciting and rare instruments Fender will come out with this year. For product descriptions, click here; and product images, click here. The following models will be released in 2020: 

  • The Troublemaker Custom w/ Bigsby ($4,999) 
  • Troublemaker Tele Custom ($4,899) 
  • Strat Jazz Deluxe ($4,699) 
  • Maverick Dorado ($4,999)
  • Spark-O-Matic Jazzmaster ($3,999)
  • Jazz Strat ($3,999)
  • Tele Mágico ($4,999)
  • Uptown Strat ($3,999)

Also, new this NAMM season are two new models for Fender’s American Original series, including the `60s Telecaster Thinline and `70s Telecaster Custom. For product images and more information, click here. Lastly, Fender is adding to the Player Series to further expand entry level offerings within the Fender brand. The new models include the Duo Sonic, Mustang, Mustang Bass PJ and Mustang 90. 

Fender’s new electric guitar and bass offerings will be available at local dealers and on www.Fender.com. 

For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.