How to Buy an Affordable Fender Guitar

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How to Buy an Affordable Fender Guitar

An electric guitar is a versatile musical instrument, popular across many genres of music. High quality guitars have been manufactured by Fender since 1950, with a broad range of guitar styles and sounds to suit every taste, ability, and budget. Affordable Fender guitars represent a good quality instrument, without compromise on sound, for minimal expenditure. While top of the range Fender electric guitars can be costly, less expensive options include more basic Fender models, Squier brand Fender guitars, and second-hand items. Research sellers and compare individual items to be confident in making a good purchase.

About Fender Guitars

Fender originated as a company in 1946, and began producing solid body electric guitars in 1950. These guitars became world renowned for their superior sound quality and ergonomic designs. Vintage Fender guitars remain highly valuable to both guitarists and collectors; a testament to the durability of these instruments. The company was purchased in 1965 by CBS, and although Fender guitars continued to be manufactured, designs were altered and modified from the original, classic models. In 1985 Fender again became its own company, and production of modern Fender electric guitars ensued, more closely modeled on classic designs but with creative modern influences.

Choosing Affordable Fender Guitars

There are a variety of styles of Fender guitars, and several variants available of each style. Fender guitars are considered to be high-quality instruments, with a broad range of instruments suitable for all guitarists, from beginners to professionals, from jazz players to punk rockers. Therefore there is a correspondingly wide cost margin, with rare, vintage Fender guitars at one end of the scale, and competitively priced student instruments at the other.
While the preferred style of Fender guitar will inevitably be a matter of taste, there are several factors that will affect the affordability of an item. These features include the desired timbre, the condition of the guitar, and its date and location of manufacture.

Fender Body Shapes

Each style of Fender guitar has been engineered to create a different sound, and so some models might be more suitable for a particular genre of music. The various models are largely identifiable by the iconic body shapes, though may also share similar features such as electronic configuration. A brief description of each of the most opular Fender body shapes is presented in the following table.

Stratocaster

The Stratocaster has arguably been the most popular body shape for an electric guitar since it was first produced by fender in 1950s. The double-cutaway solid body with an extended top horn renders the Stratocaster a more comfortable guitar for players to handle. Although originally designed for country music, the Fender Stratocaster has regularly featured in jazz, rhythm and blues, rock bands, and pop music.

Telecaster

The Telecaster typically features a solid contoured body with dual pickups for a versatile sound. Fender Telecasters can produce either a bright twang, or a softer, mellow sound, hence it is often suitable for a wide variety of musical genres.

Jazzmaster

The Jazzmaster became a popular instrument choice among 1960s surf rock guitarists, despite being originally marketed towards jazz musicians. This guitar is comfortable when played in a seated position thanks to its slanted body shape. Compared to the Stratocaster, the Jazzmaster has less sustain, a tendency to produce feedback, and has string resonance across some fret positions.

Jaguar

With an offset waist and floating tremolo arm, the Jaguar shares the Jazzmaster's body shape but features a shorter, 22-fret neck and is generally less prone to interference. Often popular with punk rock and indie rock bands, this guitar's bright timbre is generally considered to be unsuitable for blues music.

Mustang

Offering an economical option for a good-quality electric guitar in the Fender range, this style was originally designed with advancing student players in mind, and its comparatively short fret board makes it an ideal instrument for young guitarists' smaller hands. Alternative rock bands of the 1990s have given the Mustang cult status.

Each of these body shapes has assorted variants, such as the Telecaster Thinline, and belongs to a particular Fender series, for example, the American Standard series. Each particular guitar might feature slightly different design elements, and will vary in cost, so it is important to conduct research into each particular guitar.

Modern Fender Electric Guitars

Guitars that have been manufactured by Fender since 1985 are modified variants of the original guitar designs. The timbre and sound quality of these instruments vary from vintage models, as well as featuring alternative electrics, construction, configuration, and aesthetics. However, modern Fender electric guitars are high-quality instruments, now manufactured worldwide. More affordable variants of USA manufactured guitars are produced by Fender in Mexico and in Asia to similarly high standards, whereas custom and limited edition guitars are likely to incur extra expense.

Vintage Fender Guitars

The Fender guitars produced before CBS purchased the company in 1965 are considered to be the most valuable, with good condition items selling for several thousand pounds. Vintage Fender guitars often increase in value if sold together with original cases and accessories, such as amplifiers, or if they feature less common configurations, colours, or design features. Guitars produced during CBS ownership between 1965 and 1985 are considered to be less valuable, although some guitarists claim these instruments are not of the same high quality as original Fender models. It is important when purchasing a vintage guitar to be certain of its condition, therefore, viewing before buying is advisable.
For a vintage look and feel without the expense and delicate condition of an authentic vintage guitar, a guitarist can purchase a modern reissue Fender guitar. Several of the more popular original designs have been remodeled with a contemporary twist, most notably those in the American Vintage and Vintage Hot Rod series. These modern recreations are comparatively lower maintenance and considerably more affordable than their vintage counterparts, whilst retaining the style and sound of earlier Fender models.

Squier

More affordable versions of popular Fender guitars are available under the Squier label. Fender began to produce these instruments to compete with comparatively inexpensive electric guitars produced by other companies. Squier guitars feature many of the same attributes as their Fender counterparts, including body and head shapes, but are manufactured more economically. Manufacture of Squier guitars originated in Japan, although production has now expanded to other Asian countries, and Mexico. The lower cost of these guitars makes them an ideal option for beginners guitarists and guitarists with a low budget.
Squier guitars are similarly available in a range of styles, and are produced under a variety of Fender series. These include Vintage Modified, a collection of modern guitars based on classic Fender models, and Artist Models, a series of guitars based on popular guitars played by celebrities, often featuring unusual colours or artwork.

Fender Acoustic Guitars

While Fender are not so widely known for the production of acoustic guitars, the company manufactures a variety of acoustic instruments suitable for novice and beginner level guitarists. High-quality components are used in acoustic guitars that are largely manufactured in Asia. Fender offer acoustic packs, providing an economic solution for a beginner guitarist to obtain all the required accessories in one purchase, and a wide range of acoustic body shapes in assorted designs.

Used Guitars

Due to the high quality of Fender guitars, it is possible to retain sound quality and aesthetics when purchasing a second-hand instrument. While vintage models are often valuable collectible items, modern used Fender guitars present an excellent opportunity to purchase an affordable item.
Use caution when deciding to purchase a used electric guitar. The instrument may have acceptable defects. For example, it may have suffered some degree of light wear and tear, or perhaps the guitar might need restringing or retuning. However, unacceptable defects include any serious damage, such as bending or warping, to the body or neck of the guitar, or damage to the electrical configuration, as these will have serious negative effects on the sound produced by the guitar. Ascertain that any modifications made by previous owners do not hinder the sound quality of the guitar, and be aware that replacement parts might not be Fender branded. Be certain of the relative condition of the individual item before agreeing a purchase, and view the item, where this is possible, before making a purchase.

Fender Guitar Accessories

Guitarists require a range of accessories in order to play an electric guitar. Sound is produced as string vibrations are converted into electrical impulses via pickups. These impulses are then amplified and played through a loud speaker. Players will therefore require an amplifier and connecting cables, and may also desire a case, strap, replacement strings, pick or plectrum, and effects pedals. A range of Fender accessories, including amplifiers, are produced to complement their electric guitars. These items are not usually included in the sale of a guitar, but starter kits or sets are also available; it can often be more economical to purchase these kits rather than acquiring accessories separately.

Find Fender Electric Guitars on eBay

To purchase an Affordable Fender guitar on eBay, begin the search by opening the eBay homepage and highlighting the All Categories tab. Select Musical Instruments from the menu, followed by the link for Guitars. In the menu now available on the left of the new page, click the link for Electric Guitars under sub-category Guitar Type, or select Fender under the Brands header. Browse all listings or further refine listings using sub-categories on the left side of the page. Another option is to utilise the search bar, found on any eBay page, to search for specific words of phrases. For example, to purchase a Squier guitar, type 'Squier Electric Guitar' into the search field. Compare items and review sellers' feedback comments to identify a great product from a trustworthy seller.

Conclusion

A Fender electric guitar is an electric string instrument of high quality. A wide variety of styles and series are available to suit all tastes and budgets. Student models, Squier-brand Fender guitars, and second-hand electric guitars offer high-quality instruments at more affordable prices. A range of accessories, essential and optional, are required, which may not be included in the sale of a Fender guitar. Research individual items and their sellers to acquire confidence in making a good purchase.

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