Since the time of its formation in 1946, the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company has been known for manufacturing high quality musical instruments. Now known as the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, their products are widely used by professional musicians as well as casual players. The company is undoubtedly best recognised for their range of electric guitars, which over the years have developed a reputation for combining impressive sound quality with stylish design.
How do Fender Electric Guitars Differ?
There are four main Fender electronic guitar body styles: the Stratocaster, the Telecaster, the Jazzmaster, and the Jaguar. The Mustang is an additional style which has grown in prominence since its original release. Within each of these styles, there are individual models which collectively form a series as defined by Fender. Some examples include the American Vintage series, the Classic Player series, and the Blacktop series.
Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitars
The Stratocaster is without question Fender's most famous creation. As soon as it was released in 1954, its stylish design and unmistakable sound made it an instant classic. The double-cutaway body shape, with the famous Stratocaster double-horned design, encourages easy playing, and the neck is adjustable.
There are certain important features that contribute to the unmistakable design of the Fender Stratocaster, along with others that allow a greater degree of customisation. Traditional features include three single-coil pickups, a five-position pickup selector, and a synchronised tremolo tailpiece. The body is usually made from alder wood or ash, with a maple neck, and fretboard.
Variations of the standard design include the use of different woods and a v-shaped neck instead of a c-shaped design. Colours vary greatly according to the model, as does the finish of such features as the bridge, scratch plate, and pickup cover. There are also alternative pickup arrangements and circuitry found across the range. For example, Stratocasters with two single-coil pickups and a humbucker in the bridge position are known as Fat Strats due to the heavier sound that they generate.
There are, in fact, over sixty different Fender Stratocaster models available to buy, which is an indication of the worldwide popularity of this style of electric guitar. There are American Standard, Vintage, Special, and Deluxe editions, as well as Modern, and Classic Players. The range of special Artist editions means that fans of musicians such as Eric Clapton, Ritchie Blackmore, Mark Knopfler, and Jeff Beck can play the same guitars as their idols.
Fender Telecaster Electric Guitars
The Fender Telecaster took two full years to develop before eventually being released to the public in 1951. It was very simplistic in its look, but was powerful in the sound it produced. This winning formula has ensured that the basic guitar has changed very little since the first model was manufactured, although there is now a wide variety of models to choose from.
Although the Fender Telecaster's single cutaway body is basic in its design, it is also extremely distinctive, meaning that these guitars are instantly recognisable. It is typically made from ash, alder, or poplar wood, with a maple neck and a maple or rosewood fretboard. The headstock is another famous feature, as are the dual single-coil pickups that contribute to the Telecaster sound, known as the Tele twang. These guitars are known for being extremely comfortable to play, which is in part due to the well-positioned fretboards and adjustable necks inherent in the design.
There are over fifty different Fender Telecaster models to choose from, including special editions named after James Burton, Richie Kotzen, Chris Shiflett of the Foo Fighters, Jim Root of Slipknot, and Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World. Fender have also released left-handed versions of some of their more famous Telecaster models, such as the American Vintage '52 and the American Vintage '64.
Fender Jazzmaster Electric Guitars
Since it was first launched in 1958, the Fender Jazzmaster has proven to be one of the most widely accepted electric guitars amongst different musicians. It is a versatile guitar which suits any musical genre or style of playing, and has been used by various jazz, pop, punk, and indie performers.
The Fender Jazzmaster's versatility is due to its construction, for example, its dual tone circuits and floating tremolo bridge. These were important innovations in the 1950s, as were the Jazzmaster's wide, flat pickups, and solid rosewood fretboards. The other factor contributing to the Jazzmaster's popularity is its offset body shape, which not only looks striking, but also makes the guitar extremely comfortable to play.
As part of their Artist series Fender produced Jazzmaster electric guitars named after Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore. The other models that are available to buy are the Classic Player Special, the Blacktop HS, the Select Carved Maple Top HH, and the American Vintage '65.
Fender Jaguar Electric Guitars
The Fender Jaguar was released slightly later than the Jazzmaster in 1962, and was heavily influenced by its predecessor. It features the same offset waist design, short scale, floating tremolo bridge, and dual tone circuits for lead and rhythm playing.
The Fender Jaguar is a distinctive instrument in its own right, however. It was the first Fender model to incorporate twenty-two frets instead of the standard twenty-one, and the addition of a chrome finish to the scratch-plate and pickup cover makes the Jaguar an incredibly attractive electric guitar.
As with the Fender Jazzmaster range, Jaguar electric guitars are available in Blacktop, Classic Player Special, and American Vintage '65 models. There is also a Pawn Shop Jaguarillo model, and guitars named after Johnny Marr of the Smiths and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. The popularity of the Jaguar has meant that Fender have also released some special-edition models, such as the Special Edition HH, the Special Edition Thinline, and the 50th Anniversary.
Fender Mustang Electric Guitars
The Fender Mustang electric guitar was first launched in 1964 with a unique Dynamic Vibrato tailpiece and floating bridge tremolo mechanism. It was designed specifically as a student model, and as such features a smaller body and shorter scale than most other Fender models. Mustang guitars are comfortable to hold and easy to use, making them perfect for those people just starting to learn the instrument. Despite this, their distinctive style led to them becoming popular with professional musicians, most notably Kurt Cobain. In fact, Fender made a special edition of the Mustang to commemorate the Nirvana front-man, as well as a left-handed version. The other Mustang models that are available to buy are the Pawn Shop Special and the Classic Series '65.
Fender Squier Electric Guitars
In 1982, Fender began to manufacture a range of less expensive electric guitars under the Squier brand name. Although these guitars are built using the same level of craftsmanship as traditional Fenders, they differ in the quality of the material used. They are manufactured in Asia and Mexico, and use wood from local areas rather than the native U.S. wood used in the production of American Fenders. Squier by Fender guitars are generally considered to produce an impressive sound even if they do not retain the prestige of Fender branded guitars.
One of the most popular models of Squier electric guitars is the Jagmaster, which blends features of Fender's Jaguar and Jazzmaster instruments. For example, it has the short scale associated with the Jaguar alongside the Jazzmaster's humbucker pickups. As a result, the Jagmaster is ideal as a guitar for beginners, and its popularity has endured since it was first introduced to the market in the 1990s.
Custom Fender Electric Guitars
In addition to the extensive range of electric guitars previously mentioned Fender also manufacture a range of custom instruments. A huge amount of technical expertise goes into making these specialist guitars, some examples of which are the 1959 Relic Esquire, the Rory Gallagher Signature Stratocaster, and the 2013 Custom Deluxe Telecaster. These finely crafted guitars are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts.
Buying Fender Electric Guitars on eBay
There is a huge selection of Fender electric guitars available on eBay. Going to the All Categories tab, select the option for Musical Instruments. From there, the option for Guitars should be selected, and then Electric Guitars. Under the brand options in the left-hand menu, clicking on Fender will reveal all of the Fender electric guitars available for sale on eBay.
Fender have established a reputation over many years for creating electric guitars that are attractive, innovative, and comfortable to play. Perhaps most importantly, they are highly regarded for their incredible sound. Fender Stratocasters and Telecasters, in particular, are the guitars of choice for many famous professional musicians. The desire of millions to emulate their guitar heroes has resulted in incredible sales of Fender electric guitars on eBay. There are options for beginners as well as experienced players, with the reputation of Fender ensuring that every instrument is of an extremely high quality.