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When talking about Fender guitars we are really discussing the vision of one man; Mr. Leo Fender. Leo is today considered to be one of the finest industrial designers of the 20th century and the guitars that his company created and the methods of instrument manufacturing forever changed the landscape of popular music. Probably the most famous and widely copied of Fender’s designs is the Fender Stratocaster. These days we take the look and sound of the “Strat” for granted, but when it was introduced in 1954; its contoured body, 3 pickup design and tremolo were considered wildly futuristic.
The Stratocaster was not Fender’s first successful guitar design. That accolade goes to the Fender Telecaster. Initially named the “Broadcaster” the Telecaster’s design was deceptively simple; two single-coil pickups on a single contoured body, a detachable neck and an innovative headstock. The guitar’s minimalist looks are deceiving however, as a wide variety of tones can be produced using the guitar’s volume, tone and pickup controls.
Later additions to the Fender guitar family include the Jazzmaster, which was first introduced in 1958 and the Jaguar, which was launched in 1962. Fender also introduced a hollowbody design called the Coronado. These models provided great sounding and playable alternatives to the classic Strat and Tele and it’s a worthy testament to the design skills of fender that all of these models are still in production today. In addition to electric guitars, the Fender Company has produced an enormously popular series of acoustic and electric acoustic models, such as the Kingman and Newporter models.
The selection of Fender Guitars now offered is huge, ranging from period specific reissues of classic Stratocasters and Telecasters, to modern variants with humbucker pickups, exotic woods, and models based on the instruments modified by such guitarists as Johnny Marr and Jeff Beck.