1987 was a hallmark year for Fender. That was the year the Custom Shop was started, with just one simple goal: to honor the legacy of Leo Fender by building world-class instruments based on his founding principles. To that end, the shop's inaugural master builders, John Page and Michael Stevens, started crafting electric basses and guitars designed to meet the standards of the most exacting musicians. The results were nothing short of spectacular, prompting the Fender Custom Shop's expansion from two builders in 1987 to the present team of more than fifty. The reputation of Fender's instruments precedes them in the best way possible. With the enviable title of world's first mass-market electric bass, the Precision Bass is simply legendary. From its creation in the early 1950s, this Telecaster-inspired bass played a crucial role in the history of rock and pop music as we know it. Its cousin, the Jazz Bass, has been nearly as influential since its debut ten years after the P-Bass. With a richer, brighter tone inspired by the Jazzmaster guitar, the Jazz Bass turned out to be an amazingly versatile instrument that became a staple in blues, reggae and jazz while also contributing to the emergence of the heavier metal and funk genres.
The only thing that surpasses the timeless tone of the P-Bass and Jazz Bass is the talent of the Custom Shop's craftsmen to build them. The expression "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" was practically written for the bass, and the original vintage models are still the most sought-after. Because of that, the emphasis of the Fender Custom Shop is on painstakingly accurate reproductions of those vintage basses. The 50th anniversary 1964 P-Bass, for example, is beautifully faithful with its relic-treated alder body, authentic split-coil pickup and C-shaped maple neck. You'll also find Custom Shop P-Basses going back to a 1955 edition and the Jazz Bass in a 1964 model as well as 1961 and '66 versions master-built by one of Fender's best craftsmen, Dale Wilson.
So go ahead and take your pick. With a great variety of vintage-styled basses going back through the best models of the '50s and '60s, the Fender Custom Shop gives you the power to pick your favorite year in Fender history and bring it back to life with a handmade electric bass. With one of these artisanal basses in your collection, it's not only an instrument that you carry onstage - it's a work of art.