As a trailblazer in the electric guitar industry it’s hard to fathom that Fender is celebrating 75 years in 2021. Leo Fender launched the company in 1946 and it is doubtful he had any idea how timeless his instruments and amplifiers would become! To celebrate this occasion Fender is rolling out the red carpet. The certain to be collectible American made 75th Anniversary Commemorative instruments, imported 75th Anniversary collection, new Artist signature guitars, new amplifiers and the expansion of the Squier Contemporary series. The 75th American line contains what you would expect from Fender with a Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazz Bass and Precision Bass. They each include a silver molded anniversary hard-shell case, certificate of authenticity, Custom shop pickups, 75th anniversary inlay on the back of the headstock and an engraved neck plate. Maverick Country was fortunate to receive one of the Ensenada created 75th Anniversary collection guitars in a classic Stratocaster shape with diamond anniversary silver finish. The guitar has a modern C neck with satin finish that plays fast and has a matching painted headstock. It reminded me of the Fender 25th Anniversary models from back in the day, but this modernized version plays easier, is lighter, stays in tune better and sounds incredible. The neck plate has the 75th Anniversary logo and the finish will shine under stage lights. This series also offers a Telecaster, Precision bass and Jazz bass. Fender is also spotlighting some of their incredible artists with the new inclusions to the Artist Signature models. This year Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders) has a Telecaster edition, Mike McCready
has a Custom Shop Strat, Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) Mustang, Joe Strummer (Clash) Campfire acoustic and Dhani Harrison Ukulele. The Jason Isbell Custom Telecaster arrived for review and it is a stunner with the chocolate sunburst finish and Roadworn aging. The checking and finish dings in the body and the binding look incredibly realistic like the guitar has seen many road and tour miles. The c shape neck is smaller, like most 60’s Fender instruments were, and it fits deep in the pocket of your hand. The rosewood fretboard helps take a bit of the twang and pop out of a usually treble heavy guitar like the Telecaster. What is most appealing about the Jason Isbell Tele is that it is understated compared to other signature models. There is no signature or symbol to designate it as Jason’s model on the front. The only way a person would know is to look at the back of the body where the neck plate features his anchor logo. The pickups in this guitar were custom wound to Isbell’s specifications as he worked with guru Tim Shaw. The custom modified bridge with brass barrels is a nice touch too and certainly adds to the great tonality of the instrument. If I had to sum up the Jason Isbell Custom Telecaster in one word I would say “tasteful.” Unfortunately, we don’t have enough space to cover all of the new Fender releases on this page. And many of the instruments and amplifiers will be released gradually throughout the year, so we are certain to have more coverage in the future. Check out the 75th Anniversary Commemorative series and Collection everybody loves to celebrate!
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Editor, Maverick Magazine
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