G&L Musical Instruments
G&L is a guitar design and production company founded by Leo Fender, George Fullerton, Dale Hyatt in the late 1970s. Clarence "Leo" Fender sold his eponymous company Fender in 1965, he produced instruments for Music Man in the 1970s through his company CLF Research. When relations with Music Man soured, G&L was created to continue operations apart from Music Man; the G&L name comes from George Fullerton and Leo Fender. G&L instruments with some modern innovations, they are built at the same facility on Fender Avenue in Fullerton, California that produced the early Music Man instruments. G&L instruments are not distributed but are regarded by many musicians and collectors; the small scale of production further allows for more custom options that are not possible on larger production lines. After the death of Leo Fender in 1991, Fender's wife, Phyllis Fender, passed the management of G&L to John C. McLaren of BBE Sound. George Fullerton remained a permanent consultant until his death on July 4, 2009, Leo's wife Phyllis remains as Honorary Chairperson of G&L.
In a print advertisement for G&L, Leo Fender claimed the G&L line of instruments were "the best instruments I have made." Leo Fender and George Fullerton created improved designs over the years, with the most advanced being featured in G&L instruments.: The Magnetic Field Design pickups use a ceramic bar magnet in combination with soft iron pole pieces with adjustable height, instead of the traditional Alnico magnet, allow a player to set the pickup output per string, as opposed to the entire pickup as a whole in traditional single-coil pickup designs. MFDs are known for their distinctive tone, which combines clarity, high fidelity and power with an airy "sweetness"; the Dual-Fulcrum Vibrato has two pivot points. The design aims to improve tuning stability, according to some has a sound, more mellow than a traditional bridge, it allows the player to bend notes up as well as down. See Tremolo arm; the G&L Saddle-Lock bridge utilizes a small Allen screw on the side of the bridge, to reduce side-to-side movement of the individual string saddles.
The design, the bridge's beefy dimensions, aim to prevent loss of sustain due to this sideways motion by locking the saddles together. The Tilt Neck Mechanism patented by George Fullerton; this feature is no longer used, was a carryover from Music Man production. The Bi-cut neck design involved cutting the neck lengthwise perpendicular to where the fretboard is installed, routing a channel for the truss rod gluing the two neck pieces back together; as G&L moved production to CNC machines, this method was phased out. In 2003, G&L introduced the Tribute series to the US market as a more affordable alternative to the USA built products. Tribute G&L's were made in Korea by Cort Guitars using foreign-made hardware, though some original parts were used on select models; the pickups used are all made by G&L in Fullerton, California. Production of the guitars has since moved to a Cort facility in Indonesia. Before 2003, Tribute guitars were produced in Japan for non-US markets, shifting to South Korea.
The Tribute series is offered in many of the same body shapes as their original creations although many use hardware and pickups designed by G&L but sourced in Asia. The Tribute SB-2 was offered but was discontinued, however, it was reintroduced late 2006/early 2007; the JB-2 was introduced to the Tribute series at the same time. Tom Hamilton Ben Gibbard Jerry Cantrell Elliot Easton Marissa Paternoster Jake Cinninger Fender Musical Instruments Corporation Music Man Official G&L Guitars website G&L guitar registry
The Fender Mustang is a solid body electric guitar produced by the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. It was introduced in 1964 as the basis of a major redesign of Fender's student models, the Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic, it was produced until 1982 and reissued in 1990. In the 1990s, the Mustang attained cult status as a result of its use by a number of alternative rock bands. Early examples are seen as the most collectible of all the short-scale Fender guitars; the Mustang features two single-coil pickups, an unusual pickup switching configuration, a unique vibrato system. It was available in two scale lengths; the Mustang has an offset waist, reminiscent of the Jazzmaster, but its overall styling followed the existing student models the Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic, the slight waist offset being the main change. After the release of the Mustang, the Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic were redesigned using the Mustang body. All three Mustang-bodied models were offered with optionally the 21 fret 22.5-inch neck, or a 22 fret 24-inch neck, but the 24-inch was overwhelmingly more popular and 3/4 scale examples are rare.
A 24-inch scale is still short, the same as the Fender Jaguar but a full inch and a half shorter than the Stratocaster and three-quarters of an inch shorter than the Gibson Les Paul. The short scale may improve ease of use for people with small hands, enhances the ability to use the tremolo arm for upbends; this short scale, combined with a unique and direct tremolo arm would make the Mustang a cult guitar in the 1990s. Before that, its low cost and marketing as a student guitar made it an obvious candidate for aftermarket upgrades pickup changes and amateur finishes, its wiring with the original pickups lent itself to custom modifications. In 1966 Fender issued the Fender Mustang Bass. A new bass body was designed for this with a similar offset body style to the Mustang guitar, a short scale was used. In 1969 Fender released the "Competition" Mustang with a "racing stripe" paint job and painted headstocks. Body contours were added at this time; the Competition Mustangs came in Competition Red, Competition Blue, Competition Orange.
This paint scheme was influenced by the Shelby Mustang cars of the late 1960s. In 1982 Fender discontinued both the Mustang and the Musicmaster II; these were the last of the offset student models to be made. Fender replaced the Mustang line with the short-lived Fender Bullet line of guitars and basses before relegating production of their student guitars to their Squier division. In 2016, Fender released the "Offset Series" lineup which included reissues of both the Duo-Sonic and the Mustang, the latter of, redesigned to include a six-saddle hardtail bridge similar to that of the Stratocaster and eliminating the usual switching array for a simplified two-pickup, three-position pickup selector; the pickups are out of phase with each other, so the middle both-pickup position has the twanginess of the out-of-phase position of the original instruments. In the following year, Squier would re-release the classic design as the Vintage Modified Mustang and a simplified, HH version of the Offset Series instrument as the Bullet Mustang.
In 1990 Fender re-issued the Mustang as a result of the vintage movement prevalent at the time. Among grunge and punk rock guitarists, Fender's discontinued models had become popular; such models had Fender quality, but were less expensive secondhand than vintage Stratocasters and Telecasters. The reissued Mustang is made in Japan and available in only the 24-inch scale. While the original Mustangs used poplar wood for the body, MG-72 Mustang reissues are made of the similar basswood, the newer MG-65 reissues revert to the original poplar; the natural-finished MG-77 reissue is made of ash. In 2011 Fender released a new Mustang model in the Pawn Shop series, called the Mustang Special; the model features an offset Mustang body shape and a 24-inch scale neck, but with humbucking pickups and a hard-tail Stratocaster bridge. In 2012 Fender announced a Kurt Cobain Signature Mustang; this model is based on Kurt's modified Mustangs. Instead of having 2 single coil pickups it has a Seymour Duncan JB humbucker in the bridge and a normal Mustang single coil in the neck.
It has an angled Fender adjusto-matic bridge instead of the standard Mustang bridge. Finish colors included Fiesta Red, Sonic Blue, Dark Lake Placid Blue with Competition Stripe, though by 2015 the Kurt Cobain Mustang was only produced in Sonic Blue, it will be the first Mustang model that will be sold in both right and left-handed versions in Europe. In Summer 2012, Squier released a new Mustang in the Vintage Modified series, with similar specs to the original versions, but using more modern materials. In mid-2013, Fender released the Modern Player Mustang, it featured two Fender-branded P-90 pickups, a modern 9.5" neck radius, was offered in Daphne Blue and Honeyburst. In late 2013, Fender introduced the American Special Mustang, the first production Mustang made in the United States since the original run was discontinued; the American Special Mustang was different from vintage models, eliminated many unconventional features of the original Mustang. It featured the traditional
Fender Urge Bass
The Fender Urge Bass and Fender Urge II Bass are models of electric bass guitars produced by Fender. The models are endorsed by bassist Stu Hamm; the original Fender Urge Bass was designed in conjunction with John Page and was the first Artist Signature bass offered by Fender, featured a sleekly downsized alder body. This bass had a rotary switch offering four modes: standby, active mid-boost, active no-boost, passive; the pearloid pickguard was of a unique shape with a smaller footprint than many other Fender basses. Colors offered were Lake Placid Blue, Montego Black, Sherwood Green Metallic, Burgundy Mist; the original Urge was first introduced in 1993 and was discontinued in 1999. There was a short-lived Urge Standard, made in Mexico between 1993 and 1999, featuring a medium-scale 32" neck, two standard Jazz Bass pickups, a poplar body, active circuitry with dual concentric volume and tone for each pickup; as of 2008, the Urge II came with a Hipshot Drop D-tuner and three new finishes: Ocean Turquoise, Red Sparkle and Black with Matching Headstock.
As of January 1, 2010, the Urge II bass has been discontinued by Fender after 20 years on the roster of Fender basses. Official Fender profile
The Fender Starcaster is a semi-hollowbody electric guitar made by the Fender company. The Starcaster was part of Fender's attempt to enter the semi-hollowbody market, dominated by Gibson's ES-335 and similar designs; the Starcaster was designed by Gene Fields to be a high quality instrument, although it was manufactured at a time when Fender's standards had lowered considerably. Unlike most semi-hollow guitars which had their necks set in the bodies in the traditional style, the Starcaster retained Fender's bolt-on neck design, which at the time, used a three-bolt joint; the Starcaster was in production from 1976 to 1982. However, an advertisement from 1977 states that the Starcaster's first creation was in 1975; the Starcaster name was revived for a range of "value-priced" Starcaster by Fender guitars and drums unrelated to the Starcaster of the 1970s. The guitars were the same shape as Fender's Stratocaster and the bass the same shape as the Fender Jazz Bass. In September 2013 Fender reissued the Starcaster in continuation of its 2011 "Modern Player" series.
The new version, offered in black, natural or aged cherryburst resembles the original guitar but lacks some key features including the master volume control, string-through-body bridge, string tree for four strings, bullet truss rod adjuster and three-bolt neck attachment. Unlike the original from the 1970s, the new guitar features a tune-o-matic bridge with a stop tailpiece and bound f-holes. Fender has released a bass version of the Starcaster, an instrument, never released, although at least three prototypes were created in the mid 1970s; the name "Starcaster Bass" is purely speculative as the existing prototypes have only the name Fender on the headstock, a feature which the new version retains. The Starcaster was commercially unsuccessful because of a public notion that Fender was a "solidbody, single coil brand" and Gibson was the "semi-hollow, humbucker brand"; as a result, Starcasters are rare, but are worth less in today's vintage market than many other semi-hollow guitars from the same period to collectors because of their unpopularity and lack of name endorsers at their time of manufacture.
The most prominent player to use the original 1970s Starcaster was Leo Nocentelli of The Meters. Their songs "Cissy Strut" and "Look-Ka Py Py" are considered funk classics. Claydes Charles Smith of Kool and the Gang can be seen using one in the video for "Celebration". Several modern high-profile guitarists use the Starcaster as a preferred instrument. Jonny Greenwood, guitarist of Radiohead, can be seen playing a Starcaster on stage. Sammy James, Jr. guitarist and front man of the Mooney Suzuki, uses a natural finished one and appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien with it on June 21, 2007. The guitar can be seen in the music video to Morrissey's single "You Have Killed Me". Dave Keuning of The Killers started using one shortly before the release of the album Sam's Town, he could be seen playing his Starcaster during The Killers' headline slot at Glastonbury Festival 2007, on Later... with Jools Holland for "Read My Mind" and in the videos for "For Reasons Unknown" and "Human". Scott McMicken of Dr. Dog employs the Starcaster as one of his main guitars, along with an Epiphone Sheraton II and a Gibson ES-335.
Trey Anastasio of Phish plays a custom Languedoc guitar based on the Starcaster. Arctic Monkeys guitarist Jamie Cook can be seen playing one at the 2009 Reading Festival and in the video for the 2009 single "Crying Lightning". Chris Walla of Death Cab For Cutie has used a Starcaster live; as mentioned on the Roderick on the Line podcast, John Roderick of The Long Winters owned and played a Starcaster. Mark Hempe of the New Orleans-based funk quintet Earphunk played a starcaster at the 2016 Major Rager in Augusta, Ga. British rock band Royal Blood's Mike Kerr is seen using either a black or custom-made white Starcaster Bass in various music videos and tours; the Starcaster has a unique headstock design, with a black bottom curve. No other production Fender guitar before or since had the same headstock, but some prototypes of the Fender Marauder designed by Fields, had a similar headstock design and reminiscent of the Ibanez Roadstar and Blazer series, it was unusual for a semi-hollow guitar in having an asymmetrical body, a maple fretboard, a bolt-on neck, a novel control configuration consisting of a volume and tone control for each pickup as well as a master volume control, Fender's traditional six-on-a-side tuning pegs.
Photograph of original Starcaster A number of reviews from owners, some refer to the new Stratocaster replica
One of the rarest instruments made by Fender was called the Marauder. The Marauder was intended to join the product line shortly before Leo Fender sold the company to CBS, but it never went into production. After introducing the Jazzmaster in 1959 and the Jaguar in 1962, between 1965 and 1966, Fender prototyped the Marauder. There were two "versions" made: Type I, with pickups hidden underneath the pickguard and which are shown in the 1962 catalog, Type II, with the pickups mounted in a more conventional fashion on the pickguard and never appeared in any catalog; the original Fender Marauder prototype is a pre-CBS guitar with an "L" serial number plate suggesting it was built in mid to late 1964, was owned and played by Quilla Freeman until the mid-1970s when it went through a couple of brokers' hands and into the permanent collection of a well-known musician, where it remains to this day. The guitar never passed the prototype stage because the hidden pickups of the Type I variation were either too expensive for mass-production or the technology itself was too expensive to license.
The original Marauders had 4 high powered pickups under the pickguard. They were never made available to the public and the 6 known production models were given away as promotions to shops around the Fullerton, California area; the Type II variation has three pickups. It has seven switches and four knobs; the thinking behind the model was to combine the ideas behind the Stratocaster and Jaguar guitars while adding some new features to increase versatility. This instrument is ice blue with a matching headstock, it has only five switches – four pickup controls plus a "lead/rhythm" Jaguar style upper-bout switch. It has two sets of volume/tone pots – rollers on top control plate and traditional pots on the lower control plate; the prototype Marauder is fitted with plastic button "F" Grover tuning machines, which were not used on the Marauders in the 1965 catalog and was delivered in a brown tolex case that's still with the guitar. The pickups were custom made for the Marauder and the owner of this first Marauder prototype has one spare pickup, so at least five of these special pickups are known to have been produced.
Fender put two of these first Marauders, a sunburst tremolo version and a hard-tail green one, in their 1965–66 catalog as their most expensive guitars, listed Marauders on more than one price sheet beginning in early 1965 before abandoning the project for unspecified reasons. It is not known if these two catalog Marauders were mock-ups or actual working instruments. One possible reason they ditched the Marauder might have been a disagreement of some sort between the new CBS owners of Fender and Quilla H. Freeman, the inventor of the Marauder and owner of the patent. Patent #3,035,472, dated May 22, 1962, covers the Marauder's under the pickguard pickups: "the construction is such that the electromagnetic pickups may be housed within the body of the stringed musical instrument..." After Fender bailed out, Porky took his patented hidden pickup design to Rickenbacker, in 1968, Rickenbacker made one prototype of a four-hidden-pickups-beneath-the-pickguard guitar before deciding against going into production, again for unspecified reasons.
Both the Fender and Rickenbacker four-hidden-pickups-beneath-the-pickguard Marauder prototypes survive to this day, but nobody has published any pictures of other original hidden-pickup Marauders and made their existence known to the guitar collecting world. Both of these prototype guitars were owned by Porky Freeman and their provenance from him to the current owners has been well-documented by reliable persons who are alive today; the private owners desire anonymity and are known to only a few dedicated guitar collectors. Guitars with the three visible pickups and/or slant frets were built on a differently shaped body, were never named by Fender as Marauders or anything else. Still, some people refer to these experimental guitars as "Type II Marauders" for reasons that have never been clear. In the 1999–2001, the Fender Custom Shop built some guitars that bore some, but not all, of the Marauder characteristics and sold them as Fender Marauder Custom Shop reissues; the reason they weren't accurate representations is that nobody, according to Mr. Stuart, knew the exact specifications of those 1965 catalog Marauders amongst Fender old-timers and collectors.
Mr. Stuart stated that all he had to work with was the catalog photo and one body template, found in the Fender shop and labeled "Marauder" in pencil; these Custom Shop "Marauders" were wired differently, had different pickups, had different body shapes and different dimensions and geometry from the original Marauders shown in the 1965 Fender catalog. Around the turn of the 21st century, the Fender Custom Shop made a 12-string Marauder model. However, this guitar was radically different from the mid-1960s original, having fewer switches and a different body shape. In October 2011, Fender introduced a new Marauder model as part of the Modern Player entry-level series; this Marauder shares the general body shape of the 1960s original but has a simplified switching system featuring a 5-way switch, master volume and tone controls. It sports a Triplebucker humbucking pickup and a Modern Player Jazzmaster pickup in the lead and rhythm positions; this model is unique as the first Fender production model to be made with a Koto wood body.
The guitar has a C-shaped maple neck, rosewood fretboard, vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge, vintage-style tuners, ni
The Fender Musicmaster is a solid body electric guitar produced by Fender. It was the first 3/4 scale student-model. A Musicmaster Bass model was put on the market. Design work on the Musicmaster-and its two-pickup variant Duo-Sonic-began in late 1955 following a request from Fender Sales. Prototypes were made in early 1956, followed by sales literature announcing both models. Production of the Musicmaster began in late April of that year, using a body routed for two pickups to be common to the Duo-Sonic, which followed a little more than two months later; the Duo-Sonic and Musicmaster shared a single-piece maple neck and fingerboard, with a 22.5 inch scale length and 21 frets. There was one major redesign of these two Musicmaster-bodied guitars, in 1959 when the entire Fender catalog was updated. At this time, the Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic both received a plastic pickguard in place of the previous anodized aluminum one, a two-piece maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. In 1964, following the release of the Fender Mustang, both the Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic were redesigned using Mustang neck and body blanks.
The Mustang body was larger and offset, was fitted with a plastic pickguard but with the volume and tone controls mounted on a separate metal plate. The headstock was enlarged. All three models were offered with the option of a 24-inch scale and 22-fret neck or a 22.5-inch scale and 21-fret neck. The 24 inch scale proved to be the most popular of these options; the redesigned Musicmaster was named the Musicmaster II and its stablemate the Duo-Sonic II, both using the Bronco body and pickguard shapes, although decals with and without the II designation were used without any real meaning. Certain models of the Musicmaster from between 1978 and 1980, were finished with a coat that reacted negatively with the base coat; this causes many modern surviving Musicmasters from this period to suffer from paint flaking off the body. The Musicmaster was produced until 1982 when both it and the Mustang were dropped in favor of the newer Fender Lead models; the Fender Swinger, another 22.5 inch scale guitar, was produced using the Musicmaster bridge and scratchplate but with a modified Fender Bass V body.
Fender Duo-Sonic Fender Mustang Fender Bronco Fender Swinger "Fender's 3/4 Scale Guitars", a two-part article by Tim Pershing in 20th Century Guitar, December 1996 and January 1997. "Little Brothers Turn 50", an article by Terry Foster and Tim Pershing in Vintage Guitar, July 2006. Fender: The Golden Age, 1946–1970, a book by Martin Kelly, Terry Foster, Paul Kelly. London & New York: Cassell ISBN 1-84403-666-9 Inside a pre-production 1956 Fender Musicmaster Fender's 3/4 Scale Guitars Little Brothers Turn 50
The Fender Esquire is a solid-body electric guitar manufactured by Fender, the first solid-body guitar sold by Fender, debuting in 1950. Shortly after its introduction, a two-pickup version was introduced and was renamed the Broadcaster a few months later; the Gretsch Company at the time marketed a drum set under the'Broadkaster' name, at their request, Fender dropped the Broadcaster name renaming their guitar the "Telecaster". The more versatile Broadcaster/Telecaster has since become one of Fender's most popular models with dozens of variations produced. Once the Telecaster was introduced, the Esquire became marketed as a lower-cost version. Over the following two decades, the availability of other low-cost models saw the Esquire's sales decline and the model was discontinued in 1969; the model has since been reissued but remains a "niche" guitar. Esquire users today prefer the model's increased treble over the Telecaster. Although the Esquire was the original model introduced, given the popularity and uninterrupted production of the Telecaster, the limited reissued Esquire models are regarded and billed as variants of the Telecaster.
The first prototype for the Esquire was completed by Leo Fender in the fall of 1949. The prototype shared with these guitars the now-familiar slab body shape with single cutaway to allow easier access to the upper frets, it featured the distinctive combination bridge and pickup assembly, with a slanted pickup with individual pole pieces for each string, three bridge saddles which allowed adjustment of string length in pairs and individual string height. The neck, like the first Esquires manufactured in 1950, was made from a single piece of maple without a truss rod; the neck was attached to the body with four screws and an anchor plate, unlike in traditional guitar construction, where a tenon on the neck is glued into the body. Unlike the Esquire, the neck was wider at the nut, the head had 3 tuners on each side; the prototype differed from the production guitars in several other respects: the body was made of pinewood, it was painted opaque white, its pickguard did not extend above the strings, it lacked a selector switch, its volume and tone knobs were mounted on a slanted plate.
Like the production models, it had a removable pickup cover, but unlike the production models, the cover had straight sides. The prototype had only one pickup. Over the winter of 1949/50, Fender refined the design; the neck width at the nut was narrowed, the head modified to accommodate all six tuners on one side. A tone selector switch was added, the controls were mounted on a plate parallel to the strings; the scratch plate was enlarged. Around the spring of 1950, Fender had completed a neck pickup design, smaller than the lead pickup and was encased in a metal shielding cover. However, this last feature was not to make it onto Fender's first commercially introduced guitar, as Fender's distributor, the Radio & Television Equipment Company, had decided that it would be easier to sell the single pickup version of the guitar; the single pickup guitar was first manufactured in April 1950, made its commercial debut as the Esquire in RTEC's Spring catalogue of that year. While the guitar pictured in the catalogue was painted black and had a white scratch plate, most of the Esquires produced at the time were painted semi-transparent "butterscotch" blonde and had a black scratch plate.
Unlike the pinewood prototype, the bodies were made of solid ash. The dual pickup version was first manufactured in June of that year. Neither version had a truss rod at that time, though in November, the dual pickup version acquired one and was renamed the Broadcaster. Following objections from Gretsch who produced the "Broadkaster" drum kit, this name was dropped, some guitars were shipped with only the "Fender" logo decal and no model name until the name Telecaster was adopted; the guitar was designed as an electronic instrument with no acoustic manipulation of the tone. Rather the guitar's pickup was designed and placed to transmit the richest signal for manipulation by the tone switch and other electronics. Following the renaming of the dual pickup Broadcaster and promotion of the single pickup Esquire was discontinued, it was reintroduced with a truss rod in January 1951. The only external differences between these second generation Esquires and the Broadcasters and Telecasters of 1951 are the lack of a neck pickup, the Esquire label on the head.
Although the Esquire had only a single pickup, it retained the three-way switch of the two-pickup guitars. This switch modified the tone of the pickup by making it bassier in the forward position, while enabling use of the tone control knob in the middle position. With the switch in the rear position, these tone controls were bypassed for a "hotter" lead tone. Like the two-pickup guitar, these Esquires had a routed cavity in the neck pickup position. Thus, with the purchase of a neck pickup and replacement or modification of the pickguard, players could upgrade their instrument to a guitar identical to the Telecaster in every respect except for the model decal. Bruce Springsteen, for example, has long played an Esquire modified in this way. Springsteen has claimed that the guitar he is pictured with on the Born To Run album cover is, in fact, a hybrid of two guitars, a Telecaster body and Esquire neck. However, it is a first-generation Esquire with two pickup routs; the Esquires had Esquire pickguards to cover the neck pickup rout.