by Grid View
by Grid View
The Fender Custom Shop has long been referred to as "The Dream Factory" for good reason. Fender's Custom Shop employs Master Builders, people who have dedicated their lives to being the best at creating beautiful, unique instruments. From winding pickups to designing carvings in wood bodies, these masters have reached the pinnacle of their craft—and Fender puts their expertise to good use.
In 1986, Bill Schultz began plans to found the Fender Custom Shop. The idea was to get back to the old Fender, making the coolest guitars of anyone, anywhere. He hired Michael Stevens, a master luthier from Texas, to head what would become The Dream Factory. Michael took his new role seriously, viewing himself as "the savior of the Fender history." The Dream Factory became a reality when the Fender Custom Shop opened its doors in 1987.
At that time, Michael Stevens arrived in Corona, California with the very first Fender Custom Shop order in hand. It happened to be a first in and of itself—the very first double neck guitar made by Fender. Then, the first order of business Michael attended to was hiring an assistant. He decided on John Page, who had 10 years' experience in Fender research & development. John was committed, not only to his work at the Custom Shop, but the mission. He felt the Custom Shop was going to bring the soul back to Fender, having just recently excised CBS ownership.
Once word got out that Fender had opened a custom shop, orders began piling up. It became apparent that these two gentlemen, no matter how supremely talented, could not handle this level of intricate customized production by themselves. So, the Fender Custom Shop immediately started onboarding the best and brightest craftsman they could find. They added J.W. Black, George Blanda, Mark Kendrick, Fred Stuart, Alan Hamel, and Gene Baker, creating a dream team for The Dream Factory. And while they may have been the preeminent luthiers for the job, they'll all tell you—there was a lot of fun to be had while they were creating their masterpieces.
This early Fender Custom Shop era was a time of unadulterated creativity—the best in artistic expression through crafting of musical instruments. The orders that came through the door, and what they became by the time they went out, were something to behold. Of course, they were not only building fun customs for those who could pay for it, but they were handling artist orders from greats like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Sting, Merle Haggard, Richie Sambora, Dick Dale and many more. This sacred and revered personalized process continues to this very day, as some of the best artists in history continue to develop their impeccable Fender signature models.
Fender Custom Shop Features
When you order an instrument from the Fender Custom Shop, rest assured you're getting the finest built guitars, constructed with the finest materials. That being said, there is a lot of variety in Custom Shop models. If you want to design your own axe, you get to choose exactly what it is that you want. You can start with a Strat, a Tele, an offset like a Jaguar, Mustang, or Jazzmaster, and pick out every perfect spec you want from there. We're talking neck profile, fretboard wood, tuners, finish color, pickups, and everything else. Bass players can get in on the fun as well! The Custom Shop doesn't shy away from Precision or Jazz basses, so go crazy piecing together your perfect Fender bass.
If you want a guitar reliced, you'll get something so perfectly roughed up you'll think it was a true vintage model. Of course, there are also models readily available and waiting for you from the Custom Shop, each with their own unique, pre-ordained beauty, hand-crafted for you to consider.
From signature artist models to vintage reissues, to one-off, mesmerizing creations, the Fender Custom Shop has led the guitar building world for over 30 years. No matter the model or style, every instrument that leaves the Fender Custom Shop is incredible—and each one gives us something more to dream about.
Interested in a Fender Custom Shop guitar or bass for your collection? Sam Ash can help! Call us at 1-800-472-6274, or chat with us online, and one of our experts can work with you to piece together your dream guitar or bass and send the specs over to the Fender Custom Shop so they can get building!