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Fender to Sell More Products Online

DSC_8561A few months ago, Fender announced plans to sell customized guitars direct to the consumer through its website, calling it the “Fender Design Experience.” Now, word is out that Fender will be selling ALL of its branded products through the website.

That was the message Fender gave to key North American dealers earlier this month.  However, interim CEO Scott Gilbertson said the company remained “committed to grow our business in partnerships with our dealers.”

Gilbertson is a Partner at TPG Growth, the private investment firm that controls FMIC and he was formerly COO of J. Crew and Senior VP for Under Armour Performance Apparel. He is currently on the board for Fender and The Vincraft Group, MarketTools and 3-Day Blinds. He is an observer to the boards of Adknowledge, Become, Inc. and Mammoth/Petbarn.

So, when will you be able to buy Fender products through the Fender website? No date was given, but check back here for updates.

Fender’s New Short Scale Teles?

fender_4-620-80Fender has a new series of Telecasters out, and they’re already coming up short. So what’s the big deal? Actually, it’s small: one and a half inches. That’s the difference between a normal Tele’s scale length (25.5″) and their latest, the Modern Player Short Scale Telecaster (scale length 24″.) That scale length is the same a the Fender Mustang (Jaguar, Jagmaster, MusicMaster or Duo-Sonic, too) and these Tele’s are comparatively sized to the Mustang. This not only makes them interesting in their own right, but a great option for children, teens and smaller-framed adults, as well.

Here it is in Butterscotch:


This is White Blonde:



Both feature the same configurations:

  • 24″ scale length
  • 20 medium jumbo frets
  • 9.5″ radius maple fingerboard
  • Downsized body
  • Single coil Telecaster bridge pickup, and a Guild HB-1 anti-hum humbucker in the neck
  • String-through body bridge
  • Brass barrel saddles

Currently, European retailers have them, with street prices from £300.00 to £359.00. That’s $500 in American greenbacks, but asked if they will be released in the U.S., our mole-in-the know-would only answer “I think so, but I’m not sure when.”

Look here for updates.

PS. We know that Andertons has these in stock – we’ll let you know about others.




Sound like 1956 with Magna-Sonic pickups

guitar_closeup75If you play an electric solid body guitar today, you’re tipping your hat to Paul Bigsby, whether you know it or not. In 1948, Bigsby built what many believe to be the first modern solid body— a single pickup beauty for Merle Travis. After that, the orders started coming in: good for a businessman, but bad for a businessman who wanted to make everything himself, including pickups. As a result, a real Bigsby guitar is few and far between. Plus, forget about affordability—in 2012, one sold for $266,500!

Until recently, those in-the-know could cop the sound without breaking the bank by purchasing a vintage Magnatone guitar. Bigbsy was hired in 1956 to design several guitars for the Inglewood, California company.  No one really knows how involved he was in the process, but some Magnatone models featured pickups that sound “virtually identical” to Bigsby’s own, according to guitarist and Bigsby owner Deke Dickerson. Since Bigby’s name wasn’t physically attached to the guitar, a Magnatone used to be yours for a song. The word is out now, though, and that song will set you back $5000-$9000.

If that’s too rich for your blood, then you need to meet John Munnerlyn.


Munnerlyn is a graphic designer who created skateboard artwork for years. He’s also a huge rockabilly nut, having played in many rockabilly bands since the 1980s in California.

That’s how he met Ashley Kingman, guitarist for Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys. Kingman’s go-to guitar was a Magnatone Mark V:


But after 15 years of constant use, Kigman’s Magnatone was falling apart. So Munnerlyn stepped in and offered to build him a new one. Once the body and neck were done, Munnerlyn had to deal with the pickups.

“I first made a set of prototype pickups. I was sort of guessing how they were made,” Munnerlyn recalls. ‘We were really nervous about taking Ashley’s pickups apart, because he couldn’t get a replacement anywhere, and he was relying on that guitar for his tone.” However, Kingman wasn’t satisfied with the prototypes, which led them both to a point of no return: “We’ve realized we had to open his originals to find out how they were made.”

Inside was nothing like what he was expecting. But Munnerlyn was able to tap that mojo, and is now selling his own version, called the Magna-Sonic.


Like the originals, the Magna-Sonics are low output, which mean you’ll have to turn your amp up. “Lower output pickups are great because you don’t lose your dynamics and sensitivitly,” says Munnerlyn. To build them, he had to make covers, pickup mounting rings, source the screws for pole pieces, custom order magnets, round over the tops of the pole pieces, and get them nickel plated. “There is a lot of work involved,” he said.



As for the sound? “Compared to other Bigsby-type pickups I’ve heard, these pickups want to rock a little more. They’re really good for rockabilly and blues–and of course Travis picking. They have a percussive attack that thickens up the sound a little bit. They’re not super thin sounding like some single coils. The back pickup is a little more like a P90.” He believes they are perfectly suited for a Tele:


Munnerlyn makes them to order. A single is $275, a pair is $500.

Check out how they sound here:

For more, check out:



New Micro-Sized Pedals from Fender

fender-micro-sized-pedals-620x344Christmas is too far away to be talking about stocking stuffers, but if you’re trying to get a jump on things, these new micro-sized pedals from Fender might be the ticket. In fact, why wait for Christmas? Buy one for that special someone (you) right now. First on the list is the Micro ABY:

This little black box will let you switch between amplifiers or combine two signals.  It has three mono 1/4″ jacks, and true hardwire bypass wiring.  It works with no power, but if you want to see the LED indicators, you’ll have to power it up with an AC Adapter (not included.)
MSRP: $79.99.  Street: $64.99.
Next up is the Micro Compressor:

The Micro Compressor evens out highs while keeping your signature tone “consistent and complex.” The pedal reduces brightness in peak frequencies and attenuates high-volume attack, giving players smooth, even tone across all notes, increased sustain and enhanced midrange. True hardwire bypass.
Power Requirements: AC adapter 9V DC center negative (not included).
MSRP: $99.99. Street: $79.99
Also in black is the Micro DI:

The Micro DI will allow you to convert your unbalanced instrument signal to a balanced P.A.-ready signal while minimizing distortion and ground-level noise.  Features gain switch to boost low-level signals, a cabinet simulator for replicating onstage speaker setups, and true hardwire bypass.
Power Requirements: AC adapter 9V DC center negative (not included).
MSRP: $99.99. Street: $79.99

The last of these tiny wonders is the Micro EQ:

The Fender Micro EQ pedal offers master level control of individual frequencies with complete precision. Designed specifically for guitar players, this five-band graphic EQ features an ±18 dB adjustable gain range per band, letting players shape their sound over five specific frequencies while preventing feedback caused by additional distortion effects. True bypass.
Power Requirements: AC adapter 9V DC center negative (not included).
MSRP: $99.99. Street: $79.99
For more information, head to Fender:

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