On his Facebook page, guitar legend Adrian Belew has just shared two amazing Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster models, built for him by Ron Thorn. Will Fender release these as a signature model?
Fender Adrian Belew Stratocaster?
First off, Adrian Belew is one of my favourite guitarists and I love his work, so when I saw these two Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster models, I was excited. Adrian is known for his experimental guitar playing and his love of guitar technology, effects and mangling guitar sounds. I can remember avidly watching a VHS tape I borrowed from my local library as a kid, where he made whale noises and elephant noises on a Strat, then took you through his effects rig and explained how to get these extreme sounds.
Parker Fly Signature
In recent years, he has been playing a signature Parker Fly model in a very bright orange finish, combined with a full MIDI setup. In this latest Facebook post, he states that it’s purely a MIDI guitar, so he needed something else.
My signature Parker Fly guitars are strictly midi guitars. they cannot be played by plugging them into a stompbox or guitar amp. they require a special Roland 13-pin chord. So…. I decided out of necessity to change to a simpler set-up and to use a normal non-midi guitar. naturally, I chose a Fender Stratocaster. I called Ron Thorn and my pals at the fender custom shop and the process began. at the same, I began looking at various options for a simple guitar set up including a storm of stompboxes, pedalboards, etc. – Adrian Belew
The Fender Stratocasters
These two Fender guitars look beautiful and have some very specific hardware and pickup choices. Luckily for us, Adrian has also shared the full specification and so we can see exactly what he opted for with these two Strats.
They have basswood bodies with ultra cruves, finished in Solar Red and Blue. The neck is a C profile quartersawn maple with a 12″ radius and 6150 stainless steel medium jumbo frets, and Red Corian fret inlays.
On the hardware side, he has opted for a VegaTrem paired with Sperzel locking tuners for tuning stability and an LSR nut. The pickups are a DiMarzio “Adrian Belew” (Tone Z0ne) model humbucker in the bridge, a Fender Texas Special in the middle and a Sustainer in the neck position. You also get a silver pickguard, with matching pickup covers and aluminium cupcake control knobs. All that combines for a pretty special look.
Will Fender ever release it?
These two guitars have been built specifically for Adrian Belew, but I reckon if enough people were interested, then we could actually see a Signature Custom Shop model sometime in the future. The specifications are pretty epic and if you are a modern guitarist that wants to push boundaries, then I could see this style of Stratocaster being perfect for you.
Among the Fender models with Sustainer are the Ed O’Brien signature model, so we know that some buyers are interested. I think this model could be pretty popular worldwide, so I could see this being a production model too.
Would you want a Fender Adrian Belew Signature Stratocaster?