This week Fender announced new signature models for 2021 ahead of NAMM 2021. Amongst this big bundle of new guitars are Custom Shop models, Road Worn guitars, an acoustic and even a ukulele.
Chrissie Hynde Telecaster
Telecaster in hand, Chrissie Hynde founded The Pretenders back in 1978 and quickly established the band as a rock and roll powerhouse. Chrissie’s stirring rhythms were the heartbeat of the band’s sound from the start. This new Chrissie Hynde Signature Tele has an alder body in Faded Ice Blue Metallic RoadWorn, along with a maple neck and a rosewood fingerboard. The pickups are vintage 1950s-style based on Chrissie’s original.
The guitar that was the model for this signature Tele is known for having a very cutting, shrill tone. I hope this version isn’t quite as “ice pick-bright” as her original.
Jason Isbell Custom Telecaster
Jason Isbell is a Grammy Award winner and well established in the Americana scene. His new signature Custom Telecaster comes in a sumptuous Chocolate Sunburst with Double Binding and the RoadWorn ageing process. The maple neck has a vintage-inspired mid-1960s C-shaped profile and a rosewood fingerboard with 21 frets.
It is certainly a nice-looking guitar and I think the colour scheme will appeal too many players. A very pretty Telecaster and with classic features.
Mike McCready 1960 Custom Shop Stratocaster
Of the signature releases, this is the Custom Shop model: the Mike McCready 1960 Custom Shop Stratocaster. Allegedly the Pearl Jam guitarist always thought it was an original 1959 Strat, but when the Custom Shop opened it up to replicate it, it turned out to be a 1960. Gutted!
The model is limited to only 60 pieces worldwide. Fender Masterbuilder Vincent Van Trigt carefully measured every detail, every curve and every scratch. And scratches are plentiful thanks to McCready’s exuberant style and his extensive use of the guitar over the years. To be honest, I think it looks a bit daft, but if you like Pearl Jam you will probably enjoy its authenticity. I think it looks like a battered Stratocaster, and an expensive one at that.
RRP – EUR 14999.99
Ben Gibbard Mustang
Ben Gibbard has been a prominent voice in indie rock since the late 90s as the singer-songwriter of platinum-selling band Death Cab for Cutie. Ben’s modified ’70s Fender Mustang guitars have been his favourite touring choice for years. This Ben Gibbard Mustang is a replica of his modified touring guitars, with some improvements over the original.
The Mustang body is made of ash and has been chambered for more resonance and less weight. You also get a one-piece maple neck with a 9.5 ″ radius and fitted with 22 medium jumbo frets. The electronics consist of a set of specially made Ben Gibbard Mustang pickups and a stage-suitable 3-way pickup selector switch. What looks like a vintage-style Mustang bridge is actually a modified hardtail setup that is supposed to provide rock-solid tuning stability.
Joe Strummer Campfire
More than 40 years after The Clash’s iconic album London Calling was released, Joe Strummer – the band’s articulate, fiery co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist and lead singer – is still a huge influence on players around the world. The Joe Strummer Campfire guitar is inspired by the legendary bonfires he hosted at the Glastonbury Festival and which continue annually in the Strummerville area of the festival.
And a Custom Shop on the horizon
This guitar has a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides and looks pretty cool, thanks to the matte black finish, nickel hardware, and star inlays. By the way, there will be another signature model for Strummer in April: a Joe Strummer ’59 Esquire from the Custom Shop.
Dhani Harrison ukulele
Dhani Harrison has embarked on a unique career path as a multi-instrumentalist, composer and singer-songwriter. Being the son of a Beatle means you have a lot of people watching everything you do, but thankfully Dhani can hold his own. I think after the recent Billy Eilish signature model, we may well see more and more signature ukuleles in the future.
This ukulele is made available in two different styles, each with special fretboard inlays and engraved designs on the back of the instrument. The Dhani Harrison Signature Ukulele is intended for live performance. Both models are tenor-sized and feature a solid Ovangkol top with Ovangkol back and sides as well as 3/4 depth and updated Fender electronics. These include an onboard Fender designed preamp with separate volume and tone controls, and a built-in tuner. All you need now is someone that will listen to you play it!
Fender Signature Models NAMM 2021
Tell us which is your favourite model from the new Fender signature models released? And would you be gutted if your 1959 Stratocaster turned out to actually be a 1960 model?
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- Fender Chrissie Hynde Signature Telecaster: Fender
- Fender Jason Isbell Custom Telecaster: Fender
- Fender Mike McCready 1960 Custom Shop Stratocaster: Fender
- Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang: Fender
- Fender Joe Strummer Campfire: Fender
- Fender Dhani Harrison ukulele: Fender