Tucked away in a corner of their Corona, California headquarters lies the holy walls of the much venerated Fender Custom Shop. To the axe-wielding army of Stratocaster loyalists this is the Vatican and within these walls history is created and re-created on a daily basis. We were lucky enough to get some eyes inside the maze of artisans who since 1987 have been creating music's most storied and legendary guitars.
Fender's very own Mike Eldred introduced us to some key players of the Fender dream team who were busy tinkering away at special projects, one of which included a hybrid dual neck, mandolin/guitar that was being prepped for an unnamed rock star. Aside from building guitars for icons like Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, the shop also specializes in replica guitars which are so carefully recreated that the sound and every scratch, lacquer crack, and imperfection are built to the exact spec of the original.
Abigail "Abby" Ybarra
The biggest highlight of the tour wasn't the $60,000 custom job for a well-heeled customer, it was Abigail "Abby" Ybarra, a veteran of Fender who was lovingly referred to as a national treasure. Hired by Fender pioneer George Fullerton in 1956, Abby still reports to work to this very day winding pickups that are highly regarded and sought after by the who's who of guitar legends and music aficionados worldwide.
So whether its a replica Andy Summers Telecaster or an elaborate one-of-a-kind custom build from scratch, we can tell you firsthand that you will get nothing but the most experienced hands to help create, tweak, or replicate the instrument of your dreams.