NAMM 2020 - Fender Custom Shop Tour

Posted by Tim Fogarty on

Absolutely one of the highlights of our NAMM 2020 trip was the Fender Custom Shop tour in Corona. As owners of Custom Shop guitars ourselves, as well as of course being Custom Shop Dealers, to go behind the scenes and learn of the process was a huge moment for us. To appreciate further some of our and your dream instruments.

Arriving to an industrial type area from Anaheim you would hardly know the factory was there, with a very unpretentious entry with minimal signage, you'd be forgiven for not finding the facility. The entry being a window and small holding area to sign in, set quite staggeringly around a Fender Custom Shop tower. Walking through to the start section of the tour the history of the Fender Custom Shop and Fender Guitars is on show through Photos, memorabilia, current model examples and historical examples. The history proudly displayed through some great times and some hard ones.

Through into the main factory it's on a much smaller scale to what we'd expected. Smaller than the Maton factory it felt for those that have seen that facility in Melbourne. The factory floor consists of many stations and a quality control process that was strict and decisions on them made swiftly. We understand more the select process and the company need to pull a build from the floor even at the final set up, if things are not acceptable. High standards to have and continue. A heap of the original Fender Shop tools on display where they've improved on various things or worn them out!

The most impressive aspect for us was the amount of hands that were building and finishing the guitars. The machined processes are necessary for some parts but where possible, even sanding contours, hands are on the guitars. Offering a truly unique instrument. A brief walk through by the personal rooms of the Master Builders was also very interesting. (no photos sorry) Some crazy things going down. A real Willy Wonka type lair.

Enjoy the photos we managed, giving some insight into the process. We highly recommend the experience and it has certainly inspired new passion for top guitar builds. Feel free to email for Fender Custom Shop Builds, both available now in store and in Australia, or building your own dream machine to your spec.

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