Off-the-shelf electric guitars and basses are great, but how about the chance to spec your own unique Fender? US customers have enjoyed the chance with the company's official Mod Shop since 2016, and now Fender is rolling out the service in the UK, France and Germany.
The Fender Mod Shop platform allows customers to spec a guitar or bass to their own spec and style, and have it built by Fender and delivered within 8-10 weeks. There's a whopping 70,000 configurations available (and being expanded) so the only challenge is making the choice!
The Mod Shop service is available for the following USA Fender models:
- Precision Bass
- Jazz Bass
- American Acoustasonic Jazzmaster
- American Acoustasonic Telecaster
- American Acoustasonic Stratocaster
“Demand for Fender Mod Shop guitars has consistently grown since we launched the program in the US six years ago, and jumped 30% year-on-year in 2021," says Fender CEO Andy Mooney.
"Increased demand for customisation however is a global trend, so making our Mod Shop experience available to more players around the world is an important next step for Fender. The Fender Mod Shop gives players the chance to own something truly unique and personal, originating from our legendary Corona factory.”
Fender instruments are traditionally popular platforms for mods, and the service takes the work and uncertainty out of equation – with official Fender parts.
The service also allows for left-handed players to get their choice model made. In addition to orientation customers can spec; body and fingerboard materials, Fender pickups, pickguard material and colour, bridge, neck shape, tuning machines… and even the strings the guitar ships with.
How do the prices stack up?
The best way to find out is to spec our own model up. We went for a Tele as, alongside the Strat, it offers the greatest range of pickup choices (the Jazzmaster is limited to two) but we immediately hit an obstacle as we aim for the dream Fender guitar we'd like; there's no option for single-coil neck humbucker bridge combinations so we can get the massively underused – by Fender at least – humbucker in the bridge and single-coil in the neck. But in the company's defence, it's not something they offer in any of the standard US ranges for models included in the Mod Shop. We'd argue, that's kind of the point of a modification service though.
We opt for the versatile Shawbuckers on our Frost Metallic with a rosewood neck (this is £180 extra has a Deep C-shape carve by default). This pickup choice immediately triggers a larger pickguard design – no choice but to go with it. Same with body wood - it's alder with this finish. Choosing pine means a Blonde or Sienna Sunburst. We'd have liked the option for lighter basswood body but as that's not used by the current US range and would therefor pose logistical challenges in the California factory, it's understandably absent.
We go for Deluxe locking tuners, black and silver knobs, gauge 10 strings and strap locks. The price… £2,089. That seems pretty decent for a US special order to us!
If nothing else you can have fun spec'ing a guitar over at the site and seeing how it looks for yourself! Visit the Fender Mod Shop.