When Fender unveiled its Prestige Collection at the beginning of March, it blew our minds. Straight out of the Custom Shop in Corona, California, these 11 designs were masterbuilt off-menu electric guitars that showcased just how modifiable Fender designs could be.
Our favourites included Scott Buehl's iconoclastic Acrylic Jazzmaster, the austere perfection of Chris Fleming's Jazz Telecaster, and the summer vibes of Vincent Van Trigt's Custom Flamingo Sunset Tele. But the Double Neck Marauder was really something.
Built by Master Builder Carlos Lopez in a design collaboration with Paul Frank (he of Julius the Monkey fame), the Double Neck Marauder jammed two of Fender's oddball designs together and took it from there. The top half comprises an Electric XII, the bottom a Marauder.
“Paul Frank and I have very similar tastes,” said Lopez. “It wasn’t hard to spitball this idea. I have made a few Electric XIIs and I am known for making custom Marauders, so it was inevitable that a Fender double neck Electric XII and Marauder would happen.”
This through-the-looking glass rival to Gibson's ES-175 features a lightweight two-piece ash body and is finished in Seafoam Green NOS finish. The necks are quartersawn maple with dark rosewood fingerboards, bound with block inlay.
Both halves of the guitar come equipped with Custom-made Curtis Novak pickups. There are three sets of Electric XII split pickups, and three custom Marauder single coils. Each has series of On/off switches – one for each pickup – and the control circuit includes a master kill switch, plus 500 and 250k stacked pots so that each half of the guitar has its own tone controls.
It's quite something. In the video, you'll see Josh Klinghoffer give it a test drive.
As an exercise in just what the Master Builders can do, the Prestige Collection was always going to be intriguing. But that's not too dissimilar with how Fender's Parallel Universe series came together, and who knows, maybe we'll see some of these design principles filter down to future production line models.