Vintage Fender Guitars

Guitars, basses and amps made by Fender

Vintage Fender guitars

Vintage Fender guitars for sale in a vintage guitar store

Fender, or the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company, as it was properly known, was started in 1946, in Fullerton, California, by Leo Fender. The early designs effectively wrote the book on the solid body guitar manufacture; his approach of simple guitars using quality parts, easily assembled (most specifically the replaceable neck) proved an immediate sucess. Guitars like the Fender Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jaguar and Precision bass have barely changed since their very first inception; Fender simply got it right first time round.

Along with Gibson, Fender was probably one of the best known guitar manufacturers in the world. They were right at the forefront of the guitar boom of the 1950s and 60s, and have managed to maintain aleading positions ever since.

However, these two companies were not always in as direct competition as might be assumed; yes they both made guitars, basses and amplifiers, but both tended to play to their strengths; Gibson's expertise was it's luthierie; they stuck to high end electric-acoustics, semi-acoustics and skillfully made solid bodies, whilst Fender excelled at electronics; they made amplifiers and easily built solid body basses and guitars.

Fender guitars

1953 Fender advertisement for the Telecaster guitar, Precision bass, Twin and Bassman amplifiers
1953 Fender advertisement for the Telecaster guitar, Precision bass, Twin and Bassman amplifiers. See more vintage Fender adverts

Gibson did not take Fender too seriously at first; Fender were just an amplifier company that made a few guitars. They didn't regard the solid-body Broadcaster launched in 1950 as a serious musical instrument, lacking the depth of tone of a Gibson electric-acoustic. But music was changing, guitarists wanted different sounds, and music was getting louder. Fenders instruments proved to be more appropriate for the emerging musical scenes. Over the next decade Fender created a number of solid-body guitars that defined genres. Guitars like the Stratocaster, Telecaster and Precision and Jazz basses proved to be exceptionally popular and have stayed in production ever since.

Others came and went, but still very nice guitars: the Electric XII, Coronado and Starcaster for example.

But of course the biggest sellers would always be the lower priced models, the Mustang, Duo-Sonic, Musicmaster and Bronco

You could argue that it was the Stratocaster weilding Jimi Hendrix that was the biggest advertisement for Fender guitars; after seeing, and hearing one in the hands of Jimi, a lot of guitarists, including Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton swapped to a strat!

Fender bass guitars

Fender invented the solid body electric bass, and have made a variety of different models. Like the guitars they were exceptionally simple; typically an ash body, with a bolt-on maple neck and single coil pickups. Simple, but very well-done simple. Read more about Fender bass guitars here.

Fender amplifiers

Older Fender amplifiers have a great reputation and still have a lot of users today. Vintage Fender valve amps like the Fender Bassman, Fender Deluxe and Fender Twin Reverb are really highly regarded guitar amplifiers, offering rich vintage tones that modern amps can't easily replicate, both for live and studio use.

Latest Fender Updates

Fender 1963 catalogue"The Choice of Professional and Student Musicians Everywhere" This eight page catalogue was included as an insert in the 1963 annual "school music" issue of Downbeat magazine (September 1963). As well as keyboards and pedal steels, this catalog contains seven guitars, three basses and ten amplifiers - from student guitars such as the Musicmaster and Duotone to professional models like the new Jaguar.
1969 Fender Mustang bass, Competition Red finish The Mustang bass debuted in 1966 as (along with the Coronado) Fender's first shortscale bass, however the Competition finishes were not seen until 1969. It was effectively the same instrument, with sports stripes, and initially a matching coloured headstock. The competition colours were Red, Orange and Blue (although blue was officially called Burgundy). Have a closer look at this 1969 Fender and check out the soundclips through various vintage amplifiers.
1973 Fender Musicmaster bassPictures, description and soundclips from a 1973 Fender Musicmaster bass. The Musicmaster bass changed very little between it's introduction in 1970, and it's deletion in the early 1980s. Although often regarded as a student bass, the Musicmaster was of high enough quality, both in terms of components and build, to sell to student guitarists and more advanced players looking for an affordable shortscale bass.
Fender 1964 catalogueEntitled Fine Electric Instruments, the 1964 1965 Fender catalogue was circulated from mid 1964, and despite being just eight pages long, contained a large number of guitars, amplifiers and other instruments. This was the first catalogue to show the new Fender Mustang guitar, which was available in normal or 3/4 scale at that time. This catalogue was included in the 1964 annual guitar issue of Down Beat magazine (July), massively increasing the potential readership, both in America and worldwide.
1966 Fender Coronado II semi-acoustic electric guitarThis was Fenders first go at a thinline - a guitar style that had been growing in popularity throughout the 60s. The Coronado was Fenders ES335....
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Fender guitars for sale

1967 Fender Coronado XII Ice Blue Metallic With Hardshell Case

ELMHURST, ILLINOIS, 60126, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1899

Make: Fender Model: Coronado XII Year: 1967 Case: Non Original Hardshell Case Revolution Guitars is proud to present this 1967 Fender Coronado in Super rare custom color, Ice Blue Metallic! The guitar is in great condition, with some checking, and small dings. No Breaks or Cracks. The guitar is set up and plays like butter. Bridge Pickup has been changed to a S Duncan TB-15. Some tuners are not original. Non Original Hardshell Case included. Shipping in the continental USA will be by FedEx ... more

1965 Fender Electric XII (#FEE0856)

LOVELAND, OHIO, 45140, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$5995

1965 Fender Electric XII, Sunburst with White Pearloid pickguard, One of the first ever made, Rare with Kluson tuners & L-Plate, Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard with Pearl dots, Powerful sounding pickups, “Hockey stick” headstock, Very cool guitar, Original Hard case $5, 995 “At Gary’s Classic Guitars we professionally clean, setup & pro pack for safe transit of your new guitar to your door! We would love to earn your business ”... more

VINTAGE 1970's USA FENDER MUSTANG GUITAR HANG INSPECTION TAG NATURAL 1978 1979

PLANO, TEXAS, 75025, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

C $91

ORIGINAL 1978 FENDER, NORMAL LIGHT VINTAGE WEAR, NICE CONDITION. ADD VALUE TO YOUR 1970's FENDER NATURAL FINISH MUSTANG GUITAR GETTING HARDER TO FIND, THANKS FOR LOOKING!... more

Vintage Fender MUSTANG BASS 1977, MINT, MUST SEE ORIGINAL CONDITION, w / Many Pics

AGOURA HILLS, CALIFORNIA, 91301, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2499

41 year old Vintage Fender MUSTANG BASS This one is in MINT, ALL-ORIGINAL, COLLECTOR condition   Original Natural finish over an ASH Body with a solid 1-piece Maple neck. These are considered Short Scale with a string length that measures 30 inches, and they make wonderful Bass tones.   This beautiful Vintage bass was built back in 1977, it is an original 41 year old U S. Made Fender instrument. This bass has never been modified or damaged. It was kept as a collectible and only used sparingly ... more

1964 Fender Duo Sonic II 

GALENA, ILLINOIS, 61036, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1620

Beautiful 1964 Fender Duo-Sonic II. All original except paint has been sanded off . Has great vintage wear but not too much.... more

One Owner 1978 Fender Precision Bass Olympic White with Original Hardshell Case

MURRIETA, CALIFORNIA, 92562, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

£2233

FREE SHIPPING TO THE "LOWER 48 " !CHECK OUT OUR SUPERB FEEDBACK FOR YOURSELF!CALL FOR A HANDS ON DESCRIPTION OF ALL OF OUR INSTRUMENTS!Guitars West, Inc. From a large collection out of Chicago, we are pleased to offer this 1978 Fender Precision Bass, serial# S871519, in Olympic White, one owner. As the first production model bass guitar, the Fender Precision bass was an absolutely revolutionary instrument upon its introduction in 1951. The Precision or P Bass evolved throughout the ‘50s with ... more

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