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Founders Keepers MICHAEL STEVENS ESQUIRE

The Fender Custom Shop is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a limited run of guitars designed by the Master Builders who helped establish it. Chris Vinnicombe plays the first, and meets its maker…

FENDER CUSTOM SHOP MICHAEL STEVENS FOUNDERS DESIGN ESQUIRE £5,049

FOUNDERS KEEPERS

It’s 30 years since Fender established its hugely influential Custom Shop, some 40 or so miles east of Los Angeles in the town once considered the ‘lemon capital of the world’. The mission was simple: to produce electric guitars in Corona that would roll back the years and shake off the perceived shortcomings of the company’s much maligned CBS era. From a background in vintage instruments and repairs in Texas, the widely-respected Michael Stevens was recruited in 1986 as the Custom Shop’s senior design engineer, a decision that Stevens says “made vintage heads turn”.

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About Guitar Magazine

The August 2017 edition of the UK’s most affordable and most in-depth guitar magazine is on sale now! You might notice a slightly different name on the cover this month, but inside you’ll find your regular monthly fix of the best gear reviews in the business, DIY tutorials, tone and playing tips, artist interviews, breathtaking photography of vintage instruments and whole lot more besides. This month there’s a feast for Fender offset fans as we offer pro set-up tips, show you how to upgrade your Jaguar or Jazzmaster and find out if Fender’s new American Professional series has finally delivered offsets for the masses. Elsewhere, we interview Joe Bonamassa, Darrel Higham, Joanne Shaw Taylor and Paul Gilbert, pay a visit to Norman’s Rare Guitars in Los Angeles, delve into the snake-oil surrounding tonewoods and give you the chance to win a Shergold electric worth a whopping £835.