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When you think about those who have changed the face of modern music, the first thing that might come to your mind is Fender. Since the 50s the company has been the world leader in the production of acoustic and electric guitars, as well as guitar equipment. Fender is not just a symbol of USA, but one of the pillars of the music industry, including rock'n'roll and everything about it, the company has also managed to transform a wide variety of music genres, including country, rhythm and blues, Western, etc. Fender instruments, such as Telecaster, Stratocaster, Precision Bass and Jazz Bass, are known around the world as instruments with which the rock revolution began, they are still highly appreciated by musicians and collectors. Guitars made by this brand are famous for their simplicity and reliability.

Subsidiaries and trademarks:

Squier, Jackson Guitars, Gretsch, Charvel, Hamer, Tacoma, Guild Guitar Company, SWR Sound Corporation, Brand X, Orpheum, Olympia, Heartfield.

Brief history:

Fender company was founded in 1946 in California by Leo Fender. He wasn’t just the founder of a guitar company – he was an ingenious inventor whose name is forever inscribed in the history of music and human culture. In 1950 the first electric guitar Fender Esquire, equipped with a single pickup, was released, and a year later Fender Broadcaster appeared with two pickups (later this guitar would be called Telecaster). These instruments have revolutionized the music world. In 1951 Fender invented the world's first mass-produced electric bass guitar with a solid body - Fender Precision Bass.

In 1954 Stratocaster guitar came out becoming a real guitar-legend, while its shape and design constituted a role model electric guitar. It has been used by all musicians, both beginners and experienced ones playing absolutely different genres, and so far it is one of the best and most popular guitars in the world.

The next decade for Leo and his company was as successful. He managed to release many classic instruments and amplifiers, such as Jazz Bass, Jazzmaster, Jaguar, Mustang and Twin Reverb. However, not everything went so smoothly. Despite the company's prosperity, Leo's health became very weak, and he could no longer manage it - in 1965 he sold his business to CBS.

Over the next 20 years, Fender Instruments has been growing and gaining a lot of popularity among musicians, but when Leo left the previous understanding of music and musicians was lost. Nobody could feel in what direction to move on like he did, what music needs, and that could appear to be deplorable for business. It was decided to find a new hero who would lead the company. In 1981 William Schultz, supported by his partner William Mandello, became the company’s president. They were working to improve the quality of products. In 1985 together with a small group of investors they managed to buy Fender out from CBS. The company was again in the hands of people who knew their business and were trying to create the best guitars and amplifiers for the music world. First the company imported its guitars but the constant pursuit of quality led to the construction of its own factory in Corona (California) to produce very good expensive guitars. The second factory opened three years later (in 1987) in Ensenada (Mexico) where they began to manufacture standard guitars at the best prices. Besides, in the same year, Fender Custom Shop was opened in Corona - a unique place even today. There the musicians had the opportunity to make custom-made guitars, in addition, they created new models signed by famous musicians, and reissued the classic models of Fender guitars.

In 1991 the company moved its headquarters to Scottsdale, Arizona, from where it conducted all export and sales operations in the USA, France, England, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Sweden and Spain. Also there they started to produce new Sunn amplifiers.

In 2005 Schultz resigned and his trusted assistant and partner, William Mandello, became the general manager. Under his leadership Fender has been pleasing us with its musical products.

American Standard Precision Bass

Technical and technological achievements:

The first competitive electric guitar with a solid body:

Fender Telecaster was developed by Leo Fender in the 1940s (the first factory model appeared in 1950 and was called Esquire). Various models of solid-body electric guitars were created independently by several masters and companies from 1932 to 1949 but none of them had a significant impact on the market. Leo Fender’s Telecaster finally made an electric guitar with a solid body competitive.

The first full-body bass guitar of mass production:

Despite the fact that Precision Bass was created 15 years after the release of the first bass guitar by Audiovox Manufacturing, Precision Bass became the first mass-produced bass guitar. A factory assembled instrument has a body made of alder or ash, a split humbucker and a 20-fret one-piece neck with a maple or rosewood overlay.

Split humbucker:

It was developed by Leo Fender for Precision Bass. A pickup device in which the coils remove the signal from different strings, for example, one pair from the first two strings, the second pair from the others.

Telecaster lace sensor:

Developed by Leo Fender in the 1940s, Telecaster lace sensor consists of 2 coils. The neck sensor produces a more saturated sound, while the bridge sensor produces an extremely sonorous and sharp tone with an exaggerated high-frequency response, because the bridge sensor is mounted on a steel plate. These design elements allow musicians to emulate the sound of a steel guitar making it suitable for country music.

The sensors are switched by a 3-position switch and there are 2 connection schemes:

A) Vintage: 1) the neck sensor with cut high frequencies for a lower sound; 2) only the neck sensor; 3) only the bridge sensor.

B) Modern: 1) only the neck sensor without high frequencies cutting; 2) the neck and bridge sensors simultaneously; 3) only the bridge sensor.

Fender Esquire has the Vintage kind of scheme with one single sensor. Then the switch has 3 modes of operation: 1) cutting the high frequencies in a neck position; 2) normal operation in the middle position; 3) controlled cut off in the bridge position.

Stratocaster sensor:

Developed by Leo Fender in the 1950s, the traditional design of Stratocaster includes 3 single sensors (neck sensors), "medium", "middle" (in the middle) and "bridge" (near the tremolo block). These sensors (and some of their combinations) can be switched using a 5-position switch. The sound of the pickup is shaped by the type and geometry of the magnets, the number of turns and the diameter of the coil wire and some other factors. An important contribution to the sound is made by the location of the pickup. Thus the neck sensor gives a louder and warmer sound, while the bridge sensor produces less loud, but sharper and more harmonious one. It’s reasoned by the fact that the string near the neck sensor has larger amplitude and the fundamental predominates among its oscillations. Next to the bridge sensor, the string oscillates with smaller amplitude but its oscillations are richer in overtones. The middle pickup produces a sound with intermediate properties. The pickup switch has 5 positions. In positions "1", "3" and "5" only one pickup is included: bridge, middle or neck one, respectively, while in positions "2" and "4" combinations of two pickups (bridge + middle and middle + neck respectively) are triggered.

Amplifiers:

The main feature of Fender amplifiers is their pure channel. Even now when evaluating the device people often mention the pure channel thinking about Fender Twin Reverb. These amplifiers often sport excellent spring reverb. More often Fender amplifiers are a combo, for example Fender Deluxe Reverb. Noteworthy Bassman model, which was originally planned for bass, was successfully used by guitarists. A significant part of American guitar players still prefer to use Bassman 1959 combo (4x10) in the studio. This combo is the most desirable model by Fender for top-level players. The amplifiers of the Blackface era were released from 1964 to 1967 year, until they were replaced by Silverface (1967-1981). Before 1970 the new owners weren’t curious too much about schemes, and Leo Fender continued to supervise the production according to his contract. It is believed that those changes in the schemes that were made with the arrival of the new owners, made the amplifiers worse. Therefore, the original Blackface is valued more. Next were II and Red Knob series, which caused a weaker furor. Countless "reissue" models are still produced.

P.S. Leo's inventions concerned and influenced not only music, but also the human soul, because if he hadn’t created, for example, Fender Telecaster, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Jazz Bass, Fender Precision Bass, many great pieces of music would have sounded so much different (not so bright, lacking drive) or wouldn’t have sounded at all. All the guitar players of the world, from young children, students in music school to Dave Gilmour, John Frusciante and Kurt Cobain dreamed/dream about Fender guitars.