The brainchild of Mike Born, Fender’s director of wood technology, the new 2017 Exotic Collection is a dream for aesthetes and tone fiends.
Capturing the spirit of Fender’s early years and recalling the original prototype instruments fashioned from pine, the company has come full circle with three new models made from pine that dates back more than 100 years as part of the Buckstaff Furniture Company’s facility in Oshkosh, Wisc. The three pine models included in the collection are the Limited Edition American Professional Pine Jazzmaster, Limited Edition American Vintage ’59 Pine Stratocaster and Limited Edition American Professional Pine Telecaster.
“We thermally treated it to reduce the weight and that also gives it an aged guitar sound and darkens the color a little”, Born said. “We don’t have to add stain to it. It’s natural. And all the defects like the knots in the wood and old bolt holes are all included.”
Rescued mahogany from Honduras can be found in the bodies of the Limited Edition American Professional Mahogany Stratocaster, Limited Edition American Elite Mahogany Tele Thinline and Limited Edition American Professional Mahogany Tele Deluxe Shawbucker.
Shedua is a common acoustic wood, sometimes referred to as ovangkal. “It comes out of Central Africa and gets a nice figure to it,” Born said. “It’s a little like rosewood as a top, whereas the blackwood we used in the Tele 90 is actually a species of ebony that grows on one of the islands in Indonesia.”
The 2017 Limited Edition Shedua Top Stratocaster balances the traditional Strat sound with a rich-toned okoume body and shedua top, while the 2017 Limited Edition Malaysian Blackwood Telecaster 90 features an elegant Malaysian blackwood top.
The sole bass in the collection is the 2017 Limited Edition American Professional Jazz Bass FMT, which features an eye-catching figured maple top and quartersawn neck.
“Let’s not forget to mention the necks,” Born added. “They’re from a stash of aged, figured maple necks that we’ve been saving for something special. And this is a truly special collection.”