It used to be that if you wanted a custom neck, color or pickguard on your new guitar, you either started with a stock model and fitted it with aftermarket pieces, or it had to be ordered through a dealer and you had to wait a few months until it was delivered. It was a clunky process to get exactly what you wanted, and didn’t always work as planned. Fender has now tried to streamline the process with the launch of its new Mod Shop online custom ordering. The store allows consumers to design a fully customized guitar with multiple options and features available.
Mod Shop allows you to customize a Tele, Strat, Precision bass or Jazz bass to your exact specs. There are a number of standard starting places, but if you begin from scratch you can select the orientation (right or left handed), body material and color, fingerboard, pickguard material, pickups, tuning machines, bridge, hardware color and strings.
The instruments have a base price starting at $1649, but some add-ons like color may add to the cost. The entire process from order to delivery takes about 30 days, and the instrument is manufactured in Fender’s Corona, California factory.
While this seems to keep dealers out of the loop, that’s not the case, as you can order through Mod Shop via a dealer as well (presumably to get a discount on the instrument).
What’s more, Fender isn’t stopping with just guitars. It will open an amplifier version of Mod Shop by next year, and may even expand beyond that to foot pedals and accessories if the idea catches on.
The Fender Mod Shop is a direct result of the success of Nike’s customization program called ID. If that idea could be so successful for shoes, then something as personal as a guitar should be a snap.
Check out the Fender Mod Shop and try building the guitar of your dreams just for fun. Beware though, it makes want to get your credit card out (and that’s the idea, after all).