Made with love isn’t the half of it. Fender Master Winder Josefina Campos has been spinning wire around a bobbin by hand for over thirty years, continuing a distinctive practice passed down from Leo Fender himself, and the results are nothing less than an art. Fall in love with Fender’s Queen of Pickups in this installment of our Meet Your Maker series.
For nearly 20 years (since 1965), Fender was owned and operated by CBS. Many guitar players felt that the interests of CBS were at odds with the marketplace and profits declined. In 1984, CBS sold the rights to the Fender name and designs to an investor group of employees led by Bill Schultz who launched Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC).
The Fender Custom Shop began in 1987, under the supervision of then-CEO Schultz. The initial staff comprised only two Master Builders (John Page, Michael Stevens) and a Haas VF4 CNC machine (modified for woodwork) that cuts three bodies or four necks at once. The current roster of master builders are: Dale Wilson, Paul Waller, Stephen Stern, Jason Smith, Yuriy Shishkov, Todd Krause, Dennis Galuszka, Greg Fessler, Kyle McMillin, Vincent van Trigt, Carlos Lopez and Ron Thorn. The primary intent of the Fender Custom Shop was to create instruments in the tradition of Leo Fender and his staff at the original Fender facilities in Fullerton, CA, accommodating famous endorsers and other discerning players who wanted the accuracy, detail, and quality—as well as customization and personal touches—that were widely perceived as omitted under the tutelage of CBS, and considered lacking on the revamped Fender's mass-produced instruments. In 1991, the Fender Custom Amp Shop was created and housed in Scottsdale, Arizona. Seven years later, Fender USA manufacturing, R&D and Custom Shop divisions, were moved to its present location in Corona, California.