Written by Alec Cavillo
The guitar that changed the guitar world, amps that have some of the cleanest tones and other guitar products are being made in Corona by Fender.
Fender makes the famous Stratocaster guitar, which is known from some of the best guitar players of all time like Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Dick Dale.
They are also known for their amps that can give guitar players that perfect surfer sound, a perfect clean tone and even a nice vibrato.
Chris Lopez is a recent customer of Fender’s Hot Rod Deluxe amp and a musician that studies at Riverside City College. “I knew if I went with a Fender amp I wouldn’t be let down,” Lopez said. “The clean tone is incomparable to other amps.”
Clarence Leonidas Fender, also known as Leo Fender, is the founder of Fender Guitars. He was interested in electronics at a young age and made the famous Stratocaster guitar in Southern California.
He created the Stratocaster guitar around 1954 and gave it to local musicians and staff to try out. It offered three single coil pickups, which helps guitarists get a wide variety of tonal ranges.
Leo went on to do other great things by starting other guitar companies, but the Fender legacy continued when he sold the company to CBS, the television broadcasting company, in 1965 according to Fender’s website.
The Fender factory in Corona was built in 1985 and is the only factory they have in the U.S.The other was built in 1987 and is in Ensenada, Mexico which is known for their special ability of working with wood.
One of Fender’s visitor center employees, David Brown, knows the reason for amplifiers being made in both Corona and Mexico. “We make parts in Mexico for amplifiers that we produce here in the U.S.” Brown said. “It’s nice to be able to have one place where all these parts come from in a consistent manner.”
According to Brown the visitor center offers a showcase, a museum, tour and a shop. It also acts like a mini Guitar Center, allowing people to try out their products and purchase them. They take people on an hour long tour that takes people through the metal shop, the wood mill buff and polish and final assembly.
Inside the factory, they have a custom paint job for any Fender guitar. Jay Nelson is Fender’s custom shop painter. He’s been working for Fender for nine and a half years and paints up to 50 guitars a day. “All the guitars in the custom shop are sprayed with a white base coat then whatever color it is and to duplicate what they were doing back in the day, ” Nelson said.
When it comes to paint colors the most popular are “the black, two tone or three tone.” When asked about the guitar model that gets most custom paint “mostly Stratocasters and telecasters it’s almost equal,” Nelson said.
When the factory is done creating some of the best guitars in the world they are sent off to retail stores like Guitar Center. There they compete with hundreds of other guitar name brands but are never overlooked because of their legendary sound.
When deciding what guitar to pick at one of the biggest guitar outlet stores in the country, Guitar Center helps their customers pick out what fits best for them.
“Our sales team has the knowledge to help you find the right guitar. We are passionate about music, and we want to share that passion with our customers,” said Sales clerk Joshua Gascon from Guitar Center.
Fender makes it easy for beginner guitar players or someone who is on a low budget with their Squier series. These guitars are based off of the more expensive models, but is made out of affordable material.
The Fender company has been around for a long time and serves guitarists with their affordable prices, great sounding guitars, and custom work.