FENDER MUSTANG - the showmanship of custom color

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by nostang, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. nostang

    nostang Member

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    Fender Mustang.
    Many years ago, perhaps 2006 or 2007 I had major want for a Japanese MG69 in Sherwood Green and one in Burgundy Mist.

    After much discussion with Fender Japan, they confirmed they had no ability to do Sherwood Green, it was not a color that was available in their japan factory.

    However since they were doing Burgundy Mist Metallic ST62 Stratocasters they mentioned that they could do a special run of MG69 Mustangs in burgundy mist metallic with or without a matching headstock.

    I progressed with them further and it was advised that to perform the special run they would need a minimum order of 12 pieces, which I tried to negotiate the Fender Japan dealer to front with me buying 6 of them and the dealer having 6 to sell in their store.

    For whatever reason, the dealer did not want to do this and was firm that I had to buy all 12 pieces in order for it to happen. This was at a time where it seemed like the factory was churning out MG69/MH in CAR and RED with no imagination for other colors. Or maybe it was just for the anime character that was using them.



    Episode Four
    Anyway I was seriously considering making the purchase and onselling the surplus ones. After running the sums it seemed like maybe i would break even on the ones i sold if i got lucky, or lose a bunch of money on each guitar.

    In any event it was something that I wanted to do but not bad enough to drop the hammer. As we would later find out in 2008 the whole world pretty much ran out of money, probably from buying too many guitars.

    I don’t recall much from after that time, I think like everyone the focus shifted from trawling ebay and other sites for gear to other more pertinent issues related to the economy. I think someone at the time, probably here, stated that the economic crisis came at around the same time where ebay for the last 10 years had basically dragged out all the vintage inventory from peoples attics all over the USA and redistributed those guitars to folks all over the world.

    It had gotten to the point where the vintage inventory on ebay had reached critical mass, and all the folks that had wanted those vintage guitars were able to get them and probably had 2 or 3 or more of them procured off ebay already.



    NAMM 2013
    So early in 2013 the NAMM pictures started to surface. With little warning or fanfare it was discovered that Fender Custom Shop did a color wall of the Mustangs for 2013. Unbelievable day. It was difficult however to get any kind of detailed information about these mustangs at that time.

    There was no listing on the Fender Custom Shop website, no one on the Fender forums commented in great detail about them. And Mike Eldred only made a passing comment about them at the show.


    [​IMG]
    NAMM 2013 Fender Mustang Color Wall


    (For some reason the Fender color walls don’t seem to include Candy Apple Red, Charcoal Frost Metallic, or the Silver & Gold variations. Although there seems to be Shoreline Gold included here.)

    Over the coming days it came out that these Custom Shop Mustangs retailed at $6000 US dollars, at a time where a master built rosewood telecaster was going for around $7000 US.

    After some research it became obvious why these custom shop mustangs debuted in NAMM 2013. Fender Custom shop had released in 2012 the Char Free Spirits & Pink Loud Mustangs and had spent extensive time tooling up to produce a Mustang in the US, which had not been done since the early 1980's.

    In fact according to some comments made by Char, he had been requesting or working with Fender as early as 2010 to get some Mustangs made by the custom shop. So possibly Fender made 100 or so Char mustangs in their run during 2012, and probably catered for extra as part of the 2013 NAMM show.

    These NAMM mustangs were mostly made late in 2012. It is implied that two of each color were made, but possibly four of each color were made according to one source.

    The reality of the situation though were that these Fender Custom Shop mustangs were retailing for between $4500 (Freespirits) $5000 (PinkLoud) - $6000 (NAMM) and at that time really placed them in outer space, even for the most rabid Mustang fan, although people were apparently buying them, maybe just the dealers.




    Just a dream
    In any event, it seemed like complete fantasy and I never really considered buying one. Like most people, the collecting bug comes in ebbs and flows so I never really gave much more thought to it. In fact the last two or three years maybe even Fender themselves had changed.

    It seems like they have been fragmenting their Custom Shop offerings so much, and there is such a huge oversupply of these guitars in the channel of all sorts of different makes and models, that the surplus has kind of made them readily and easily available in terms of inventory.

    In fact they are churning out so many different models year on year, that it seems like by the time the consumer can save up enough scratch to get one, the model is already 2 or 3 years old. I remember many years ago the 1966 stratocaster was reissued by the custom shop and it took me about 4 years later to make the "impulse" purchase on a second hand example, as these guitars are so expensive.

    Its difficult to buy these guitars like candy at their price point. They are being marketed as premium and exclusive, but they are being manufactured liked candy. Wildwood alone probably has shifted about a thousand units of wildwood 10’s

    For a number of reasons I got back into looking up Fender Custom Shop models recently, and to my surprise there were a bunch of these Fender Custom Shop NAMM mustangs still unsold all over the world. As luck would have it, there were about 8 colors at various dealers available and by sheer luck those colors included Burgundy Mist & Sherwood Green.

    Exactly the colors I wanted on a Japanese Mustang, but now on available on the Custom Shop model. The difficulty was deciding which one to buy, I liked the colors. They had all been discounted heavily but were still very expensive even at that point. I thought long and hard about which one to buy and finally made a decision.

    Why not buy both.



    Arrival Day.
    These are gorgeous guitars. My first impression on taking it out of the case was this is not a $6000 US guitar. It is not a $3000 US guitar. In fact as lovely as they are, I do think I paid a premium just to have them, if only for the colors alone.

    I do truly think that the excessive cost of these mustangs are due to covering the costs of retooling the custom shop to do Mustangs. If they only made between 130 - 160 of these guitars (including the chars) over 12 months during 2012, i get it, I get why they cost so much when they can amortize Stratocasters and Telecasters over thousands of units.

    The first thing that stood out upon opening the case was the wrong color white switches and creamish white pickup covers. I changed these to black switches and covers before the day was out. It happened so quickly, I didn’t even bother taking photos of the original configuration. My biggest memory of that is examining the “relicing” on the switches, it looks like someone had aged them by wiping a yellowing agent over the switches with a cotton swab.


    [​IMG]
    Fender Custom Shop NAMM Mustangs


    So what is it?
    The Fender Custom Shop Mustang looks like a mixture of a couple of different mustang years, with some overall refinements. It is not an exact time machine duplicate of a 1965 or 1966 mustang, although it is predominately based vintage mustangs of that time frame.

    It is a slab body, very nicely beveled and refined, the shape is very similar and close to the Japanese MG69-BECK/CO shape and a vintage 1969 Competition Mustang, that is the body edged are very beveled, more than a standard Japanese MG69. The Fender Custom Shop mustang has no body contours. Although I would have preferred if it did have body contours.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
  2. nostang

    nostang Member

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    The necks
    The finished used on the Fender Custom shop mustang neck is a thin satin, nothing like the vintage ones. However the Custom shop model has the same thickness veneer rosewood board and dot placement as the vintage original, something which the japanese mustangs don’t have.


    [​IMG]
    Left - Fender Custom Shop Mustang Neck, Right - 1966 Vintage Mustang Neck


    The neck shape on the Fender custom shop mustang is very close to the standard Japanese MG69 shape, and very close to some thin 1966 era vintage shape necks I have. However it feels perhaps one or two millimeters thinner than both examples - these Custom Shop mustang necks have a very thin satin finish on them, much thinner than any japanese or US vintage mustang I have played.


    [​IMG]
    Left - Fender Custom Shop Mustang Neck, Right - 1966 Vintage Mustang Neck


    Overall the headstock shape is very close between the Fender custom shop and vintage examples. The headstock on the custom shop example has had its edges rolled for a smoother look, where the vintage mustangs were cut sharp, probably to speed up production.


    [​IMG]
    Top - Vintage 1966 Mustang Headstock, Bottom - Fender Custom Shop Mustang Headstock


    [​IMG]
    Custom Shop & Vintage Mustang headstocks & F Tuners


    The NAMM mustangs have a color Fender Custom Shop logo, whereas the Char models have a black and white logo. In terms of replication both necks and shapes are very close to each other in these two examples, the Fender Custom Shop and the vintage 66 seem to be within a few millimeters of each other.

    The necks feel and play very very similar to each other. But both examples are much thinner than later 1969 competition necks which can be much more chunky, similar to a MG65/VSP and MG69-BECK/CO reissue shape.


    Tuners
    There is a slight difference between the F tuners covers on the Fender Custom shop version on the left, and the vintage original on the right. The custom shop F tuners have been aged or dulled, so aren't as shiny as the new ones on the Char models.

    Overall there isn’t much difference in feel or tuning with the two examples. Since the keys are plastic, one doesn’t feel more substantial than the other. I believe fender had been reissuing the F tuners for over 10 years now or longer, so nothing new here.

    The F Tuners appear to be standard reissue F tuners, however with one difference. The holes in the posts are drilled not to accommodate anything beyond a .48 from memory. I remember whatever gauge of strings i had at the time, were a fraction too big to fit in the hole for the E. I had to go the next lighter string for the E for it to fit.


    [​IMG]
    Left - 2005 Reissue Mustang F Tuners, Right - 1969 Vintage Mustang F Tuners
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
    Zach.drummond likes this.
  3. nostang

    nostang Member

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    Under the hood
    The body is stamped RELIC, however there is only very minor relic wear over the guitar. to be honest im not a fan of the relic vibe and in my opinion at least on these examples, whilst the relicing has been limited somewhat to the chrome hardware, plastics and such, it would be nicer if they made them NOS.

    Upon close inspection what the relicing looks like is something "new" made to look to be "old" that is yes, the tuners have been dulled and the plastics been yellowed, it looks "old" but the materials themselves arent "old", they still feel "new"


    [​IMG]


    Fender NAMM Mustang is stamped RELIC.


    [​IMG]


    Pinkloud is stamped NOS


    [​IMG]


    The pickups used appear to be exactly the same ones installed on both the Fender Custom shop and the char models. They do appear to be very vintage correct in appearance and are certainly very high quality.

    I haven’t done a direct comparison, but I would assume these are made in house by Fender (i don't care who winds them, its just copper wire after all) but would be interested in doing a side by side comparison to Seymour Duncan Mustang Antiquity pickups – they look similar.


    [​IMG]


    The wiring and soldering has been done with great care using original cloth wiring. It is more impressive than the standard plastic wiring on the Japanese models, but the difference to sound is subjective.

    Note the switch wiring in these NAMM Custom Shop mustangs is different to the Char "Free Spirits" wiring, which was one of the key features of that model.


    [​IMG]


    When opening a Mustang vintage or reissue, there really isn’t much to it like a Stratocaster or a Jaguar. Just some simple wiring, not much to see here. In fact it’s a very simple efficient design. Maybe low cost, but using similar materials as the more high end Fender models.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
  4. Horacelokhang

    Horacelokhang Member

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    Wow, great thread!
    Hope you enjoy them.
    Been thinking of building a warmoth flame maple top blackburst mustang.
    But imho, this custom shop is definitely overpriced.
    Yet, screw the price if they mean a lot to you!
     
  5. nostang

    nostang Member

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    Oct 23, 2015
    The Color and the Shape
    Really this is where the guitars shine. The burgundy mist shade is as perfect as you would want it to be. When I visualize that color, this is the color that they have sprayed on the guitar.

    The Sherwood Green, whilst impressive is not the Sherwood Green i had in my minds eye, this one is slightly faded, in comparison to what i consider real Sherwood Green, as was issued in the first round of US reissues (particularly the 62 stratocaster and jazzmaster) during 1999, although that 1999 shade may have been too bold to be considered real Sherwood Green.


    [​IMG]


    There are no relic dents or scratches in the paint work, however the Custom Shop has checked the finish, actually checked it significantly, more than any real vintage mustang I have ever seen in similar condition, which is to say major checking on a vintage NOS mustang would be comparable.

    I mean the entire body is checked throughout end to end, the burgundy mist example is extensively checked, the sherwood green slightly less so.


    The neck pocket.
    There is a great video of Mike Eldred discussing the neck pocket in the Fender Custom Shop. I have to say that the neck pocket on the Custom shop mustangs is perfect, computer cut and fitted, the likes of which i have not seen on another fender.

    The CNC has also refined the shape of the neck pocket and whilst its very elegant and refined, is not as vintage correct as the brute angular fast production cuts of the vintage originals. Still it would be a feature we would come to expect on a high end instrument. No shims here on the NAMM model vs one in the vintage original. The shims will always get you.


    [​IMG]
    Fender Custom Shop Neck Pocket vs Original 1966 Neck Pocket


    The Hardware

    This is where I am undecided. As there is no information on these Custom Shop NAMM mustangs from Fender and no videos with the making of, the assumption is that all the chrome mustang hardware on these ones has been recreated and retooled from scratch in the custom shop.

    It may be feasible that the hardware is US made and it is probably so. The chrome cigar where the strings go is certainly different to the japanese version.

    However, if it has been retooled and recast in the US Custom shop, the chrome hardware doesn't appear to be more substantial than that present on a japanese MG69-BECK, it may be possible that the Mustang hardware already used on the MG69-BECK and MG65/VSP models has been sourced from japan and used here in the Custom Shop.

    Again a case of the japanese equivalent being so good, it is hard to determine if the US reissue counterpart is the same or substituted.


    [​IMG]


    Whilst we are seeing some rusting of the saddles on this vintage original, the Fender Custom shop and vintage mustangs share the same short length screws and more substantial saddles.

    Some of the Japanese mustangs have gappy saddles present, mostly on models made during the mid 2000’s. This was later corrected on japanese mustangs (circa 2007) to have similar saddles as those pictured here.


    [​IMG]


    The only obvious difference is that the bridge saddles on the NAMM mustang appear to be milled differently, probably in the US. and all the screws everywhere on the guitar are very vintage correct. The posts on the Fender Custom Shop are more like the posts on a vintage 1969 mustang, the posts on the 1965-1966 vintage era mustangs are different. (more like a mountain than a stamping)


    The original white switches present when the guitar shipped were stamped "Switchcraft Chicago", however not "Made in Chicago" to my eye they are the same switchcraft switches that can be sourced from allparts, and that what they since have been replaced with (black ones).


    Neck Pockets and bevels
    When looking at the neck pockets of a Japanese MG69 Old Lake Placid Blue, a Vintage Daphne Blue and the Fender Custom Shop NAMM model we can see that the neck pockets are much cleaner that the original vintage version in the middle. the japanese MG69 has a more correct square cut lip like the vintage original. The Custom shop NAMM model is rounded completely. This changes the look of the lower cutaway.


    [​IMG]
    Left to Right - Japanese MG69, Original 1966, Custom Shop



    In the example above of this vintage 66 Mustang we can see that it shares a body shape similar with the Fender Custom shop version, although the MG69 on the left is much squarer, this shape is also common across other mid 60’s vintage Fender Mustangs, there must have been some variation in the beveling and body shape during the mid/late 60's era.


    [​IMG]
    1969 Competition Red vs Fender Custom Shop Sherwood Green


    When comparing the body shapes and bevels between the Fender Custom shop NAMM mustang and an original 1969 competition red mustang, we can see that they are very close in detail, indicating that at least parts of the body were based on the 1969 version of the Mustang (or the most refined 1966 examples)


    [​IMG]


    The placement of the strap button the on the Custom Shop Mustang is similar to the 1969 era mustang.


    [​IMG]


    Fender Japan vs Fender Custom Shop
    Here when we compare the Fender Custom Shop Burgundy mist versus a Japanese MG69 Old Lake Placid Blue (which cost $650 US), we can see that there is practically no difference at face value, the differences are really only minor.


    [​IMG]


    They both look like mustangs, play like mustangs and sound like mustangs. I think the biggest difference between the Mustang reissue situation and the Stratocaster reissue situation is that Mustangs were reissued in Japan and those Mustangs were accurate as much as was needed at their price point, the Stratocaster kept getting refined and had more models and price points. At least until the late 1990's there was only one or two japanese Mustang models available as standard.

    Possibly also through the life of the original Fender Mustang from 1964 – 1971 there weren’t really as many changes as there was on the Stratocaster from 1954 – 1971, so when we see a Mustang reissue, there are only a few feature variations that nail each model, whereas with the Fender Stratocaster, the custom shop has many, many variations to take into consideration, with a much more demanding fan base.

    The japanese reissues are relatively inexpensive and because vintage Mustangs are still in a normal price bracket, and somewhat continue to be, there is probably little demand for a $6000 Fender Custom Shop Mustang, because the vintage original Mustangs are not $25,000 like the comparable stratocater pricing. The Japanese Mustangs are just that good and serve the bulk of the Mustang market.


    [​IMG]


    When faced with deciding between an original vintage Fender Mustang and the Fender Custom Shop Mustangs, the Fender Custom shop mustangs are exceptional instruments. In a situation where they were priced the same or comparably, I would pick the Custom Shop Mustang over a vintage mustang.

    It raises and interesting point, as in recent times and especially since the release of the Fender Mustang Custom shop Char models, Fender set the price of their Custom Shop Char mustangs at around $5000 US. Which is insane.

    However in looking at the vintage Mustang market on ebay and elsewhere in recent times, this has encouraged people to start to post their vintage Mustangs for sale for prices around $3000 US & $4000 US, now whether or not these are selling at that price remains to be seen.

    A Japanese 2011 Spiderman mustang is priced around $1500 US which many years ago was the going price of a mint vintage Competition Mustang, so the market may be moving on or maybe people are overvaluing their Mustangs. Or maybe the $9,000 - $15,000 Fender Jaguars and Jazzmasters are pushing collectors to the cheaper Mustangs to augment their collection.

    In this specific example it is all relative. The 1969 Competition Red mustang pictured is perhaps one of the best playing vintage Mustangs I have ever had, not necessarily the most mint one, but certainly just a magic guitar.

    When playing a vintage Fender Mustang that plays exceptionally well, and is in good condition, or seeing one that is in mint condition I do understand the high demand for equivalent mint condition, well playing vintage Stratocasters. The first time I got a mint condition 1966 Mustang my first thoughts were, it must be magic to have the equivalent in a Stratocaster.

    There is something about how they manufactured those Fenders in the 1960’s I think it is a case of them using high quality materials, assembled in a fast and not necessarily crude way, but churned out of the factory the best they could do at the time.

    The feeling I get with the Japanese Mustangs is that they are able to be made in large volume with much more consistent precision – literally everyone is the same and every example is good, it’s just the materials and paint they are using these days are more consumable it seems.

    However as great as this guitar is, it is still second to my favorite mustang, a 2005 MG66 japanese sonic blue mustang.



    [​IMG]
    Japanese MG69 vs Fender Custom Shop neck pocket and lip cutaway


    Neck pocket fit between a $600 US Japanese MG69 Old Lake Placid Blue and the Fender custom shop Mustang. The fit is probably near identical. At this point what we are seeing here could possibly just be a case of once you have a mature, developed CNC machine that is available internationally, it doesn’t matter if that CNC machine is in Japan or the US, is can produce the same results if enough money is put behind the assembly and labour.



    How do they play.
    They do feel really good, the Fender Custom shop Mustangs feel like playing a very high quality, nitro finished japanese mustang, one rung up from the MG65/VSP. Although the MG65/VSP has a chunkier neck and slab rosewood board. These custom shop mustangs have a MG69 like neck, with a much thinner rosewood veneer, the same thickness as an original vintage mustang.

    I would love to say that they are the best mustangs I have ever played. They are certainly exceptional. Having the opportunity to compare these Fender Custom shop mustangs to the original US vintage ones and the japanese ones, its really controversial but this is the assessment.

    They are exceptionally made and playing mustangs. They are really great, and I am happy with both. I would even get a Char model just to have one if i could justify the expense. But the cost is not in proportion for what they are. in fact they are more expensive than original vintage mustangs.

    Although the vintage mustang market seems to have been increasing in price over the last few years. I think the philosophy of the custom shop must be, here is a $6,000 Stratocaster that is 95% as good as a vintage $25,000 Stratocaster. And consumers are happy with that.

    In this example, its like here is a Custom shop Mustang that is 95% as good as the vintage original, unfortunately double or triple the price


    [​IMG]
    Japanese 2005 MG66 Mustang (FSR Slab Body) vs Fender Custom Shop


    I have a bunch of mustangs, and fender japan has been making them since the early 90's. They have made millions of them probably. The earliest reissue Mustang I have was a 1996, the most magic reissue mustangs i have come from 2005 (with the gappy saddles no less).

    After that i was buying random japanese mustangs from 2007 and 2009 production years and they had just reached a point where all the japanese mustangs from 2000 - 2010 are probably consistently fantastic, for what they are, how they are manufactured and at the price point they are.

    I think at the time, my number 1 japanese mustang (the 2005 sonic blue pictured above) was purchased for approximately $700 US dollars brand new. Its painted poly and the body shape is more squared off than the custom shop model, but if I could only take one, it would be this 2005 japanese Mustang. I love it.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    People generally tend to think that the whole vintage mojo thing is hype, but for whatever reason there is something magic about the vintage guitars. Upon examination, the materials and parts used on the vintage mustangs are of high quality for what it is, especially for then.

    The materials are of higher quality than the new Fender Custom shop model, although the Custom Shop model is more expensive than the vintage original. I suppose this makes sense for the business model for Stratocasters and Telecasters, where the vintage Fender Stratocaster is 5 times the price of the Custom shop reissue.

    It is hard to determine at this point as i have not dissembled the guitars in that way to do a direct comparison of pots and under tremolo. The volume and tone knobs are certainly vintage correct, but again unable to be determined if they are sourced from Japan or made in US.


    [​IMG]


    From this angle we can see that the vintage Mustang and the Fender Custom shop mustang are quite close, not identical but certainly all there. Really the biggest complaint here is the material and cut of the pickguard on the Fender Custom shop NAMM model.

    When I took the pickguard off, really it revealed that the Custom Shop had just used normal modern pickguard material, there was nothing very remarkable about it, it didn’t look like any higher quality that something that could be produced by an aftermarket shop, in both cut and type of material used. Which isn't to say its bad, its just not an expensive feeling pickguard on an expensive guitar.


    [​IMG]


    The pickguard.
    This is probably the most disappointing aspect of the guitar. The pickguard has been cut like a modern reissue, no shrinkage gaps, wrong material used and to be frank, looks very cheap. its the right thickness, but the W/B/W layers are all wrong.

    it is nothing like the vintage mustang material and the pickguard on my NAMM mustangs will eventually be replaced. Really was probably the biggest drawback in the "looks" department. Not sure if the custom shop was taking a mix of old and new in their work. Its certainly not a period correct recreation like their other time machine models.


    [​IMG]


    Given the high price point of these Fender Custom shop NAMM mustangs, the only things more I would have like to see on them would have been a matching headstock with the white logo (like Pinkloud) and body contours like the vintage 1969 era vintage mustangs.

    It would have been cool to see that on the color wall. Looking at this custom shop mustang, it does look way better with black switches and pickup covers, so am not entirely sure why they went with white. Although I must admit on the char mustang models the white switches and pickups do look great.


    [​IMG]



    The cases.
    The Fender Custom Shop NAMM mustangs come in a special Custom Shop vintage case, the same as the Char model.

    The free spirits model had no logo inside the plush lining, the pinkloud model had the custom shop logo, the NAMM examples had the custom shop logo with the limited edition caption. They are all the same make and model case in every other aspect.

    The cases are superb, over engineered, ultra plush, beautiful, excessive and heavy. The cases are taller than a standard mustang case, they are the same height as a mustang bass case, but much nicer and much heavier. They must have contributed to the high cost of the overall package.


    [​IMG]


    Left to right - Vintage, Vintage, Vintage Bass, NAMM, NAMM cases.


    [​IMG]

    NAMM case vs original Mustang case. The vintage case is more practical. The NAMM case is over engineered and awesome.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
    Zach.drummond likes this.
  6. nostang

    nostang Member

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    The Runaways
    The cutways on the Fender Custom shop mustangs are much more refined and beveled than on the original vintage Mustangs – the vintage mustangs are much more squared off and flatter in their appearance


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    the Fender Mustang logo
    The "Fender" part of the logo is near identical between the two versions, The Mustang font is slightly different, the Fender Custom Shop version is heavier - the swooshes on the Fender Mustang decal is slightly different between the vintage and Fender Custom shop version.

    The patent numbers are in different order and a different font. One of the patent numbers they have forgotten to put in the commas possibly the same decal used on the freespirits model, the commas have been added and fixed on the standard US American reissue Mustang version.


    [​IMG]
    Fender Custom Shop Mustang Decal


    The decal used on the Custom shop NAMM example pictured above is a duplicate of a 1966/1967 era logo. I confirmed earlier that the pat and des numbers on the Custom Shop Mustang match a later era 1966 Mustang that I have (although the font on the custom shop logo is different).


    [​IMG]
    Fender Vintage 1966 Mustang Decal


    This logo above is from an earlier era 1966 vintage Mustang, note the Pat Pending.


    [​IMG]
    Fender American Special Mustang

    The Fender Custom shop NAMM Fender Mustang decal was originally used on the Fender Mustang Freespirits model. The freespirits model was the debut of the US Mustang, so they probably did a run of these decals and used them up on freespirits and NAMM examples.


    [​IMG]
    Free Spirits


    A white version of the same decal is present on the Fender Mustang pinkloud model. This colored headstock and white Competition decal indicates that Fender could do a faithful reissue of the 1969 Competition Mustang if there was reason to do so – the cost may be too prohibitive. The pinkloud mustang is certainly very cool and I would love to get one, but having the NAMM mustangs in person has tempered my enthusiasm to the price.

    [​IMG]
    Pinkloud


    It seems that the Fender Custom Shop mustangs have had a flow on affect to the regular Fender line, upon examination of the American Standard reissue mustang, the decals, the hardware and some materials seem to be the same. It is a shame that they chose to go with the stop tail piece and different switching on the US standard reissue as this doesn’t really make it a Mustang, and the choices of Sunburst and Black aren’t that inspiring.



    2013 ERA
    These Fender Custom shop mustangs were produced around the time Mike Eldred was running the show, so unfortunately it would be practically impossible to get him to provide any background information or comments at this point about the project if it was even still possible to reach out to him. I'm sure he would have commented or at least indicated which master builder was involved.

    It was an exciting time for mustangs during this period. possibly during the same time frame or earlier Kurt Cobain's original Mustangs were examined in the Custom Shop by Justin Norvell. It is unclear if he is also still present to discuss Mustangs. Quite the Mustang renaissance it would seem.

    Would love to hear more from those in the know about how the project started, who was involved and if there will be other custom shop outings for the Mustang. I've not seen much discussed about them, no one who owns them has really come forward on other forums and it seems like a blip on the radar.

    Also it could just be the market is tired, peoples wallets are tired, everyone has a Custom Shop guitar and there isn't much left to talk about. It definitely has been a different mood the last few years.


    [​IMG]


    The Char mustangs whilst produced by the Custom Shop, didn’t indicate if there was a master builder running the Mustang project at its inception. Certainly all the Char Mustangs and these NAMM mustangs were undoubtedly team built. The approximate run in total must have been 130 - 160 Mustangs in 2012. I believe there is one master built Mustang out there (dark blue) preceding these ones.


    [​IMG]


    So there you have it, the best we can do without any additional information or narration from Fender, which is a shame cause it’s a great story, that Fender resurrected the Mustang after 30 years, reborn for the Custom Shop, then delivered the Mustang to the standard US product line. Great underrated guitar, from the same factory and people delivering other great Custom Shop models.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
    65DuoSonic and thecasterkid like this.
  7. Simto

    Simto Member

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    Location:
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    Those green and blue Mustangs look badass! I especially like the Char Free spirit model, it looks killer. It would just look tiny on me since I'm a giant.

    Very thorough story, it's cool you're so much into the Mustang that you were willing to get 12 models made just to get one hehe.
     
  8. poolshark

    poolshark Member

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    Lovely guitars, and a very thoughtful evaluation. As a Mustang fan, I have to say I really appreciate it. Thanks!
     
  9. AustinIsPresent

    AustinIsPresent Member

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    I LOVE this thread. Thank you so much, from one Mustang lover to another. Amazing.
     
  10. sa1126

    sa1126 Member

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    Epic thread. Thanks for posting.
     
  11. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    This was always my favorite custom color
    [​IMG]
     
    Gretsch47 and Crazyquilt like this.
  12. shovelhead82

    shovelhead82 Member

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    Great thread. My first real guitar was a 1966 Daphne Blue Mustang that I purchased used in 1971. It came with a clear plastic protector on the back of the guitar. Wish I still had that guitar.
     
  13. Kentano2000

    Kentano2000 Member

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    Wow, talk about a boatload of information! Thanks Nostang, I learned a few new things today! :aok
     
  14. Deed_Poll

    Deed_Poll Member

    Messages:
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    Yeah, great thread.

    I'd love to see a shot of all your different Mustangs together, though!
     
  15. goodwater

    goodwater Member

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  16. grapeshot

    grapeshot Supporting Member

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    Great thread! I had no idea about these CS Mustangs! Awesome guitars!
     
  17. poolshark

    poolshark Member

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    Bump for posterity. This thread is legit.
     
  18. Axeaholic

    Axeaholic Supporting Member

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    That was fun, can every tgp post be like this ?
     
    Baxtercat likes this.
  19. Ron Thorn

    Ron Thorn Gold Supporting Member

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    I did the "custom" inlay work on all of the Char Mustang necks for the Custom Shop...not the most challenging of projects.
    A few weeks after completing them, I was there for another project and quickly snapped this horrible photo as I walked down the hall:

    [​IMG]
     
    Zach.drummond, splatt, Kostas and 3 others like this.
  20. Rayzaa

    Rayzaa Member

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