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Mar 05


As the first release from Fenders “10 for ’15” campaign, the American Vintage ’70s Hardtail Strat is definitely a great way to kick off the collection! Fender instruments have a storied history and are renowned for 
their collectability and their ability to be configured in unique combinations. 10 very special instruments simultaneously illustrating both points, will be released this year from Fender. These guitars, developed under Fender’s most creative minds and talented builders, are sure to become sought-after collector’s items. Read below for more info on the first of this slew of amazing guitars to be released this year!

from Fender-


The mid ’70s saw the widespread popularity of the non-tremolo—or “hardtail”—Stratocaster, so we dedicated the true look and vibe of the Limited Edition American Vintage ’70s Hardtail Stratocaster to that era. Hardtail guitars are a great option for tuning stability, but they also have their own distinct sound—with more body mass, a string-through-body bridge, and no harmonic overtones from the tremolo block and springs, they’re Stratocaster models that truly have a sonic and stylistic identity all their own.

  • Maple neck with modern “C” profile and “large” headstock
  • 9.5″-radius maple fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets
  • Three American Vintage ’70s Stratocaster single-coil pickups
  • Five-way pickup switch
  • Black pickguard, control knobs and pickup switch tip
  • Vintage-style string-through-body hard-tail bridge
  • Comes in Black or 3-Color Sunburst

While you’re here, don’t forget to have a look at our entire stock of Fender guitars while you’re here!

Watch the Video Below of this awesome guitar in action!

Feb 19

Fender vw gti

Considerably the ideal automobile for the modern gigging musician, the new Volkswagen GTI has most of everything a guitar player needs and wants in a car; space, comfort, sportiness, and a kickin’ sound system! Motor Trend Magazine recently released an article showcasing the new model as well as glorifying the “Convergence of Cars & Guitars” over the years. But what makes this VW GTI so special is it’s Fender Premium Audio package, which provides the incredibly clear and powerful sound experience you need to get in the zone while on your way to your next show. You can get this system on a number of vehicles in Volkswagen’s lineup.

Rory Jornecka, writer at Motor Trend, also goes on to explain his dual hobbies of car and guitar obsession in the article, which is humorous considering many of us at The Zoo share the same habits. Between Music Zoo owner Tommy Colletti’s SRT-8 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Walt’s (photographer/blogger) stanced VW Golf MKV, it’s not hard to see that The Music Zoo is full of gear-heads. Furthermore, this article features some great photos and information on the new GTI as well as past Fender advertisements showcasing Car/Guitar collaborations. You can read the full Motor Trend article by clicking here! Also, be sure to check out  our inventory of Fender guitars on our site to quench your guitar thirst!

gti trunk open fender amp

vw mk7 trunk fender

fender vw speaker



Photos from Motor Trend Magazine



Feb 10


If you weren’t watching The Walking Dead this past Sunday, there’s a good chance you were probably tuned in to the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. But aside from the actual awards, we couldn’t help but notice the variety of guitars that graced the stage this year; from Ed Sheeran’s signature Taylor, to John Mayer’s Jackson Soloist. If the performances didn’t entertain us, we sure got a kick out of seeing the guitars that popped up. Have a look at the images below to see the guitars that made an appearance!


Eric Church’s Gibson Hummingbird



Brandy Clark’s Martin



Dwight Yoakam’s Gibson L-200

The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Show


Ed Sheeran’s Fender Strat



Ed Sheeran’s Taylor Signature & Jeff Lynne’s Gibson Les Paul



Angus Young’s Gibson SG



Beck’s Martin Acoustic



Hozier’s Gretsch



Juanes and his Sadowsky Guitar



John Mayer’s Pink Jackson Soloist



Paul McCartney’s Taylor




Images courtesy of Getty Images

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Jan 27

NAMM2015: Fender Custom Shop Master Builder John Cruz, who is normally known for his vintage and relic works has changed it up quite a bit on this one. In an effort to showcase his artistic style and range of musical genres (Metal!) he, along with Fender Custom Shop debuted the Zombie Stratocaster at NAMM 2015. Think of it as a tribute to the highly popular AMC series The Walking Dead. The horror themed artwork on this guitar, which even allows for the flame to come thru, was done by Joaquin Lopez and is both vivid and disturbing – in a good way of course! Check out the video below to see John Cruz describe this amazing and one-of-a-kind Strat! Check out our amazing selection of Fender Custom Shop guitars here.



2 piece ash body Quilted Maple Chambered

4A Flame Maple Neck

Pickups: EVH Humbuckers

Floyd Rose Original Tremolo with titanium upgraded parts and blocks

Burst finish with custom artwork by Joaquin Lopez

Custom inlays with spears and skulls

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Jan 22


Fender custom shop patchwork guitar stratocaster

NAMM2015 This beautifully unique Clown Patch Active Strat Master Built by Dale Wilson really caught our eye at the Fender Custom Shop Special Event at NAMM 2015! We were lucky enough to get our hands on this active Strat that boasts a beautiful multi-colored laquer finish along with a Clapton “V” neck shape and electronics. Have a look at the specs and additional info on this guitar below! This one-of-a-kind guitar is available for pre-order through us by contacting our sales staff via email at sales@themusiczoo.com. Stay tuned to our blog…we are excited to show you what’s next!




Masterbuilt by Dale Wilson

Alder Body

Multi-Colored Laquer Finish

1-Piece Maple Neck

7.25 Radius

Vintage Frets

Clapton “V” Neck Shape

Handwound Strat Fat 50’s Pickups

Clapton Electronics

½ Power Active Circuit

Jan 21

sand blasted stratocaster fender

NAMM2015 Fender is introducing a load of new styles for this year, among the lot are these new limited edition models featuring a head-turning sand-blasted finish. These guitars and basses have a rough-hewn look and feel and solid ash body. They’re all equipped with American standard pickups as well. If interested in pre-ordering any of these instruments, feel free to contact our sales staff via email at sales@themusiczoo.com or calling 516-626-9292. Check out the photos straight from the Fender booth at NAMM below!


Fender Limited Edition Sand-Blasted Stratocaster 

-Maple Fingerboard

-Sapphire Blue Transparent

Sand blasted fender 2015 namm


Fender Limited Edition Sand-Blasted Jazz Bass

-Maple Fingerboard

-Crimson Stain or Sapphire Blue Transparent



Fender Limited Edition Sand-Blasted Telecaster 

-Maple Fingerboard

-Sapphire Blue Transparent

Sand blasted fender 2015 namm


Fender Limited Edition Sand-Blasted Stratocaster 

-Maple Fingerboard

-Crimson Stain

Sand blasted fender 2015 namm

Jan 12

Gary Clark Jr. is becoming a household name in the blues guitar circuit, and it’s no surprise because the man has got some serious chops. Pair his soulful lines with his masterful tone and you’ve got a recipe for greatness. And with a tone like that, it’s no wonder he uses Fender amps. He recently sat down to talk briefly about his reason for choosing Fender and why he’s remained loyal to their gear. Check out the video above!

Be sure to check out our entire stock of Fender Amplifiers right here on our site!

Oct 30

Hardtop Strats Main

Wonderful results happen when The Music Zoo creates a customized, exclusive series of guitars. You’ll realize this when you play our brand new Hardtop Stratocasters that we designed and built with the Fender Custom Shop.

It’s called the Hardtop for a reason; each of these guitars is made rear-loaded without a pickguard, with easy access via a plate on the guitar’s back. The grain of the two-piece ash body looks fantastic under the nitrocellulose finish. And, as you’ll see, we went for a less-is-more, Hardtop Strats (5 of 11)minimalist, uncluttered aesthetic with these guitars. They’re available with one or two Bare Knuckle Mule humbucker pickups and the wiring is kept simple: just volume and tone controls on the one-pickup models and two volumes and a tone control, plus a heavy-duty three-way toggle switch. In the switch’s middle position, you can blend the output of each pickup using their independent volume controls.

Sonically, the Hardtop offers the kind of wide open tonal character that is rife with complex overtones and dynamic response. Musical information seems to pour out effortlessly and just like any guitar built using tap-tested tonewood—the kind that seems to ring like a bell before it’s even made into a guitar—the Hardtop has the kind of acoustic voice that is exceptional in every way. Strike a chord while unplugged, and you’ll feel the Hardtop shake and shimmer against your body and throughout your left Hardtop Strats (4 of 11)arm. The guitar’s body is very light—a contributing factor toward its rich tone—while the one-piece maple neck has a gentle,  rounded “V” profile that fits perfectly in your hand. A dark rosewood fretboard has a 9.5-inch radius and comes fitted with 6105 frets.

Is it a case of form following function? With regard to the one-pickup Hardtops, the answer is yes. Many guitarists love the one-pickup look and the message it seems to convey: “I just need one pickup by the bridge and a volume control to play mind-numbingly brilliant guitar,” as evidenced by the brilliance of Edward Van Halen. But there’s a function that underlies the form; using one pickup rather than two or three allows for less magnetic interference between the electronic components and less string-pull that would result from additional pickups. Which isn’t to say that the two-pickup Hardtop and the tonal versatility it offers is more or less preferable than the Hardtop Strats (1 of 1)-4one-pickup version. It’s a subjective choice for the musician that will use and enjoy this guitar. While on the topic of pickups, the Bare Knuckle Mules seem perfect for the Hardtop; they use Alnico IV magnets and other components that are identical to a vintage PAF. Response is quick in the bass and mids, while lower output offers great clarity and top-end shimmer that perfectly captures the nuances and harmonics present in the guitar’s acoustic voice.

Other details particular to the Hardtop Stratocaster include a dark-tint nitro finish on the neck, a very cool and basic Nocaster Fender headstock decal, and a custom tremolo bridge with vintage saddles. When it comes down to basics, the Hardtop Strat is the perfect combination of simplicity and complexity intertwined. It’s a Music Zoo exclusive, designed and built for players who can tell the difference between good and great…a guitar for the guitarists! These guitars are available right here on our site! Feel free to check out our entire stock of exclusive Fender Custom Shop guitars as well!

Have a look at the set of photos below showcasing two of these Fender Custom Shop beauties!

Hardtop Strats (2 of 11)

Hardtop Strats (5 of 11)

Hardtop Strats (8 of 11)

Hardtop Strats (2 of 3)

Hardtop Strats (1 of 1)

Hardtop Strats (2 of 3)

Hardtop Strats (1 of 1)-3

Hardtop Strats (4 of 11)

Hardtop Strats (3 of 11)

Hardtop Strats (11 of 11)

Hardtop Strats (1 of 11)

Oct 08

Tom Petty Kingman Main 2

The Fender Acoustic Custom Shop is very proud to introduce the limited edition Tom Petty Kingman dreadnought, beautifully crafted with the famed singer/songwriter’s personal style and specs and bearing his signature on the back of the headstock and on the soundhole label. With the Heartbreakers, the Traveling Wilburys, on his own and more, Petty has crafted hit after smartly infectious hit for five decades now, and the Tom Petty Kingman is a great-looking, rich-sounding tribute to one of rock’s most enduringly acclaimed figures. Have a look below for all of the special features as well as the full spec-list for this guitar. For info on ordering, feel free to contact our sales staff! While your here, check out our inventory of Fender Custom Shop Guitars on our site!



The Tom Petty Kingman guitar’s AA Sitka spruce top resonates delightfully

alongside warm, balanced genuine mahogany back and sides.



Petty tweaked his Fishman® VT-2 pickup/preamp system with the addition

of two top-mounted control knobs, a feature typically seen on ’60s-style acoustic guitars.



For retro-style resonance and a natural feel, the Tom Petty Kingman

comes lacquered with a thin nitrocellulose finish.



A ’62 Stratocaster headstock adorns a classic “C” shaped

neck, glossed with a “Midas gold” finish.



Petty gave his namesake instrument a true seal of approval, with a genuine

signature inside the soundbox alongside a handwritten serial number.


Body Material: Solid AA Sitka Spruce Top with Genuine Mahogany Back and Sides
Body Finish: Gloss Nitrocellulose Lacquer
Body Shape: Dreadnought
Bracing: Forward Shifted Scalloped X
Rosette: Checkerboard
Body Binding: Ivoroid
Body Back: Solid Mahogany
Body Sides: Solid Mahogany
Body Top: Solid AA Sitka Spruce
Purfling: Black/White/Black
Neck Material: 1-Piece Maple
Neck Finish: Gloss Nitrocellulose Lacquer
Neck Shape: “C” Shape
Scale Length: 25.625″ (650.8 mm)
Fingerboard: Rosewood
Fingerboard Radius: 10″ (254 mm)
Number of Frets: 20
Fret Size: Vintage-Style
String Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 1.7″ (43.2 mm)
Position Inlays: Vintage Clay Dot
Aug 22

Fender versus Shelby Main Image

We’ve always lusted after the 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350H that lives in the stable of cars just beneath the Music Zoo. It’s owned by the Zoo’s landlord, Howard Kroplick, a car collector who knows the way to our hearts via a pretty amazing collection of vintage cars. With its Wimbledon White finish and gold Le Mans stripes, Ford Mustang GT “Fastback” body style, and car-isma that nearly had us forgetting that guitars ever existed, Howard’s car and its ilk epitomized automobile greatness. It’s these cars that paved the road for those incredible Detroit muscle cars that came in the next few years, among them the Camaro, GTO, Barracuda, and AMC Javelin.

Car culture was beyond huge in the ‘60s, and the automobile mystique seemed to tie-in with everything, including guitars. It wouldn’t be long before the racing car motif found its way onto ’69 Fender Mustangs with competition “racing” stripes. Meanwhile, the off-white and gold mashup bridged the connection of cars and guitars when a very, very rare Fender Custom Shop guitar built specially for Reverend Billy Gibbons showed up at our door. We realized there was a Cars and Guitars hookup that had to happen.

We’ll start with the car since it was here first. On first glance, the casual passerby might think, “Okay, a vintage Ford Mustang with racing stripes.” Howard’s car is actually a 1966 Shelby Mustang. Certainly, the GT350 began life in a Ford factory in San Jose, California before making its way to the garage of race car legend Carroll Shelby, whose Shelby American company would modify the cars with custom Magnum 500 wheels, disc brakes, a Cobra engine (water-cooled V8 with overhead valves and 306 hp at 6000 rpms), high-performance shocks, and a torque-controlled rear axle.

Of the 2,370 GT350s acquired by Shelby, 999 were specially modified for the Hertz Sports Car Club, which invited card-carrying Hertz car rental customers the privilege of driving a Shelby modified racing car, for $17 dollars a day and 17 cents per mile. “Business travelers whoMustang Main (1 of 1) want a change in pace in motoring, sports car owners away from home, vacationers who consider driving an enjoyable holiday sport,” read Hertz’s advertisement. You can tell that its 1966, and traffic wasn’t what it is now. The GT350 earned the “H” designation for the purpose of distinguishing it as a Hertz rental car. Another tell-tale indicator of this car—and any other Mustang, new or old, is the gold racing stripes throughout. The gold stripes specifically indicate that the car is a Hertz rental, along with the standard automatic transmission. Kroplick acquired the GT350H in 2004 at an auto auction, the first car in a collection that also includes the famed 1909 Alco Racer that we profiled in the Cars and Guitars: Beauty and the Beast article that we published as a blog in July, 2014. Vroom! Let’s now turn our attention to the guitar.

Approximately three years ago, guitar journalist Tom Wheeler created a meticulous and detailed coffee table book that celebrated the Fender Custom Shop and its one-of-a kind guitars. Titled “The Dream Factory: Fender Custom Shop”, it captures some of the most fantastic, inconceivable solid-body Fender guitars ever created. Interviewed within are a cast of artisans involved in making the Custom Shop guitars such as jewelers, graffiti artists, fire breathers (just kidding!), wood carvers, pinstripers, pearl inlay artists, and a master luthier or two.

One of these master luthiers is Chris Fleming, a Music Zoo friend and Custom Shop veteran who’s built many incredible guitar imaginings for players such as Billy F. Gibbons—a guy known for his hardly unordinary guitars. In the “Dream Factory’s” introduction—written by Gibbons—he describes a visit to the Custom Shop to pick up three new instruments that he commissioned Fleming to build. Gibbons took two and left one behind with Fender Custom’s Mike Eldred, and much later the guitar made its way to The Music Zoo.

So what is it? In essence it’s a Fender Custom Shop Billy Gibbons Stratocaster. One of us—okay, this writer in fact—have called it the “Fender Custom Shop Duo-Strato-Tele” because it draws inspiration from three distinctly Fender designs: The late 1950s-era Fender Duo-Sonic (and Mustang Shoot (4 of 7)single-pickup Musicmaster), the Stratocaster, and the Telecaster. Fleming essentially took a Stratocaster’s contoured body, pickguard shape, the slanted bridge pickup, and Strat control knobs, and combined it with a Telecaster neck. The pièce de résitance, however, is the late ‘50s classic, eight-screw gold anodized pickguard which perfectly completes the look. And, all you have to do is hold this thing to realize it’s the greatest guitar of all time, or at least that moment in time; a feeling similar to watching a guitar master like Jeff Beck, when all sense of temporality is paused and for that distinct moment he’s the only guitarist that matters. And then the bubble pops.

The Gibbons Strat was built by Fleming with an ultra-lightweight ash body, perfect for Gibbons who always plays guitars as close to featherweight as possible. There’s an aged maple neck with a Tele headstock, 9.5” radius, a big soft “V” profile, and 21 big 6105 frets. The pickup is a custom-wound and noiseless stacked humbucker pickup. Electronics also feature a volume control and a Greasebucket tone control that allows Billy G. to retain top end when he lowers the guitar’s volume. Then there’s a chrome vintage-style hardtail bridge that aesthetically compliments the gold pickguard. Finally, the Sperzel non-locking tuners have pearloid knobs that subtly blend in with the entire color story. And them’s just the parts; Chris Fleming’s brilliance as a guitar builder is evident with the Gibbons Strat’s brilliant aging. He could probably be on staff at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art doing anti-restoration or aging if he wanted. Let’s start with the body and its translucent Vintage Blonde finish, which is lacquer-checked throughout and aged such that a slightly brown-ish discoloration appears in all the right places: near screws on the side-mounted jack plate, on the tummy cut, on the body’s edges and cutaways. The very subtle dings and marks here and there have the kind of slight discoloration that would normally happen over time. Meanwhile, the neck is aged to show heavy player wear and lacquer checking, and Fleming even captured the time-honored discoloration around the frets that occurs with vintage guitars. Yep, exquisite is the word.

As we said earlier, playing the Gibbons Strat is like suspending the space-time continuum. That lightweight ash body contributes to amazing acoustic transparency and presence. And plugged in, it’s bridge-pickup Stratsville all the way—somewhat hot, but combined with the natural sustain Strat Edits (7 of 7)and acoustic properties you’ll hear amazing harmonic detail and nuances. Up the amp gain and this guitar growls and barks. Hit some nice broken chords while picking close to the bridge and it’s too beautiful for words. The sonic detail is the result of the lightweight ash, that great Strat-like custom-wound “hot” single-coil, and a whole lotta mojo and x-factor that we can’t pinpoint. Often, great guitars—and great American cars from Detroit’s golden era of high-quality, high-performance design—just have that…thing! Hats off to Ford, Carroll Shelby, Leo Fender and Chris Fleming, and Reverend Billy for helping to make American design and culture the envy of the world.

Written By Mike Bieber

Photographs By Walter Bryant

Fender Meets Mustang Sized (2 of 10)

Fender Meets Mustang Sized (1 of 10)

Fender Meets Mustang Sized (6 of 10)

Fender Meets Mustang Sized (5 of 10)

Fender Meets Mustang Sized (9 of 10)

Fender Meets Mustang Sized (8 of 10)

Fender Meets Mustang Sized (10 of 10)

Fender Meets Mustang Sized (5 of 10)

Fender Meets Mustang Sized (1 of 1)

Fender Meets Mustang Sized (3 of 10)

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