Fender Custom Shop Guitars
Authorized Fender Custom Shop Dealer
The Music Zoo is one of the top Fender Custom Shop Dealers in the world! We maintain an impressive selection of Teambuilt and Masterbuilt Stratocasters, Telecasters, and Basses. We stock new and used Fender Custom Shop Collection models, Artist Signature models, and Limited Edition builds. The Music Zoo also specializes in one-off custom creations and exclusive model runs like our Ultimate Relic, NoNeck, and ZF guitars. Shop our exclusive builds online now, or contact us to custom order your own dream Custom Shop guitar.
Since 2000, The Music Zoo has been at the forefront of custom-building and expertly displaying Fender Custom Shop guitars. Both our award-winning website and our beautiful showroom in Farmingdale, NY offer an unparallelled guitar buying experience. Fender Custom Shop even holds an annual Roadshow Event right here at The Music Zoo. Our custom specifications are player-driven, and our customer service is knowledgeable and experienced.
Each Fender Custom Shop model you see on our site will be photographed individually, with a description about that specific guitar which covers player notes, key specifications, weight, neck measurements, serial number, and included accessories, just like we've done for over 20 years. Our staff is standing by to answer any questions you may have on Fender Custom Shop products!
Fender Custom Shop Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Fender Custom Shop guitar?
The Fender Custom Shop represents the top tier of products being manufactured by the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. It was established to showcase the ability of Fender's Master Builders, as well as meet the consumer demands for customized guitar builds. You may be familiar with Fender USA, Made in Mexico (MIM), or Made in Japan (MIJ) guitars and basses. The Custom Shop similarly is its own division within the Fender brand, with its own set of builders, producing instruments in the same Corona, CA facility as the USA model production. The Custom Shop is responsible for reissuing specific model year guitars and basses, developing artist signature models, building instruments to customer specifications, and creating showpieces to display at events such as the annual NAMM Show.
How long does it take to make a Fender Custom Shop guitar?
The general build time for a Fender Custom Shop instrument varies from about 4 months up to 10 months. Availability of materials, complexity of build, and basic backlog of orders can all be contributing factors to how long a Custom Order will take. Over the years we have found a 6 month ETA is about average for Teambuilt guitars. Masterbuilt guitars can take 6 to 10 months, however some builders have up to a 4 year backlog due to high demand. The Music Zoo can get an accurate estimated build time for your Fender Custom Shop idea by submitting your specifications to our sales team for a free quote.
How much does a Fender Custom Shop guitar cost?
The price for a new or used Fender Custom Shop guitar can vary from around $2,000 to more than $10,000. Generally speaking, the more limited, ornate, or complicated the build, the more expensive the guitar will be. A Masterbuilt guitar will generally cost more than a Teambuilt guitar. The Music Zoo can provide you with an exact price for your Fender Custom Shop idea by submitting your specs to our sales team for a free quote. We can also provide you with a current market value if you are looking to trade or consign your Fender Custom Shop guitar.
Are Fender Custom Shop guitars worth it?
In short, they can be, yes. The Custom Shop is like the all-star team of guitar builders at Fender. They have put their absolute best people in place, and given them the best woods, parts, and materials to build with. Odds are, the best people with the best materials will produce the best results. Additionally, if you are after a look, feel, or sound you cannot seem to find anywhere else, a Fender Custom Shop personalized build may be the exact thing to satiate your tonequest. That said, as with all things in life, more expensive does not mean more happiness. We suggest you try out some Fender Custom Shop guitars and see for yourself whether the tone, feel, and quality floor you. And ask yourself if you are ready to have a unique guitar created to suit your specific needs. If the answer is yes, the Fender Custom Shop is ready for you.
Exclusive Fender Custom Shop Models
We are constantly working up cool ideas for one-off customs, but sometimes an idea strikes that seems so good, that we turn it into an Exclusive Run. Below are a few of our current Fender Custom Shop Music Zoo Exclusive Models. These are builds we have painstakingly dialed-in with our friends at the Custom Shop, or brainstormed directly with specific Masterbuilders. These Music Zoo Exclusive Models are available on our site as production capacity allows, or can be custom ordered to meet your desired specification.
Fender Custom Shop Ultimate Relic Stratocaster & Telecaster Masterbuilt
In 2003 we began the pursuit of a more heavily aged guitar. Fender's Relic option then featured light checking, some dings, and if you were lucky, arm wear. The idea of heavy aging was foreign, and not even an option. This off-book idea we had to remove 80% of the guitar's finish was met with uncertainty. We were told it sounded too aged; nobody was going to believe an "abused" guitar with no historic relevance. But, we went for it anyways! The Ultimate Relic was born, and became the very first extremely heavily aged guitar available on the market. Seeing John Mayer's Black One, or the one Adam Levine rocked at the Super Bowl, we like to think the idea was a success.
The Ultimate Relic is a modern guitar, featuring a 9.5" radius, medium jumbo frets, and a factory 5-way switch. We sort for lightweight bodies, pick dark rosewood boards, add humbuckers, or mod the wiring where applicable. Beyond these player-friendly specs, the original concept is just all about the aging package: getting to a level of distress that is still unavailable anywhere else! This extreme aging is an option to be applied to any reissue model year Strat, Tele or Bass, and can be done in any color that suits. Available Masterbuilt only from a number of builders including Jason Smith, and Dale Wilson. While each builder has their signature style, the core of the concept rings true: the most Ultimate Relic you will find anywhere!
Masterbuilder Aging Examples From Our Archive:
Fender Custom Shop 1960 NoNeck Stratocaster
The Music Zoo Exclusive NoNeck features the best of both worlds: a slab board '60 Strat paired with a 51 Nocaster neck (NoNeck) profile. Historically over the years Fender's Stratocaster and Telecaster have evolved, however each year the neck carve and fingerboard wood was essentially the same for both models. In the early 2000's, we simply could not get enough reissue Nocasters from the Custom Shop. That 1951 style Tele, Leo's original concept, was easily the most requested guitar in large part due to that unique, full neck shape. Since there was no parallel Strat in 1951, there was never a historic guitar with this neck profile, so we decided to make our own and the NoNeck was born.
Other modern player specs include a 9.5" radius, medium jumbo frets, 5-way switch, and a reverse wound reverse polarity middle pickup. Available NOS through heavy relic with your choice of dark rosewood slab board or traditional one piece maple neck. We also love dressing up the NoNeck with a '51 style ash body, blonde finish, and single ply guard! Custom order your own variation, or cherry pick one from our site. Available Teambuilt or Masterbuilt.
NoNeck Examples From Our Archive:
Fender Custom Shop ZF Stratocaster & Telecaster
The Music Zoo Exclusive ZF guitar is the ultimate hot rod player from the Custom Shop! Why let all of those other companies steal the thunder of the "Super Strat"? Originally a Masterbuilt only upgrade, the Floyd Rose has been carefully applied here to a Teambuilt guitar to be offered at The Music Zoo with greater availability, more affordability, and with endless customization options. If you're a shredder, soloist, or a technical wizard, The Music Zoo ZF (Zoo Floyd) Strat & Tele is a highly adaptable platform that can be configured to meet your needs.
Traditionally we offer the ZF with a Floyd Rose tremolo, locking nut, 12" radius, medium jumbo frets and a HSS pickup configuration. The pickup layout is customizable to suit your needs and can be ordered HS, HH, or HSH as well. Add a reverse headstock, delete tone knobs, mod the electronics, or delete the pickguard and go rear-loaded for a super-80's vibe. Available NOS through heavy relic across various reissue years and colors, so pick the aging, woods, and hue that suit your personality and sound. Though we stock a number of variations, we find most players requesting a custom order of their preferred specification. We even offer a Telecaster version with a single coil at the bridge and humbucker at the neck, a setup popular for Nashville and studio players who want Tele bridge twang mixed with soaring leads!
ZF Examples From Our Archive:
How To Custom Order A Fender Custom Shop Guitar
The Music Zoo has been helping guitar players custom order their perfect Custom Shop builds for 20 years. Having been an Authorized Fender Custom Shop Dealer for so long, we've gained a ton of experience by visiting the factory, hosting Roadshow Events, and building personal relationships with individual Masterbuilders and the folks who manage the Custom Shop day to day. We spec out our own ideas and dream guitars for our own inventory too. We're just as excited to help you build the guitar of your dreams as our very own.
Create Your Specifications
To get started with a Fender Custom Shop Custom Order, you're going to need to submit a list of specs to your Music Zoo sales associate. Though you can if you like, don't feel compelled to select or modify every component of the guitar. We recommend starting with a base model such as a specific year reissue guitar or bass, a Music Zoo Exclusive, or even just something cool you saw online. With a deep archive at their fingertips, the Custom Shop can easily pull up core specs for the base model, part number, or most serial numbers you submit to us. This will give us a great jumping off point, expedite the quote process, and ensure we get your idea dialed in correctly. Once you have a base model selected, you'll want to simply bullet point any changes you have in mind to make the build your very own.
Another approach to identifying your perfect spec is to start with a simple idea such as a certain sound, look, or feel that you're not finding with any other guitar. We can then help you narrow done which model and specification changes would capture that idea best. Sometimes the simple ideas lead to the coolest builds! Plus with the incredible skills the men and women of the Custom Shop possess, virtually any idea can be accomplished!
Pro Tip: Visit Our Fender Custom Shop Archive for inspiration!
Get A Quote For Your Custom Order
With an idea for a build and a list of specs ready, The Music Zoo will be able to request a quote from the Custom Shop. You can email your specs, ideas, and any supporting photos to us and we'll handle the rest. Quotes are free with no obligation to buy. Quotes from Fender Custom Shop can take a few days or up to a few weeks to get back. Pricing, build time, and quote time are all dependent on many factors like the complexity of the build, cost of materials, and availability of resources.
Once we receive the quote back from the Custom Shop, we'll be able to provide you with exact pricing and an estimated build time. We can also provide you with an official build sheet from Fender, the same sheet they will use while building your guitar. This would be the opportunity to check your quote for accuracy, make spec changes, or discuss how your specifications may impact pricing or build time. Certain specs may require the guitar to be Masterbuilt. Certain specs may be currently unavailable. We won't know until the quote is back. There is no obligation nor any rush to order, and most times the quoted price and general ETA should be valid for the next handful of months. The most important part of the quote process is getting your dreams dialed-in to make sure you're comfortable and ready to commit to a Custom Build.
Masterbuilt vs Teambuilt
A Masterbuilt guitar is built exclusively by one person: a member of the Custom Shop's elite tier of luthiers called Masterbuilders. A Teambuilt guitar, as the name suggests, is built by a team of individuals. Teambuilt guitars are the core models you see day to day from Fender Custom Shop, and they can be custom ordered to include any spec on the current price list. A Masterbuilt guitar can be ordered with any spec available on a Teambuilt guitar, plus you can add any off-book spec you are looking to achieve. For example, if you wanted your name inlaid on the fingerboard, a double neck guitar, or a one-piece Brazilian Rosewood Neck, it would have to be done by a Masterbuilder. Though the Masterbuilders are extremely gifted, there may be some ideas that are just not feasible. And at the same time, the more ornate or complicated the specification, generally the more expensive the price.
So are Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilt guitars worth it? They can be, yes. Generally, the best reason to go Masterbuilt is to get a specification otherwise unavailable through a Teambuilt guitar. Or, maybe you just really enjoy what a specific Masterbuilder is producing and posting on Instagram, so you would love to have a guitar of your very own built by them. Masterbuilders generally have a premium choice of woods, can give you a call to discuss your build beforehand, and will build the finest guitar the Custom Shop can produce. However as with all guitars, you may have two identical models and simply prefer one as a player to the other. Or you may have found a less expensive guitar you like more than your expensive guitar. So that said, all Fender Custom Shop guitars are impeccable, and going Masterbuilt does not ensure a "better playing guitar" necessarily. It ensures one of Fender Custom Shop's top luthier's attention to detail, a one-to-one customer experience, and ultimately unlocks all of the specs and possibilities not offered through Teambuilt.
Place Your Order
Once you have had your idea quoted by The Music Zoo, and you have decided on Teambuilt or Masterbuilt, you're ready to place the order! The Music Zoo will require a deposit to get the ball rolling, and your balance will be due once the guitar is completed and ready to ship. Once we officially place the order with Fender, no more changes will be able to be made to your build. These orders take a lot of planning on Fender's side, and once they enter the production stream, changes are just simply not viable. Custom Orders that have entered production also cannot be cancelled. Custom Orders fall outside of our normal approval period for new guitars, they are considered final sale since The Music Zoo and Fender Custom Shop are building this guitar to suit your personal needs. However, we do guarantee that your guitar will be built correctly, to your exacting specs, and we'll be here to provide support for the instrument well into the future.
Get Started Today
View the 2020 Fender Custom Shop Design Guide pdf below. It is full of information and custom options to dial in the specs for your Fender Custom Shop build!
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The Music Zoo stocks one of the deepest selections of Fender Custom Shop guitars in the world! View the entire catalog of products on our site right now. Experience secure checkout and receive fast, free shipping with your online order today. Take advantage of our special financing options on Fender Custom Shop guitars.