Back in the 1940’s, Leo Fender made some custom guitars and amplifiers. He later created instrument amplifiers with built-in tone controls. These were the first in the world. Fender made many improvements to guitars. He introduced the Broadcaster in 1951. This was the prototype for a solid-body guitar. This prototype eventually became the Telecaster®. This guitar went into commercial production and was the first of its kind to do so. It was a solid-body electric Spanish-style guitar.
CBS purchased the company from Fender in 1965 when he was in poor health. For the next two decades, Fender Musical Instruments continued to grow. However, CBS was not as committed to music and musicians as Bender had been. Therefore they hired a new management team to make improvements to Fender in 1981. The company now had a new business plan that included improving the quality of their products. They were also going to commit themselves to more research and development so that they could increase Fender’s presence in the market.
Fender was purchased from CBS by William So, in 1985. The company was now in the hands of people dedicated to music. They wanted to create the best guitars and amplifiers in the world for musicians. When they bought the company they did not receive any equipment or buildings. The only thing they gained was the name and patents. They also had a few parts that had been left over in stock. The group was supported by many loyal employees, dealers and suppliers. Many of these people had worked with the company since it was started by Fender.
The Fender Company started out by importing guitars. However, they wanted more control over the quality of the guitars. They began building a factory in Corona, California. They later built another manufacturing facility. They wanted to be able to produce more guitars that were top quality and affordable. Fender acquired Sunn in 1987. This was a line of amplifiers that had been endorsed by the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. Thus Fender re-entered the amplifier business.
At Fender, they would accept requests for specific features for guitars from musicians. They were willing to accommodate these requests for individuals. This led them to eventually begin a custom operation. Many of the world’s best guitarists work with the Fender Custom Shop in Corona, California. Together they create excellent guitars. They now create custom amplifiers.
The headquarters for Fender was moved to Scottsdale Arizona in 1991. Fender now had many facilities throughout the world in places including the United States, London, Germany, France, China, Japan and Korea.
With the growth of country music they began to expand their line of acoustic guitars. They are the exclusive distributor of the Manuel Rodriguez line of nylon-stringed guitars. These are hand crafted and prestigious guitars.
In 1997, Fender purchased the DeArmond brand of musical instrument pickups. The combined the company with Guild. They could now offer another line of high quality, affordable guitars and basses. Then in 1998, they introduced DeArmond Guitars. That same year, Fender reintroduced the Sunn line of amplifiers. They had spent the previous years studying the original Sunn Products.
Also in 1998, Fender opened their new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. It was located in Corona. All American-made Fender guitars are built here. The facility has the capacity to make more than 350 guitars every day.
Fender’s custom shop is able to offer the world’s best custom instruments. Today Fender provides nearly everything guitar players’ needs including the guitars, strings, amplifiers and other accessories. They are a leading manufacturer of electric guitars and amplifiers in the world.