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Fender Stringmaster

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Fender Stringmaster
ManufacturerFender
Period1953–1980
Construction
Body typeSolid
Scale26, 24.5, and 22.5in
Woods
BodyAsh
Hardware
BridgeFender One Piece
Pickup(s)2 proprietary single coils
Colors available
Daphne Blue, Dakota Red, Olympic White, Competition Red, Competition Blue, Competition Orange, Sunburst

The Fender Stringmaster is a series of console steel guitars produced by Fender from 1953 to 1980.

Models were available with two, three and four necks, each neck with eight strings. The four neck version, known as the quad or Q-8, was discontinued in 1968.

Electrics

The 1953 MkI models had twin pickups that had stamped Chrome covers with no blend control. The pickups were blended via the tone control; Full off being Bridge Pickup and as the tone control was advanced the Neck pickup was progressively activated. Later the MkII had two single-coil pickups on each neck with black plastic covers, the blend achieved by a small wheel attached to a pot that sat just behind the bridge, introduced in 1954. The bridge pick-up was always on, and the neck pickup could be fed in to taste using the blend pot. Because the pickups were wired with reversed polarities, blending in the neck pickup caused the pickup configuration to be "hum-bucking". Basically the pickup design was a Humbucker split in half and mounted as two interconnected units. A neck selector switch controlled which neck's pickups were 'live'. On earlier 1950s models, the neck selector was controlled originally by slide switches and later by push-buttons. A single tone and a single volume control served the entire instrument.

Scale lengths

The original 1953 models had a long scale length, at 26" (33 frets). From 1954 the scale length was reduced, and two shorter lengths were available, 24.5" (31 frets) and 22.5" (29 frets). To determine the guitar's scale count the markers past the 24th fret; there are 2, 3, and 4 markers for the 22.5", 24.5", and 26" guitars respectively.

Fender Deluxe 6/8

A single neck version was also available, called the "Fender Deluxe 6" or "Fender Deluxe 8", in both six and eight string versions respectively. NOTE: An earlier single neck guitar with a trapezoid shaped pickup was called the "Fender Deluxe" but it is not a Stringmaster guitar. These guitars are not Stringmasters but use a very similar neck design neck and the same electronics configuration and are often categorized with them. All models of Stringmaster and Deluxe were simply called steel guitars in Fender publications; since the domination of pedal steel guitar non-pedal guitars like the Stringmaster are often referred to as console steel guitars or lap steel guitars.

The name Fender Deluxe was a common Fender model name, also used for an unrelated series of Fender combo amplifiers produced from the 1940s to the present day, see Fender Deluxe Reverb.

Discover more about Fender Deluxe 6/8 related topics

Steel guitar

Steel guitar

A steel guitar is any guitar played while moving a steel bar or similar hard object against plucked strings. The bar itself is called a "steel" and is the source of the name "steel guitar". The instrument differs from a conventional guitar in that it is played without using frets; conceptually, it is somewhat akin to playing a guitar with one finger. Known for its portamento capabilities, gliding smoothly over every pitch between notes, the instrument can produce a sinuous crying sound and deep vibrato emulating the human singing voice. Typically, the strings are plucked by the fingers of the dominant hand, while the steel tone bar is pressed lightly against the strings and moved by the opposite hand.

Pedal steel guitar

Pedal steel guitar

The pedal steel guitar is a console-type of steel guitar with pedals and knee levers that change the pitch of certain strings to enable playing more varied and complex music than other steel guitar designs. Like all steel guitars, it can play unlimited glissandi and deep vibrati—characteristics it shares with the human voice. Pedal steel is most commonly associated with American country music and Hawaiian music.

Lap steel guitar

Lap steel guitar

The lap steel guitar, also known as a Hawaiian guitar, is a type of steel guitar without pedals that is typically played with the instrument in a horizontal position across the performer's lap. Unlike the usual manner of playing a traditional acoustic guitar, in which the performer's fingertips press the strings against frets, the pitch of a steel guitar is changed by pressing a polished steel bar against plucked strings. Though the instrument does not have frets, it displays markers that resemble them. Lap steels may differ markedly from one another in external appearance, depending on whether they are acoustic or electric, but in either case, do not have pedals, distinguishing them from pedal steel guitar.

Instrument amplifier

Instrument amplifier

An instrument amplifier is an electronic device that converts the often barely audible or purely electronic signal of a musical instrument into a larger electronic signal to feed to a loudspeaker. An instrument amplifier is used with musical instruments such as an electric guitar, an electric bass, electric organ, synthesizers and drum machine to convert the signal from the pickup or other sound source into an electronic signal that has enough power, due to being routed through a power amplifier, capable of driving one or more loudspeaker that can be heard by the performers and audience.

Fender Deluxe Reverb

Fender Deluxe Reverb

The Fender Deluxe Reverb is a guitar amplifier made by the Fender Electric Instrument Company and its successors. It was first introduced in 1963 by incorporating an onboard spring reverb tank to the newly redesigned Fender Deluxe amplifier.

Source: "Fender Stringmaster", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Stringmaster.

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External links
  • Extract from p. 32 of the 1972 Fender guitar and bass catalogue, describing the Stringmaster twin and triple neck models then available.

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