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Masterbuilt or Teambuilt? Check the Custom Shop Logo!

Fessler '64 Gold Sparkle Relic Strat Alert!

Custom Shop Masterbuilt Logo StampImage A - Masterbuilt Logo (Greg Fessler)

Custom Shop Logo Headstock StampImage B - Standard Custom Shop Logo

The best way to differentiate a Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilt guitar from a Teambuilt is to check the logo stamp behind the headstock.

A Masterbuilt will always include the builder's signature with the logo. Teambuilt models do not. Check that first. Then check the Cert and serial number. Fender Consumer Relations 1 (800) 856-9801 can verify a ser# and provide background info on an instrument. I've gotten immediate verification when doing this.

Sometimes Custom Shop continues a Masterbuilt model series with a Teambuilt version. And sometimes questionable sellers misrepresent Teambuilt models as Masterbuilts. An example of this is the Greg Fessler '64 Gold Sparkle Relic Strat of which 100 Masterbuilts were produced. Following that run, a Teambuilt run of '64 Gold Sparkle Strats was produced which can be referred to as a "Master Design" by Greg Fessler. However, it is a Teambuilt model produced in the Custom Shop, but not built exclusively by Greg Fessler.

The bottom photo (Image C), shows the relic'd finish wear on the Fessler Masterbuilt Gold Sparkle models. A Teambuilt Master Design model has a full finish on the back of the neck. The Teambuilts are also Relics but have considerably less neck wear & aging. A TB neck will look nothing like the one pictured below. Remember I'm referring specifically to the '64 Gold Sparkle Strats.

While Teambuilt guitars are great, they are of lesser market value than the higher price pointed Masterbuilt versions of the same model series, as in the case of the Fessler Gold Sparkle Strats.

I'm telling you this because lately, Teambuilt versions have been showing up promoted as Masterbuilts at MB pricing points. A dealer in Michigan and one in Baltimore, MD-- selling on eBay and their own sites have been contacted and urged to correct and clarify their item descriptions. And one of them actually did!

Fessler Masterbuilt '64 Gold Sparkle Relic Strat NeckImage C - Fessler Masterbuilt '64 Gold Sparkle Relic Strat Neck

Image Credits:

Images A & C - www.gbase.com/gear/fender-sold-greg-fessler-masterb

Image B - www.stratocastertalk.com/showthread.php?t=1338
(user "Stangmaster")

NOTE: When shopping guitars and any music gear on eBay, following a few simple guidelines can help ensure that things go right.

The following eBay pages were written by experts at buying & selling gear online-- the "vintage" guides are referenced as they are the most thorough and detailed:



CLICK HERE for new & pre-owned Fender Custom Shop Strats. A few Authorized FCS dealers also operate eBay Stores. Our directory includes high rated dealers.

EARLY FCS LOGOS - supplementary (1987 - early 90's)

Earlier oval style and "artist palette" Fender Custom Shop logos may or may not include builder signatures-- see examples below. Either way, due to their age but depending upon condition, guitars with these logos tend toward vintage and collectible status. Their values will be quite variable. Just do your research, get all the info and contact Fender Support for cross verification. Then seek an appraisal from someplace like www.gruhn.com where clicking on their "Appraisal" link provides a full rundown of what's needed to establish an instrument's value.

Late 80's "Artist Palette logo-- no builder signature.

Early 90's Oval style with builder signature (JW Black)

Fender Japan Custom "Edition"

(When someone refers to Fender Japan Custom Shop, look for the Custom Edition logo.)

If you didn’t read this at Stratoblogster.com Guitar Blog, it’s been bootlegged! ©2006 - 2014 JP Holesworth. All rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted, distributed or duplicated without author’s written permission.
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