Fender Custom Shop Violinmaster Tele inspired by Joshua Bell’s 300-year-old violin

Fender’s Custom Shop is proud to announce the launch of the limited edition Violinmaster Telecaster® Relic® guitar, the newest custom-built creation from Principal Master Builder, Yuriy Shishkov.

Inspired by the world renowned violinist, Joshua Bell and his legendary 1713 “Gibson ex-Huberman” Stradivarius violin, Yuriy Shishkov set out to make this iconic instrument his muse for his latest Fender Custom Shop showpiece by personally reaching out to the artist himself.

Joshua Bell

“When I started designing the Violinmaster, I had to include as many violin elements in the guitar as possible,” said Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov. “With a Telecaster ‘backdrop’ platform, I was able to include violin-style arched carved profiles in the back and top, violin purfling, a newly designed “floating” bridge, strings tailpiece, and most importantly a proportionally scaled copy of the Huberman Stradivarius violin “F” Holes. “In the “Violinmaster” concept, I wanted to “blend” the violin and classic Telecaster guitar together without adding something that a guitar player wouldn’t ever need. For me, innovation is a never-ending process which is a part of my job. It helps me make something better, new, or even the impossible.”

Mimicking its bold design, Shishkov has captured the essence of the 300-year old violin through both its look and feel as a reincarnation in the form of a guitar. The instrument’s design includes a Fender Patent Pending Floating bridge with interchangeable four saddles (Bronze, Ocean Coral, Buffalo Horn and Ebony) that will come in a small “violin case” made from leftovers of the body’s “core” flame maple, a custom made Ebony/brass tailpiece. It also contains copied and proportionally scaled Huberman Stradivarius violin “F” holes, and a newly designed “round-lam fingerboard”, headstock adjust with no “skunk stripe” 22 frets neck. The Fender Custom Shop™ will be releasing up to 60 built to order Fender® Violinmaster Telecaster guitars globally.

With a career spanning over thirty years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, conductor and director, Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. Bell has performed with every major orchestra in the world on six continents, and has served as Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields since 2011. His “Gibson ex-Huberman” Stradivarius violin holds just as many accolades as he does, having belonged to some of history’s most renowned violinists since the early 1700s. The Fender Custom Violinmaster Telecaster Relic creation further commemorates the history of the historic Stradivarius violin.

“I was simply blown away by the beauty of the Fender Custom Shop guitar and amazed at how Yuriy managed to capture the spirit and aesthetic of my 1713 Stradivarius violin, while creating something entirely unique,” said Joshua Bell.

Fender’s Dream Factory content series takes viewers inside the Fender Custom Shop to showcase the epicenter of guitar-building innovation through discussions with the Master Builders. Based on the legendary “Huberman” Stradivarius violin, the Yuriy Shishkov Violinmaster translates one of the world’s most prized instruments – now owned by renowned violinist Joshua Bell – into guitar form. Limited to 60 guitars, the striking model features a hollow flame maple body, patent pending floating bridge with interchangeable saddles and combination of piezo and electronic pickups — and comes complete with an authentic European hand-polished violin varnish.