Perhaps one of the most well known and iconic guitar companies in the world. Fender has been going strong since 1946 in Fullerton, California by Leo Fender. Most famous for their solid-body electric guitars and bass guitars, they also produce some killer acoustics. Like the new California Series including the Newporter, Redondo and Malibu. Fender has a stacked lineup of classic instruments that are often copied to this very day, including the Telecaster and of course the Stratocaster. The Stratocaster is probably one of the most copied instruments in existence, you can go into any pawn shop and easily find a Strat clone. We had the great pleasure of interviewing Fender’s CEO, Andy Mooney.
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Andy has been a fan of Fender for years, so stepping in as the CEO was a no-brainer. He not only is a face of the company, but also loves the products and says he had over 40 Fender guitars prior to joining. So now for the hot button issue, how does Andy feel about all of the Strat clones out there? Well the short answer, he doesn’t really mind all that much. With iconic invention and innovation one can only expect that there will be imitations. Leo Fender changed the guitar game when he invented the Stratocaster and Telecaster, thus people see that success and want to replicate it. Andy continues that the copy market has really had no effect on Fender. They have been a company that has been on a lot of peoples minds for years and they continue to grow to this day. It really is simple, no matter how good a copy at the end of the day people want the real thing.
Some closing thoughts, most beginner guitarists purchase a Stratocaster copy. I can speak from personal experience and say that my first guitar was a Strat copy. They are comfortable guitars with a good feel. It is really not shocking that people will take a great thing and try to make their own version. No matter where you go you can find replicas of things both in music and out. I am going to have to agree with Andy on this one. The Strat copies really don’t hurt Fender and they offer new players a good beginning option. Something that is comfortable and familiar; easy to transition to your next guitar.