For the last few years, Fender Custom Shop’s Principal Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov has impressed us with stunning guitar creations like the Kodak-inspired Studioliner, the Fabergé-tastic Coronation Strat, and most recently a gorgeous turntable based on the company’s Precision bass. For the limited-edition Violinmaster, he was inspired by the 1713 “Gibson-Huberman” Stradivarius owned and played by celebrated violinist Joshua Bell.
The storied Stradavari violin (twice stolen from Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman and missing for 50 years before it was rediscovered thanks to a deathbed confession) has been the Grammy winner’s weapon of choice since 2001. Bell most recently gave permission to Shishkov to examine the instrument to inform the creation of the Violinmaster Telecaster Relic.
“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,” said the Master Builder. “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.”
The guitar rocks a flame maple body with a carved “Stradivari” profile to the back and spruce top (sourced from northern Italy’s Fiemme Valley), and boasts proportionally scaled copies of the original violin’s F Holes as well as violin purfling. The body and the C-shaped Bosnian flame maple neck, topped by a 22-fret “round-lam” ebony fingerboard, have been treated to a wonderfully warm hand-polished antique finish.
The design also includes a brand new patent-pending “floating” bridge with interchangeable saddles – four coming with the guitar in a special case made from flame maple leftovers from the body’s core – and an ebony/brass tailpiece.
The guitar is home to three piezo pickups and two TV Jones ThunderBlade pickups, making for a good variety of tone options on tap. And elsewhere are black Gotoh tuning machines, ebony buttons, and a graphite nut.
“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,” commented Bell on viewing the finished guitar.
The Violinmaster Telecaster Relic is limited to just 60 units worldwide, and though not quite as expensive as the violin that served as Shishkov’s muse, this stunning creation may still make your heart skip a beat at US$30,000 apiece. Each instrument ships in a deluxe hardshell case and comes with a certificate of authenticity. The video below has more.
Building the Violinmaster with Yuriy Shishkov | Dream Factory | Fender
Product page: Violinmaster Telecaster Relic