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The Collectics Antiques Information & Education pages are designed to further knowledge of antiques, collectibles, collecting styles, periods, artists, designers, and manufacturers of fine and decorative arts. To learn more, our Antique Collector Bookstore lists only the best collector books and price guides, complied by surveys of top antique dealers and auction houses. For a different shopping experience, you can also browse our featured selections in a fun new way with the Antique Price Guides Slideshow or see current bestsellers by using Collector Books Topic Search.

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Fender's relatively brief but impactful history of making electric guitars and amplifiers has had an outsized impact influencing artists and the music industry. Jazz musicians did some early experimentation amplifying traditional hollow body guitars so they could play and blend more easily with other instruments at a comparable sound level. In the 1940's, a California inventor named Leo Fender had made some custom guitars and amplifiers in his radio shop. Among his innovations, Leo Fender created the world's very first instrument amplifiers with built in tone controls, helping to eliminate the feedback other amplifiers of the day generated when played at high volumes. While Fender amplifiers were revolutionary, Leo Fender knew he could improve on contemporary amplified hollow body guitars, and in 1951 he introduced the Fender Broadcaster, the prototype solid body guitar that would evolve to become the legendary Fender Telecaster. It was the first solid body electric Spanish style guitar to go into commercial production, and Fender followed upon the Telecaster success by introducing the Fender Precision Bass in 1951 and the Stratocaster electric guitar in 1954. Leo Fender sold the company in 1965 to CBS Broadcasting, and CBS continued to nurture the company's growth for the next 20 years. However, as CBS expanded and became a much larger, more diverse corporation, they sought faster growth and invested more money in research & development and improving quality. However, CBS eventually decided to divest themselves of all non-media businesses, so in 1985 a group of employees and investors led by CEO William Schultz purchased the company from CBS. Now back in the hands of music industry executives, the team soon built Fender's new factory in Corona, California and later built a second modern manufacturing facility in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. In 1987, Fender acquired Sunn, a maker of professional amplifiers used by Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, and many others. Fender's established a custom design and manufacturing operation in 1987, allowing world class musicians to create their dream instruments. Fender continues to make some of the finest electric guitars and amplifiers in the world, extending the legacy of the company which introduced solid body electric guitars to the music industry and the sound of music from jazz, rock 'n roll, and beyond.

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Normans Rare Guitars: 30 Years of Buying Selling & Collecting 2008 Official Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide
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