Masterbuilder Insides

Download Fender 2022 Custom Shop Design Guide!

Handwound Pickups!

There are two options to get handwound pickups for a Master-Built Guitar!

Handwound or Handwound by Josefina Campos!

Touted as the next Abigail Ybarra – affectionately referred to as the Queen of Tone for her role in winding Fender’s original 1950’s Stratocaster and Telecaster pickups – Josefina Campos is renowned as the Fender Custom Shop’s Master Pickup Winder, essentially making her the best in the business


Strat PU’s!

Ancho Poblano Strat pickups are quickly becoming a favorite for players who prefer some heat from their single-coil pickups. The Ancho Poblano Pickups are rooted deeply in the Vintage World but with modern know-how and a few tweaks that make these pickups play nice in just about every scenario. With Alnico 3 Magnets and Formvar Wires in the neck and middle and Alnico 5 Magnets and enamel wires on the bridge pickup, we get the perfect blend of modern and vintage in one pickup set! The handwound Ancho Poblano pickups took a 50s based Fender recipe and added some seriously smokey heat to the mix! Speaking of Alnico 5 magnets and Enamel Coated Wires, the bridge pickup has some real sizzle, perfect for driving a tube amp to brown-town!Many players want their bridge pickup to RAWK and we get it, luckily so does the Fender Custom Shop! This bridge pickup is a blast to play with a cranked-up tube amp as it breaks up in a wonderfully musical way, much like many Fender pickups that share the same platform (Texas Special, 64, 66, 69, El Diablo, etc). One thing we love about hand-wound pickups is their dynamic response. When you turn down the volume a bit, you get a sweet, warm tone with fewer teeth that sits in the mix very well. The neck pickup becomes fat and creamy with a low end that retains definition even when played through a distortion pedal. The 2nd and 4th pickup positions have excellent quack to them. The vowel-like expression on the pick attack is truly inspiring, proving excellent for anyone looking to speak through their guitar! Vintage Low G Magnet Stagger on Neck and Middle, Flush Magnet Mount on Bridge. Neck 6.25k w/Formvar Wire and Alnico 3 Magnets, Middle RWRP 6.47k w/ Formvar Wire and Alnico 3 Magnets, Bridge 6k w/Enamel Wire and Alnico 5 Magnets

Tomatillo Strat models follow on from the previous Ancho Poblano and El Diablo pickups sets.Tomatillo pickups are made using Alnico 2 magnets, simulating what an aged Alnico 5 pickup from the '50s would sound like today for a sweeter more flavorful tone. These pickups use Formvar magnet wire, Alnico 2 bevelled magnets and cloth wire, plus they are Shellac dipped. Neck 6.25k,  Middle 6.47k, Bridge 6.27k all w/Formvar wire and Alnico 2 Magnets Vintage stagger

El Diablo Strat similar to the Ancho Poblano but Overwound and dipped in the special sauce for a big open sound. Slightly hotter than

the Ancho Poblanos with calibrated alnico 5 pickups with custom low G (middle and neck) and flush with high D (bridge) pole pieces (and not waxed dipped to avoid muting and high and low frequency losses which can happen with wax) to create higher output. A Rocker. Neck 5,55k, Middle RWRP 5,93k, Bridge 6,34k w/Enamel Wire and Alnico 5 Magnets

Troposphere Strat are underwound, sweet-sounding pickups that allow more headroom with overdriven sounds and clean up for the most delicate tones to emerge. They feature five-way switching and vintage modified #2 wiring with a tone-saver treble bleed, as well as calibration with '50s-style formvar wire on the bridge pickup, a reverse-wound/reverse-polarity middle pickup, and a '60s style enamel wire on the neck pickup. Neck 5,57k, Middle 5,56k, Bridge 5,62k w/Formvar wire and Alnico 5 Magnets Vintage stagger.

Bone Tone Strat Master designed hand-wound pickups provide plenty of headroom with fewer turns of heavy formvar wire, beveled alnico 2 magnets. When channeling the sound of one of the first-ever mass-produced 6-strings, special attention needs to be given to the electronics. That's why Fender equipped the '62 Strat with three spectacular Bone Tone single-coil pickups to deliver the spank, twang, and grit of an original model. These masterful, hand-crafted single-coils pump out the glassy highs and thick, warm lows present in so many beloved vintage pickups, with crystal clarity and increased headroom that's tailor-made for overdriven amps. When paired with a handy 5-way blade, all it takes is a flick of the switch to unlock everything from classic full-throttle punch to the unmistakable sound of those unforgettable festivals that forever changed the world of music. Neck 5,96k, Middle 6,21k, Bridge 5,95k w/Formvar wire and Alnico 2 Magnets Vintage stagger.

Dual-Mag Strat Vintage style calibrated pickup set with unbeveled alnico 5 magnets on the bass side and beveled alnico 2 magnets on the treble. The two magnet types create balance and consistency in tone and allow for improved clarity string to string. Dual Mag pickups give you all the legendary Strat spank of an original model from the 50s golden era. The middle pickup is reverse-wound/reverse-polarity, allowing humbucking operation in switch positions 2 and 4. For precise classic tons - Alnico from low E to G helps balance out the guitar across the neck - one for sharp, defined playing with a great deal of clarity. Neck 5,79k, Middle 6,05k, Bridge 6,27k w/Formvar wire and Alnico 2 Magnets Vintage stagger.

Dual-Mag II Strat pickups feature well-balanced tone, shimmering clear highs, and balanced rich lows; comprising alnico 5 magnets from low E through G with a “low G” magnet (which provides a nice transition from wound to plain strings). The alnico 5 beneath the G makes that string “sing” just right. B&E magnets are the same as Dual-Mag 1 (beveled alnico 2 slightly taller than vintage). Dual-Mag II also has extra turns of wire, so they’re hotter overall and are calibrated from bridge to neck.. Neck 5,85k, Middle 5,9k, Bridge 6,95k w/Formvar wire and Alnico 2 Magnets Custom Low G stagger.

Red Hot Strat pickups are overwound and provide searing hot tone and are just 69's with some extra [nap-time] windings on them. 42 gauge FORMVAR 7.6k - Bridge, 7.4k - Middle, 6.8k - Neck

HPW Master Trop Strat pickups are underwound – Plenty of headroom with an amp so that when you roll back the volume the clarity and classic tone of the Strat shines through buts you can still drive it hard with some volume.

Tele PU’s!

50/51 Blackguard If you want the punchy low end with fat midrange and twangy highs - you need this set of Josefina hand-wound '50-'51 Blackguard Tele pickups! Faithful recreations of the originals, these pickups are crafted with large diameter unbeveled Alnico 3 magnets for the bridge and Alnico 5 in the neck with 43-gauge enamel wire for that classic '50s performance and sound! Short of buying an original '50s Tele - these are some of the best pickups you can get!

50/51 Crushed Blackguard Tele bridge pickup is the classic Blackguard bridge pickup for use together with a humbucker on neck

’51 Loaded Nocaster have extra winds of extra thick wire and high output pickups. The bridge PU has AlNiCo 3 magnets and the neck AlNiCo 5. Perfect for driving a preamp into gritty overdrive.

Twisted Tele Tele pickups deliver hot high-output Telecaster guitar tone with a dash of sparkling Stratocaster® guitar character. Each pickup is tailored to its position (neck and bridge) to achieve its individual sonic character. The neck pickup's taller bobbin is designed to accommodate more windings, combined with a slightly shorter bridge pickup bobbin for dark full-bodied midrange. Formvar-coated neck pickup magnet wire adds brightness and glassiness, Enamel-coated bridge pickup magnet wire delivers warm vintage-style tones

Flush-mount polepieces produce even string response, Alnico 5 magnets add more focus and enhanced dynamics

Texas Special Tele pickups are built to produce increased output, presence and midrange. The nickel/silver cover on the neck pickup produces a clear warm tone that only a true Custom Shop Tele pickup can do. These overwound pickups use Alnico 5 magnets and enamel coated magnet wire. The bridge pickup features height-staggered magnets and a copper plated steel bottom plate.

Red Hot Tele pickups are the hottest for those who are looking for a high output guitar sound

Flat Sawn, Rift Sawn, Quarter Sawn

Maple has diffuse pores in its grain structure, so as far as stability is concerned, it does not have more flex in one direction over another. Most vintage instruments were Flat Sawn, simply because of the availability of wood in the ’50s and ’60s. A byproduct of this is there are plenty of people who feel Flat Sawn sounds better or feels better than Quarter Sawn. There are also people who feel that Quarter Sawn is punchier, and some companies are praised for using straight Quarter Sawn lumber on their necks. There is basically zero difference. Quarter Sawn has a slight advantage in that it is more dimensionally stable in the width direction. With roasted maple, none of it matters. Flat Sawn will also show more figuring on the side of the neck if it is for instance flame maple. Also the conjecture with the stability cannot be proven. All the the famous guitars from the 50s & 60s are flat sawn.

Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboards!

There's an eternal discussion about Brazilian fretboards. Does it sound better now or does it even have more highs? What material are the frets made of? From which generation does the wood for the neck come? Too many different components that are crucial for the sound. All the important luthiers of our time agree, Brazilian Rosewood makes only a very small difference in tone, even the frets! Nickel or stainless steel? Nickel is a bit softer and also sounds minimally the same. On the other hand, the residual moisture is very important. This determines lifespan and tone development

Slap Board or Round Lam

There is no difference in tone but taken as part of the variations that come variations in the weight and density of the neck and body woods. I would say the impact is only a tiny part of the overall tone of the guitar. 


Nickel or stainless steel? Nickel is a bit softer and also sounds minimally smoother. Stainless steel could fix the little very high and rebels from. Brazilian fingerboard. Very popular but only available on Master Built guitars are the Medium Jumbo 6150 stainless steel - a popular middle of the road wire, not too wide, not too tall.

Roasted Wood!

A roasted Neck or a roasted body will darken the wood while keeping it very stable and durable. As with a slab of wood that has dried over the years, the properties change slightly and add to the richness and depth of tone. Not only does the roasting process accentuate the figuring of the wood, it also crystallizes the sap, giving it the sound of old wood as well as making it more resonant and slightly lighter in weight.

Tone Safer or Treble Bleed vs. 50s Wiring

No tone loss when roll down a Volume pot? A treble bleed (capacitor on Volume pot) instead of the Fender tone saver is NOT doing the same. The tone safer does have a Styroflex capacitor and a carbon composite resistor wired serial. If you roll down a Volume pot w/tone safer installed you get a very balanced harmonic tone loss tone. Sure you can add a 50s wiring like the famous 50s wiring on Les Pauls without any extra parts on Volume pot. But the way you roll down is different to the 60s wiring.

Grease Bucket

The grease bucket for tone controls makes the tone smooth but not dark if you roll down the tone pot. Some players use it to get a Wah effect if you roll back and forth. A .2mfd cap + a 4,7k resistor is used serial on the tone pot additionally to the ton cap.

Note: most players don't want damping on the tone pot for the Bridge pickup. Therefore this is often not even connected to the tone pot. A „No-Load“ pot has the same effect - but just switchable. The damping of the potentiometer can be switched on and off.

RSD Bridges

The RSD Bridges are the technical improvement of the well-known vintage models! Vintage style with improved pivot geometry, plating tolerances, string spacing and arm tension adjustment. The principal purpose of the RSD bridges is to provide the Vintage tonality with improved performance with respect to Vibrato, String spacing and the term arm action and stability.