What are Fender FSR Series Guitars?

Fender get experimental. Find out more about the legendary guitar maker's limited run instruments.

Cian Hodge

Cian Hodge

Every now and then, Fender like to make a handful of guitars out of the ordinary. You’ve no doubt seen their extensive standard guitar ranges consisting of the Player, Vintera, Performer, American Pro and Ultra line-ups. But they’re a creative bunch and naturally like to spice up the stock designs. FSR is where they bring their coolest ideas to life.

FSR stands for Fender Special Run, and it does exactly what it says on the tin. The FSR team switch up the sound and feel of Fender’s classic instruments with unique and interesting features. Where your run-of-the-mill Player Strat consists of a ‘C’ shape maple neck, alder body and stock pickups, an FSR equivalent might replace that with a ‘U’ shape neck, basswood body, hot vintage pickups and a new finish to boot.

FSR instruments come about when retailers make special requests to Fender. Other times, it’s when Fender fancy doing something a bit different.

All FSR guitars are limited edition, which means they don’t stick around on the shelves for very long. They’re made in very small quantities and are sometimes highly sought-after. You’d better act quick to get your hands on one – there’s a good chance Fender won’t make the same model twice.

What makes FSR so special?

Sometimes FSR boils down to a simple yet unique paint job. Other times, Fender take an iconic template you know and love and give it the full Pimp My Ride treatment. That means adding fancy extras you wouldn’t usually come across like Bigsby tremolos equipped on Teles, using uncommon pickups or carving out exotic woods and figured maple tops. If you want something out of the ordinary, you’re in the right place.

You’ll also be pleased to know that FSR isn’t restricted to Strats or Teles – or even Fender for that matter. Offshoot entry level brand Squier have their own line of FSR. Fender make FSR Precision and Jazz basses, Jazzmasters, acoustics and even ukuleles. FSR amps are also a popular choice, especially considering the sheer amount of legendary combos Fender have released over the years. They often give the likes of the Princeton, Bassbreaker, Blues Jr and Hotrod makeovers with specific year specs and various tolex and grilles. After all, anything can be modified.

fender fsr palemoon guitars

What’s The Difference Between FSR and MiJ?

MiJ stands for Made in Japan. That’s right, Fender aren’t just based in the USA and Mexico but in the Eastern hemisphere too. Retailers outside Asia regularly buy up any unsold MiJ models – and that’s why you might find them half way across the world. They’re usually priced in between Fender’s Mexican-made offerings and the American Professional range.

It’s important to note that MiJ instruments are not FSR and do not have one-off features like their FSR counterparts. They adhere to the standardised specs in Japan. MiJ might be a bit different to what we get in Europe and America, but they’re not technically limited run.

What makes Fender MiJ instruments special are the Asian market-preferred specs. These include the likes of U-shaped neck and exclusive colours. The types of woods used are dependent on the species farmed in the region and often times look different to those from Europe and America.

Notable FSR Instruments

Andertons are lucky enough to take on a number of luxurious FSR guitars. We get to choose from a spectacular array of instruments – some with minor tweaks and others that genuinely blow us away with new features. Fender are constantly finding new ways to spice up their instrument line-ups with lots of different options rotating in and out of production. Keep tabs on our Fender FSR range for the latest big hits. For now, here are some of our favourites.

Cabronita Telecasters

Cabronita Teles have returned in a number of forms over the years. But the one feature that doesn’t change are the TV Jones pickups. Imagine we lived in an alternate universe where Les Pauls had single coils and Teles got humbuckers. This would be the outcome. They still sound as vintage as ever, but with a fat, rounded response. The simple finish is also killer.

fender fsr guitars

Daybreak and Midnight Guitars

Daybreak and Midnight Strats and Teles are the Ying and Yang of Fender. There’s not much to separate them from each other in terms of specs or construction, but the incredible light and dark finishes make them pop alongside their American Performer counterparts.

Raw Ash Guitars

The Raw Ash run is based on Fender’s Performer series – their most accessible USA-made guitars. Made of a solid swamp ash in a completely natural finish, Raw Ash guitars are stunningly refreshing in style and contain the excellent Yosemite pickups and Greasebucket circuitry.

If you enjoyed this read, check out more of our Learn and Industry articles!

Fender FSR Guitars

Cian Hodge
Cian Hodge
Cian is a writer for the Andertons web team. He shares his birthday with Muse frontman Matt Bellamy and believes he will one day reach the same level of stardom. Cian is a big prog/modern metal fan so naturally loves Bare Knuckle pickups and pointy guitars.

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