|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (July 2009)|
Fender Coronado II
|Period||appr. 1966 — 1972, 2013 - present|
|Neck joint||Bolt-on neck|
|Body||Maple, Beech on Wildwood models|
|Bridge||Fixed or tremolo|
|Pickup(s)||1 or 2 DeArmond single coil|
|Sunburst, Cherry, custom colors, Wildwood|
The Fender Coronado was a double-cutaway thin-line hollow-body electric guitar, announced in 1965, it was manufactured by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. It was quite a departure from previous Fender instruments, and remains an odd point in Fender's history.
Development and Design
The very un-Fender like instrument was designed by Roger Rossmeisl (who had previously also designed instruments for Rickenbacker, but who went on to create numerous models for Fender) in an attempt to capitalise on the increasing popularity of semi-acoustic guitars following the high-profile use of hollow-bodied instruments, such as the Epiphone Casino by bands like the Beatles. During Rossmeisl's time designing for Fender he also designed the Fender Montego, a jazz box style guitar which shares the Coronado's fixed F tailpiece; and the 1967 Fender Wildwood which shares the Stratocaster headstock.
Three versions of the Coronado guitar were produced from 1966 through 1972. The Fender Coronado I, discontinued in 1970, was the original single pickup design. The Coronado II had an added bridge pickup (with relative tone and volume controls). The Coronado XII, released in 1967, was a twelve-string version of the guitar. Coronado basses were also manufactured. The Coronado was a true hollow-bodied electric guitar; like the Gibson ES-330 and Epiphone Casino, it did not have a central solid wood block in the body. This is in contrast to guitars such as the Gibson ES-335, which, although appearing similar, were constructed with a solid central block running lengthways through the archtop body.
The top, sides and back of the body on the Wildwood body were constructed from laminated beechwood, and maple was used for the non Wildwood versions, the top being slightly arched, and featuring two generous, routed and bound "f" holes. The body of the instrument was finished in a high-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer, a finish which is no longer frequently used in the manufacture of modern guitars. A number of Coronado II and Coronado XII guitars were offered in a special "Wildwood" finish. This involved specially prepared, heavily-grained beechwood; a chemical dye was injected into the growing trees, years prior to harvesting, which stained the grain pattern of the wood. Only one Blonde Coronado is known to exist, it is in a private collection in California.
Unusual for Fender at the time, the Coronado's pickups were made by DeArmond; a company whose pickups were more usually found on Gretsch guitars, and the bridge was a free-floating, non anchored, 'tune-o-matic' style bridge, with a suspended tailpiece. Tremolo tailpieces were also available at extra cost for 1966 until cease of the Coronado's production. The wiring harness used in the Fender Coronado line was manufactured by Rowe Industries of Toledo, Ohio and delivered as a completely pre-assembled set.
The Coronados all came in cases made by the Victoria Luggage Co, and were made in the USA.
The Coronado gained significant attention when used by Elvis Presley in the 1968 film Speedway, performing the song 'There Ain't Nothing Like a Song' with Nancy Sinatra in the final scene and is the only guitar used by Elvis within the entire film. Rossmeisl's Fender-creations were also used by Elvis in a separate film 'Clambake' where the Fender Wildwood is seen in two scenes.
An image of a Coronado is seen upon the Chill's compilation album 'Heavenly Pop Hit'.
Despite the expensive construction of the instrument, the Coronado achieved little success. The guitar was prone to feedback at high volumes, and the bolt-on neck construction, favoured by Fender, failed to appeal to purist jazz guitarists, who would make up a large part of the market for a hollow-bodied electric guitar. It has however gained a significant following after release for its natural resonance and bright and deep tone.
All 6 String Guitar, 12 String Guitar and 4 String Bass.
Coronado I one neck pickup, one volume and one tone control. Dot inlays. Available in either Cherry Red, Sunburst, or any DuPont custom finish.
Coronado II two pickups—neck and bridge positions—two volume and two tone controls, as well as a three-position selector switch. Block inlays. Optional tremolo. Cherry, Sunburst, DuPont custom colors. Only one Blonde Coronado is known to exist, it is in a private collection in California. The body and neck wood is maple with a Rosewood fingerboard and mother-of-pearl block inlays and a Fender Jazzmaster style headstock.
Coronado II WILDWOOD The same as the Coronado II but with 6 colors of dyed Beechwood front, back and sides. The colors were indicated by roman numerals and were really a guide only as every one looks totally different - 'I' - Green, 'II' - Gold and Brown, 'III' - Gold and Purple, 'IV' - Dark Blue, 'V' - Purple Blue and 'VI' - Blue Green. (an acoustic model named 'Wildwood' was made at the same time based on the Kingman using the dyed wildwood beech on the back and sides and a spruce top however early models sometimes had a wildwood top as well. The Wildwood was solid and not a veneer as suggested elsewhere). All Wildwoods featured maple necks, Rosewood fingerboards and Mother-of-Pearl block inlays. Some Kingman models from 1969 (not listed as Wildwoods) also used Wildwood back and sides and at least one 1971 Fender Telecaster used the Wildwood as a Veneer stuck onto an Alder body but this was never put into full production. Rogers Drums also used the 'Wildwood' Beechwood for a very small production of their Drums including the famous 'Dynasonic' Snare in the late 60s.
Coronado XII two pickups—neck and bridge positions—two volume and two tone controls, as well as a three-position selector switch. Block inlays. Fender curved twelve string "hockey stick" headstock. Cherry, Sunburst, DuPont custom colours and six shades of Wildwood.
Coronado Bass I bass version of the Coronado I. Has one neck pickup, one volume and one tone control. Dot inlays. Available in either Cherry Red, Sunburst, or any custom finish.
Coronado Bass II bass version of the Coronado II. Has two pickups—neck and bridge positions—two volume and two tone controls, as well as a three-position selector switch. Has 21 frets. Available in Cherry, Sunburst, or a DuPont custom finish. The body and neck wood is maple with a Rosewood fingerboard and mother-of-pearl block inlays.
- Elvis Presley
- Courtney Taylor-Taylor of The Dandy Warhols
- Dave Davies of The Kinks
- Wayne Newton
- Sergio Pizzorno of Kasabian
- Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo
- Graham Coxon of Blur
- Thom Yorke and Colin Greenwood of Radiohead both used the Fender Coronado Bass.
- Jimmie Vaughan
- Simon Tong
- Flaming Lips
- James Husband
- Mike Doughty
- Death Cab for Cutie
- The Dandy Warhols
- Roscoe Beck
- Josh Klinghoffer of Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Steve Kilbey of The Church, uses a Fender Coronado Bass
- Grant-Lee Phillips, known to have used a Fender Coronado XII
- Matt Nathanson
- Scott McMicken of Dr. Dog
- Paul Newland of Quietly Aimless
- Jonathan Hartley of Clinic
- Reggy Tielman of The Tielman Brothers
In 2013 Fender reissued the Coronado guitar and bass. They are part of their Modern Player series of products. Only the two pickup models are available and they use Fidelitron pickups instead of the original DeArmond ones as well as the guitar now being a semi-hollowbody (using a centre block) rather than a full hollowbody like the originals.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fender Coronado.|
- Vintage guitar website – Information and pictures of the Fender Coronado.
-  The Guitar Collection features a Fender Coronado XII.
-  This page gives details and shows photos of pickups for the Fender Coronado range of guitars and basses.