Fender Stringmaster

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The Fender Stringmaster is a series of table steel guitars produced by Fender from 1953 to 1980.

Models were available with two, three and four necks, each neck with eight strings. The four neck version, known as the quad or Q-8, was discontinued in 1968.


Each neck had two single-coil pickups. These could be blended by a small wheel attached to a pot that sat just behind the bridge, introduced in 1954. The bridge pick-up was always on, and the neck pickup could be fed in to taste using the blend pot. Because the pickups were wired with reversed polarities, blending in the neck pickup caused the pickups to be "hum-bucking". A neck selector switch controlled which neck's pickups were 'live'. On earlier 1950's models, the neck selector was controlled by push-buttons. A single tone and a single volume control served the entire instrument.

Scale lengths[edit]

The original 1953 models had a long scale length, at 26". From 1954 the scale length was reduced, and two shorter lengths were available, 24.5" and 22.5", both with 31 frets. To determine the guitar's scale count the markers past the 24th fret; there are 2, 3, and 4 markers for the 22.5", 24.5", and 26" guitars respectively.

Fender Deluxe 6/8[edit]

A single neck version was also available, called the Fender Deluxe, in both six and eight string versions. These guitars are not Stringmasters but use the same neck and electronics configuration and are often categorized with them. All models of Stringmaster and Deluxe were simply called steel guitars in Fender publications; since the domination of pedal steel guitar non-pedal guitars like the Stringmaster are often referred to as lap steel guitars.

The name Fender Deluxe was a common Fender model name, also used for an unrelated series of Fender combo amplifiers produced from the 1940s to the present day, see Fender Deluxe Reverb.

External links[edit]

  • Extract from p32 of the 1972 Fender guitar and bass catalogue, describing the Stringmaster twin and triple neck models then available.