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Fender Swinger

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Manufacturer  Fender
Body type  Solid
Scale  22.5 in (572 mm)
Period  1969
Neck joint  Bolt-on
Neck  Maple
Fender Swinger

The Fender Swinger (also known as the Fender Musiclander and Fender Arrow – as the "Swinger" emblem is usually missing from the headstock) was a short-lived electric guitar model released by Fender in 1969, with few made. The Swinger was an attempt by CBS (which had bought the company in 1965) to extract cash from inventory by combining unused bodies from the failed Fender Bass V with parts from the Fender Musicmaster. Another use of surplus stock was the Fender Custom (a.k.a. Fender Maverick). The Swinger was marketed as another cheaper, short-scale 'student' guitar, but never seriously promoted, with resulting low popularity.

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Development and design

The Swinger and its cousin, the Custom, were both developed under the supervision of Virgilio 'Babe' Simoni, without the help or even involvement of Fender's R&D Department. Simoni had begun work at Fender in 1953, at age 16. He had risen to Product Manager by the mid Sixties, and was both skilled and well-liked within the company. The Swinger used excess parts from the Fender Bass V and Fender Musicmaster, with the Bass V pickup routing hidden under the pickguard. Between 300 and 600 Swingers were produced, and the model never appeared in any Fender literature.

The Fender Swinger has become a vintage guitar and a collector's item.

Dating

As the Swinger was built using parts that were surplus, the individual components may be older than the guitar. For example, the neck may be datestamped 1966. As far as is known, all Swingers were assembled in 1969. There are estimates that only 250 to 300 Swingers were ever produced.

Users

Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads used a Swinger in live performances, as seen in the concert movie Stop Making Sense. Ben Kweller used a Swinger to record most of his self-titled album, and has used it in concert.

References

Fender Swinger Wikipedia


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