Friday, 31 July 2009

Fender Swinger / Musiclander

fender swinger

Faithful followers of this blog remember the Fender Bass V, the first 5-string bass with its bizarre elongated body and short neck that offer thus the same range than a longer neck 4-string bass (you can find a good review on Vintage Guitar's website). You know then that this bass was a flop - too radical for the average Fender customer probably...
So CBS-era Fender decided to recycle Bass V left over bodies and created the also short lived 3/4 scale student guitar Fender Swinger - combining these reshaped bodies with bits of Musicmasters, then Duo-sonics (then it was called the Musiclander). About 300 - more or less as many as the Bass V - were produced in 1969 ; its pointy headstock earned it also the Arrow nickname.

You can guess at first sight that this guitar was doomed - 3/4 guitars are anyway never taken serious and are mere student guitars - and if the "Italian-style" body shape could have been a new standard, it feels that the designer stopped his job before it's finished - and didn't even start to work on the headstock... The only pickup claims anyway the cheapness of the whole thing.
So this Swinger is quite anecdotic and Fender should probably have kept its Bass V bodies until it becomes a collector for a reissue - well they couldn't know at the time, but can you imagine Gibson giving up for good Explorer and Flying V designs in 1958?

More info about Fender short scale guitars here.

bertram

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