There are many cult followings (don’t worry, we mean the good, gear-based kind) when it comes to guitars and all things guitar related. One of the most notable would be that of the Gold Foil pickups. Originally designed back in the 1950’s, they were mostly placed in the “budget” or entry-level guitars of that time as they were inexpensive to make compared to single-coils and humbuckers. In these initial years, because of the materials used and the way they were wound, there were vast inconsistencies in the type of sounds they produced, and arguably the quality of said sounds. You could easily plug in two of the same model Teisco, or Harmony, Silvertone, etc. and find that their output and tone were significantly different. Since then, it turns out there’s been a few advances in guitar pickup production, and those inconsistencies are no longer a concern. Especially when it comes to what we’re here to talk about.
Thanks for sitting through our brief history lesson. Now we can tell you about the brand-new Gold Foil Collection from Fender. Two Telecasters – White Blonde and Candy Apple Burst. Two Jazzmasters – Shoreline Gold and Candy Apple Burst. And two Jazz Basses – Sonic Blue and 2-Color Sunburst. These limited-edition instruments are modern-day tributes to the styles and sounds of the 50’s and 60’s guitars equipped with gold foil pickups and are loaded with some of our favorite Fender appointments.
First let’s talk about their most defining feature - the pickups. The Jazzmaster with three, the Tele with two, and the J-Bass with one. These gold foil pickups in the guitars are wound as mini-humbuckers, while the bass features a single-coil (originally, gold foils were typically single-coil, with a very few “double-coils” in the mix). They are warm, wide, articulate, and a visual compliment to the fancy finishes chosen for the collection. Next, we have our neck specs. Fender chose their very familiar and comfortable mid ‘60s “C” shape for all three models. As far as fingerboards go, maple and rosewood are the two most common to find on most Fender guitars. The Gold Foil collection however received the ebony treatment, and it fits the builds perfectly for both looks and feel. Each instrument obviously has some defining characteristics and features that it doesn’t share with the rest of the line. The Jazzmasters sport a Bigsby B50 vibrato, have a bound fingerboard, and atypical Jazzmaster wiring being that they have an “extra” pickup. Just three simple on/off slide switches; one for each pickup. On the Telecasters you’ll find a vintage-style “cut-off” bridge with brass saddles (looking real sharp next to those pickups). The Jazz basses have “Lollipop” vintage-style tuners and do share the bound board quality with the Telecaster. All have matching painted headcaps, which when you’re working with vintage-inspired finish options like these, always stand out stunningly.
2023 is looking like a BIG year for Fender Guitars, and with a January release as exciting as the Gold Foil Collection, we are absolutely ecstatic to see what they put out into the world next. As always, stay tuned. We’ll be right here to tell you all about it.