Fender changed the music world forever in October 1950 with the first dual-pickup electric Spanish guitar—the Broadcaster®. The instrument vaulted Fender into the mainstream of electric guitar, with gorgeous features and smart innovations including an ash body with a translucent blonde nitrocellulose finish, sturdy maple neck with rear-installed truss rod for solid stability (with a walnut “skunk stripe”), single-ply black phenolic pickguard, two loud-and-clear pickups and versatile wiring for three distinctive tone settings. Revolutionary as it was, however, the Broadcaster was short lived—produced only for a couple months until January 1951 because of an already-existing trademark on the name held by the Fred Gretsch Manufacturing Company, Inc.
Now, for 2020 alone, the Custom Shop has resurrected this famously rare guitar in honor of its 70th anniversary. The Limited Edition 70th Anniversary Broadcaster has a two-piece select ash body with off-center seam, available in four different Custom Shop aging packages—NOS Time Capsule, Journeyman Relic®, Relic and Heavy Relic—all finished in the original “flash coat” lacquer. The one-piece rift-sawn maple neck has a 1950 Broadcaster profile, 7.25”-9.5” vintage compound-radius fingerboard and 21 medium vintage frets. Other features include hand-wound ’50-’51 Blackguard pickups with ’51 modded “Nocaster” wiring (similar to the original, with blender pot and slightly brighter rhythm setting in the neck position). The guitar comes with a “case candy” kit containing a 70th anniversary neck plate, Fat ’50s control assembly and original Broadcaster sales flyer reprint. Also includes deluxe hardshell case, strap and certificate of authenticity.