Fender FSR Special Run Guitars: What Is It All About?


Fender FSR Models: Everything You Need to Know

Fender Japan FSR Tag

Here at PMT, we are committed to providing you the players, with answers to the most revised topics floating about the web. Today we are going to be talking about Fender FSR models, covering their origins and answering the most asked questions relating to this rather illusive range.

What Is a Fender FSR Model and What Does FSR Stand for?

FSR stands for ‘Fender Special Run’, meaning instruments which are produced specifically to order by the request of individual retailers. Most people however, know these instruments as ‘the Japanese ones’.

Fender Japan Started in 1982 as a joint venture between the Fender Musical Instrument Corporation, Kanda Shokai and Yamano Gakki (Two large Japanese importers and distributors of musical instruments). This business venture provided the production of Fender Instruments for the Japanese market. The idea came to pass when Fenders higher priced USA guitars could no longer compete with the cheaper instruments being produced in Japan.

In 2015 Fender took over these businesses with the ‘Fender-Manufactured’ product line, now referred to as the Japan Exclusive Series. FSR models are effectively Japanese Built Fenders made available to US and European markets by demand.


How Does a Fender FSR Model Compare to a Mexican or USA Built Instrument?

Before We can answer that question, let’s explore the secrets as to what makes a Fender guitar so consistent in its quality. Fenders construction methods are clever, really clever. The easiest part of Fenders manufacturing process is the assembly, but what does that have to do with FSR, Mexican and USA guitars? Well imagine it like this, A Gibson Les Paul as an example has a complicated set neck which requires both a master craftsman to assemble and precious man hours to spare, whereas a Fender is assembled by utilizing a bolt-on design. Basically if a guitar body is correctly cut and a neck is correctly made, a numskull can bolt the two together and produce the same results that Fender otherwise would have. There are so many universal Fender parts (pickups, necks, bodies, electronics etc) that there are simply thousands of combinations to be achieved.


What the FSR models really serve as, are experiments to try out on a niche market when Fender feel they may not sell as many to a US or European market. The parts are usually selected USA parts, imported into Japan and thrown together in new exciting combinations.

Let’s return to the question of how they compare to US or Mexican made instruments. Japan have a worldwide reputation for product quality and reliability, from cars to electronics to instruments. In short these instruments are bloody fantastic, properly put together, unique and sometimes incredibly sought after. They just aren’t as readily available as their US and Mexican counterparts. If you see one you fancy, then snatch it up! Sometimes a price really doesn’t reflect quality. That is absolutely accurate when referring to the Fender FSR line which are considered by many enthusiasts to be the best guitars that Fender actually make.

Where Can I Buy a Fender FSR Instrument?

Well, right here at Professional Music Technology of course! Listed below are a few FSR models currently in stock at PMT. Have a look and expand your knowledge of what models are available. Be careful however, some of these fantastic guitars might have you running for your wallets unexpectedly.

*FSR Models change rather frequently so it’s always worth keeping an eye out to see if something special pops up. We can’t guarantee the models listed below will still be available by the time you read this article as they do turn over quickly!

Fender FSR Stratocaster Candy Redburst

Fender FSR Stratocaster HSS in Candy Redburst - £575

This great example retains the classic vibe of a traditional Strat, but offers bags of punch in the bridge pickup with a HSS configuration. For players that want that extra grunt without breaking the bank, you can't go wrong with this! VIEW MORE


Fender FSR ‘Flip Flop’ HSS Stratocaster (Changes from Green to Blue!) - £999

Another Great, Limited-Edition Fender FSR model from Japan. A fantastic Strat with flip-flop colour changing finish, featuring a Dragster humbucker pickup on the bridge and Magnum Locking machine heads. VIEW MORE

Fender FSR American Vintage 72 Telecaster Custom, Sonic Black

Fender FSR American Vintage 72 Telecaster Custom, Sonic Black - £1,526

A classic Tele design from the early '70s, which featured a humbucker in the neck and four control knobs. Again, this example offers that extra splash of tonal versatility, retaining the period-correct details and Telecaster feel. VIEW MORE

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We hope you have found this article interesting and now know more about the Fender FSR instruments. These 3 models are just examples of what wonderful guitars are out there. Until next time, peace out, rock out and thanks for reading.