HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. (NOVEMBER 14, 2017)—Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced a collaboration with Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien for his own artist series guitar: the EOB Sustainer Stratocaster®. Fender and O’Brien joined forces to produce a guitar that’s as enigmatic and entrancing as the musician’s storied six-string orchestration is. Equipped with a Fernandes® SustainerTM unit, O’Brien designed this guitar with the intention of helping players everywhere experiment, create and find their own diverse sound.
“I have played Fender guitars for a long time now, so it was an honor to collaborate and design an instrument with Fender. The initial idea for the EOB Sustainer Strat actually came from a dream I had,” said Ed O’ Brien. “I’ve so enjoyed working closely with the entire Fender family from Alex Perez, Fender Senior Master Builder, and Neil Whitcher, Head of Artist Relations here in the U.K., and the team who built it down in Ensenada. We have put together a really beautiful guitar, that is extremely versatile and capable of making some truly extraordinary sounds.
O’Brien road tested and showcased the EOB Sustainer Stratocaster on the Radiohead ‘Moon Shaped Pool’ world tour throughout 2016 and 2017. It’s versatility seamlessly opened the door to sonic creativity on tracks, such as “Kid A,” “Idioteque,” “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi,” “Ful Stop,” “15 Step,” “Pyramid Song,” “All I Need,” “The Gloaming,” and “Burn the Witch.” More importantly, the guitar’s versatility has enabled him to switch between experimental tones and more ‘traditional’ sounds required on these songs without having to change instruments.
The hardware includes a Seymour Duncan® JB Jr. humbucking bridge pickup, a Fender Texas Special™ single-coil middle pickup, and a Fernandes® Sustainer™ unit in the neck position. The unit sustains a fifth up, in unison and the octave up. O’Brien has used a Fernandes Sustainer unit in a Clapton Strat since 2000, allowing him to make sounds not usually associated with a guitar but a synth.
“Ed is an innovative and influential guitar player,” adds Justin Norvell, Senior Vice President, Fender Products. “We both felt it was important to present the guitar community with a new instrument worthy of his catalog and creativity. It’s very much a 21stcentury electric guitar with multiple dimensions of sound, allowing for creative sonic texturing and atmospheric layering that make for great guitar tones. Ed worked extensively with us on it and was extremely hands-on throughout the two-year process. We collectively aimed to preserve his attention to detail and tone with a product that captured what he was looking for. Ed’s goal was to create a tool of inspiration, for players to discover new sounds and find their own voice on this instrument.”
Fender’s popular artist models are geared toward product progression and storytelling; creating instruments designed to the unique specifications of the world’s most iconic artists. To learn more about this new artist model and O’Brien’s journey, watch the “Fender Presents: Ed O’Brien Sustainer Stratocaster®” video, click here. For an approved image of Ed O’Brien and his Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster® as well as product images please click here.
For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com.
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EOB SUSTAINER STRATOCASTER® – $1,099.99
Ed O’Brien’s ambient, ethereal and orchestral guitar style is an essential part of the sonic identity of Radiohead. Fender partnered with the groundbreaking player to create the EOB Sustainer Stratocaster — an instrument as unique as his sound. The EOB Sustainer Stratocaster offers a wide palette of tones thanks to its Seymour Duncan® JB Jr. humbucking bridge pickup, Texas Special™ single-coil middle pickup and Fernandes® Sustainer™ unit in the neck position. The Sustainer works some technical magic to create near-infinite sustain on one or more strings, making it easy to achieve thick, textured sounds. The Sustainer’s controls include an on/off switch, intensity control and three-position switch to select the mode: Fundamental-only, Harmonic-only or Blend. A mix of modern and classic, this Stratocaster features a 6-saddle vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge, vintage-style tuning machines, a “10/56 V” neck profile, 21 narrow-jumbo frets, a synthetic bone nut and a special neck plate engraved with a custom “Flower of Life” emblem.
ABOUT FENDER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION:
Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel®, follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest quality instruments and musical solutions across genres. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of music through electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers, pro audio, accessories and digital products that inspire and enable musical expression at every stage, from beginners to history-making legends.
Sean Earley is a musician, producer, podcast host, Executive Editor of Modern Musician Magazine & co-founder of RobotSpaceship Podcast Network. He loves guitars and coffee.