Fender Pawn Shop Series Takes You Back To A Past That Never Was

Fender Pawn Shop, Super-Sonic, reverse Jazzmaster,

The Fender Pawn Shop Series was designed to evoke the quirk of an old frankenstein guitar you’d find in the dusty corner of a store in some rundown town on say, Route 66 – an instrument thrown together from spare parts that is not quite right, but too unique to pass up.

I love Fender’s tagline “guitars that never were but should have been,” like they were pulled from a portal of yesteryear on some other dimensional plane.

This year, they’ve added a few more monsters to the maladjusted Pawn Shop family closet: the ’70s Strat Deluxe, featuring a Telecaster single-coil neck pickup and an Enforcer™ Wide Range humbucking bridge pickup, the  reversed Jazzmaster-styled Super-Sonic, the racing-striped Mustang Bass, and a totally re-imagined version of the long-gone Bass VI, equipped with a combo of Special Design Hot Jaguar® single-coil neck and middle pickups and a deceptively soapbar-shaped humbucking JZHB pickup in the bridge position.

Check out these demos and gorgeous brochure:


70’s Stratocaster Deluxe

Bass VI

Mustang Bass


Also new to the Pawn Shop Series is the Excelsior amp, which has had me drooling for weeks.
Fender Pawnshop, Excelsior, tube amp

This ultra-stylish little tube queen is welcome in my bedroom, studio or perched atop my gig-rig anyday. I can’t wait to actually get my hands on one to try.

The Excelsior is decked out in an open-back vinyl covered cabinet housing a 15″ Eminence® Legend speaker, and comes in Surf Green (my favorite of course), Sonic Blue, Antique Blush (creamy beige), or good old Brown. It’s a 13 watter, featuring dual 12AX7 preamp tubes, dual 6V6 output tubes, and three separate inputs for guitar, microphone, or accordion (super popular with the kids these days). For sonic fun, there is a tremolo circuit with speed control, and a bright/dark tone switch for treble or bass oomph. You can also take advantage of the 1/4” internal speaker disconnect to run out to an external speaker.

To sum it up: YUM.

And while it’s not exactly new, the little sister named “Greta” is just too cute to be ignored.
Fender Pawnshop, Greta, tube amp

This 2 watt tabletop tube amp with a 4″ speaker, VU meter, and elegant gold stylings might just take the cake as far as this whole pawn shop design thing goes. It’s loaded with a 12AT7 output tube, 12AX7 preamp tube, 1/4″ in and 1/4″ line out jack (so you can use her as a preamp before another amplifier), another 1/4″ external speaker out jack, and finally an 1/8″ line-in if you feel like hearing your ipod through a vintage sounding mono tube amp!

Ah, if only I could afford to adopt the whole damn family!

Catch This Little Pink Critter! Critter & Guitari Bolsa Bass!

Critter & Guitari, Bolsa Bass, synth, pink, wood keys

For a piece of technology to inspire true lust, it should have a combination of sleek stylish design, ease of use, quality build, and, more and more these days, portability. The Critter & Guitari Bolsa Bass is a prime example of this. I’ve been enamored of their wooden-keyed products for some time, but this little pink critter really takes the cake (I guess I’m a sucker for bright colors). The Bolsa Bass is a bass synthesizer in a small package, with its own a built-in sequencer, MIDI In/Out, and six sound modes:

  • Circle Ramp
  • Sawtooth Ramp
  • Analog Style
  • Filter Envelope
  • FM Pad
  • Bass Delay

The entire keyboard may be tuned over a 1 octave range by turning the knob second from right. Volume is controlled by the right-most knob. The function of the remaining two left knobs depend on what mode is selected.  The synthesizer modes provide elemental monophonic bass sounds, great for all kinds of musical scenarios.  From classic filter sweeps to simple and pure tones, lush FM, and even a stretchy tuned delay which makes great string like drones.

The built in sequencer lets you quickly create bass lines with the touch of a button.  With MIDI in and out you can synchronize your sequences with other devices. The Bolsa Bass also sends and receives note messages so you can use it as a sound module or simple controller.


  • Wooden Buttons
  • Pink Neon Powder Coated Aluminum Enclosure
  • Power From 9v Battery or Adapter (not included)
  • 1/4″ Line Output Jack
  • High quality 32 Bit Floating Point DSP Synthesis
Some sound samples:

Critter & Guitari, Bolsa Bass, synth, wood keys, Critter & Guitari, Bolsa Bass, synth, wood keys,

If you’re gleefully adding the Bolsa Bass to your holiday wish list, why not check out the rest of their stuff?

Start here with this psychedelic animation of Critter & Guitari explaining the Kaleidoloop, a handheld sampler:

While they do have a child-like quality, rest assured, Critter & Guitari sound toys are good for all ages!


New Bolsa Bass promo vid, of course it’s cute!

Misa Muse

I have never been able to get into Muse. That’s right I said it. I don’t get it. They’ve always seemed like Radiohead lite to me, and now they’re doing this U2 lite thing and for some reason kids are buying it.

I did catch their appearance on SNL last night however and was reminded of a very cool albeit super nerdy guitar innovation called the Misa Kitara. I’d seen it in youtube demos before but never in actual rock action.

It’s kind of like a Ztar but with a touchscreen. So instead of plucking strings you basically coax your sounds iPhone style. It’s got audio AND MIDI out, synth effects, and all sorts of nerdy goodness that should make more than one keytarluster salivate.

Bass dude from Muse had one of these bad boys in double neck bass form with an analog bass on the other side to boot. So I guess Muse gets geek points at least.


Electrical Guitars

Coincidentally, Electrical Guitar Company uploaded this pic shortly after I mentioned them in an earlier post regarding a steel Jazzmaster. This one is made from shiny aluminum and looks incredible.

Electrical Guitar Co. takes its cues from luthier Travis Bean, crafting aluminum guitars (and some wood/aluminum hybrids) with neck through designs and hand wound alnico pickups. They’ve done custom models for some of my favorite guitarists like King Buzzo of the Melvins, Brent Hinds of Mastodon, and Duane Denison of the Jesus Lizard, and are played by other metal heavyweights like Isis and Torche. Their product roster also includes baritones, basses, and a 12 string bass!

If you are interested in seeing more of their beautiful aluminum creations you should definitely check out Electrical Guitar Co.’s Facebook page, where they have posted pictures of many custom jobs not found on their website. I would love to try this 9 stringer, where the top 3 strings are doubled.