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FENDER TAPS FUNK MASTER CORY WONG FOR ARTIST SIGNATURE SERIES STRAT

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) has announced the global launch of the Cory Wong Stratocaster® marking the artist’s first collaboration with the iconic guitar brand. The Cory Wong Stratocaster® is a tribute to Cory’s favorite Fender® guitar, thoughtfully modified to meet the funk master’s needs with an emphasis on clean tone. Created for the player seeking a comfortable, versatile guitar, this all-new artist signature model is perfect for crafting an individualized sound. “I needed a guitar that was going to give me the full-on funk clean tone spectrum that I use, but also be versatile enough to use for pop, blues, country or rock gigs,” says Cory Wong.

Wong is a Grammy-nominated guitarist, producer, composer, who has played sold out shows around the world and released 11 solo albums. He’s a member of Vulfpeck and Fearless Flyers; joined Jon Batiste’s band on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and later became a special guest performer; and he also hosts his own Podcast called Wong Notes. In 2021, Cory opened the year up introducing his biggest project to date: Cory and the Wongnotes. The show is a true reflection of his amazing vision and passion for music, comedy, and high-end content. It’s clean, fresh, and perfectly timed.

“I wanted to work with Fender on a classic looking guitar with a modern feel and professional specs,” Wong said. “My hope for this guitar is that people can pick it up and it instantly feels inviting and comfortable. It’s a strange thing to say since it’s so subjective, but we really captured that with this signature model Stratocaster. I also want people to have a good starting point for an incredible, clean tone and the space in the sonic palette to find a wide range of tones. Although we made this guitar to nail my exact tone, I hope that the tone will inspire someone to find their own voice on the instrument. The tone is either a starting point or an inspiration for the player to jump off and find themselves.”

Since Cory Wong was a teenager he has always played a Fender Highway One Stratocaster®. Despite knowing it wasn’t the most expensive guitar out there, he loved the way it felt in his hands. The neck shape, finish on the body and overall comfort were aspects of this original guitar that Wong knew he wanted to include on his signature model, along with the modern specs he loves today. Additionally, crafting a guitar that focused on the player’s individuality was something very important to Cory during the creative process.

“Cory is at the forefront of a new wave of artists  championing guitar at a high musical level,” said Justin Norvell, EVP of Fender Products. “His unique playing style is perfectly suited for the Stratocaster® model, so doing a signature with him seemed like a natural fit. Funk plus a Stratocaster is a magical combination.  Each and every detail, from cool mods to the smaller body size and pickups were customized to recreate Cory’s ultimate Stratocaster® guitar.”

The Cory Wong Stratocaster® ($1,999.99 USD, £2,249 GBP, €2,499 EUR, $3,699 AUD, ¥319,000 JPY) features a sapphire blue transparent satin lacquer finish, recreating the look and feel of Cory’s beloved original Strat® guitar. A scaled-down alder body – slightly smaller than a typical Stratocaster – combined with a modern “D” neck and sculpted body contours deliver a sublimely comfortable playing experience. The instrument features a set of Seymour Duncan® Cory Wong Clean MachineTM pickups fine-tuned to achieve his distinctive tone, a subtly modified headstock shape, rosewood fingerboard with rolled edges and a compound 10-14” radius, vintage-style 6-screw synchronized Tremolo, deluxe locking tuner and a push/push pot on Tone 2 that bypasses the 5-way switch and defaults to “Position 4”.  Also included are a Cory Wong hair tie, rubber strap lock washer set and a custom neck plate.

By putting a modern, professional twist on a classic favorite, Wong and Fender are able to create the perfect individualized guitar. “One of my favorite specs about this guitar is ‘The Fourth Position Panic Button,’” Wong said. “It’s something unique that I haven’t seen on any guitar. My homebase is fourth position, but sometimes I accidentally hit the pickup selector and it changes positions…so we developed a ‘push-push’ knob to lock the pickup selector into fourth position, meaning that no matter where the pickup selector is it’ll be in the fourth position wiring!”

In true tradition, the Fender® Artist Signature Series honors iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists. Learn more about Fender’s first ever collaboration with Cory Wong – one of the most acclaimed lead rhythm players in the world – as he talks through his musical journey and his Signature Stratocaster®. Watch the demo video, which dives into the exciting new features from his signature Stratocaster.

In celebration of his new artist signature model, Fender Play® introduces the “Cory Wong Collection” this month on Fender Play, the complete learning app for guitar, bass and ukulele. Fans around the world can begin their musical journey and play their very own Cory Wong Stratocaster® while learning his songs, including Cory Wong by Vulfpeck and Smooth Move by Cory Wong, riffs from songs such as Cosmic Sans by Cory Wong and Dean Town by Vulfpeck* plus4+ new skill lessons. *Disclaimer: some of these songs are not written by Cory Wong.

For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.