Gear of the Month 2012
October: 1985 Fender Performer
The 1985 Performer has a Strat-meets-Warlock, double-cutaway body that was made with alder, basswood, or birch. (The design appears to be modeled after the flat part of the Strat’s body.) It features a maple neck with a 24-fret rosewood fretboard, a two-pivot bridge with a floating Fender System 1 vibrato made by Schaller. The pickups are two slanted humbuckers—mimicking the positioning of the bridge pickups in Teles and Strats—and are controlled by a volume knob, a tone knob, a 3-way pickup selector switch, and a coil-tapping switch. The tone knob has stacked pots—250k and 1M—with a center detent, which could’ve been a predecessor to the TBX tone control used in later Fender models. The impetus of the Performer was to propel Fender forward, but the guitar’s headstock nods to the past with its arrow-like design reminiscent of the company’s 1969 Swinger model.