Gear of the Month 2012
February: 1976 Fender Starcaster
If imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery, then CBS-owned Fender was infatuated with Gibson’s ES line of semi-hollow electric guitars. Gibson’s ES models had been heavily used by guitar icons like Chuck Berry (ES-350T and eventually the ES-345 and ES-355), Eric Clapton (ES-335 with Cream and Blind Faith), and B.B. King (ES-355), virtually dominating the semi-hollow world and prompting Fender to release its own semihollow creation—the Starcaster in 1976. To differentiate itself from the popular Gibson models—which generally had a maple body, mahogany neck, and rosewood fretboard—Fender took the all-maple approach when designing the Starcaster, which features an offset double-cutaway, asymmetrical maple body, neck, and fretboard. In addition, Fender stuck with its tried-and-true, bolt-on neck construction and 25.5" scale length, which was in direct opposition to Gibson’s set-neck design and 24.75" scale length.