FENDER NOCASTER R09xx VINCE CUNETTO


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FENDER NOCASTER R09xx VINCE CUNETTO

Guitares > Vintage Occasions > Fender - Vince Cunetto

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FENDER NOCASTER R0900 CUNETTO à découvrir chez Guitar Store. After over 20 years of playing, building, repairing, buying, selling, trading--basically living for the guitar—Vince Cunetto is tapped by the Fender Custom Shop to help develop a new concept for the guitar industry and bring it to life. When his prototypes meet with mass approval and new orders mount, he takes a risk and forms a new company to get the ball rolling. As the story goes, Vince spends the next four and a half years using his skill and experience on a new project... making new guitars look and feel like their well-worn and well-played predecessors. By the end of 1999, the work Vince and his crew have been doing is taken back "in-house" to be done back in California. They've shipped over forty-eight hundred guitars and it's been one sweet ride. Vince knows how lucky he's been. He'd seen huge success doing something he'd only dreamed about while growing up. He'd had the chance to do a lot of great work for many of his musical heroes (some of whom are friends today). He'd taken a risk and it had all paid off. Today, his name is attached to an entire genre of guitars, and much his to surprise, they've already seem to have become modern collectables. Where does a gentleman named Vince Cunetto fit into this story? At the beginning. The Relic (and what would later become the Fender Time Machine series) story begins in 1994. John Page is the manager of the Fender Custom Shop. Jay Black is a Custom Shop Master Builder and has a good friend named Vince Cunetto. Black is aware of Cunetto's skill in making repro Telecaster bodies, pickguards, "aged" Tele blackguards, and a few "aged" Fender replicas Cunetto had built for himself. Black shows one of Cunetto's personal "aged" Fender replicas to Page who gives Black and Cunetto the green light to produce some "aged" replica samples. Page likes what he sees and lets Black and Cunetto (who was not then and never becomes a Fender Custom Shop employee) show two "aged" prototypes at the 1995 Winter NAMM show. They are a hit (meaning dealers are willing to place orders). These "aged" replica prototypes give birth to the Fender Relic. The 1995 Custom Shop, however, is not prepared to produce the new Relics. Page decides to outsource the instrument components that need to be "aged" to the originator, Vince Cunetto, and in April of 1995, Cunetto sets up shop under the name, "Cunetto Creative Resources, Inc.," in Bolivar, Missouri (his wife's hometown) to produce the components. Cunetto's new shop receives its first shipment of raw bodies, necks and parts from the Custom Shop at the end of May, 1995. On June 27, 1995, Cunetto ships the first reliced components back to the Custom Shop -- enough parts to produce twenty reliced Nocasters. Cunetto describes the role he and his shop played in the production of the Relics from 1995 through May of 1999: Our work involved complete prep, finishing and cosmetic distressing of necks and bodies. We also aged and distressed all hardware, pickguards and metal parts. We got it down to a 20 piece per week schedule, and every Friday we'd lay out the week's guitars on a large, 24-foot padded table. Every single part on the guitar was then matched for visual consistency and appearance. We'd match necks to bodies, wear on guards to wear patterns on necks, hardware to body wear and on and on. Each part of each guitar was then labeled so that they'd be sure to be assembled as a unit after being packed and sent to Corona for final assembly. Relic order numbers continued to grow, as did the number of custom and one-off orders. In May of '96, we moved the company to a larger, better-equipped facility and continued production. As efficiency and employee training improved, so did our shipping numbers. We also upped the number of customs and one-offs produced. Production continued in the new facility. Over the course of '97, as orders for the regular Relics began to stabilize and taper, we began work on a new idea for the Relics, which we dubbed "The Relic Classic". The concept was simple: a nicely "aged" guitar in good shape. We'd had requests for pieces like this in custom orders and had done a few prototypes for [the] Custom Shop, which were well received. In late '97, the "Relic Classic" became the "Closet Classic", but Fender decided that it was a little late to get it ready for January '98 NAMM. Plans had already been made to re-tool and change the specs of the "Time Machine" Custom Shop guitars over the course of '98, and the new Relic model would be put off until later. By the latter part of '98, [the] Custom Shop had seen a lot of changes. John Page had left to run the Fender Museum. Because of new Custom Shop management and corporate policies, it was decided that the Closet Classics would be done in-house at Custom Shop. We continued to do the majority of the "standard" Relics during '98, although there were a few done "in-house" as Custom Shop honed their "relicing" chops. By early '99, things at Custom Shop had changed quite a bit, and I had a pretty strong feeling that they'd changed enough that using an outside vendor didn't make sense for Custom Shop. In March of this year [1999], I got a call from Mike Eldred, the new Custom Shop manager, informing me that they intended to do all Relics in-house after we finished the then-current back order. That was it, and we shipped the last "Cunetto Relics" in May of 1999. The Stratocaster Relics in which Cunetto and his shop played a role in producing (in addition to various Telecaster and bass models), have come to be known on the street as "Cunetto Relics" and are receiving ever growing attention from buyers, players and collectors. While instruments from the Time Machine series produced today may be more historically accurate, it is believed by many that the care and attention given to the parts "aged" by Cunetto and his shop distinguish those earlier instruments from their current descendants. Vince Cunetto, however, would like for Strat enthusiasts to know and remember the role he and his staff played in the production of the "Cunetto Relics": Again, let me clarify our involvement. My company did not "make" or "build" the Relics. We did not cut bodies or necks. We did not make the parts and we did not assemble them, set them up, etc. We sent all the parts back to [the] Custom Shop, where they were assembled, wired and shipped. Somewhere along the line, the word got out that we'd been doing them, and my name became associated with the guitars from the inception to early-mid '99. The point is, I don't really care who gets the credit for the guitars or whose name is associated with them. All I really care about is the fact that me and my team put every bit of heart and soul we had every day into those guitars... to try to make each and every one have a "connection" on some level to anybody that picked it up. The growing interest in "Cunetto Relics" indicates that the connection was made. Reposted from The Telecaster discussion board by Vince Cunetto Himself: Since there seem to be questions out there regarding the who, what when and were of the Relics, I thought I'd do my best to try to set the story straight in a nutshell. I'd be happy to respond to any posts that come up regarding anything in here! The concept of the Relics came out of conversations between my good friend Jay Black (Custom Shop Master Builder at the time) and myself in late 1994 after I'd sent him a couple of "aged" blackguards for a friend's old Tele. Jay and I had known each other for years, so he was familiar with my work making repro Tele bodies and pickguards, as well as the "aged" Fender replicas I'd built for myself. Jay and I reasoned that if people bought distressed leather jacket, jeans and reproduction antiques, why not guitars? I sent one of my personal "relics" to Jay, who showed it to John Page. Being the bright guy he is, John saw the potential of the project and gave us permission to go ahead with building some samples to see what we'd get. I started receiving parts and painting the prototypes in my garage! By the end of December 1994 or early January '95, I'd finished a couple of prototypes that Page liked. He took a risk on this "wacky" idea and, without telling anyone, gave Jay and I approval to show them at '95 NAMM. We finished the final show prototypes in January '95 in just in time for NAMM. With a great deal of surprise to many Fender folks, The two Relic prototypes were specially presented "center stage" under custom-made glass displays. It was a blast for John, Jay and myself. We smiled more than several times when we'd hear dealers comment on "how cool it was that we included real old Fender's as a tribute" as their reps toured displays with them and wrote orders. It was even more fun when we'd see the dealer's jaws drop as the rep would reply "Cool old guitars, huh? How many would you like?" Now we had to figure out how to make them, and keep them "real" on a production basis. After a few failed attempts at Custom Shop and a serious business proposal, I convinced John that the best thing for the project would be for me to set up a company as an outside vendor to specialize in doing nothing but the Relics. This wasn't such a stretch for Custom Shop, as they were used to using vendors for special engraving, aluminum bodies, carvings and a lot of the intricate "artwork" that went into many of the Custom Shop pieces. We saw the artwork required for the Relics as being no different' On a handshake with John Page, in April of '95, I moved my family to my wife 's hometown of Bolivar, Missouri, near Springfield, to set up shop under the banner of Cunetto Creative Resources, Inc., the consulting company I operated in Colorado. I found a building, set up booths and equipment and hired and trained employees. We began to receive raw bodies, necks and parts at the end of May 1995. The first shipment from the new facility, 20 Relic Nocasters, went on the truck on June 27, 1995. As a matter of course, we'd receive raw necks and bodies and all parts from Custom Shop. Our work involved complete prep, finishing and cosmetic distressing of necks and bodies. We also aged and distressed all hardware, pickguards and metal parts. We got it down to a 20 piece per week schedule, and every Friday we'd lay out the week's guitars on a large, 24-foot padded table. Every single part on the guitar was then matched for visual consistency and appearance. We'd match necks to bodies, wear on guards to wear patterns on necks, hardware to body wear and on and on. Each part of each guitar was then labeled so that they'd be sure to be assembled as a unit after being packed and sent to Corona for final assembly. Relic order numbers continued to grow, as did the number of custom and one-off orders. In May of '96, we moved the company to a larger, better-equipped facility and continued production. As efficiency and employee training improved, so did our shipping numbers. We also upped the number of customs and one-offs produced. Production continued in the new facility. Over the course of '97, as orders for the regular Relics began to stabilize and taper, we began work on a new idea for the Relics, which we dubbed "The Relic Classic". The concept was simple: a nicely "aged" guitar in good shape. We'd had requests for pieces like this in custom orders and had done a few prototypes for Custom Shop, which were well received. In late '97, the "Relic Classic" became the "Closet Classic", but Fender decided that it was a little late to get it ready for January '98 NAMM. Plans had already been made to re-tool and change the specs of the "Time Machine" Custom Shop guitars over the course of '98, and the new Relic model would be put off until later. By the latter part of '98, Custom Shop had seen a lot of changes. John Page had left to run the Fender Museum. Because of new Custom Shop management and corporate policies, it was decided that the Closet Classics would be done in-house at Custom Shop. We continued to do the majority of the "standard" Relics during '98, although there were a few done "in-house" as Custom Shop honed their "relicing" chops. By early '99, things at Custom Shop had changed quite a bit, and I had a pretty strong feeling that they'd changed enough that using an outside vendor didn't make sense for Custom Shop. In March of this year, I got a call from Mike Eldred, the new Custom Shop manager, informing me that they intended to do all Relics in-house after we finished the then-current back order. That was it, and we shipped the last "Cunetto Relics" in May of 1999. From June of '95 to May of '99, 860 "line" (not including custom) Nocasters were shipped to Fender, with a total of 44 Nocasters shipped from us from January to May of this year. RELIC NOCASTER SPECS: Original Series: - 9.5 neck radius - Wider gear spacing - Slightly inaccurate body shape - Serial Number stamped on neckplate - Hot bridge pickup (Broadcaster) around 9.5 to 10 k - Phillips screws - Pressed jackcup RELIC NOCASTER SPECS: New Series - 7.25 radius - Correct peghead shape and gear spacing with stepped-off tuner holes - Accurate body shape with "hump" in cutaway - Serial number beginning with "R" stamped on BRIDGEPLATE. The new bridgeplate system started over at "R0001" and YES, these numbers were duplicated with neck plate numbers that had already been used. - Slotted screws and milled jackcup (to the best of my knowledge) RELIC RUMOURS CLARIFIED: RUMOR: Relic production began in January of 1995: FALSE. The first production batch of Relics shipped from my facility on June 27, 1995. They probably shipped to dealers from Custom Shop by mid July. RUMOR: Until this year, the Relic "aging process" was not done at Custom Shop, but farmed out to an out of state vendor: TRUE RUMOR: Those Relics were painted with a true old-fashioned 100% top-to-bottom nitrocellulose lacquer finish: TRUE and FALSE. The color coats of the metallics and and some plain custom colors were DuPont LUCITE acrylic lacquer (just like the later, post "DUCO" originals!) over a nitro basecoat and finished with a nitro clear coat. All blonde and sunburst finishes, as well as Fiesta Red, Oly White and Daphne Blue are 100% Nitro. RUMOR: Relic body wood was specially baked to improve dryness and resonance: FALSE RUMOR: Relics were dragged behind trucks to age them: FALSE RUMOR: The ultra-thin relic finish has a great deal to do with the tone of the instruments: TRUE RUMOR: Many famous rock and country stars use Relics regularly: TRUE. but we can't tell you who they are! There you have (some) of it folks! Post any other rumors and I'll clarify as many as I can. Take care! One of Fender's Finest ever ! Reposted from The Fender Discussion Pages by Vince Cunetto Himself: Figure out the date of your Pre-Time Machine Relic: "Just in case... 6 digits, first is the last number of the year, next three are the day of that year, and the last two are the "serial number" for that batch, usually 20 to 40 of a particular color". Example: 622516 ; 225th day of '96, #16 out of 20 in that batch. This applies to bodies and necks. "We marked them the day they were put into prep for paint, to track production in the shop, identification for shipping and invoicing, and good old fashioned anal guitar dating to give guys like us something to obsess over in the coming years! :)"



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