#1
i dug out my pair of Fender Showmasters a few weeks ago from the abyss (my closet) and strung them up and put pickups in, and its like falling in love again. i love the fuckers. they are the single humbuggers that i threw EMG's into a few different times throughout the years (now both are, both have had several different pickups).

those weren't the only Showmasters out there either. there were HH and (pretty damn shure HSS). they were under $300-$400 towards the end of their production higher in the beginning. i think i paid $225 for one new in 2003ish, and the second i bought used last year from guitarsandeffects (dot com) for $300 shipped. i love them both.

they are set neck, good attention to detail, pretty damn good fretwork for the price. MIK in the early 2000's. i just don't get why they didn't go over better. i would put them next to say jacksons or charvels of similar times. especially MIJ jacksons (i have gone through a few of those).

so guys what is it? 

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#2
Part of it is the typical people that would probably be wanting a guitar like that are already giving other companies options and the people that are fans of Fenders probably weren't that crazy over them vs a regular strat. I would also think with Fender those guitars probably weren't as cheap to manufacture and if they weren't selling that well I don't see them being too inclined on keeping the series regardless on if they're amazing guitars.

Also IIRC (at least in Canada) those Showmasters were pretty expensive considering the specs of it (I think they were Highway Ones and then they were Korean made later on) and considering you could get an Ibby or a Jackson or an LTD or a Schecter for cheaper, I think that also kind of hurt them. FWIW I really liked them as a guitar but the appeal to a strat for me was being able to swap parts and necks and bodies on a whim and with that series you couldn't really do that.
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#3
Some of it's just fashion. In rock music, we've seen Les Pauls suddenty become popular *after* they were discontinued in '60. By the early '80's, they were so UNpopular ("your dad's guitar") that they were scheduled to be discontinued again. What saved them was Slash and AFD, not Henry J. Currently in fashion, sorta, are ERGs, and we're leaning toward longer scales, multi-scale (fan fret) and even headless.

At the same time, guitar players seem bolted to tradition, no matter how little it makes sense. Someone on another forum (*cough*AGF*cough*) is whining about the fact that the Agile AL3100 has a trap inlay in the first fret (!) and how he can't get over it and can't really look at one the same way, etc. For a long time I didn't even notice that LPs don't have an inlay there and certainly didn't care. But there are folks who get upset over headstock shapes, cutaway horn shapes, even the depth of the carve on the top of an LP style guitar. 4x12s were a kludge -- a lashup solution to the power requirements of a 100w amp way back when. And even though it's a terrible design on nearly every level, manufacturers crank them out every day and have done so for what, 60 years, unchanged? Don't even start on toob amps.

Some really good guitar designs have the disadvantage of "wrong time, wrong place" and/or being dropped into a saturated market. It's often not a question of merit, but of what's trending this season...
#4
Then, of course, there's the Fugly Factor...

But d covered the bases pretty well: brand, timing, value perceptions- any number of things can kill a product.
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#6
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Part of it is the typical people that would probably be wanting a guitar like that are already giving other companies options and the people that are fans of Fenders probably weren't that crazy over them vs a regular strat. I would also think with Fender those guitars probably weren't as cheap to manufacture and if they weren't selling that well I don't see them being too inclined on keeping the series regardless on if they're amazing guitars.

Also IIRC (at least in Canada) those Showmasters were pretty expensive considering the specs of it (I think they were Highway Ones and then they were Korean made later on) and considering you could get an Ibby or a Jackson or an LTD or a Schecter for cheaper, I think that also kind of hurt them. FWIW I really liked them as a guitar but the appeal to a strat for me was being able to swap parts and necks and bodies on a whim and with that series you couldn't really do that.


+3.1415 i agree completely. this topic was just looking for discussion.


i understand the interest in more common brands for the price, and that will sway most to another brand.

i agree that they aren't 'dad rock' nor 'djent' or whatever is developing at the moment.

some came with SD's IIRC, mine were both fenders own wind (and not astonishing). but its just interesting.

it seems that an HH strat has gone over better in sales. but still different feature sets.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

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alright "king of the guitar forum"


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nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


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youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
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2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#7
Different strokes for different folks.

I don't care for guitars with just a bridge pickup. If I want one solo pup, it will be in the neck.

Thank goodness that there are all kinds of builders out there, then, right?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#8
Fender tried and failed several times to do something different. As mentioned tradition plays a part. For fender the were very late to the party in terms of super strata and never were able to convince players their version was as good as established guitars from other companies.

This kind of thing has really hurt companies like BC Rich who can't shake associations with
Certain genres .
#9
I think what primarily sells guitars is this:

-Brand Recognition
-Artist Recognition

These Fenders have problems in both areas - while Fender is a reputable brand, people have certain expectations of them - people who want Fenders typically want the classics - this is not one of their classic designs from the '50s or '60s, and doesn't really fit in with their "brand image" as it were, so - Fender's typical customer base aren't interested because it's nothing like a 'proper' strat or tele, and the type of people the features typically appeal to are not interested because it's a Fender and Fenders are 'grandpa' guitars or whatever.

That and, to my knowledge, there are no famous artists who are particularly known for using these guitars.

Sad but true - the electric guitar is as much of a fashion accessory as it is a musical instrument, to the majority of people who buy them. in some cases more. It's something we can't escape from - we all have this completely superficial mindset, to some degree, when it comes to choosing an electric guitar... especially those who deny it and get all defensive when you point out this fact!
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#10
I don't really have an answer to your question that hasn't already been covered but I did just learn what was up with this Tele that was hanging out in my Guitar Center's used section a few years back, it was a set neck HH Tele with a maple top and a pair of Duncans and I had no idea when Fender had made a guitar like that. It was a good guitar, too, just a little too similar to another guitar I had (still do, in fact) for me to pull the trigger on buying it. 

ETA: It's miles ahead of some of Fender's other innovations, like the Katana
Last edited by LysanderSpoon at Jun 18, 2017,
#11
There's also this consideration:
Some builders really don't care if they "make it."
They have a design or a look or a way of doing things, etc., that just doesn't lend itself to a big following. Or they don't care to get to a point with manufacturing where you have to deal with feeding 200-300 stores, handling financing, worrying over advertising, etc. A lot of companies are comfortable producing a certain number of guitars per year and find they start making mistakes and pissing off customers when they push things. Suhr decided to import less-expensive guitars from asian sources for a bit, to supplement the expensive guitars he built, slowly, at his plant. After a run or two, he decided that's not what he was about and cancelled them. Carvin brought in Korean-built acoustic guitars for a few years. Dumped those, too.

Tom Prisloe makes about a dozen classical guitars per year. He's got a waiting list, and they're all concert musicians who appreciate the fact that Tom can build them a classical guitar that's exactly the tone they need. He's happy, they're happy. Novax makes specialty multi-string/multi-scale guitars, and was one of the early fan-fret electric guitar builders.

Trussart builds a certain number of guitars a year and that's it. He doesn't mind that he can't fill every Guitar Denter SaMASH, etc. Tom Anderson can go through his current inventory in a quick glance.
#12
Sometimes I imagine Steve Vai having a guitar battle with Eddie Clarke.  

One guy in his corner proving a strat can still be rock and roll, the other guy the poster child for Ibanez and the new shred guitar.

The outcome of Fenders perpetual brand panic is the product of the audience voting for Vai instead of Eddie.  
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#13
The retail market for guitars is massively conservative because such a huge part of it is middle aged men who want that nostalgia factor and the bulk of the rest of it is teenagers buying their first instrument (also usually their last)

In my opinion the guitar retail world is one ripe for disruption by a different business model
#14
I can relate. I have a Vox  SSC33. Everyone who has ever played it loves it and ask how much I payed for it. I got it as close out at GC for $160 if I remember correctly. It listed at $1000 and GC was sellng it for $600. Vox appears to have discontinued it but you see them on Reverb for $300. The complaint people do have is it does not sound like a LP which it was never meant to sound like. 
It is a crowed field out there and we all seem to be infuenced greatly by others. We are like the kid who buys Air Jordan's because he wants to be like Mike.
#15
Quote by monwobobbo
Fender tried and failed several times to do something different. As mentioned tradition plays a part. For fender the were very late to the party in terms of super strata and never were able to convince players their version was as good as established guitars from other companies.

This kind of thing has really hurt companies like BC Rich who can't shake associations with
Certain genres .


I tend to agree with this, by the time Fender waded into the super strat market other companies had already established themselves. Also Fender purists likely saw the whole super strat movement as abhorrent and were not happy when Fender joined in. Other major manufacturers have had models that flopped and in turn suffered from short production runs.

In the end I suppose those who happen to own one of these forgotten gems that basically flew under the radar can be happy that they have something that is not seen everyday even if the market does not demand a high resale value.
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#16
there are lots of interesting comments in here, which is why posted this this.

LysanderSpoon that tele (iirc) was originally launched around the same time as the Showmasters. still out there too. nice guitars, i wouldn't mind owning one of those myself.


dspellman good points as always.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#17
Fender owns jackson.
They are a big company now..if it makes sense for them to put something out under the fender brand they will...
but that showmaster is basically a jackson.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#18
Quote by AcousticMirror
Fender owns jackson.
They are a big company now..if it makes sense for them to put something out under the fender brand they will...
but that showmaster is basically a jackson.


I thought about that too. forgot to mention it though.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#20
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Ever seen a reverse flying V?

That's why.


haha
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#22
smb

Pretty much. I actually think the EMG quick connect cables is a great idea and it makes pickup swaps a breeze. I think more companies should employ it but on the flip side you've got all these traditionalists that panic when they find a small circuit board in their brand new Gibson cause anything that wasn't done back in 1958 is an abomination.
#23
Quote by risingforce1
smb

Pretty much. I actually think the EMG quick connect cables is a great idea and it makes pickup swaps a breeze. I think more companies should employ it but on the flip side you've got all these traditionalists that panic when they find a small circuit board in their brand new Gibson cause anything that wasn't done back in 1958 is an abomination.

The only way that would work is if all the company's used a universal/standard quick connect system.  That way people can swap between brands and not just within a single brand.  BTW GFS (Guitar Fetish) is now making all their pups in a "Kuickplug" quick connect option now.  They have a lot of great pups to easily swap around now.     
#24
Quote by smb
The retail market for guitars is massively conservative because such a huge part of it is middle aged men who want that nostalgia factor and the bulk of the rest of it is teenagers buying their first instrument (also usually their last)

In my opinion the guitar retail world is one ripe for disruption by a different business model

The nostalgia is such a strong driver for market demand when it comes to guitars, that major manufacturers are even trying to copy the aesthetic of those pieces of crap you saw scraping the bottom of a 1960's Sears Christmas catalog.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ENOLSYCH

Baby boomers are so rosy-eyed that they even see pieces of trash from the 60's as gold.
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#25
I actually find that hard to hate...been craving a Gordon Smith for the longest time

but yeah, exactly

I can see a market for a Massdrop type business model for small guitar builders, and something like the lego set designer working well for maybe Fender

Perhaps there's also scope for guitars as a subscription type services similar to dollar shave club

maybe I read too many business textbooks
#26
Guitarists are mostly stuck and don't want change so avoid anything not traditional by default.

Anything out of normal gets rejected to a point. Then it has to prove it self and grow to be accepted. Not many guitars survive that.

Unless the brand is accepted like Jackson in making variations on theme and new styles then they will have to come up with something really amazing which is hard for companies like Gibson and auto tuners. No we want normal 1958-9 Les Paul's thank you! As close as you can in every detail.
#27
I also think the simplicity may be a turn off for some. A lot of people want multiple pick-ups with lots of control nobs because they think they are getting more guitar for the money that way. I'm not too familiar with the showmaster but they look pretty cool.
#28
Its amazing how much artist endorsement matters to people. That same guitar with charvel on the headstock sold like hot cakes in the 80's thanks to Van Halen. I used to post on the ESP forums many many years ago and half the forum was Metallica fanboys that wanted whatever guitar James Hetfield was playing.

I love my Mesa mark but 90% of demo videos on YouTube are dudes plugging a Music Man JP into it and playing Perrucci riffs. Don't get me wrong; MM make solid guitars and I love DT but I have no desire to 100% emulate someone else's setup.
#29
Quote by dspellman
At the same time, guitar players seem bolted to tradition
Sometimes they're glued to it, or just part of the same piece of wood.

Quote by dspellman
Someone on another forum (*cough*AGF*cough*) is whining about the fact that the Agile AL3100 has a trap inlay in the first fret (!) and how he can't get over it and can't really look at one the same way, etc. For a long time I didn't even notice that LPs don't have an inlay there and certainly didn't care. But there are folks who get upset over headstock shapes, cutaway horn shapes, even the depth of the carve on the top of an LP style guitar.
Ehh, I have some sympathy for aesthetic preferences, even if they're rooted purely in what we're used to. Except dannyalcatraz's aesthetic preferences. Those aren't allowed.

But in any case it certainly is an aspect. I never liked Tele headstocks until I was looking into buying a Tele.

Obviously there's all sorts of things that can go into it, but I think a lot of the time when it comes to big brands trying to do something out of their usual niche it doesn't work because they don't have the idea until somebody else is already doing it better, and most of the people who wanted that particular thing already know about the other companies doing it.

As far as the one in the OP?


Quote by risingforce1
Its amazing how much artist endorsement matters to people. That same guitar with charvel on the headstock sold like hot cakes in the 80's thanks to Van Halen.
I don't know whether it's fair to attribute that to artist endorsement rather than fashion. Single-humbucker guitars were the in-thing in the '80s and sure that was pioneered to some degree by Van Halen but it was like, the glam rock/metal thing. This is the same thing but dressed up a bit more modern and, well, the popularity of glam hadn't survived the '90s.
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Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Jun 27, 2017,