Fender Coronado

The Coronado is a most un-Fender like guitar. In the sixties Epiphone produced the Casino which was a true thin line hollow body but which had limited success. Since 1957 Epiphone had been a subsidiary of Gibson who tended to use the brand to market economy versions of there own more up market guitars. Gibson had made the first massively successful thin line hollow body in 1958 when they introduced the ES 335. Unlike the Casino, the 335 was not a true hollow body but had a central block running up the middle with hollow bat wings either side.

Fender were famous for their range of solid bodies like the legendary Stratocaster, Telecaster and their Jazz and Precision bass guitars. In 1962 German born guitar designer and builder Roger Rosmeisl left Rickenbacker and joined Fender. In 1965 they came up with the Rossmeisl designed Coranado. The original Coranado was much in the mould of the Casino, a true thin hollow body. The neck and stock were pure Startocaster however with a thin cello style hollow body that had prominent ‘f’ holes. Unusually, while most hollow bodied guitars had fixed necks, Fender used bolt-on techniques for the Coronado a la their solids.

The guitar was never a success, I guess guitarists who wanted a hollow body used a Gibson or a Gretsch while solid players favoured Fender solids and the crossbreed Coranado never caught on and was discontinued in 1972.

I suppose the marketing department at Fender are always looking for new products and a few years ago the Corando was reissued. This time the more accepted build style of a central block with bat wings was adopted in order to reduce feed back at high volumes. The Strat style stock was retained and a major appeal of the guitar is the Stratocaster like feel of the neck and action. It’s a simple design with two Fedelitron pickups with the usual rarely used volume and tone controls for each. A separate three-way selector switch allows the front, bridge or both pick ups to be selected.

It’s too new for me to pronounce. It’s certainly a good, competent guitar and I’d be happy to use it in all circumstances but I doubt it will become a favourite. It’s also unlikely to be a great classic as being neither one thing nor the other, I suspect guitarists will stick with their Stats and Teles or their ES 335s/355s.