Fender Coronado II

A beautiful, absolutely beautiful guitar… now owned by my Aunt.

A little while ago I did a story on a 70’s Fender Musicmaster Bass that I’d found for my Aunt on eBay to bring back with her from her US trip. To put it politely, in the last year or so the guitar market has tanked world wide. With the US economy in a bit of trouble, people aren’t spending the money they used to on guitars. This has affected their value and if you look, there are some damn good bargains out there.

After the success of the Musicmaster Bass, my Aunt asked me to find her another guitar to bring back. I looked through eBay for a couple of weeks and then found this beauty…

A beautiful 60’s Fender Coronado II. The price was ridiculous… a bargain for such a classic instrument. There were actually two Coronado’s exactly the same colour for exactly the same price… but here’s the reason I suggested this one from the two.

The neck was made from a spectacular piece of birdseye maple. I’ve never seen a neck this figured… it makes a nice match to her Musicmaster Bass.

So a week or two later, she dropped off this beauty for me to look at. It’s awesome, I’m a big fan of these guitars. After falling in love with my Maton Apollo, I think full hollow thinline guitars are fantastic. They seem to resonate more than semi hollowbodied guitars like the ES335 and are more responsive to picking subtleties. The Maton is actually a bit more responsive to the Coronado as it is made from very thin, cheap plywood. The Coronado’s body is made from a thicker laminate of beechwood. And what a body it is.

These photo’s don’t do this guitar justice. It is absolutely stunning in  the flesh. The guitar is in fantastic condition, with only a few scrapes here and there. The neck is a gorgeous shape, rounded like a sucked lolly. The frets are tiny, but the action is so low that it doesn’t matter. This guitar is an absolute joy to play. I’ve had it for a day and can’t put it down.

The attention to detail in the design of this guitar is a joy to admire. Designer Roger Rossmeisl (who had previously designed instruments for Rickenbacker, but who went on to create numerous models for Fender) really thought this guitar out well. Look at his solution for the strap button…

The pickups are Dearmonds, which as you know I’m a big fan of. This makes this guitar even cooler to me… it’s a true sixties beat machine. The coolest guitars of the sixties had Dearmonds… Harmony, Silvertone, Gretsch, Guild. They’re fantastic for the garage/surf sound which I love.

They’re not quite as full sounding as the pickups on my Maton. The Apollo sounds a bit plummier… I know that’s a weird word to describe the sound. (I’d love to know who made those pickups for Maton.) With the thicker body and wooden bridge, this guitar sounds a bit more banjo-y than the Apollo. I’d love to hear what this guitar sounds like with a cast Bigsby moustache bridge on it like my Apollo.

So in summary… I’m in love with this guitar. There’s only one thing I hate about it. I’m gonna have to give it back to my Aunt soon.I may have to track one down for myself… maybe in Antigua burst.