Fender lets the music spin on with special edition turntable
Fender has partnered with Mobile Fidelity Electronics (MoFi) for a limited run belt-drive turntable that rocks a design inspired by the Fender Precision Bass and high-end components based on MoFi's award-winning UltraDeck record spinner.
During the development of the Fender x MoFi PrecisionDeck, MoFi stumbled upon an interesting story about Leo Fender's first foray into the development of vinyl-spinning decks.
Fender Electric Instruments (now Fender Musical Instruments Corp) was founded in 1946, but before that Leo Fender was repairing radios and audio equipment in Fullerton, California, as Fender Radio Services. Along with fellow inventors Clayton Orr "Doc" Kauffman and Clifton Abbot, he designed and patented a turntable in 1945 – selling the rights to set up K&F Manufacturing with Kauffman, before going alone the following year.
So even though the company has since made its name manufacturing iconic guitars and basses, a turntable has always been part of the Fender story. The limited-edition Fender x MoFi PrecisionDeck kind of brings both histories together, as the plinth is fashioned from the same swamp ash wood used in Fender's Precision Bass, and has been finished in stunning tri-color sunburst.
The overall look comes courtesy of Custom Shop Principal Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov, who we've previously seen fashion a diamond-studded Broadcaster, a Telecaster with its own musical movement, and a pinball-inspired guitar and amp. But the inner workings are from MoFi, based on that company's UltraDeck turntable.
The PrecisionDeck model features a stepped-pulley AC synchronous motor that drives the belt at either 33.3 or 45 rpm, while an inverted bearing system that includes steel, bronze and sapphire promises quiet, stable operation.
The motor is decoupled from the rest of the turntable to keep any vibrations away from the 1.3-inch Delrin platter and Micro-Line diamond stylus, and the chassis sits on isolating feet developed with Harmonic Resolution Systems to prevent external vibrations from spoiling the listening experience.
Up top is a 10-inch aluminum gimbaled-bearing Ultra straight tonearm that ends in a MoFi MasterTracker cartridge, there are gold-plated RCA connectors around back, and each unit will come with a dust cover.
"Working with the entire Fender team has been a great pleasure and we could not be more excited or proud of the result," said MoFi's president, John Schaffer. "From the beginning, creating this turntable has been a joy. The ideas on how to leverage both companies’ strengths and create something authentic and special just flowed. With the very first prototype we knew we were really on to something, as folks would stop by to admire what we were creating."
Each turntable from the 1,000-unit production run will be numbered and badged, and carries a US$3,495 ticket price.
Product page: Fender x MoFi PrecisionDeck