Browse Dave’s Collection

“Welcome to the guitar collection. On the second floor of our store we have on display over 300 guitars and more than 50 amps that I’ve accumulated over the years. The friends and customers that have visited us seem to really appreciate being able to view this, so we thought we would share it with our online friends and fellow guitar enthusiasts as well. Enjoy!”

- Dave Rogers

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Fender Broadcaster, ’50

Blonde, Serial # 0163.   In the late 1940’s, Leo Fender began working on a practical electric Spanish guitar. The design would be simple, and the guitar would be easy to manufacture and repair. It would also be convenient and uncomplicated for the working musician. The result, introduced in the fall of 1950, was the Broadcaster.   The Broadcaster was a two pickup solid body guitar able to reach high stage volumes with none of the feedback problems that plagued hollowbody guitars. The instrument was fitted with an easily replaceable bolt-on neck. This neck contained an adjustable truss-rod (earlier prototypes had no truss-rod). The pickups were meant to give the same bright clarity as Fender’s lap steel guitars. Lastly, a 3-saddle adjustable bridge was included for better (not perfect) intonation.   In mid-February of 1951 the Gretsch Company contacted Fender pointing out that the name “Broadcaster “was very similar to the name of Gretsch’s “Broadkaster” drum set. Gretsch requested “immediate assurance” that Fender would abandon the use of the name. Fender immediately complied. The guitar continued to be produced without a name until September of that year when “Telecaster” began appearing on the decal. The Telecaster name continues to be used on the Broadcaster’s contemporary descendents.   A modern Telecaster has changed very little from the 61 year old Broadcaster spotlighted this month. The features special to Broadcasters and early Teles are: closed-shell Kluson Deluxe tuners with no protruding shaft on the side (became open-shell by 1952), maple headstock plug (all were walnut by ‘52), back string ferrules not in a straight line (straightened by ’51), pickup blend control (became a tone control by ’52), and slot-head screws (became Phillips screws by ’54). A black pickguard was used until late ’54, and a see-through blonde finished ash body remained standard through the ‘70s.                                                                                                

Fender Band Master, ’60

Brown Tolex, March 1960.

Fender Band Master, ’60

Brown Tolex, February 1960.

Fender Harvard, ’59

As important and innovative as Fender guitars were in the 1950’s, Fender amps were the industry standard; renowned for their tone, durability, and easy maintenance.  At Fender, the amplifier was considered as important to the overall sound as the guitar. The right electric guitar needed to be matched to the right amplifier before music could be made.   If the legendary recordings made at the Memphis Stax-Volt studio in the 1960’s are used as evidence, the perfect mate for a Fender Esquire (or Telecaster) would be a Fender Harvard Amp.  This combination was used by session guitarist (Booker T. and the MGs band member) Steve Cropper, on nearly every Stax hit of the 1960s. The sounds ranged from mellow (Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”), to biting (The MGs’ “Green Onions”), to distorted (The MGs’ “Hip Hug Her”).   Fender introduced the 10 watt Harvard in 1955 to fill the space between the 5 watt Princeton and the 15 watt Deluxe. It had one 10” speaker (sometimes an 8” was used) driven by two 6V6 power tubes. It had one tone control and one volume control. The Harvard was discontinued in 1961.

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