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16″ laminated maple body and spruce top; to a jazz player the extra hole and p.u. elite is more desirable and more costly), and finally the top of the line ULTRA.

The Master series was conceived by the new management group at Fender and consisted of the Flame (standard, elite, and ultra), the Esprit (standard, elite, and ultra), and finally the D’Aquisto (standard, elite, and ultra).

The Flame and Esprit were electrics with chambered bodies.

Dan was a very close friend of a legendary jazz guitarist back in his hometown of Rochester N. Dick Longale passed away many years ago and before he did these two guitars ended up in the hands of two of his students. The other guitar ended up with a perhaps somewhat less formidable, but equally enthusiastic guitarist (that would be me! Chris retired a couple years ago and unfortunately no longer plays.

He therefore decided to sell his guitars and a few months ago he contacted me regarding his L5.

Like the rest of the Master Series guitars these included the standard (2 p.u.

16″ laminated maple body and spruce top), the elite (1 p.u.(I myself have only seen one of these production model ultras’; at a guitar show in Philadelphia.) Now part of the agreement with Jimmy was that Fender would produce a prototype of at least one of each guitar for his approval before going into production.The first three were of the ultra and they were stamped on the back of the h.s. The first number represents the year of production and the last number is the order in which they were built.It was listed on ebay but the auction was SHUT DOWN by ebay after they were contacted by the legal dept. Apparently they did not believe it was the real thing but rather one of those “forgeries” that show up on ebay periodically that are built in China.It actually took a number of phone calls from Chris to convince them to contact Dan Smith who is now retired.This group of investors was headed by then president of Fender guitars, William Schultz.Another of these employees was Dan Smith who retired as vice president of Fender.In 1984 CBS decided they had enough of the musical instrument business and they sold the company.Fortunately for all of us (lovers of Fender guitars that is) they sold the company to a group from in house (Fender employee’s).The new management made the decision to have these guitars built in Japan which was considered to be producing the highest quality guitars for Fender at the time. factory was just being completed at this time and the Fender Custom Shop would not even produce its’ first guitar until June of 1987.Fender then commissioned Jimmy to design his line of guitars for Fender to be produced in Japan.

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