Vintage Vibes: '60s Wildwood Fender Coronado

VINTAGE VIBES: '60s Wildwood Fender Coronado II

The aptly named Fender Coronado Wildwood II is a rare product of the CBS-Fender takeover in 1965. With Leo Fender out of the picture, a lot of bizarre ideas were floated around, like allegedly injecting dye into live trees, as the brand looked for a new point of view. Roger Rossmiesl, formerly of Rickenbacker, provided it, designing the Coronado Wildwood II with a fully hollow body composed of stained (or were they dyed?) beechwood sides, back, and top, a hot pair of DeArmonds, and a very responsive tremolo assembly, or “wiggle stick.”

Shelby describes the Wildwood Fender Coronado II

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Hey, everybody, this is Shelby from Chicago Music Exchange, and today I have with me this very beautiful 60's Coronado II Wildwood II. As you may or may not know, the Coronado was released in 1967 by Fender. That was the year that Leo Fender was no longer a part of the advisory board watching the transition from Fender to CBS. And you know, as soon as he was done, Fender decided to do some crazy and wacky stuff. This one and the Starcaster were two of my favorites from that era. This guitar was designed by a gentleman by the name of Roger Rossmiesel. He worked for Rickenbacker prior to this iteration of Fender's history. And you can see that he brought a lot of things over from Rickenbacker to Fender with him.

And if you see the original Coronados, you can tell some of the influences he brought over with the bright cherry red finishes. This one's a wildwood, so it's got the stained beechwood top back and sides and is incredibly unique. This is a completely hollow 330 type Fender. It's the first time they've ever done anything like this, two f-holes here on the top two D'Armond pickups, which was also very rare for Fender to do, bring a different manufacturer to this model. The D'Armond pickups are really, really aggressive. They sound fantastic. They break up this big amp really, really well. 

The Wildwood platform of the Coronados are incredibly unique because Fender actually dyed. The Beechwood here you have multiple levels of the Wildwood package 1 2 and so on. It denotes different striping of colors. You can see different ones that are green and yellow and purple and it's pretty wild to see them.

Pun intended. It's wild...wood. Wood is wild. Not very environmentally friendly. If Fender was going out and just sticking a tree with purple dye in it. But hey, it was the 60s. We didn't know any better. So sue me. You know, I didn't make it. Roger Rossmeisel made it. It's his fault. I didn't do it. You did it. You're the one who's buying it. Supply and demand.

My favorite part of this entire instrument is the ole wiggle stick here. This trem assembly is one of the absolute best. And once you really get it going and get the strings to do some pretty incredible harmonic overtones, it's a very fluid trem system. It's kind of like a Bigsby, but in my opinion, significantly better because of the action moving up and down.

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