Iconic Guitars

Vintage guitars, re-issues and relics found on the web or in stores

Friday, 1 May 2009

1985 Fender Katana - rare and roadworn (Updated)

I originally posted here about a Fender Katana from 1985 which is no longer auctioned on eBay. I think the Katana is a nice piece of Fender history so just wanted to update this post.

>> Search eBay for Fender Katana guitars

The Katana is an attempt by Fender in the 80's to create a guitar that could speak to the hard rock crowd and compete with the Jackson's and Gibson Flying V's. Funny idea when you think that so much headbanging music has been made with good old Fender strats (Iron Maiden comes to mind).

I like Guy Mackenzie's assessment of the Fender Katana:
Built in 1986, made in Japan and cost £495 when new (...) - not a commercial success but rare and seriously underrated.

The Katana's specs (from an old eBay listing):
It features two high quality dual-coil humbucker pickups, a locking tremelo system with fine tuners, a thru the body neck with a truss rod, rosewood fretboard and an angled back headstock. The controls are a three position toggle selector switch, a volume pot and a very unique tone control in the fact that it clicks in the middle (or five position) allowing adjustment up or down. There are silver inlays on the body and headstock, also, the neck has triangular inlaid fret markers. It has twenty-two fat nickel frets, Fender die cast tuners, black tapered speed knobs and a push-in whammy bar. All came stock on this unusual axe. (...)

The Katana is a cheap vintage piece of Fender history. You can probably grab a Katana on eBay for around or under $500. At that price I'd go for it just for the fun of owning an odd guitar (with good craftsmanship).

Picture credit: The Guitar Collection


bertram said...

wonderful guitar, would be great if you could make a nice big picture of it on a white background - impossible to find a good picture of a Katana on the Internet! (if I may ask)

Guillaume said...

bertram, I don't own this guitar although at that price I could buy it :)

To get a nice picture of this guitar, you'd have to ask the eBay seller.

There is a nice picture of Fender Katana here.

bertram said...

sorry, i realised too late that i've been asking too quick, but thank you for the link anyway!

Kyle Errickson said...

I have a 1986 fender katana that I'm selling if anyone is interested. It's still original paint and about same worn condition. I had been modded with an emg-81 in the bridge and is missing the lock on the headstock for the tremolo. If anyone is interested email me at thephoenixissue@yahoo.com and I'll send pictures!

Anonymous said...

Selling my Fender Katana on Ebay