Long known for his studio wizardry and technical prowess, U2 guitarist the Edge has announced his own custom guitar and amplifier in conjunction with Fender.
The Edge Signature Stratocaster and Edge Deluxe amplifier are available now, retailing for $1800 and $2400 respectively.
“I wanted to create the ultimate Strat,” the 54-year-old guitarist tells EW. “I think it’s the closest I could hope to get to the Strat sound of my imagination.”
The process was an intense one, and the Edge played an integral part in it, even visiting Fender’s factory in Corona, California to get a first-person look.
“It took a year and nine prototypes, all of which I tried out during the last tour,” he says. “I was pretty meticulous. I was always measuring the guitar sound against the sound I imagined for songs like ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’ and ‘Pride (In the Name of Love).’ It’s a subjective thing, but I have an ideal sound in my head I want to hear coming out of the speakers.”
Getting the right sound entailed extensive tinkering: The Edge listed body wood, body weight, fret board wood, bridge type, and pickup design. He specifically notes the “quite unusual” pickup set, which uses a combination of DiMarzio and Fender equipment to achieve the correct “balance of tone and string output.”
The revered guitarist, of course, has a deep bench of instruments. But his love of Fender Stratocasters goes way back to when he began playing the iconic model at the age of 16. “The first idea was to create a new guitar that surpassed my 1973 black Strat in terms of sound for playing the classic U2 songs live,” he says. “Once we succeeded with that, it seemed like a natural step to put the guitar into production.”