Master Builder Carlos Lopez leaves the Fender Custom Shop

Lopez was made a Master Builder in 2019, after apprenticing under Todd Krause.

After a decade and a half of guitar-making, Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Carlos Lopez has left the company.

Lopez started at Fender in 2006, and was quickly promoted to the Custom Shop. He was part of the Shop’s team of builders until he became an Apprentice Master Builder under Todd Krause. He was officially anointed as a fully-fledged Master Builder in 2019. His builds focused on the offbeat, oft-forgotten models from Fender history, such as the baritone Brawler, the offset Marauder or the 12-string Electric XII.

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Over the weekend, Lopez posted a picture of his final build for the shop, along with a statement giving thanks to his fans for their support, and some hints as to what he intends to do next. “My last Waltz. Thank you everyone for all the support through the years,” he wrote. “I have made the decision to continue this Journey on my own. I don’t know what that looks like but I’m optimistic about my future of stepping into the unknown with open arms.”

“Thank you to everyone that supported me through the years, 16 years to be exact. I am Humbled and honoured to have the opportunity to work for the biggest guitar manufacturing company in the world.”

While Lopez didn’t confirm exactly what his plans are, many fans expressed their support and hope for him to continue his guitar-building, either at another company, or under his own name.

Last year, we spoke to Lopez for Guitar.com Live, during which he told us about how he got started making guitars. You can check out our full interview with him below.

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