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Digital Subscriptions > The Guitar Magazine > Mar-18 > AMERICAN ORIGINALS

AMERICAN ORIGINALS

Launched ahead of NAMM 2018, Fender’s American Original Series breaks with recent tradition and offers best-of-thedecade features rather than replicating specific model years. There are also some nods to modernity thrown in for good measure. CHRIS VINNICOMBE gets his hands on the ‘50s Stratocaster and ‘60s Telecaster for a UK-exclusive first review…

AMERICAN ORIGINALS £1,609 & £1,659

REVIEW

The American Vintage Series was a sweet spot for Fender. Priced just about within reach of mere mortals, with classic stylings, dimensions and nitrocellulose finishes – if you couldn’t stretch to Custom Shop money then American Vintage was where it was at for a pro-quality USA Fender with a golden era look and feel.

2012 saw American Vintage get it last major overhaul, and the focus was on making ‘em like they used to, with every curve, radius and neck profile reworked to bring the models closer than ever to the guitars that came out of Fullerton in the 15-or-so-year period during which it seemed that the company could almost do no wrong.

Think of each instrument as a ‘best of’ album that combines the most popular features from a given decade

Wind the tape forward to 2018 and American Vintage is dead… long live American Original. Occupying the same position in the catalogue and with broadly similar pricing (happily some models are even cheaper than their 2017 American Vintage equivalents), instead of zeroing in on a specific year of manufacture, the American Original Series cherry picks features from across a chosen decade and adds subtle but player-friendly updates such as 9.5-inch fingerboard radii and vintage-tall fretwire.

Although there are players out there for whom a 7.25-inch fretboard radius and an action with some fight is an essential part of the Fender experience, let’s leave machismo at the door along with our 0.013-gauge strings for a moment – a 9.5-inch ‘board radius almost certainly has broader appeal without the playing surface being so flat that it no longer feels like a Fender.

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About The Guitar Magazine

The March 2018 issue of The Guitar Magazine is on sale now, featuring Fender’s brand new 2018 flagships and a with free Taylor Guitars supplement for every reader! This month inside the UK’s best-loved and most affordable guitar magazine, we get to grips with Fender’s brand new for 2018 American Originals guitars in a UK exclusive first review. Find out if Fender’s reimagined golden era electrics will need to be on your must try list inside, and chose from our two special collector’s edition covers - will you pick Strat or Tele, or get the set? As if that wasn’t enough of a big deal, the March issue also comes with a free 24-page magazine dedicated to Taylor Guitar’s brand new V-Class bracing system – a hugely innovative way of making acoustic guitars that made serious waves when it was launched at last month’s NAMM show. Inside, we sat down with Taylor design guru Andy Powers to find out just what makes the new bracing system so remarkable, and got our hands on one of the first V-Class guitars Powers has built for an in-depth review. But we’re not all about shiny new gear here at The Guitar Magazine, and we’ve got plenty in store for vintage fanatics inside, too. For starters, we had the rare privilege of getting up close with a £230,000 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard in Vintage Bench Test, while we also spent some time with a gorgeous 1963 ES-335 made famous in the hands of Sweet guitarist Andy Scott. If vintage guitar speculation is more your game, however, then take a trip with Huw Price to Paris as he wanders through the incredible vintage guitar shops of the City of Love’s ‘Music Village’ area - you might want to book a trip yourself. For all that and much more - including new gear from the likes of Vigier, Rivolta, Swart, Danelectro, Joe Satriani’s essential gear and the latest in our DIY Martin acoustic build project – pick up your print or digital copy of the March 2018 edition of The Guitar Magazine today.