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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

AMERICAN ACOUSTASONIC TELECASTER

A flexible new hybrid that dovetails with the needs of modern guitarists, or a clever way to sell Telecasters to the buoyant acoustic market? Time to put Fender’s big NAMM 2019 launch under the microscope…

When we first heard whispers that Fender’s biggest NAMM 2019 release was a line of USA-made acoustics, it felt like something of a curveball. Over the years, the brand that popularised the modern solidbody electric has had an on/off relationship with acoustic instruments, although the Paramount and California series of recent times prove that the current Fender chiefs take the needs – and dollars – of unplugged players seriously.

When the news broke a couple of days ahead of NAMM that the new American Acoustasonic Telecaster was a lot more than a simple acoustic instrument, things became much clearer. A Telecoustic this is not.

The design may be new for 2019, but its name isn’t. ‘Acoustasonic’ has been used by Fender in the past for a range of acousticguitar amplifiers, a Strat-shaped electroacoustic and most significantly, the previous Acoustasonic Telecaster model, launched nearly a decade ago. A hybrid design hewn from chambered ash with a spruce centreblock, the 2010 model was manufactured in Ensenada, Mexico and fitted with a Fishman undersaddle piezo bridge, a side-mounted Aura preamp and Twisted Tele neck pickup for more traditional electric sounds.

Though its progenitor was in many ways more Telecaster than acoustic, this time around, Fender has made the physical architecture more acoustic-like and considerably more innovative. Construction takes place on the USA side of the border, primarily in a dedicated space upstairs in the company’s Corona factory, and the guitar has been equipped with a new Fender and Fishman-designed ‘Acoustic Engine’ to deliver a range of flat-top voices as well as Telecaster bridge-pickup tones.

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About Guitar Magazine

Are we a quarter of the way into 2019 already? It only seems like a few days ago that we were heading out to the NAMM Show in California to see what the guitar industry had in store for us during the year ahead. You can find a sparkling array of new gear from the show floor over at Guitar.com and in this month’s magazine, we put some of it through its paces. Resplendent on the cover, the headline act is Fender’s bold new hybrid, the American Acoustasonic Telecaster. With a broad palette of vivid acoustic and electric-guitar tones on offer, the Acoustasonic might open a few musical doors and allow you to get away with taking one less guitar to the gig. In this month’s reviews section you can read our in-depth review and check out even more hot new gear from the likes of Blackstar, Orange, EarthQuaker Devices, Electro-Harmonix and more. The show itself was the most positive we’ve attended in many years. Not only did Gibson return to Anaheim in force, but perhaps the biggest story of NAMM 2019 originated in Northern Ireland with the news that George Lowden has teamed up with the biggest pop star in the world right now to launch a new range of affordable acoustics. The Sheeran by Lowden instruments are set to be manufactured in Downpatrick (just like Lowden’s wonderful high-end guitars) and their development has been a real labour of love for Ed and George. Find out what they had to say about the process in this month’s mag, where they join Gibson CEO JC Curleigh and John Mayer in our round-up of conversations from the Anaheim show. While we’re in name-dropping mode, fans of Les Pauls are particularly well served this month. The Collection features jaw-dropping images of what might have been the very first Burst to arrive on UK shores back in the early 1960s, while elsewhere, Tony Bacon charts the history of Gibson’s finest solidbody with contributions from bona-fide rock legends Jimmy Page and Billy Gibbons. Enjoy the issue!