NAMM 2009: Fender Standard range, you’ve been pimped

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Fender has beefed up the Mexican-made Standard range with some new cosmetic features which are sure to make the guitars look a little nicer in the eyes of consumers, while separating them a little more from the rapidly improving Squire line.

I’ve noticed Squire quality improving for a while, and I guess Fender needed to do something to give budget-minded guitarists a reason to go with the slightly more expensive Fender-branded Strat compared to stuff like the Squire Deluxe Stratocaster, which retails at US$449.99.

The new tweaks to the Fender Standard line don’t particularly represent an improvement in playability or sound (you might still want to upgrade the pickups and have a tech go over the fretwork to unleash the full awesomeness of a Fender Standard series), but they sure do look cool. I especially like the switch to the 70s logo.

Here’s the press release.

The Fender Standard Series, one of the world’s most popular electric guitar and bass series, recently received upgrades that include new finishes, tinted necks, parchment pickguards/control knobs and ’70s-style logos.

“The Standard Series is the entry-point into the Fender branded guitar and bass lines,” said Justin Norvell, director of marketing, Fender electric guitars. “Fender has always been committed to both dealer and consumer value, and this latest refreshment has increased the value proposition for both. Some of the changes may sound somewhat minor, but they represent a massive positive change from a visual standpoint. In plain terms, the new instruments look more expensive, which should increase their desirability and turn at the retail level.”

Fender Standard Telecaster, Stratocaster and Strat HSS guitars are available at Fender dealers worldwide with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $690 ($750 in Brown Sunburst); Fender Standard Strat HSS with Floyd Rose guitars are available at Fender dealers worldwide with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $880 ($940 in Brown Sunburst); Fender Standard “Roland®” Ready” Stratocaster guitars are available at Fender dealers worldwide with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1,060 ($1,130 in Brown Sunburst); Fender Precision Bass guitars are available at Fender dealers worldwide with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $780; Fender Jazz Bass guitars are available at Fender dealers worldwide with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $830.

For more information, visit their web site at http://www.fender.com/.