One of the coolest things from NAMM has got to be Fender’s new American Deluxe Strat Plus. Not just any Deluxe – this one features interchangeable ‘mod’ cards which let you perform modifications such as the ability to blend the neck pickup in with the bridge or middle, or different treble bleed values, or separate bass and treble rolloff controls in place of the regular tone controls. There are HSS and SSS versions, and although each of the current cards are passive, there’s space in the card slot for a 9v battery, which means there’s plenty of scope for future cards to add things like Clapton-style mid boosts and other fun stuff.
Here’s the press release:
Scottsdale, AZ (January 25, 2014) — Fender is proud to offer its latest arsenal of guitars, including the American Deluxe Strat Plus HSS, Deluxe Stratocaster HSS with Fishman TriplePlay, Deluxe Stratocaster HSS Plus Top with iOS Connectivity, Fender Select Stratocaster HSS, and Fender Select Stratocaster QMT guitars.
Fender instruments have always been about great simplicity and convenient modularity—no other guitars are easier to personalize with new parts and hot-rodded features into truly individual declarations. The remarkable new American Deluxe Strat Plus HSS is the next step in the evolution of that great tradition, giving you three humbucking pickup-equipped Stratocaster guitars in one with an innovative design featuring easily interchangeable “personality cards” that instantly give you a wealth of versatile pickup and circuitry configurations.
One card comes in the guitar and delivers standard Stratocaster HSS pickup wiring; two extra personality cards are included and let you “re-wire” the guitar with specialized pickup and circuitry modifications quickly and easily. Simply pop the color-coded cards in and out of the easy-access compartment in the back, and you’ve just modded your Strat in record time. Further, the American Deluxe Strat Plus HSS features fully solder-less electronics that literally make other great circuit mods a snap.
Other fine features include a maple neck with comfortable “modern C” profile and satin finish, compound-radius rosewood fingerboard (9.5”-14”) with 22 medium jumbo frets, single-coil N3 Noiseless™ Strat neck and middle pickups, a Twin Head humbucking bridge pickup and five-way switching. The guitar also has a three-ply mint green pickguard and aged white control knobs, two-point synchronized tremolo bridge with bent steel saddles, Micro-Tilt™ neck adjustment mechanism, staggered deluxe locking tuners and nickel-chrome hardware. Accessories include a convenient carrying case for the two extra personality cards, hard-shell case, guitar strap, cable and polishing cloth. Available in Mystic Black and Mystic Three-color Sunburst gloss finishes.
The Stratocaster of the future is here. Fender’s Fishman TriplePlay Stratocaster HSS uses state-of-the-art built-in digital technology to give you a thrilling new playing experience in which you can emulate other instruments with ease and create a world of all-new sounds. It’s a phenomenal leap forward in the evolution of the world’s greatest electric guitar.
With its potent tonal combination of Vintage Noiseless single-coil Stratocaster neck and middle pickups and a powerful Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates humbucking bridge pickup, it’s a fine instrument in the conventional manner. But two other ultra-modern performance features launch this re-imagined Stratocaster into a brilliantly exciting future.
Engage the built-in Fishman TriplePlay system, which wirelessly transmits MIDI data to your computer to create virtually unlimited sounds with a wealth of performance, composing and recording features. The Fishman hex pickup, TriplePlay D-pad controller and MIDI volume control are all built into the front of the guitar, with the TriplePlay wireless controller built into the back. The wireless controller transmits the signal from the hex pickup to the included USB transceiver, which plugs into your computer (a handy clip on the back of the headstock holds the transceiver when not in use). For charging the unit, a power supply and micro-USB cable that connects to the TriplePlay wireless controller are included.
Also, the mini-USB output on the side of the lower bout digitally transmits the audio signals from the three Stratocaster pickups to your computer using the included USB cable. The adjacent 1/8” output jack lets you monitor the proceedings with headphones and has its own volume control on the front of the guitar.
Once the signal reaches your computer—from the TriplePlay system or from the mini-USB output—all the software you need to record, edit and play back your sounds comes in an included USB flash drive that contains Fishman TriplePlay, IK Multimedia SampleTank 2.5 and AmpliTube Custom Shop, and Native Instruments Komplete Elements (additional software such as Notion Progression and PreSonus Studio One® Artist available for free download with product registration).
The guitar also features a maple neck with “modern C” profile and satin finish, rosewood fingerboard with 9.5” radius and 22 medium jumbo frets, standard master volume control and ¼” output jack, standard five-way pickup switching, three-ply parchment pickguard, and vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge with six saddles. Available in Black and 3-color Sunburst gloss finishes. Deluxe gig bag included.
The Deluxe Stratocaster HSS Plus Top with IOS Connectivity lets you expand the sonic possibilities of the world’s greatest electric guitar by plugging it straight into iOS devices such as your iPhone, iPad, iPod or computer—with no need for any external devices—for easy recording, editing, monitoring and more. Along with all its other great features, you get superior signal-to-noise ratio and remarkable dynamic range for an exciting and truly state-of-the-art playing experience.
The guitar’s built-in USB audio interface is what does the trick. You can always play it as a great-sounding standard HSS Stratocaster, but the USB output and 1/8” stereo headphone output on the side of the lower bout deliver a whole other world of sonic versatility and creativity. Use the included USB mini-B to Lighting™ cable to connect the guitar directly to your iPhone, iPad or iPod, or use the included USB mini-B to USB Type A cable to connect directly to your Mac or PC (a custom USB mini-B to MFi 30-pin cable for connection to older iPhone, iPad and iPod models is sold separately).
And to top it all off, it’s a gorgeous guitar with a beautiful flame maple top in a choice of Aged Cherry Burst or Tobacco Sunburst gloss finishes. Other features include a maple neck with “modern C” profile and gloss finish, maple or rosewood fingerboard with 9.5” radius and 22 medium jumbo frets, single-coil neck and middle pickups, humbucking bridge pickup, five-way switching and three white plastic control knobs (master volume, master tone, headphone volume), three-ply parchment pickguard and vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge with six saddles.
The Fender Select Stratocaster Exotic Maple Quilt and Stratocaster HSS Exotic Maple Flame guitars certainly live up to their names, with an atypical and highly distinctive wood figure in their flame maple top. No two instruments are identical, and the swirling, almost marbled quality of the flame wood figure is highlighted to even more beautiful effect by the guitar’s satin nitro-lacquer finish in Iced Tea Burst (Stratocaster) and Bing Cherry Burst (Stratocaster HSS). Exotic creations indeed, they launch the Fender Select series into 2014 with more style and performance than ever, including a striking “channel-bound” birds-eye maple neck and a rosewood fingerboard on the Stratocaster (maple on the HSS), with a compound radius (9.5”-14”). This inlaid fingerboard design imparts an elegant appearance and an amazingly comfortable fretting-hand feel in which both edges are pleasingly rounded, with no side seam between neck and fingerboard.
Other premium features include a comfortably contoured neck heel on the alder body, rosewood neck with thick “modern C” profile and hand-rubbed oil finish, 21 medium jumbo frets and black pearloid inlays, single-coil Fender Select Stratocaster pickups (HSS features Twin-Head Vintage Humbucking pickup in the bridge position), five-way switching, three-ply parchment pickguard and aged white control knobs, Bi-Flex truss rod system, two-point synchronized tremolo bridge with bent steel saddles, deluxe staggered tuners, Micro-Tilt™ neck adjustment and Fender Select headstock medallion. Includes Fender Select tweed case, guitar strap, cable and polishing cloth.