Introducing the Fender Ultra series

Now, this is probably gonna sound like an advertorial but it’s not: I’m just really excited about these guitars and I can’t hide how psyched I am.

So.

Fender has been on a big overhaul binge lately, re-examining their guitar lines from top to bottom, leading to things like the Vintera series (which replaces the old Standards) and the American Original line. A little while back the American Deluxe series was reimagined as the Elite but now that line has been replaced by what I can only describe after a media preview participated in last week as the ultimate iteration of high-end Fender guitars for the modern player. 

If you’ve ever thought to yourself ‘I like Fenders but I wish they had the kind of high-end playability features of, say, a Charvel or a Suhr,’ well, that’s what the American Deluxe and then the Elite series have been and you’ve been totally sleeping on it! But the Ultra series takes this to a whole new level, re-examining and redesigning everything about the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster, P Bass and Jazz Bass to meet the standards of pro players. The neck joints are super-comfortable with unprecedented upper fret access; the necks have a new shape – a ‘Modern D’ which is the same depth as Fender’s classic C shape but with higher, squarer shoulders which ultimately make it feel smaller and easier to get your thumb around for those Hendrix chords; there’s a new satin neck finish formulation that will have you gliding all over the fretboard with ease; redesigned fifth-generation noiseless pickups including a hotter pair of single coils just for the HSS model Stratocaster; gorgeous new finishes… it just goes on and on. 

The press release is below which will take you through all the details, but what really excites me about the Ultra line – apart from the blue HSS Strat and the Mocha Burst Tele – is the overhaul to the Jazzmaster. New noiseless pickups and that super-fast neck mean we’re going to hear sounds and techniques coming out of a Jazzmaster that we’ve never heard before. Traditional Jazzmaster players are going to find the playing experience opened right up for them, while players who might not have considered a Jazzmaster in the past because of their playability are now going to discover tones and textures that they haven’t used before, without the limitations a more traditional Jazzmaster might place on their playing. 

So here are my favourites from each of the model/finish combos, followed by the press release.

Stratocaster HSS in Cobra Blue
Naturally there’s a SSS Stratocaster as well but this is pretty dang hot, especially when you see how the finish catches the light. The image at the top of this story will give you more of an idea of how Cobra Blue really looks.

Telecaster in Mocha Burst
Again you’re not really gonna get a full appreciation of this colour until you see it reacting to an environment, but once you do you’ll fall in love.

Jazzmaster in Ultraburst
All the Jazzmasters look great in their respective colours but Ultraburst is like the perfect Fender three-colour sunburst.

Precision Bass in Aged Natural
Fender has added a slight tint to this finish so it looks like a natural bass that’s done some livin’, minus any kind of relic treatment.

Jazz Bass in Texas Tea
Another colour that looks different depending on the lighting and viewing angle. From a distance it might look black but once you move it around you’re gonna see all sorts of interesting shades coming at you.

Jazz Bass V in Plasma Red Burst
I mean… just look at it! Isn’t that just one of the finest-lookin’ Jazz Basses you’ve ever seen?

FENDER® LAUNCHES NEW AMERICAN ULTRA SERIES INTRODUCING STATE-OF-THE-ART ENGINEERING, ELECTRIC GUITAR DESIGN OF THE FUTURE

American Ultra Delivers Industry Firsts: The Only “Modern D” Neck For Guitar and Bass, New Body Contours and Ultra Noiseless™ Vintage and Hot Pickups For Enhanced Playability

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (November 5, 2019) — Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced the launch of the American Ultra Series, the most-advanced modern guitar from Fender. An evolution of American Elite – Fender’s premier electric series that launched in January 2016 – the Ultra Series boasts all-new modern features, state-of-the-art craftsmanship and nuanced design. Luxurious, sleek and cutting-edge, this series sets a new industry standard for precision, performance and feel with Ultra Noiseless pickups and Fender’s fastest-playing necks. Created for a wide range of today’s highly-skilled modern artists, session and working guitarists, this series also offers a new body design and contours – a pivotal moment in Fender history, decades since the last significant alteration to the iconic Fender Stratocaster or Telecaster body shapes.

Since 1946, Fender has embraced artist and player feedback as the core driver of its process, leading to decades of subtle yet crucial innovations. These thoughtful changes in design and technology can’t always be seen by the naked eye, but are meaningful to artists who crave products that evolve with the times. As younger players create new sounds, meld existing genres and push the limits of what a guitar can do, Fender products also continue to evolve.

“The American Ultra Series is our most advanced series of guitars and basses for discerning players who demand the ultimate playing experience in precision, performance and tone,” said Justin Norvell, EVP of Product at Fender. “Blending state-of-the-art engineering and nuanced design to provide a high-performance experience for today’s player, American Ultra is the next chapter in Fender’s legacy of cutting-edge innovation. American Ultra has truly been decades in the making and is a result of our tireless commitment to meet the needs of today’s working and touring guitar players looking for a modern feel and tone.”

Inspired by Fender’s never-ending pursuit to equip players with the best tools to create, record and perform music, American Ultra is Fender’s most advanced series of instruments – providing the ultimate in precision, performance and tone. The series answers the call from discerning players looking for modern advancements to help them create at the highest level. One of these elevated features is the all-new “Modern D” neck with a compound-radius fingerboard, smooth American Ultra satin back finish and extremely rolled edges. The result is a neck that’s slim and fast – yet ergonomic and comfortable – for blazing solos and easy comping without sacrificing tone and resonance. Other key features include:

New body contours: For next level comfort and playability, Fender redesigned the body contours of its most iconic models for the first time in decades. New back body curves offer hours of gigging comfort while a super-sculpted neck heel gives players unparalleled access to the upper register of the fingerboard, resulting in better accessibility and comfort. 

Noiseless pickups: American Ultra instruments feature two types of innovative new noiseless pickups: Ultra Noiseless™ Vintage pickups deliver authentic Fender single-coil sound – without hum. Ultra Noiseless™ Hot pickups offer modern performance and classic tone so you can launch your amp into overdrive. 

HiMass™ bridge: With lots of metal, lots of mass and a cool modern look, the HiMass bridge on American Ultra basses delivers serious sustain, precise intonation and rock-solid tuning stability. 

Double Tap Humbucker: The American Ultra HSS Strat features a brand-new Double Tap Humbucker with an overwound coil to ensure matched volume between pickups in coil split mode.

Redesigned preamp with active/passive switching: A redesigned preamp on American Ultra basses features three bands of active boost/cut for sweeter highs, focused mids and lots more usable bass. For a more traditional tone, the redesigned pickups can also be used in passive mode. 

New colours: American Ultra instruments are available in a variety of colours, including: Cobra Blue, Mocha Burst, Texas Tea, Arctic Pearl, Aged Natural, Plasma Red Burst and Ultraburst.

Advanced electronics: All American Ultra guitars feature a treble-bleed circuit to preserve high-end response at any volume – plus advanced wiring options that activate different high-performance features depending on the model.

Models include (Australian recommended retail prices): 

American Ultra Stratocaster® – $3,899.00

American Ultra Stratocaster® HSS – $3,899.00

American Ultra Telecaster® – $3,899.00

American Ultra Precision Bass® – $3,899.00

American Ultra Jazzmaster® – $4,099.00

American Ultra Jazz Bass® – $4,099.00

American Ultra Jazz Bass® V – $4,299.00

For detailed specs, additional information on new Fender products or to find a retail partner near you, visit www.Fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.

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ABOUT FENDER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION:

Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) – whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel® – follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest-quality instruments and digital experiences across genres. Since 2015, Fender’s digital arm has introduced a new ecosystem of products and interactive experiences to accompany players at every stage of their musical journey. This includes innovative apps and learning platforms designed to complement Fender guitars, amplifiers, effects pedals, accessories and pro-audio gear, and inspire players through an immersive musical experience. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of musical expression for all players, from beginners to history-making legends.

Hello Fender Vintera Series, goodbye Road Worn series.

Fender has just announced the Vintera Series, which takes the place of the Classic series. The line is most definitely vintage-inspired but doesn’t aim to recreate specific model years; rather they embody classic features from general vintage eras. Geddit? 

Along with the new line, Fender has announced the immediate discontinuation of the Road Worn series of pre-aged instruments BUT!!! the idea will be incorporated into the Vintera series in the form of limited-edition worn finishes.

Check out these various models (and learn more on the Vintera page)!

FENDER BLENDS STYLE AND SOUND WITH VINTAGE-INSPIRED CAMPAIGN LAUNCHING NEW VINTERA™ SERIES 

In Collaboration with Stylist Heidi Bivens, Fashion Photographer Clarke Tolton and Director Duo Rubberband, Electric Guitar Campaign Showcases Fender’s Timeless Style For Today’s Players

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (June 25, 2019)— Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced the launch of the Vintera Series, a line of vintage-inspired electric guitar and bass models that embody a period-specific vibe, including: the Stratocaster®, Telecaster®, Jaguar®, Mustang®, Jazzmaster®, Jazz Bass®, Precision Bass® and Mustang Bass. Each model delivers the authentic look and feel of its era, as well as decade-specific tones from the `50s, `60s and `70s. 

The creative includes a 30-second digital commercial that introduces the instruments and overall feel of the Vintera Series, plus three artist performance videos, releasing on a later date, featuring contemporary, eclectic musicians. Each performance harkens back to a specific decade to showcase the vintage-inspired guitars and basses as well as the sound and style of the era. In addition to the performance videos, Fender captured each artist’s influences from the era of their performance, individual music style and what compelled them to pick up their first guitar and play. 

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram taps into his blues roots, bringing viewers back to the `50s with a classic Seafoam Green Statocaster and a cover of “I Put A Spell On You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Singer-songwriter Curtis Harding brings back the soul of the `60s playing a cover of Tommy James and The Shondells’ “Crimson and Clover” on the Ice Blue Metallic `60s Jazzmaster. Reminiscent of the Woodstock Era, Mexican garage punk band Le Butcherettes, shredded on the `70s Telecaster Deluxe in Mocha for their punk rendition of “Ever Fallen In Love” by The Buzzcocks.

“The Vintera series celebrates the different vintage eras of Fender with the fundamental design of the Stratocaster, Telecaster and Precision Bass remaining largely the same, but with each decade assuming its own unique feature sets,” said Justin Norvell, EVP of Product at Fender. “Depending on your feature preferences, bands you love and the era that you grew up in, each of these decades has a different appeal in terms of sound, colours and pickups.” 

To truly capture the essence of each decade within the Vintera Series, Fender partnered with a trio of creative experts to lead styling, photography, as well as directing and production design for the campaign’s creative. International fashion stylist and costume designer, Heidi Bivens, whose portfolio of work includes Jonah Hill’s directorial debut Mid 90’s and HBO’s Euphoria, meticulously curated each artist’s aesthetic to reflect fashions of the decade that inspired their performance. 

Drawing inspiration from blues artists of the 1950s, psych rock and folk musicians from the 1960s and punk bands of the 1970s, as well as iconic fashion designers like Nazareno Fonticoli, Nudie Cohn and Kansai Yammamoto, Bivens let the style and sounds of the past inform her approach. From there, Bivens identified pieces that highlighted the Vintera Series in a subtle, authentic way. “The design and aesthetic of each instrument was very important to ensuring that the overall look was balanced and that every choice complemented the other, “ she said.“I especially love how Curtis Harding’s innate style shined through, and the guitar’s Ice Blue Metallic colour made his look pop for that genuine `60s vibe.”

Portrait, lifestyle and fashion photographer Clarke Tolton grew up in Southern California and his earliest photographs came from shooting punk and hardcore shows around the region. His impressive roster of work for other global brands like Nike, Kate Spade, Quiksilver and RayBan, paired with his innate love of music, made Tolton an obvious partner to lead photography for the Vintera Series campaign. In addition to shooting the instruments doing what they do best, Tolton favored capturing hidden moments on set noting, “the artists really weren’t aware of my presence during their performances, which allowed me to move freely around them looking for ‘that’ standout shot.” Fender also teamed up with New York-based director duo, rubberband., who directed the motion campaign. 

“Our creative brand marketing is about about elevating guitar and giving a voice to artists,” said Jeremy Taylor, VP of Global Brand Creative and Content at Fender. “The Vintera Series campaign romances the cool, vintage look and style of each decade’s best models through a contemporary lens and approach that is less polished and more youthful. We’re thrilled to work with three amazing artists and production partners who have so effortlessly helped us define and showcase what vintage style for the modern era looks and sounds like. We set out to inspire the players who care about style as much as tone, quality, craftsmanship, or specs and believe this campaign will excite players to explore the endless possibilities these guitars offer.”

Fender’s Vintera Series models feature authentic specs from decades past, such as period-correct neck shapes, new pickups with decade-specific tones and a wider breadth of vintage colours, including: Mocha, Fiesta Red, Seafoam Green, Inca Silver, Burgundy Mist and Ice Blue Metallic. For nearly every decade correct model, there’s also a counterpart “modded” version that offers fresh features not available at the time of first release. 

The Vintera Series electric guitars and basses feature 15 new models available at local dealers and on www.Fender.com. For additional inspiration, watch the Vintera Series campaign video.To learn more about the Vintera Series including detailed product/spec descriptions, click here. Product images can be accessed here.  

Models include:

Vintera Series `50s Stratocaster – $1,799 – $1,899

Vintera Series `50s Stratocaster Modified – $1,999

Vintera Series `50s Telecaster – $1,799 

Vintera Series `50s Precision Bass – $1,799 – $1,899 

Vintera Series `60s Stratocaster – $1,799 

Vintera Series `60s Telecaster Modified – $1,799 – $1,999

Vintera Series `60s Telecaster Bigsby ® – $1,999 – $2,099

Vintera Series `60s Jazzmaster – $1,999 

Vintera Series `60s Jazzmaster Modified – $2,199 

Vintera Series `60s Jaguar – $2,099

Vintera Series `60s Jaguar Modified – $2,299  

Vintera Series `60s Mustang – $1,799

Vintera Series `60s Mustang Bass – $1,899 

Vintera Series `60s Jazz Bass – $1,999 

Vintera Series `70s Stratocaster – $1,899  

Vintera Series `70s Telecaster Deluxe – $1,799 

Vintera Series `70s Telecaster Custom – $1,799 

Vintera Series `70s Telecaster Thinline – $2,099 

Vintera Series `70s Jazz Bass – $2,099 – $2,199

For detailed specs, additional information on new Fender products or to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.

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New Richie Kotzen song ‘Venom’

Here’s Richie Kotzen’s new single and video, ‘Venom.’ Love the guitar sounds on this one, and the guitar/bass doubling. And who wouldn’t want a red Kotzen Strat, eh? If you want some of that Kotzen tone yourself and you can’t get your paws on his signature Strat, check out the DiMarzio Richie Kozen Strat Replacement Pickuguard. The pickups are three medium-gain Alnico 5 single coils (actually they’re able to be wired as humbuckers if you wish but Richie has them running in single coil mode), all with the same output, classic-Strat-style, and you can hear them up-close in this video (the Strat section kicks in at about 4 minutes):

Meet the Fender Rarities Koa Flame Ash Top Strat

Check this beauty out! It features a two-piece ash body with a flame koa top and a one-piece, quartersawn European maple neck. The custom Tim Shaw overwound 59 gold-foil single-coil pickups are warm and clear, while the Shaw custom Filter’Tron™-style humbucking pickup delivers a powerful, articulate voice. The “Modern C”-shaped quartersawn neck delivers classic Strat tone while the 9.5”-radius fingerboard and narrow-tall frets make it comfortable to play.

Here’s a closer look at those pickups. The gold-foil single coils look amazing and I hope we see more Strats with this pickup configuration. I’m imagining these on a bound black Strat or on a Mustang or something. Oh please, Fender.

Hero Of The Underground: Fender Celebrates 60 Years Of Jazzmaster® Innovation

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (May 9, 2018— Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced the 60th anniversary celebration of Fender’s most creative and expressive model: the Jazzmaster. A hero of the underground, the Jazzmaster has been adopted by generations of artists looking for unique sonic qualities and combinations, unlocking genre defying sound that lives on today within music and culture.
In 1958, Fender introduced the Jazzmaster as the top-of-the-line electric guitar for jazz musicians; later the sound and easily modifiable style attracted counterculture and misfit players, including aficionados of surf guitar – who rarely hesitated to personalize their instruments and make a sound of their own. Over the past 60 years, players across genres have wielded Jazzmaster guitars – from J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) and Elvis Costello to Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age), Chelsea Wolfe, Jim Root (Slipknot), Chris Stapleton, Portugal. The Man and The War on Drugs. A cult classic today, the Jazzmaster still is the core tool for contemporary artists and innovative players continuing pushing the creative boundaries of music.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary occasion, Fender is releasing highly collectible iterations of the beloved Jazzmaster, including three, limited edition models in select colors: the Limited Edition 60th Anniversary ’58 Jazzmaster, Triple Jazzmaster and Classic Jazzmaster.
“The Jazzmaster is the little engine that could,” said Justin Norvell, SVP, Fender Products. “It didn’t follow its original destiny to be a jazz guitar, but found a niche on the creative cutting edge and maintains significant popularity today as we celebrate its 60th anniversary. Whether it’s surf, ‘90s punk rock or alternative music, the Jazzmaster has remained the guitar of choice, pushing music forward into uncharted territory.”

The original ‘58 Jazzmaster boasted a revolutionary offset waist, distinctive-sounding pickups, a flexible rhythm/lead circuit and was the first Fender guitar to sport a rosewood fingerboard. An homage to the original prototype of this ground-breaking guitar, the 60th Anniversary ‘58 Jazzmaster accurately recreates the bold and distinctive look and feel of the original 1958 prototype, giving players a taste of the Jazzmaster in its original form. The Limited Edition 60th Anniversary ’58 Jazzmaster is offered in 2-Color Sunburst. 
The Triple Jazzmaster features a modern, triple-pickup and is an homage to the mod ethos that permeates Jazzmaster player circles. Combining authentic looks and uniquely flexible wiring – the guitar also features brand-new humbucking pickups from pickup guru Tim Shaw for a guitar that’s ready to rip it up on stage and off. The Limited Edition 60th Anniversary Triple Jazzmaster is offered in Daphne Blue.
Classic Jazzmaster updates the classic 1966 model with features that modern, creative players are sure to appreciate. This model is a reproduction of the 1966 Jazzmaster, which at the time, was updated with the following features: bound neck, block inlays, and as a special aesthetic touch, a slick-looking matching painted headstock. These stylish visual cues—as well as the rich, multi-dimensional sound—made this one of the most sought-after Jazzmaster models. The Limited Edition 60th Anniversary Classic Jazzmaster is offered in Daphne Blue, Black, Vintage Blonde, and Fiesta Red. 

The 60th anniversary Jazzmaster models are available at local dealers and on www.Fender.com on the below dates; models include: 

o    Available Now: Limited Edition 60th Anniversary ‘58 Jazzmaster – $2,299.99    

o    Available September 2018: Limited Edition 60th Anniversary Triple Jazzmaster –  $1,999.99 and Limited Edition 60th Anniversary Classic Jazzmaster – $1,199.99. 

To learn more about Fender’s 60th Anniversary Jazzmaster models and for product descriptions of each model, click here. For series product images, click here.  

For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.

  

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ABOUT FENDER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION: 

Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel®, follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest quality instruments and musical solutions across genres. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of music through electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers, pro audio, accessories and digital products that inspire and enable musical expression at every stage, from beginners to history-making legends. 

 

Fender Jimi Hendrix Monterey Stratocaster

Jimi Hendrix’s performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 was so revolutionary that its notes are still reverberating today. On that day, Jimi changed so much about what we believed a musician could do and the sounds a guitar could make (whether blasting out ear-shattering feedback or shrieking its last breaths as it smashes against the stage floor in a hail of flames and parts). Fender has now released a limited edition Stratocaster in tribute to that iconic performance and the instrument that met its firey death on that stage. Here’s the press release.  Read More …

Let’s Talk About Stratocasters

lets-talk-about-strats

Stratocasters have been on my mind a lot lately. Part of it is that I just had my Strat set up by the wonderful Joseph ‘Soxy’ Price, who does incredible work. Part of it is that I’ve barely been able to let my Strat out of my sight ever since, because it’s just such a joy to play. And part of it is probably the new Seymour Duncan Jimi Hendrix Signature Strat Set, which I’ve got to get into my guitar ASAP. Whatever it is, I’m daydreaming about Strats a lot at the moment.  Read More …

Fender ’57 Custom Tweed Series Is Here!

Fender’s new ’57 Custom Tweed series of guitar amps are available now! These represent a range of eminently useful “tone machines” that complement almost any style of music, from studio to stage to aren, aimed at both vintage connoisseurs and today’s guitarists. “The ’57 Custom amps capture the essence of the highly-collectible originals, with thoughtful player-centric tweaks added for today’s player,” says Jim Ninesling, Vice President Fender Amplifiers and Pro Audio. “They represent the culmination of a 12-year journey, from our highly successful ’57 reissues and Eric Clapton Signature amps to the landscape of today.” Read More …