Fender Made In Japan models

A few select Australian dealers have recently taken delivery of some gorgeous new Fender Made In Japan models.

The Modern Series includes a Telecaster, Telecaster HH, Stratocaster, Stratocaster HSS, Jazzmaster HH and a Jazz Bass, all of which feature a carved and bound top, compound neck shape (Modern C to D), compound radius fretboard (9.5″ to 14″), either humbucking or Fender Noiseless single coil pickups, locking tuners and luminous side dot inlays. You can see pics of the whole range here.


The Made In Japan Troublemaker Tele is gonna turn a lot of heads. Available in Black, Crimson Red and Arctic White, it has a definite 70s feel with its amp-style control knobs, oversized headstock and twin humbucker layout. Mahogany body, locking tuners… I can imagine a lot of players digging this.


Finally there’s the Aerodyne II, featuring a round-top design for improved playability, a 2-point tremolo bridge, standard-style tuners, and a 9.5-inch radius neck mounted on high quality alder body. Its available in Stratocaster, Stratocaster HSS and Jazz Bass.

You can get all of these beauties from these dealers:

Location Store
New South Wales Guitar Factory Parramatta
New South Wales Haworths Albion Park
South Australia Winston Music
Victoria Billy Hyde
Victoria Sky Music
Western Australia Kosmic Music

 

Fender’s Tom Morello Soul Power Stratocaster is available now!

Ya gotta hand it to Tom Morello: the guy has great taste in creating iconic guitars for himself. His ‘Arm The Homeless’ guitar, his black Tele, and his Fender ‘Soul Power’ Stratocaster, an instrument which is synonymous with his time in Audioslave. You can now own your own reproduction of this instrument, complete with ‘Soul Power’ decal among the case candy if you want to really Morello it out. But this is a very workhorse-worthy instrument in its own right, not a piece of Morello memorabilia (Morellomabilia?), with plenty of cool features to help you unlock your own self expression.

Here’s the press release.

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (March 31, 2020)—Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today released the all-new Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster. Tom Morello collaborated with Fender on his first artist signature Stratocaster which features unique customizations from the original “Soul Power,” like a kill switch that helped shape his radical sound and riffs from the Audioslave era and beyond. Morello takes a creative approach to playing, infusing feedback, unconventional picking and tapping, in addition to heavy guitar effects that all inspired his new signature guitar.  This past year the original “Soul Power” was recently featured at The Metropolitan Museum of Art® and currently resides in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame®. The “Soul Power” Stratocaster is one of the most iconic guitars of the modern rock era and allowed for Tom to create a new sound after his time with Rage Against The Machine. Morello has pushed the boundary of guitar to new limits through his innovative style of playing and heavy metal and punk hybrid riffs.

“This Fender Soul Power signature guitar is made to my exact specifications and is an authentic replica of the instrument that forged my sound in Audioslave,” said Tom Morello. “That was a period of renewed artistic freedom and limitless expression on the guitar for me and Soul Power was the sonic divining rod leading the way. Just as important as getting the specs right however is the charitable/social justice component of my collaboration with Fender. Together we are giving away hundreds of guitars to underprivileged schools and to the Jail Guitar Doors prison rehabilitation program to help unlock creative doors and create better (and louder) futures.”

The Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster features a bound-top alder slab body, originally a limited run Strat®, a “Deep-C” maple neck with a 9.5″-14″ compound radius rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium-jumbo frets and matching painted headstock. Tom’s unique, powerful sounds – from gentle rhythms to screaming feedback, chaotic stutters and more – inspired every detail of the guitar. From a Kill Switch that creates the “Stutter” effects emulating DJ scratching that he is known for, to a Seymour Duncan® Hot Rails™ bridge humbucker pickup that delivers power and dynamics and a Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo System that allows for radical Tremolo effects while staying perfectly in tune – this Strat was built to rock.


“We are extremely honored to have worked with Tom on this project and embark on a long-term partnership throughout 2020,” said Justin Norvell, EVP Fender Products. “Tom’s iconic original “Soul Power” guitar sound created a monumental impact on rock at the time and we’re looking forward to players today being able emulate those unique sounds with the Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster. Collaborations like these continue to keep Fender’s legacy in rock ‘n’ roll alive and inspire the next future rockers of our generation.”

The launch of Morello’s guitar marks the start of his and Fender’s 2020 collaboration in association with the Fender Play Foundation designed to equip, educate and inspire the next generation of players, alongside Tom’s other charitable efforts with Jail Guitar Doors.

In true tradition, the Fender’s Artist Signature Series honors iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists. Learn more about the Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster and access product description here; product photos and images of Tom Morello with his Signature Stratocaster can be found 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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Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster – $2,699.99 is based on the modified Designer Series Strat used during his time in Audioslave and features an alder slab body with binding and a Deep “C”-shape maple neck with 9.5″-14″ compound radius rosewood fingerboard and 22 medium-jumbo frets. Other features include: a recessed Floyd Rose® locking tremolo system, Seymour Duncan Hot Rails bridge humbucker, two Fender Noiseless™ pickups in the neck and middle positions, a chrome pickguard, kill-switch toggle, locking tuners, matching painted headcap and iconic “Soul Power” body decal and a black Fender case.

ABOUT TOM MORELLO:

Incendiary rock guitarist and acoustic troubadour Tom Morello, known for his innovative guitar solos and thunderous chords, is a groundbreaking artist whether in his solo career or as an original member of the rock bands Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, two acts responsible for multiple Grammy Awards and a combined 30 million albums sold worldwide. He’s released four solo albums as The Nightwatchman and formed the band Street Sweeper Social Club with Boots Riley of The Coup in 2009. Morello has also been recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the “100 Greatest Guitar Players of All-Time (#26).” Morello has produced or collaborated with artists of diverse genres including Johnny Cash, Tool, John Fogerty, Anti-Flag, Public Enemy, Joe Strummer, Crystal Method, Calle 13, Dave Mathews Band, Johnny Cash, Linkin Park, Travis Barker and Pete Seeger. In addition, he joined Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band for their 2014 world tour in support of Springsteen’s studio album High Hopes (Columbia Records) on which Morello is featured on eight tracks. In 2016, Morello joined forces with fellow Rage Against The Machine bandmates Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk, as well as Cypress Hill’s B-Real and Public Enemy’s Chuck D and DJ Lord to form the band Prophets of Rage. The band’s debut self-titled album was released in 2017 and scored top chart entries in multiple countries across the globe in its first week. On his latest solo album, The Atlas Underground, Morello transformed his sound, blending Marshall stack riff-rock with the digital wizardry of EDM and hip-hop to create the most ambitious artistic effort of his storied career. The Atlas Underground includes collaborations with Marcus Mumford, Portugal. The Man, the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and GZA, K. Flay, Big Boi, Gary Clark Jr., Pretty Lights, Killer Mike, and Whethan among others. Morello is also a valiant activist across issues of homelessness, poverty, hunger, and social justice, among other causes. Tom is embarking on a reunion tour with Rage Against the Machine in 2020. 

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.

Fender launches Eric Johnson ‘Virginia’ Stratocaster

FENDER® LAUNCHES ALL-NEW STORIES COLLECTION WITH ERIC JOHNSON “VIRGINIA” STRATOCASTER®

“Virginia” Stratocaster® Honours Johnson’s Original 1954 Guitar Used to Record “Tones” and
“Ah Via Musicom”

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (February 11, 2020)—Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today released the Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster guitar with the Grammy® award winning artist Eric Johnson. As part of this unique collaboration with the singer, songwriter and guitarist, Fender has recreated Johnson’s 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster in the Fender Custom Shop in limited quantity and on the Fender Corona production line for one year only. Available now at local musical instruments dealers worldwide and on Fender.com, the model is a reproduction of Johnson’s prized 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster with personal touches, celebrating his unique playing style and desire to inspire new musical journeys for guitar players everywhere. Johnson’s “Virginia” Stratocaster will be the first model in Fender’s all-new Stories Collection: a celebration of modified Fender guitars that shaped history’s most iconic music and the details that made them unique.

“Fender and I talked about doing a reissue of my ’54 “Virginia” for the Stories Collection and I wanted to try it in Sassafras, like my original,” said guitarist Eric Johnson. “When I got the prototype from Fender, it had the tone I had been looking for since my original guitar. It has a particular smooth sustained tone but as you turn it up, it has gain like a little violin.”

For the first time, Fender has replicated and released Eric Johnson’s beloved ’54 “Virginia” Stratocaster, the instrument he used to record the Tones record (1987 Grammy® nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance) and the Platinum Ah Via Musicom (1991 Grammy® for Best Rock Instrumental Performance) albums that made him a hero to music fans and guitarists alike. Built in Corona, Calif., these “Virginia” Stratocaster guitars combine extraordinary history and exceptional tone. The rare sassafras body, custom switching and special set-up will thrill players and collectors by showcasing the guitar’s unique silky tone and distinct fine grain appearance.  

Models include the Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster ($4,999) and Fender Custom Shop Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster ($14,999). In the same spirit as the production line version, the Fender Custom Shop masterbuilt “Virginia” will take on the same aesthetic and tone as the original guitar, but in exacting detail with handwound pickups and a flamed maple neck – available in an extremely limited quantity. “When I first took on this project, I was a bit intimidated because of all the intricate specs involved with this guitar,” said Carlos Lopez, Fender Custom Shop Master Builder. “From the Sassafras and flamed neck to the pickups – the challenge was to make sure Eric was happy with it and loved it the first time.” Learn more about the creation process with Eric Johnson and Fender Master Builder, Carlos Lopez in this video.

The Fender Custom Shop version is complete with the same specifications and features as his original, including a 6-saddle American vintage synchronized tremolo bridge with a 2-piece offset seam sassafras body, lacquer finish and custom wiring. Additionally, Eric added a number of personal touches to facilitate his distinctive technique and sound like a GraphTech® high E saddle, flattened 12” fingerboard radius and jumbo frets for optimal playability.

“To this day, Eric continues to release brilliant music, tours constantly and is, to the electric guitar community, a guitar wizard and widely-followed tastemaker,” said Justin Norvell, EVP Fender Products. “It was a perfect fit having Eric Johnson as the first artist in this Stories Collection celebrating modified instruments played by important guitarists that created music for the ages.”

In true tradition, the Fender’s Artist Signature Series honors iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists. In that spirit, the Stories Collection celebrates modified Fender guitars that shaped history’s most iconic music. Learn more about the Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster models and access product descriptions here; product photos and images of Eric Johnson with his Signature Stratocaster can be found 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 and @FenderCustomShop

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Fender Custom Shop Eric Johnson “Virginia” Strat ($14,999) & Stories Collection Eric Johnson 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster ($4,999): Eric Johnson already had his 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster when he recorded Tones and the Platinum Ah Via Musicom, groundbreaking albums that made him a hero to music fans and guitarists alike. In 2020, for the first time, Johnson’s 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster will be replicated by both Fender Custom Shop and the Fender Corona Production line. With its rare sassafras body, lacquer finish, custom wiring and more, the Eric Johnson 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster will thrill players and collectors alike with its distinctive look and exceptional tone.

NAMM 2020: New Fender artist models including Tom Morello Soul Power guitar!

I can’t be the only one who has utterly craved a production version of Tom Morello’s ‘Soul Power’ Strat as used in Audioslave, right? Or a replica of Eric Johnson’s legendary ’54 Stratocaster named Virginia. And Slipknot’s Jim Root is a man of great taste when it comes to designing new guitars with Fender. So read on!

FENDER® EXPANDS ARTIST SIGNATURE SERIES LINEUP WITH ROCK AND HEAVY METAL LEGENDS, ERIC JOHNSON, JIM ROOT, TOM MORELLO

Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster® – The First Model Added to Fender’s Stories Collection – Jim Root Jazzmaster® V4 and Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster® Debut at Winter NAMM 2020

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (January 16, 2020)—Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced three new additions to its Artist Signature Series electrics offering – the Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster, Jim Root Jazzmaster V4 and Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster – all debuting at Winter NAMM 2020 in Anaheim, Calif. Developed with rock, blues and heavy metal players in mind, these all-new Artist Signature Series models add performance-ready features and stylistic touches hand-selected by some of the industry’s most iconic players – from Grammy®-winner Eric Johnson and Slipknot guitarist Jim Root to Audioslave and Rage Against The Machine legend Tom Morello. 

For the first time, Fender has replicated and released Eric Johnson’s beloved ’54 “Virginia” Stratocaster, the instrument he used to record hit song “Cliffs of Dover,” the Tones record (1987 Grammy® nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance) and the Platinum Ah Via Musicom (1991 Grammy® for Best Rock Instrumental Performance) albums that made him a hero to music fans and guitarists alike. Built in Corona, California, this extremely limited-edition model combines extraordinary history and exceptional tone. Its rare sassafras body, custom switching and special set-up will thrill players and collectors by showcasing its unique silky tone and distinct fine grain appearance. The Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster will be the first model in Fender’s all-new Stories Collection, a celebration of the guitars that shaped history’s most iconic music and the details that made them unique. 

Both beautiful and beastly, the Jim Root Jazzmaster V4 is the fifth Fender artist signature model for Slipknot guitarist Jim Root; it features active humbucking pickups, a 12″ radius, jumbo frets ideal for heavy playing styles, an ebony fingerboard, block inlays and striking white finish that makes the guitar stand out on stage. Fender worked hand-in-hand with Root to deliver crushing detuned tone with an all-new bold look, culminating in a brutal-sounding signature Jazzmaster model that complements his heavy playing style.

The Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster is based on the modified Designer Series Strat, which Morello used during his time in Audioslave. Featuring an alder slab body with binding, a recessed Floyd Rose® locking tremolo system, Seymour Duncan Hot Rails bridge humbucker and two Fender Noiseless™ pickups, this Strat delivers powerful and unique effects from gentle rhythms to screaming feedback, chaotic stutters and more.

“We are excited to continue to work with such legendary players to help share their story through music,” said Justin Norvell, EVP Fender Products. “Whether it is their first Artist Signature model, or fifth, we continue Fender’s legacy by helping artists showcase the versatility of our instruments. Each Artist Signature model that we reveal at Winter NAMM this year will showcase a variety of exceptional, legendary tones that made music history.” 

Product Details: 

Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster – $4,999 (Launching February 2020) joins the Fender Stories Collection. Eric Johnson already had his 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster when he recorded Tones and the Platinum Ah Via Musicom, groundbreaking albums that made him a hero to music fans and guitarists alike. To this day, Eric continues to release brilliant music, tour constantly and is, to the electric guitar community, a savant and widely followed tastemaker. In 2020, for the first time, Johnson’s 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster will be replicated by both Fender Custom Shop and the Fender Corona Production line in limited numbers. With its rare sassafras body, lacquer finish, custom wiring and more, the Eric Johnson 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster will thrill players and collectors alike with its distinctive look and exceptional tone. 

Jim Root Jazzmaster V4 – $2,699 (Launching March 2020) delivers detuned tone with a bold new look. Fender worked closely with the towering Slipknot guitarist to create a brutal-sounding signature Jazzmaster model that complements his heavy playing style—right down to its signature Daemonum™ open-coil EMG® active pickups, shred-worthy 12” radius fingerboard with jumbo frets, sparse control layout and more. The Jim Root Jazzmaster V4 dispenses with frivolities such as a vibrato, rhythm circuit and tone control. Only crucial essentials remain: a volume control, a 3-way switch and a hardtail bridge. Featuring a mahogany slab body for pronounced lows and mids, brilliant Polar White satin finish, maple neck with bound ebony fingerboard and pearloid block inlays, this powerful machine delivers brutal tone with a striking new look.

Tom Morello Stratocaster – $2,699 (Launching March 2020) is based on the modified Designer Series Strat used during his time in Audioslave and features an alder slab body with binding and a Deep “C”-shape maple neck with 9.5″-14″ compound radius rosewood fingerboard and 22 medium-jumbo frets. Other features include: a recessed Floyd Rose® locking tremolo system; Seymour Duncan Hot Rails bridge humbucker; two Fender Noiseless™ pickups in the neck and middle positions; a chrome pickguard; kill-switch toggle; locking tuners; matching painted headcap and iconic “Soul Power” body decal, and a black Fender case.

In true tradition, the Fender’s Artist Signature Series honors iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists. Learn more about the Artist Signature models and access product descriptions here; images can be found 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.

NAMM 2020: Fender launches, well, pretty much everything!


Fender is absolutely smashing it this NAMM with their new product launches, including the return of the venerable HM Strat, an affordable Lead model in the Player Series, and some really cool stuff in the Parallel Universe series. Let’s dig in, shall we?

FENDER® SPOTLIGHTS RECENTLY-LAUNCHED AMERICAN ULTRA ELECTRIC GUITAR SERIES, REVIVES MODELS FROM THE PAST AND BRINGS BACK PARALLEL UNIVERSE AT WINTER NAMM 

Fender Introduces HM “Heavy Metal” Strat, Lead II and III models, Reveals All-New Parallel Universe and American Original and Player Series Guitars Now Available In New Models and Finishes

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (January 16, 2020)—Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today debuted its extensive electric and bass offerings for traditional and modern players alike at Winter NAMM 2020. In addition to showcasing American Ultra – the brand’s most modern and advanced electric guitar series, Fender is bringing back models from its past, including the Lead, which will be added to the Player Series. The HM Strat also returns with the same unique look and specs as the original ‘88-‘92 models. Joining Fender’s limited-edition offerings are refreshes of fan-favorites including cult classic Parallel Universe Volume 2 and the highly-acclaimed American Original Series – now offering new models and finishes. 

“We’re excited to present an incredible linup of new instruments at Winter NAMM,” said Max Gutnik, VP of Fender Electric Guitars, Basses & Amplifiers. “Our leading focus for 2020 is our new flagship electric line, American Ultra. Ultra is a great example of the continued evolution of Fender’s classic instruments in a way that remains true to Fender’s original creation yet advances the instrument to serve modern players of all generes. While we look to the future with American Ultra, we are also celebrating our past with the re-release of the all-new HM Strat and Player Lead II and III guitars. The HM Strat and Lead series represent a wonderfully innovative time at Fender and a historic era in music, when musicians and their instruments were changing rapidly, and we’re thrilled to debut them here at NAMM.”

Launched in November 2020, the American Ultra Series is the most advanced guitar from Fender. The series has all-new modern features, state-of-the-art craftsmanship and nuanced design. With 44 SKUs, the American Ultra Series offers many options for players looking for modern advancements, including the Stratocaster®, Telecaster®, Precision Bass®, Jazzmaster®, Jazz Bass® and Jazz Bass® V with an assortment of all-new colors in the $3,899 – $4,499 price range. The Ultra Series is a pivotal moment in Fender history as it offers new body design and contours – marking the first time in decades since the last significant alteration was made to the iconic Fender Stratocaster of Telecaster body shapes. Embracing artist and player feedback is a core driver for Fender’s design process, leading to decades of subtle yet crucial innovations. For more information, click here.

Fender created the Lead model in 1979, featuring a new solid-body design, hard-tail bridges and cool new wiring options. Paying homage, Fender is releasing the Player Lead Series for the unconventional, offbeat, and most importantly, undefined players. The series offers the choice of the Player Lead II (an homage to the late `70s models) and the Player Lead III (a tribute to the original 1982-only model), which both incorporate era-correct Lead Series specs with a blend of the modern Player Series specs offering style, power, and versatility in comfortable, easy-to-play models. For more information, click here. For images, click here.

A true Fender fan favorite and cult classic will also be reborn at WNAMM, the limited-edition HM (Heavy Metal) Stratocaster originally designed and launched in the late-`80s with metal heads and technical players in mind. Built in the same factory as the original, the HM Strat will be available in four original era-correct Day-Glo colors: Frozen Yellow, Flash Pink, Ice Blue and Bright White. For product images and more information on this model, click here.

Also debuting at WNAMM are all-new limited-edition models that make up Parallel Universe Volume 2 ($3,999 – $4,999). Offering even more unique models in the second iteration of Parallel Universe, these combinations of Fender design elements, body shapes and parts are for players looking for the most exciting and rare instruments Fender will come out with this year. For product descriptions, click here; and product images, click here. The following models will be released in 2020: 

  • The Troublemaker Custom w/ Bigsby ($4,999) 
  • Troublemaker Tele Custom ($4,899) 
  • Strat Jazz Deluxe ($4,699) 
  • Maverick Dorado ($4,999)
  • Spark-O-Matic Jazzmaster ($3,999)
  • Jazz Strat ($3,999)
  • Tele Mágico ($4,999)
  • Uptown Strat ($3,999)

Also, new this NAMM season are two new models for Fender’s American Original series, including the `60s Telecaster Thinline and `70s Telecaster Custom. For product images and more information, click here. Lastly, Fender is adding to the Player Series to further expand entry level offerings within the Fender brand. The new models include the Duo Sonic, Mustang, Mustang Bass PJ and Mustang 90. 

Fender’s new electric guitar and bass offerings will be available at local dealers and on www.Fender.com. 

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. 

NAMM 2020: Fender Acoustasonic Stratocaster

Fender has just announced a Stratocaster-based version of its Acoustasonic series. If you haven’t checked these out yet, I highly recommend you do. Your first hint that these are phenomenal instruments is that you can see them in the hands of a lot of professionals: it’s not necessarily a guitar aimed at everyone, but those who have adopted it so far are in high-pressure, high-visibility musical situations. And now that there’s a Stratocaster version, I have a feeling you’re going to see a lot more of these on stages!

FENDER MERGES ACOUSTIC INNOVATION WITH ELECTRIC GUITAR HERITAGE, EXTENDS AMERICAN ACOUSTASONIC® SERIES WITH STRATOCASTER® MODEL 

All New Fullerton Series Ukuleles Bring Iconic Fender Electric Guitar Body Shapes, Colours to the Ukulele Community 

HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. (January 16, 2020)—Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today celebrates the release of the newest model in the American Acoustasonic® Series and an all-new lineup of electric-inspired ukuleles at Winter NAMM 2020 in Anaheim, Calif. The additions include the cutting-edge, American-made Acoustasonic Stratocaster and the Fullerton Series ukuleles inspired by Fender’s most iconic electric guitars. 

Building off of the highly successful Acoustasonic Telecaster® released at Winter NAMM 2019, the American Acoustasonic Stratocaster features all-new tone woods and voices with even more electric possibilities. Along with three unique electric voices on the selector switch, the Acoustasonic Stratocaster also adds all-new acoustic options, including short scale and concert body with a slotted headstock. 

“We are proud to continue expanding our most sonically innovative platform with the American Acoustasonic Stratocaster,” said Billy Martinez, Fender VP Category Manager, Acoustic Division. “Following in the footsteps of what Fender accomplished over 70 years ago, it was a natural and authentic progression for us to start with the Telecaster model and then offer a Stratocaster counterpart with its own unique voices. We can’t wait to see what musicians, both Strat enthusiasts and acoustic fans, will achieve in their creative process with this new range of voices the Acoustasonic Stratocaster unlocks.” 

Designed with a fully-hollow body and Fender’s patented Stringed Instrument Resonance System (SIRS), the American Acoustasonic Stratocaster offers a new sonic experience that is naturally loud and resonant both on and off stage. This hybrid guitar features an Acoustasonic Noiseless™ magnetic pickup that delivers a unique set of Stratocaster-inspired voicings and hum-free Fender electric tone, that can be played solo or blended with an acoustic voice to create new sounds. The Fender and Fishman-designed Acoustic Engine powers the Acoustasonic Stratocaster and provides a new body style and tone wood combinations that enable musicians to curate an all-new collection of acoustic and electric voices. This contemporary guitar also features a mahogany Stratocaster neck with an ebony fingerboard and thin line body that makes it both comfortable and easy to play.  

“We’ve removed all the obstacles associated with playing an acoustic guitar, giving players those same sounds with an electric neck and comfortable thin line acoustic body – all in a familiar Strat body shape,” Martinez added. “At the same time, this guitar still gives you all the tonal options you would get in a Dreadnought, concert or auditorium acoustic guitar.”

Inspired by the legacy guitar maker’s electric roots in Southern California, the Fullerton Series brings the character and feel of Fender’s iconic guitar body shapes to the ukulele category. Aimed at those musicians looking for a unique take on a ukulele that has a body shape deeply rooted in tradition, the Fullerton Series tips the hat to Fender’s Telecaster®, Stratocaster and Jazzmaster models, ensuring players will stand out at every performance. Each ukulele features a laminated spruce top, maple neck with a laminated walnut fingerboard and Fender-designed preamp system that enables players to alter the sound via a single tone knob. Designed with comfort and ease in mind, the Fullerton Series also has a convenient no-tie bridge, making string changes a breeze in comparison to traditional ukulele bridges that require special knotting. 

“The Fullerton Series is a true representation of blending iconic Fender style with the functionality of a traditional ukulele to diversify the way that players can express their vibe and personality on stage,” Martinez said. 

Each model is available in the traditional colours that each Fender electric guitar is known for – with the exception of the Jazzmaster which will be available in a brand new colour, Tidepool. All of these ukuleles and more will be displayed at Winter NAMM 2020: 

  • The American Acoustasonic Stratocaster – $3,999
  • The Fullerton Series Ukuleles – $399, including: 
    • Fullerton Telecaster (Butterscotch Blonde, Black) 
    • Fullerton Stratocaster (Three Tone Sunburst, Black) 
    • Fullerton Jazzmaster (Tidepool, Olympic White) 

Find high-resolution lifestyle images and product info on the American Acoustasonic Stratocaster here. To learn more about Fender’s Fullerton Series Ukuleles and for images of each model, 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. 

INTERVIEW: John 5

John 5 & The Creatures are touring Australia for the very first time in April (with blues-rock phenom Jared James Nichols in tow)! It’ll be a night of pure guitar-driven ecstasy. I caught up with John 5 to talk about the tour and why he’s a devotee of his BOSS pedals.

So John five, welcome to I Heart Guitar!

Well, thanks for having me.

No problem. So big news. You’re you’re coming to Australia with Jared James Nichols.

Yes, I’m really, really super excited. We are coming there in April and you know, I haven’t been there in quite a little while now, so I’m coming there with Jared and then also coming with a band called From Love To Violence who’s from Australia. So we’re ready to do this.

I saw you play at NAMM a few years ago. For those who haven’t seen you, which I guess is most Australians apart from those who have been overseas, you put on such a dynamic show. There are so many different kind of musical feels. And I know at the time I saw you, you ended with this like massive riff medley. That was just one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

Yeah! We have a new new one I’ll play when we come over there.

Cool. Are you chucking in some classic Aussie riffs? I mean there’s gotta be some AC/DC in there at the very least.

Yeah. There’s all sorts of everything!

Yeah. I mean, speaking of a little bit of everything, your latest record is pretty diverse. There are some songs that I think you can kind of pop on in the background and groove to, and then it’ll switch to the next track and it’s like a really attention-grabbing thing. That’s a real wild ride.

It definitely is a wild ride. Maybe I should have called it A Little Bit Of Everything. It definitely has a lot of stuff in it and a lot of note, that’s for sure. And what we’ll do is we’re going to be recording a live record, so we’re going to be recording the the shows in Australia. But what we do is we play the songs just like how they are on the record, which is very difficult to remember all of that stuff. But it’s exactly how it is on the record and it’s a challenge, you know, and there’s no improv. It’s just how it’s written and that’s how we play it.

Well, there’s currently a bit of a debate in the guitar world where there’s a lot of bands are using too many backing tracks… I think it’s fine if a band uses tracks to fill in some things here and there. But there have been some examples lately where people have obviously been like basically miming to certain guitar solos that are too hard to play and stuff and it’s like, you know, it’s, it’s worth doing it right. Tbe whole point is ‘I can play this,’ not ‘I can put this together in the studio and then fake it,’ you know? And I think you’re a great example of someone who can play their ass off while being entertaining.

Yeah. I think that’s what it’s what it’s all about. It’s all about entertainment and that’s important because the audience, you know, I’m part of that audience too. I go to shows all the time and I look to see what to do and what not to do and I try to use that in my own show and just to keep it entertaining for not only the fan, but maybe the person that was dragged there by their husband or boyfriend or something like that. So, you know, they’re entertained as well, even if they’re not a fan.

Yeah. Well that’s the thing is like when you transition from being the guitarist in a band to being essentially the focal point when you’re doing something solo like this, it’s got to be a slightly different set of skills to what you use when you’re playing with a vocalist like Rob Zombie. You’ve got to be the guy.

that is true. You have to, you have to keep everyone entertained with that guitar and that is your microphone. And it’s, you know, it was very stressful to do that cause I didn’t think anybody would really care. But, um, you know, and that’s why that’s the truth is that’s why I didn’t tour for so long because I didn’t think anybody really cared.

Oh, we care, we care!

It’s the truth. Cause I was so, you know, worried that like people don’t want to hear that, you know, but I’m very happy that they do. So that’s why I’m touring and, and uh, you know, cause I enjoy it so much.

So let’s talk guitar because you know, it wouldn’t be I Heart Guitar guitar if I wasn’t nerding out about stuff. What are your, what are your current guitar guitar obsessions, whether it’s a piece of gear or something to play, like a song or a style. Where are you at right now?

Well, I don’t have much gear. I kind of don’t want gear because people are like, ‘Here, check this out, check that out.’ And I don’t really want it. I just want to play. I just wanna play, play, play. And so I guess what I’m doing right now a lot is just playing. I just love picking and I’ve been just writing, I’m always writing. I’m trying to think of different things, different styles, trying to just get better all the time. That’s what’s most important to me.

When you’re at your level, how do you get better? Like it’s always possible, but there’s got to be a point where you’re like, you know, where do I go from here?

You can always get better. I’m always looking for inspiration. I’m looking on the internet for different guitar players and what they’re doing and seeing how I can use that sound, what inspires me. And that’s, that’s exactly what I do. I love just trying to, just being inspired and looking for new things that are going on.

Yeah. You know, the other night I was watching the movie Tangled on Disney+ and Mandy Moore plays one of the characters in it and the first song in the movie she sings, and I was listening to that and I was thinking, ‘Man, if I could cop that phrasing on guitar, that would be pretty cool.’ So it’s like, now I’m kind of stealing ideas from Mandy Moore.

That’s right. You’re just being influenced. That’s right. Yeah.

Wherever it comes from, as long as it comes out as cool guitar music, what the hell?

Yeah, exactly. That’s what inspiration is.

Yeah. So you’re a long-time Telecaster guy. Have you picked up any cool new ones recently or cool old ones?

Not really. I’ve been just concentrating on playing. I’ve been just playing so much and trying to make everything like simplified equipment wise, like gear wise, just trying to make it easy. I just tour with a couple of BOSS pedals and a regular amp and that’s it. So I just want to make it as simple as possible. So I’m curious because one time I was touring and my gear went down and I remember my tech freaking out cause it was only a few hours before we went on and I said, ‘It’s okay. Just go to a music store and get whatever there is.’ And I could do the show because everything I use is stock, just right off the shelf. It’s not modified or anything.

So what else can we talk about in the minute we have left?

Well, the shows are coming up and, you know, try to get to the shows because we’re making this live record so we’re going to record a lot of the shows in Australia. We’re super excited about that.

Tickets from: https://bit.ly/j5au19

Thu 16 April – Melbourne – The Prince
Fri 17 April – Brisbane – The Zoo
Sat 18 April – Sydney – Manning Bar

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.