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

 

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.

# # #

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 George Harrison Rosewood Telecaster. Whoa.

One of my all-time favourite guitars is George Harrison’s famous rosewood Fender Telecaster – y’know, the one he played on the roof of Apple headquarters on January 30, 1969 in those spectacular green pants? Well the Fender Custom Shop is offering a reproduction of this iconic guitar right down to the finest detail. Wider nut? Yep. Two-piece rosewood neck? Uh huh. Logo over the finish instead of under it? You got it. And get this: Abigail “Abby” Ybarra came out of retirement to wind the pickups. The only thing it doesn’t include is those pants.

fender

My Tele

Telecaster

This sexy beast is my Telecaster with Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound for Tele pickups. Oh the things this guitar has seen. For example…

My dad and I put it together out of bits and pieces when I was 14.

Got the pickups for my 15th birthday.

For my final year at university this was the only guitar I brought with me, and I gave myself a rule that for a year I would basically play just this guitar with heavy strings, high action and no pick (unless I was working on stuff like “Eugene’s Trick Bag” for hours on end). I would take it to blues jams and just let what would happen happen. That year was huge for my musical development. One of the guitar players in the house band would call out the names of various guitarists and I’d have to imitate them for a few bars, until he called another name. I’d have to go from S.R.V to Jeff Beck to Frank Zappa to EVH to Satriani.

I’ve used it in a funk band, I’ve tuned it to Open C to play Ocean Machine songs, I’ve played it in front of 6,000 people alongside a DJ, and in smoky pubs where I’ve played slide on it using a beer bottle.

And we have lots of years of adventures left in us.

Tele

Fender Expands American Standard Series

Fender American Standard Series

Hello baby.

PRESS RELEASE: Fender is proud to expand its popular American Standard series. The series, which debuted in 1986, has become the proverbial heart of the Fender brand, fusing the best of classic and contemporary features. “The Fender American Standard series is the core of the Fender lineup, the place where we combine our 60-plus years of history with modern innovations in a perfect blend of the best of yesterday and today,” said Justin Norvell, vice president of marketing at Fender. “They are handcrafted American originals, and the choice of professionals worldwide. These seven new models provide musicians with an even greater tonal palette, making the American Standard a great choice no matter what features or sounds a player is seeking. With the American Standard series, we make art in our instruments, so musicians can make their art with them in their music.” Read More …