Fender today launched a radical new version of the world’s most popular guitar in the form of an acoustic-electric beast called the “Acoustasonic Stratocaster.”
The Acoustasonic series is Fender’s latest take on the acoustic-electric guitar. In essence, it’s an acoustic guitar that looks like a Strat – you can play it out in the woods around a campfire completely unplugged just like a Dreadnought or any other regular old six-string strummer. And, like other acoustic-electrics, you can also plug it in to an amp if you want to get loud.
What’s novel here is that Fender’s managed to add in the necessary hardware to make the Acoustasonic guitars fully electric as well. So you get the classic electric Fender sound, in this case the legendary Stratocaster’s authentic tone, a perfectly functioning acoustic, and the ability to dial-in any combination of voices between the two.
TNW spoke with Billy Martinez, VP, Fender Acoustics and Squier Divisions, about the design process behind the new Strat. They told us:
The Fender team took the same approach as we did with the American Acoustasonic Telecaster that we launched in January 2019. With a rich history in electric guitars, we know how different players use different instruments to craft their unique sound. The Acoustasonic Stratocaster embodies that theme. We wanted the Stratocaster to have its own identity and give Acoustic and Electric players a familiar shape yet.
That familiar shape might make all the difference. The Acoustasonic series exists to fill a couple of gaps in the modern guitar market. For beginners who want an easy-to-learn acoustic experience, the Acoustasonic Stratocaster offers the same “feel” as a traditional electric Strat. That means the neck is easy to hold and the back of the body is contoured to rest against your torso. If you’re used to playing a Strat, you’ll be able to pick up the Acoustasonic version and feel right at home.
The Acoustasonic Strat also shines in the hands of a pro. It’s capable of replacing a few guitars in your trailer, especially if you’re switching out between electric and acoustic often in your shows. And, for studio guitarists, it represents an all-in-one rig with near-endless possibilities.
According to Martinez:
We wanted to provide players the opportunity to do that with the technology they needed all the while keeping it elegant and simple to use. The Acoustasonic embraces its Acoustic roots, but its “what’s under the hood” that makes this guitar so unique. It offers an almost infinite amount of Acoustic tones, but also tips its cap to our rich history of Electric guitars. This type of technology was intended to allow the player to seamlessly move between Acoustic and Electric tones with one switch yet have the ability to blend multiple tones to which would inspire more creativity.
- Acoustic hollow-body
- Fender and Fishman acoustic engine with curated voices
- Fender Acoustasonic Noiseless Magnetic pickup
- Fishman Under-Saddle Transducer pickup
- Fishman Acoustasonic Enhancer pickup
- Mahogany Stratocaster neck – Modern “deep C” (25.5″ scale length)
- Ebony finger board (12” radius)
- Knobs: Master Volume, “Mod” Knob, 5-Way Switch
When it comes to guitars, opinions certainly vary. The first Acoustasonic guitar, the Telecaster, is a gorgeous axe that sounds amazing. But, in this humble journalist’s view: it’s about time we got a Strat version.
I can’t wait to check out Fender‘s newest high-tech six-string, stay tuned for our full review in the coming weeks. In the meantime you can order yours at Fender’s website for $1,999.99.
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Published March 3, 2020 — 17:43 UTC