The Telecaster sits atop the Fender family tree. But as the new Acoustasonic Player Telecaster proves, this old dog has learned some new tricks.
The Fender Telecaster is as classic as they come. It also has a reputation for being extremely versatile, looking at home on the country bandstand, or being ripped apart at a dirty punk gig. The new Acoustasonic Player Telecaster adds to that reputation in some very unexpected ways.
Squint and you’ll recognise the classic silhouette. But it doesn’t take long to reveal its unique character in sound and character.
The first you’ll notice? Yes indeed, it’s an acoustic guitar. Fender has sourced some specific acoustic tonewoods, like mahogany for the sides and Sitka top to aid in projection. And if you’re carving out the beginnings of a new song, it’s absolutely fit for purpose.
The edge of the body highlights the exposed mahogany and speaks to its acoustic warmth. Four classy finishes — Brushed Black, Butterscotch Blonde, Shadow Burst, and Arctic White — lend the Acoustasonic Player Telecaster an air of refinement.
With all these genteel touches, you might think that this guitar can only play friendly. But when you plug it in, you realise that this thing can bark, but also sing sweet lullabies. And that’s due to Fender’s innovative electronics, powered by a 9-volt battery that you pop in the back of the guitar.
The three-way pickup selector (just like a traditional Tele) reveals the fundamental characters of the Acoustasonic Player Telecaster. Position 1 (or bridge position) gives you the classic Tele tone from the noiseless pickup. Position 2 (middle) dishes up a woofy and warm tone from the under-saddle pickup. Position 1 (neck) puts the acoustic in Acoustasonic.
And while this breadth of character gives you plenty to work with, there’s a kicker. Next to the volume knob isn’t the tone knob, but rather the “blend” knob, which gives you even more tonal variety. It works like this:
In position 1, turn left for that pure traditional Tele tone that we all know and love. Turn right for the “fat” version, the same iconic with a spoonful of added grunt.
In position 2, turn left for a beefy, “lo-fi” tone. Turn right for a colourful, dirty crunch, which sounds a bit like an electric and acoustic double-tracked.
In position 3, turn left for a small-bodied parlour acoustic, which will take you right back to the glory days of pre-war Nashville. Turn right for a rich, big-bodied dreadnought that really has to be heard to be believed. Forget that typically plasticky and dreadful acoustic pickup sound: this acoustic tone is realistic, warm, and lively.
So who’s this guitar for? In true Tele style, almost anybody! To my mind, it excels in the studio in particular. In pop and rock productions, the guitar plays an important role and in the Acoustasonic Player Telecaster, you’ve got a single instrument from which you can build an entire mix.
For all the details, head over to the Fender website.