Few guitars carry extra historic weight than the Fender Telecaster. With its compact physique and brash, incisive twang, the Telecaster—first launched by Fender within the 1950s—performed a pivotal function within the evolution of nation music, electrical blues, and, most of all, rock and roll. Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards, and Joe Strummer are all Tele guys. And when Bob Dylan mounted his first tour as an electrical act, he did it with a Telecaster round his neck.- Advertisement -
But if the Fender American Acoustasonic Telecaster had been round when Bob was breaking hearts and blowing minds again in ’66, he would have been in a position to play each the acoustic and electrical parts of his live performance on the identical guitar.
With its spherical sound gap and naturally resonant physique, the Acoustasonic performs and appears like an acoustic guitar. But contained in the instrument is an array of electronics that lets the participant dial in all kinds of sounds; when amplified, the Acoustasonic can tackle the tonal character of various kinds of acoustic guitar in addition to solid-body and hollow-body electrics.
You can see one pickup positioned subsequent to the bridge within the picture above. Hidden contained in the physique is a three-piece system designed by Fender with the oldsters at Fishman, an organization well-known for its acoustic guitar pickups. (A 20-hour battery, which you cost through a USB port subsequent to the cable jack, powers the pickups.) The Acoustasonic additionally has two picket knobs and a selector swap. On a standard Telecaster, the selector swap would permit the participant to swap between pickups, turning one on and the opposite off. But on the Acoustasonic, that swap enables you to scroll by way of a sequence of digitally modeled tones that mimic completely different guitar sorts.
Flip the swap ahead to get the forceful bass of an enormous, spruce-top dreadnought acoustic. Move it into the center to seek out the fingerstyle-friendly midrange tones of a small-bodied mahogany guitar, or the propulsive drive you’d get from a flat-top acoustic with a scorching pickup in it. Push the selector swap all the way in which again and you may even make the factor sound fairly near an electrical guitar.
Each of the 5 positions on the selector swap prompts two distinct tones, and that is the place the knobs come into play. That second knob, the one closest to the tail of the guitar, toggles between the 2 sounds you have chosen utilizing the swap. Rock all of it the way in which ahead to get the primary sound, rock all of it the way in which again to get the second sound. Twisting the knob to any place between the 2 sounds blends them collectively. So if you would like 71 p.c of sound A and 29 p.c of sound B, you are able to do that. (The knob closest to your fingers nonetheless controls the quantity such as you’d count on.)
So how does it sound? Anybody who performs an acoustic guitar on stage with a band goes to like it. Most of the selectable tones are brilliant and full of life, with plenty of punch and glassy harmonics. The finest ones reply with a heat, percussive thwack while you strum with a choose. The mellower, folky sounds of a real hollow-body acoustic guitar are harder to dial in. But that driving sound you get while you match a full-size acoustic guitar with a pickup and plug it into an awesome classic amp—this guitar can do this sound.
The capacity to mix the varied sounds collectively is the Acoustasonic’s finest characteristic. It offers the instrument an incredible sonic palette, and I discovered that essentially the most fascinating stuff tends to occur not with the mix knob dialed all the way in which to at least one facet or the opposite, however someplace within the center.
Purists will scoff on the Acoustasonic as a soulless digital abomination, and that is nice. This form of 21st-century machine is rarely going to be for everybody. I’ll say that the texture of the instrument is great. It’s arrange like an acoustic guitar (full with a wound G string), however the small Tele physique and slim neck make it a lot simpler to noodle round on than your typical huge field. Still, it is meant to be plugged in. It has the character of an acoustic guitar while you strum it unplugged, nevertheless it would not come near filling a room or drawing forth rivers of human tears the way in which a real-deal acoustic does.
It’s the identical on the opposite finish. The “electrical” voices within the Acoustasonic sound nothing like an precise Telecaster, however they do make it sound extra like an electrical guitar than an acoustic guitar—a powerful feat anyway.
The thought is that for those who’re an artist who treasures sonic selection, you’ll be able to simply purchase one in all these guitars (which lists for $2,000 by the way in which) and play all of it night time as an alternative of switching guitars between each track. I might argue that individuals who swap guitars a number of instances throughout a present are cool. That’s a really cool transfer, pulling out some shiny classic showpiece for this track, then one other for that track. The Acoustasonic negates that cool issue. But since you’ll be able to’t purchase cool, why not simply purchase comfort?