Fender American Acoustasonic Series Telecaster

MartinC

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2,974
Speaking as a player that needs a good thin-bodied acoustic to partner up with a quality solid body for shows, this looks like the answer to a lot of problems - and demos sound WAY better than the previous model. A6 and T5 just don't sound right to me for what I do (pop and blues in bands, duos and solo).

Yes, $2K will get you a Martin or a Taylor, but that's not solving the problem that this one addresses for a touring musician i.e. something that sounds acoustic (and I am thinking that I can further bolster this with IRs if needed) whilst having the dimensions of an electric. If it does what it *seems* to, then it'll pay for itself in a matter of weeks and I can retire #1 acoustic from the road.

I just have to get up the road and try one, but I have to be honest - if this delivers on its promise then one's coming home with me in the next week or so before touring season starts.
That's more or less the appeal that this has for me ... feels like playing an electric, but puts out tones that sound like a wide palette of quality acoustic tones.

Having heard more clips, the electric tones are still sounding like tones I would never use ... but that's OK. I am happy getting electric sounds from an electric, and have also happily owned electric guitars that have switch positions that I never used (eg S1 Fender Strat switching)
 

MartinC

Member
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2,974
I read an article on my Google news feed (can't remember the exact source) that said that the tops are screen printed. Given the price, my guess is that the grain that is visible on the top is real, since the top is Sitka spruce, but the colouration of the top is applied through screen printing.

Disclaimer: I have no idea how screen printing works, or how wood is usually coloured on guitar tops/bodies that are transparent. But I can't believe Fender would make a guitar that sells for US$2,000, using real Sitka spruce for the top, and finishes that with a photograph of wood grain.
I was lucky enough to try one of these this Saturday. Plugged into a Fender Acoustic 100.

In short I was VERY impressed.

Build quality looks fantastic ... just holding the guitar in your hands, it feels great. Amazing craftsmanship.

Looks? I played a natural top example. I think it looks fantastic ... the top appears to be a piece of high grade spruce. Definitely not a screen printed image.

Playability is just superb. It starts with the silky smooth wood ... same finish over the whole guitar. The neck is as you would imagine from the spec sheet ... a deep C Telecaster neck, with narrow tall frets. Feels like an electric guitar, but with an acoustic feel to the finish. I usually play with 9s or 10s on a Fender scale, and I believe this has 12s. It felt slower to play because of the bigger, higher tension strings ... no denying it. But, nowhere near as big a difference as I was expecting. I'm thinking it was the electric neck dimensions, tall frets and satin finish that combined to make this guitar feel easier to play than my regular acoustic, strung with 11s. I have no doubt that I would stick with the 12s if I bought one (more on that later)

Sounds. As I had previously concluded from listening to YouTube clips, the acoustic tones (of which I believe there are 7) are just brilliant. All of them different, but all of them brilliant. Despite the piezoelectric style pickup that features in all 7, the amplified tones don't have the harshness that typical piezo's can produce. They sound like a miked up acoustic. I particularly like the blend knob which lets you mix 2 different tones together in whatever mix you want. That's a stroke of genius.

I tried the electric tones. One being a blend with an acoustic tone, the other two being fully electric. I tried these through the Fender Acoustic amp ... which might not be the best choice ... but suffice to say I didn't get much from them.

Would I buy one? Just for the acoustic tones and superb playing experience, I would love one these. I even went down the deal path ... AUD$3200 street at the moment. I was very tempted. But, I am holding back for now, hoping that Fender produces an acoustic-tones-only version for a better price point. No electric pickup. I have no idea if that would be significantly cheaper, but it would surely save some cost. At the moment I would be paying for something I just wouldn't use. I'm not hanging out for the rumoured Mexican version ... the quality of the current American version is something I would have no trouble justifying a premium price for.

If an acoustic only American version for AUD$2,500 was hanging on the wall ... make mine a sunburst.
 
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MartinC

Member
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2,974
How's the balance? I read a review that stated there's some neck dive.
I only played sitting down, so can't really comment on whether there is any strapped on neck dive. I can say that they are lightweight ... similar to a regular acoustic. Sitting down ergonomics are good.
 
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14,559
I only played sitting down, so can't really comment on whether there is any strapped on neck dive. I can say that they are lightweight ... similar to a regular acoustic. Sitting down ergonomics are good.
Thanks. I've read comments about Teles in general having neck dive, but I found if I hang mine to the right, it balances just fine.
 

MartinC

Member
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2,974
I bought one yesterday (burst top)....these guitars come with 11's.
So far, I really like it.
Aha! That would be why they didn't feel like 12s on the one I played. :D

I would still stand by my comments that the playability was excellent, and superior to the average acoustic neck.
 

Suarkttam

Supporting Member
Messages
1,041
Despite the endless reserves of wisdom from "players" on TGP (who have never picked up the guitar and decided it sucks.) I ordered one from GC. I've heard it's a failure in every respect - so naturally I cannot wait to play it for myself.
People on here lose sight of every instrument being a tool in the hands of the user. Writing something off without over touching it says more about that person than the object itself. And if it works for you...more power to you. The Acoustasonic certainly has potential to be one of those tools. I hope you love it, and find amazing ways to use it.
 

papaboom

Member
Messages
12
People on here lose sight of every instrument being a tool in the hands of the user. Writing something off without over touching it says more about that person than the object itself. And if it works for you...more power to you. The Acoustasonic certainly has potential to be one of those tools. I hope you love it, and find amazing ways to use it.
I'm actually very excited to try it. I've played guitar for 30 years (and countless thousands of hours.) This is the first time I'll actually try something "new" in the world of guitar design. To feel like this about anything in guitar after all this time - is a joy to me. Kudos to Fender for taking a chance like this. Despite the prognostications of doom by the Guitar Luddites - Fender seems to be doing well with this!
 

MartinC

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2,974
I'm actually very excited to try it. I've played guitar for 30 years (and countless thousands of hours.) This is the first time I'll actually try something "new" in the world of guitar design. To feel like this about anything in guitar after all this time - is a joy to me. Kudos to Fender for taking a chance like this. Despite the prognostications of doom by the Guitar Luddites - Fender seems to be doing well with this!
I tried and was very impressed with everything about it as an acoustic instrument ... tone, playability, ergonomics, quality and aesthetics. Hope you like it too ... looking forward to your review!
 

qblue

Member
Messages
1,037
I'd like to play it for less. But as soon as the word American appeared in its name, I knew that would bump up the price.

How's about a MIM FAT (Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster) and it would work the same for less!!!
 

MartinC

Member
Messages
2,974
I'd like to play it for less. But as soon as the word American appeared in its name, I knew that would bump up the price.

How's about a MIM FAT (Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster) and it would work the same for less!!!
Either that, or drop the electric pickup to reduce the price
 

TonePilot

Supporting Member
Messages
3,764
Despite the endless reserves of wisdom from "players" on TGP (who have never picked up the guitar and decided it sucks.) I ordered one from GC. I've heard it's a failure in every respect - so naturally I cannot wait to play it for myself.
Which colour did you get? Post a pic?
 

DCross

Acoustic Jazz & Electric Folk
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,793
I wrote a mini review in another thread, but bottom line is I really liked it - I'm playing in a duo and the other guy bought one last week. The neck is fat and feels good and the amplified acoustic tones were tremendous. It is definitely set up more as an acoustic instrument than an electric one - i.e. - you probably wouldn't want to be playing heavy metal on it - well duuhh.

The one thing I didn't like is that the output is mono so you can't use a TRS cable to automatically send the electric side to an amp and the acoustic side direct to PA. This could also be why some who've played have said that either the electric or acoustic tones were lousy - if you plug into a regular amp, the acoustic won't sound great and if you plug into a PA the electric tones won't be good.

We solved it by using a TC Helicon Play Electric with one preset set to no amp (for the acoustic sound) and an adjacent preset to a slightly broken up electric amp - not the best simulator, but decent for our purposes (he's basically the "rhythm" player). The output of the pedal goes right to the board.

Alternatively, you could use an AB box to split the signal. So, it's not an impossible problem, but Fender should've built it that way, IMHO. I guess maybe they want you to have the option to blend the acoustic and electric tones into the same amp, but a regular mono cable would take care of that. (Parker Flys are built this way).

Anyway, overall a wonderful guitar, IMHO, and great if you mainly play acoustic stuff, but need some electric sounds occasionally. Also could be used nicely for jazz.
 

J-PPP

Member
Messages
908
Despite the endless reserves of wisdom from "players" on TGP (who have never picked up the guitar and decided it sucks.) I ordered one from GC. I've heard it's a failure in every respect - so naturally I cannot wait to play it for myself.
I think they look absolutely great and would love to own one. Enjoy!
 
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