NAMM 2018 – yet more from Fender on day 2
As if Fender’s opening salvo on day 1 of Summer NAMM didn’t have enough new product to confound even the hungriest buyer, day 2 saw the company unleash another barrage of new gear, ranging from new Squier guitars and basses, ‘Jimi Hendrix inspired accessories’ and a clutch of new Custom Shop models.
The Squier additions comprised four new Contemporary Series models. Fender says: ‘The Contemporary Active Jazzmaster HH ST looks as sinister as it sounds, sporting a matching headstock for a sleek aesthetic and black chrome hardware for a stealthy vibe. Powered by an active 9-volt circuit, the dual SQR ceramic humbucking pickups produce high-output tone ideal for crunchy rhythms and screaming solos. With a fast playing “C”-shape neck and stopbar tailpiece for stable tuning, this trailblazing rendition of a Fender classic is packed with player-centric features’.
The new Contemporary Jazz Bass, meanwhile, boasts two Squier ceramic single-coil pickups with a standard Jazz Bass control layout. Available in 4- and 5- string versions, the Contemporary Active Jazz Bass features all-new Matte Black and Matte White finishes and Squier SQR ceramic humbucking pickups boosted by the inclusion of an active 9-volt preamp, offering controls for volume, pickup blend, traditional tone and stacked boost controls for bass and treble.
Contemporary Active Jazzmaster HH ST – £400.00
Contemporary Jazz Bass – £350.00
Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH – £420.00
Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH V – £430.00
Also debuting was the 2018 Fender Custom Shop Mid-Year Collection and Jimmie Vaughan Signature Stratocaster. The collection features four limited-edition models with various finish options and features. The Jimmie Vaughan Signature Stratocaster, priced at £4,199.00, is representative of how Vaughan currently prepares his guitar for stage use, Fender says. Throughout the design process, the Fender Custom Shop and Vaughan worked together to create new custom hand-wound JLV pickups, JLV modified #2 wiring and carefully selected colours – Aged Olympic White, Wide-Fade 2-Colour Sunburst and Aged Aztec Gold. What resulted was a ‘50s-style Strat featuring a select alder body with a lush Closet Classic lacquer finish. The one-piece rift sawn maple neck has a custom “C” back shape with a 9.5-inch radius and 21 Jescar 57110 jumbo frets. A single-ply Eggshell pickguard, Custom Shop vintage synchronised tremolo and vintage-style tuning machines complete the package.
The 2018 Mid-Year Collection models on offer include:
2018 LTD Artisan Maple Burl Thinline Tele – £4,769.00
2018 Limited Edition ‘51 HS Tele Relic – £4,179.00
2018 Limited Edition ‘60 Roasted Strat Heavy Relic – £4,329.00
2018 Limited Edition ‘68 Paisley Strat Relic – £4,329.00
At the other end of the price scale, Fender’s somewhat controversial partnership with ‘Authentic Hendrix LLC’ has resulted in new lines of Jimi Hendrix-inspired ‘Voodoo Child’ accessories along with updates to legacy Fender pick and strap assortments. Other additions include Elite Series neck and pickguards. Also making a Summer NAMM 2018 debut are new kids and women’s lifestyle apparel for Fender-lovers.
The Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child rage includes ‘vintage recreations’ of coiled leads with Hendrix era end pin plugs, vintage style pancake ends and oversized barrel A merciful modern twist includes a 95 percent shielded braiding: ‘using the best modern technology available’, Fender adds. Also new are ‘Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child Signature Strings’.
All this plus new acoustic guitar strings, pickguards and picks, gig bags, straps and more. And this was just Day 2.
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