Fender has unveiled its latest slate of signature model electric and acoustic guitars.
Headlined by new signature Telecasters for the Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde and Jason Isbell, the lineup also features a new signature Mustang for Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard and a new signature Campfire acoustic for late Clash frontman Joe Strummer.
You can read more about each of the models – the first three of which are Mexican-made – below.
Chrissie Hynde Telecaster
Built with an alder body and finished in a Faded Ice Blue Metallic Road Worn lacquer, this new Tele is a near-perfect replica of the ’65 Tele Hynde relied on to make her indelible musical mark with The Pretenders.
Its vintage-style ‘50s single-coil Tele pickups are precisely voiced to match those on Hynde's original, while its six-stainless steel barrel saddle bridge and chrome mirror pickguard also match those found on the '65 model. The only difference from Hynde's original, in fact, is the addition of vintage-style locking tuners.
The guitar's mid-’60s C-shaped maple neck boasts a 7.25”-radius rosewood fingerboard, while the guitar's hardware has also been given the Road Worn treatment.
The Fender Chrissie Hynde Telecaster will be available in February for $1,399.
Jason Isbell Custom Telecaster
Though he made headlines last year for his acquisition of Ed King's "Red Eye" Les Paul, Jason Isbell certainly knows his way around a Telecaster as well. His gorgeous new signature Tele boasts a ’59-style Tele Custom alder body with cream double binding and a Chocolate Sunburst Road Worn finish.
The guitar also features a vintage-inspired mid-‘60s C-shaped maple neck and 21-fret rosewood fretboard, and vintage-style tuners.
Sonically, the Tele is outfitted with a pair of specially-voiced Telecaster single coils, while other Isbell-specific mods include a custom bridge with three vintage brass barrel saddles and a modern "Ashtray" bridge cover.
The Fender Jason Isbell Custom Telecaster will be available in May for $1,499.
Ben Gibbard Mustang
Based on the modified '70s Mustangs he uses onstage with Death Cab for Cutie, Ben Gibbard's new signature Mustang boasts a lightweight chambered ash body – with a beautiful Natural finish – for increased resonance, and a one-piece, modern C-shaped maple neck with a 9.5” radius fingerboard and 22 medium jumbo frets.
The electronics, however, are where things get quite interesting. On his modified Mustangs, Gibbard removes the tone knob and pickup slider switches, leaving them permanently wired to the middle position. Therefore, the Gibbard Mustang lacks a tone circuit. As Gibbard explains though, the guitar does feature a pickup-switching option still.
“I took out the phase switchers, and instead of a tone knob, the knob is a pickup switcher,” Gibbard told Guitar World. “So there’s a rolled volume knob, but where the tone knob is, it clicks into different positions. So you still have the access of shifting amongst the positions, but it doesn’t have a Strat switcher or anything.”
The guitar also features a vintage-style Mustang tremolo that's been modified for a hardtail setup and vintage-style tuners.
The Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang will be available – with strap locks and a Fender gig bag – in March for $1,099.
Joe Strummer Campfire Acoustic
Inspired by the instrument the Clash frontman would use during his legendary "campfires" at England's Glastonbury festival, this acoustic-electric features a solid spruce top with mahogany back and sides.
The guitar's visual appointments include a matte black finish, nickel hardware, and star inlays.
The Fender Joe Strummer Campfire Acoustic will be available in March for $499.
For more info on all of Fender's new models, stop by fender.com.
Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.
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