Hardware Review: New Fender Electric Guitars


Squier 40th Anniversary Series

For the 40th anniversary of the Squier line of instruments, Fender has opted for updated versions of the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster, Jazz Bass and Precision Bass. These models are offered in the Gold edition (in reference to the hardware store) or in the Vintage edition, with aged chrome. For review, American Songwriter received the Squier 40th Anniversary Gold Edition Telecaster in Sherwood Green Metallic finish.

The gold hardware is a real eye-catcher, as are the Pearloid block inlays in the fingerboard. The white neck binding on the Indian laurel fingerboard sets this guitar apart, and the neck is bright and plays fast. The vintage gold anodized aluminum pickguard is cool to the touch and to the eye, and it’s thick. This Squier Tele is equipped with Fender-designed alnico single-coil pickups that sound crisp and clear, more like a vintage instrument. The bridge is vintage style with 3 traditional saddles. The body is constructed from Nyatoh wood, so it’s lightweight yet still resonant. The neck plate on the back of the guitar designates it as a 40th Anniversary Squier. At $599.99 a street, the Squier 40th Anniversary Gold Edition Telecaster Guitar isn’t just targeting beginner and intermediate players.

JV (Japanese Vintage) Modified Series

Fender’s new modified JV (Japanese Vintage) series contains a 50s Stratocaster, a 60s Stratocaster, a 50s Telecaster and a 60s Telecaster. Japanese-made guitars from the 80s are now highly sought after and valuable . Fender has recreated our favorite features with these new models. For review, American Songwriter received the Fender JV Modified ’60s Custom Telecaster Guitar in Firemist Gold finish.

One of the key features that Fender matched the original is the satin finish, thick, smooth “V” neck profile that feels so great when you play it. The Telecaster gives you more tonal choices, thanks to a four-way selector for pickups and a push-pull tone knob for out-of-phase sounds. The pickups are vintage-voiced single coils with just the right amount of twang. The bridge is Fender’s standard 3-saddle vintage style with brass saddles. The body of the guitar is constructed from basswood with the standard maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. The white binding on the front and back of the body gives this Telecaster a classy, ​​vintage look. In terms of playability and tone, this is one of the best Telecasters I’ve played in a long time. Fender has done an incredible job of bringing back this popular era of JV guitars. At $1,349.99 the Fender JV Modified ’60s Custom Telecaster isn’t cheap, but it’s cheaper than trying to find a clean example of an 80s version, and this guitar is amazing !

Nile Rodgers Hitmaker Stratocaster

As songwriters and artists, we would all love to achieve a hit song in our lifetime. Nile Rodgers has worked with many of the world’s top musical artists including Diana Ross, Madonna, David Bowie, Daft Punk, Chic and Duran Duran. Besides Rodgers, the only consistent element that all of these artists share is that Rodgers used his favorite Fender Stratocaster nicknamed “The Hitmaker” with them.

Everything about this guitar and the case it arrived in screams luxury and style. Rodgers’ original guitar was used as the template for this signature Stratocaster. Key differences from the standard models include a 1960s-style alder body that is smaller than most Strat bodies, giving it a slightly higher tone. The neck is a one-piece maple with a ’59 profile with medium-jumbo frets that are very comfortable in the hand. Even The Hitmaker’s three single-coil pickups are voiced to match the original Rodgers guitar we’ve heard on countless songs and albums. Instead of the traditional vibrato that most Strats feature, this guitar has a hardtail bridge which is said to provide more sustain and resonance with body mass.

As a player, I was pleased to see that The Hitmaker features vintage-style Sperzel satin locking tuners, which make it easier to change strings and get them in tune better. The Rodgers logo is printed on the back of the doll and the neck plate is stamped with The Hitmaker. As a leading producer and musician, Rodgers’ guitar is designed for a professional musician and it delivers on its promise. When you open the Fender hard case that comes with the guitar, “The Hitmaker” is embroidered on top, so you know what you’re about to play. It’s an incredible guitar that will likely become your #1 player for all the right reasons. If Rodgers can help sell over 500 million records with a guitar like this, maybe we can make one or two?

The Olympic white finish, silver pickguard and gear knobs make a major statement on this guitar. Priced at $2,599.99, the Fender Nile Rodgers Hitmaker Stratocaster is higher than your average American-built Strat, but the unique features that this guitar and Rodgers entry bring to the instrument make it worth the price. The Hitmaker plays and sounds amazing. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be on your next hit album.


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