After breakfast, it was off to view some guitar gear. First up was Fender with several new and exciting instruments to their Custom Shop, American Elite, American Professional, Offsets, acoustics … and ukuleles!
Got a chance to see and feel each of these beauties: JMH Road Worn Mustang Bass, The George Harrison Rosewood Telecaster, Brad Paisley Road Worn Telecaster (which he was at the Fender booth discussing this newest release), Jimi Hendrix Monterey Stratocaster (I cannot believe he burned his hand-painted Strat), and the Ed O’Brien Sustainer Stratocaster.
The Offset Series received some new “vintage car” colors which Leo Fender was well-known for using: Shell Pink for the Mustang, Canary Diamond on the Duo Sonic with humbucker, Surf Green on the Duo Sonic with the single coil, Capri Orange on the Mustang PJ bass, and a traditional Sunburst on the Mustang 90. This series was released last year and is based on the early Leo Fender student model design. At the time, Leo Fender designed these guitars to be easier to play based on their smaller size, short scale, and small bodies. These guitars also feature Pau Ferro wood instead of Rosewood on the models with dark fretboards due to 2017 CITES.
New colors introduced for the American Elite series are Champagne and Ocean Turquoise (another beautiful vintage car color). On these models, Fender is switching from Rosewood to Ebony on the fingerboards.
The American Professional series have expanded their color line to include Natural and the traditional classic car color Candy Apple Red- one of my favorites!
Then it was on to their new California Coast series ukuleles. Extremely reasonably priced starting at $59 with their highest model, the Montecito, capping out at $249.
Arriving September 2017, California Coast Series Ukuleles feature five new models with the beloved Fender look and feel; they include: Venice, Seaside, Zuma, Rincon and Montecito available in Cherry, Natural and Black finishes. Named after California beaches, California Coast Series Ukuleles are resonant, portable, easy-to-play and distinctly Fender, with a mix of Telecaster®-style and traditional 2×2 headstocks across models – all offered at accessible price points. Available in soprano, concert and tenor body shapes, these new ukuleles boast upgraded woods and aesthetic appointments. With no-tie bridges on all models—as well as multiple stained wood finishes, solid tops and Fishman® electronics offered on select models—this series is perfect for guitar players looking to diversify their sound or a beginning ukulele enthusiast.
New additions to Fender’s acoustic guitars include a new travel guitar in their Paramount series, two new nylon models in their Classic Design, and a bass guitar in two colors – natural and black. The major difference in all of these guitars are the slimmer necks which are designed for the entry level player – to keep them wanting to play guitar!