Fender Acoustasonic Series

richardp69

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Anyone have any experience with these and if so, anything positive (or not) to share.

Sounds like the Jazzmaster has more of an acoustic feel (neckwise etc.) to it and sounds more acoustic than the Tele or Strat.

The USA version is about $800 more than the Mexican version (better electronics I'm told) and I wonder if it's worth it.
 

Nuuska

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In a band that I have been mixing last 17 years or so - the lead singer has fender Acoustasonic SFX PR370 amp - rest of the band refer to it as "The Windmill" - but after reading your post again - you are asking about guitars - wonder why Fender uses same names for different things - but then - they call vibrato on guitars "tremolo" - and tremolo on amps "vibrato" - so that leads to conclusion, that Guild was not the only company to stir the soup 😂
 

fronobulax

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In a band that I have been mixing last 17 years or so - the lead singer has fender Acoustasonic SFX PR370 amp - rest of the band refer to it as "The Windmill" - but after reading your post again - you are asking about guitars - wonder why Fender uses same names for different things - but then - they call vibrato on guitars "tremolo" - and tremolo on amps "vibrato" - so that leads to conclusion, that Guild was not the only company to stir the soup 😂


I guessed it was guitars because "USA version is about $800 more than the Mexican version " suggested a guitar since almost no one obsesses over where amps are made :)

I've also run across references to them elsewhere.
 

SFIV1967

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I never tried one of those.
Two legends in the field, Brian Schwerdfeger and Tim Shaw were two of the designers.
See some info here:



Ralf
 

GAD

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Guild did it better (Acoustasonic mentioned in the review): https://www.gad.net/Blog/2021/03/01/guild-crossroads-cr01/

I've tried them. I think they're interesting, but in the end it's just modeling so you can do most of what the Acoustasonics do with a good digital rig. The downside will always be the same, which is a combo anything will never be as good as individual component parts. If you need to be able to do a passing acoustic/tele/strat/whever tone without switching guitars, then these types of solutions are a good idea. If you don't, then you're better off with individual guitars.
 

MLBob

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Guy I used to be in a combo with bought one so he wouldn't have to bring two guitars with him when we played out. Never could figure why as I thought it was an all-round inferior sounding instrument. He didn't ever seem to be able to get it to sound right. At one point not too long after he bought it, he decided to take it to a well respected luthier in our area for a refret (higher/wider frets? ... I forget). According to my friend, when the luthier started to work on it, he contacted him and told him that Fender had apparently drilled a couple of the holes too large where the neck attached and then filled them in with some toothpick shims to get everything to fit tight. Last I heard, he was trying to sell it. (He bought brand new at GC - I'd have taken it straight back after the "neck fix" reveal). Can't believe something like that made it out the door.
 

jp

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I've only played the Stratocaster version acoustically in my local GC. The feel and sound wasn't very inspiring, and I immediately put it down.
 

GuildFS4612CE

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I never tried one of those.
Two legends in the field, Brian Schwerdfeger and Tim Shaw were two of the designers.
See some info here:



Ralf
Had the pleasure of meeting Brian at 2019 NAMM and discussing this instrument at its debut...he is a very kind gentleman and spent a great deal of time explaining the technicalities in a fashion I could follow somewhat as a non tech asking a technical question...I asked him how they resolved the impedance incompatibility issues of the pick up and the transducer...my FS4612CE mid 80's is a factory custom with a PUP and UST and modified Fishman AGP2...and, no, you cannot balance them together for all the tea in China...yes, Gary, I use electric strings on it for the same reason you put them on the Crossroads...the UST doesn't care but the PUP does...from what I remember Brian talked about Ohms Law and parallel circuits...I'll leave a few of the LTG brains like Ralf, Nuuska, and Gary to ponder the quandary...

Brian also has worked with Bob Taylor on the T5 line of guitars and with Larry Fishman on the stacked PC Board PUPS...I've been lucky to meet all of these men and Tim Shaw.

While we were chatting...in the Fender area of course...Bob came by to show off a eucalyptus wood neck/fretboard he was working on...a lot of downed eucalyptus in CA...I refrained from asking him how the heck he was going to contain the aroma...don't know if he ended up pursuing that avenue...he does like to recycle and repurpose and conserve as much wood as possible.

Just mentioning it for all those who haven't spent time at trade shows and are not aware of just how much cross pollination occurs amongst the brains at a show...all kinds of wonderful creations arise from chance meetings.

And a special thanks again to Brian, who has daughters, and thus did not mind the question I asked him nor simplifying the answers in a fashion I could almost follow...that's been my experience with most of the true geniuses...it is a boys club at the shows...but they reach across those boundaries.
 

Nuuska

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I can quickly think of two ways of balancing the VERY different impedances.

- Full active - you have a preamp for the USD and active mixing/balancing circuitry to mix w magnetic pup.
- advantage is low output impedance that lets you use hundreds of yards long cable should you need or want to . . .
- also possibility for active +/- semi- or full parametric filtering - like many bass players are happy with.
- drawback of this solution is that if/when battery dies there is no output.
- some people might not like the idea of preamped pup - a'la EMG - even though they feed the signal to the pedalboard with . . . guess what 😂

- Partly active w passive mixing - you have preamp for the USD and serial resistor in preamp output to match impedance w magnetic pup
- advantage is ability to carry on w magnetic pup only if/when battery/active-electronics fail
- drawback is "normal output impedance" - full filtering only possible w USD
 

SFIV1967

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Brian also has worked with Bob Taylor on the T5 line of guitars

And a special thanks again to Brian, who has daughters,
Brian Schwerdfeger seems to be a wonderful person in real life and with his family. I followed him since I got my first Taylor T5 more than 15 years ago now (and I also followed his collegue at that time David Hosler with whom I was in contact when he was working in Amsterdam for Taylor, I got my T5C1-12 from him). Two very kind persons. I almost met Bob in EL Cajon in the factory some years later, another family had their guitar signed by him that day but the stuff only gave it to him in his office, he signed the back of the headstock and appologized that he is too busy coming down. They were happy but I thought it would have been cool meeting him quickly that day. The tour in the factory was great nevertheless.
Ralf
 
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I really wanted to get an acoustasonic tele after watching a demo shortly after they first came out. It seemed to check all the boxes for me. It's basically a whole rack of various acoustic guitars geared for an electric player. And it's also an acoustic guitar that with the flip of a switch can have you playing a screaming lead through a bridge single coil. Best of all....it's still a Tele!! :cool: I've picked them up in stores (both the tele and strat versions) and found they felt very good and even sounded good acoustically. (Making for a really great late night couch guitar that doesn't wake up the rest of the house!!) So, I figured I'd just wait it out and buy a used one at some point down the road when the novelty wore off for someone else. Turns out, years later, there aren't really any resale bargains to be found with these. (I basically did the same thing again later w/ the Fender Electric XII "alternate reality" reissue. Shooting myself in the foot....again!! Now you can't even find one anywhere!! ) Fender really have been doing some wonderful innovative things in recent years.

here's the description of the 5 position switch and blender/mode knob voicings. (a serious arsenal in one guitar!)

Total tonal adjustment​

The Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster has familiar-looking controls, but they do more than any other acoustic/electric guitar. They give control over five discreet voice pairs – a curated collection of acoustic and electric voices that can be played solo or blended via the Mod Knob to create infinite combinations. Position 5 is with the Voice Selector closest to the neck; Position 1 is furthest away. The ‘A’ voice is with the Mod Knob fully counter-clockwise; the ‘B’ voice is fully clockwise.

Position 5
A: Sitka Spruce/Rosewood Dreadnought—Deep bass meets strident trebles for a traditional acoustic voice. Great for big, bold strumming.
B: Alpine Spruce/Rosewood Auditorium—Tighter and brighter for a more modern/pop sound and a detailed midrange perfect for strumming or fingerstyle.

Position 4
A: Engelmann Spruce/Maple Small-Body—Intimate, parlor-inspired voice that’s articulate and bright, best for delicate playing.
B: Sitka Spruce/Mahogany Dreadnought—Full midrange with a deep bass voice that works well for rootsy strumming or fingerstyle.

Position 3
A: Sitka Spruce/Brazilian Rosewood Dreadnought—Rich and earthy with complex overtones.
B: Adds body pickup to the above voice (up to a predetermined maximum blend)—All of the above, plus a percussive top and enhanced harmonics that pop.

Position 2
A: Sitka Spruce/Mahogany Dreadnought—Full-bodied, no nonsense acoustic that’s earthy and articulate with a wide dynamic range.
B: Blends electric pickup to the above voice (predetermined semi-clean voice)—A rich acoustic rhythm sound meets Fender’s electric tone – when you really want to drive the band.

Position 1
A: Fender Electric Clean—You won’t believe your acoustic guitar can do this.
B: Fender Electric Fat/Semi-Clean—You really won’t believe your acoustic guitar can do this.

***The Mexican made "player series" version only has a 3 position switch, 3 instead of 7 acoustic voicings, and only has 2 instead of the domestic's 3 pickups. Hence the big price drop, as a lot of what you're paying for here are the electronics.

Watch some demo vids of the acoustic voicings....pretty damn impressive IMHO.
 
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