Playable artwork at a gallery price.
What is it that we want a guitar to do? By definition, it is an instrument, e.g., a tool for us to transfer our musical creativity and our knowledge of sound into existence as a new or pre-written composition. It is an element that allows us to create on the fly, alone or with others. Do we always need a multitude of tools at our disposal to help share stories through song? Or is it possible for a single musical instrument to have a multitude of tools set inside a solitary, hybridized, and electrified body?
Guitars enable playtime, and for Fender, the word “play” has taken on a multitude of meanings over the last few years. There’s Fender Play, the Player Series, the Player Plus, and now, the Fender Acoustasonic Player Telecaster.
A hybrid in a world seemingly divided between electric and acoustic has a difficult independent place, except perhaps on the walls of those that have been eyeing a less expensive version of the Fender Acoustasonic. For those that are creatively inspired by look-over feel, or perhaps driven artistically by intrigue, the eye-catching Acoustasonic is ready to go. It’s playable artwork. Delicate to the touch, and astoundingly light, the Acoustasonic Player Telecaster is an accessible guitar at a semi-inaccessible cost, unless you’re used to gallery prices or are truly looking for a two-in-one model.
For others, they might have more questions, as playtime is known to inspire; not unlike those at Fender who likely came up with this intriguing new option. All it took was one curious question: what if? What if we could really have an all-in-one? What other questions might that raise?
Is the Acoustasonic an acoustic-electric guitar? Not really. It is not just an acoustic guitar with pick-ups. Rather, it can be played without an amp, or, used as an electric guitar with creative acoustic tones to take advantage of the multitude of sounds offered through a combination of pick-ups and tones. Playtime, ignited, though at a tiny cost: while the guitar does have a hollow body, it does not carry the same acoustic tones as a full-fledged acoustic model. And yet, that’s to be expected. This is new territory, after all. So perhaps, our expectations, mine included, need to be adjusted.
Where is the new Acoustasonic made? The Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster was sold in 2019 at a price of $1999, and it was made in the Corona factory in California. Fender’s new hybrid, the Acoustasonic Player Telecaster, is made in Ensenada Mexico and is offered at $1199.99. Over the last 20 years, there has been a healthy conversation (debate?) among guitarists and musicians about buying guitars manufactured in American factories, or abroad. The Acoustasonic Player reinvigorates the conversation about where guitars are made, but in an intriguing way: Fender has opened a brand new facility in Ensenada for production of Acoustasonic models and as a hub for expansion and innovation.
Can I play it like an acoustic? Yes, and that is perhaps the most intriguing of the invitations to playtime from the Acoustasonic. Its hollow body is an invitation to create songs immediately, without an amp, while also being able to experiment with the tones offered in a hybrid model.
Some musicians are inspired by feel, others by look – the latter will enjoy this guitar more, especially if they need an all-in-one that isn’t inhibited by price, offers flexibility, and doubles as a conversation starter. This guitar, after all, was inspired by a single question: what if?