New Year. New Fender.
While their top end line ups didn’t see many new additions, there were lots of improvements to existing models that players have been yearning for.
75th Anniversary Collection
The new addition this year is the 75th Anniversary Collection, special editions of the classic designs that put the company on the map. These classy and downright gorgeous guitars come in two variants, Diamond and Commemorative. Each has a different finish and set up pickups. The Diamond’s have a silver/grey metallic gloss on the body and headstock. They all have a satin finish, Modern C maple neck/fretboard and 60’s or 50’s Vintera Pickups to give that proper classic tone. The whole colour scheme of white, chrome, black and silver is a sleek vibe; something eye catching but nothing that would out of place on a rack with vintage gear.
On the other hand, the Commemorative Series is flat out gorgeous. They exude ‘high-end class’ with all gold hardware, 2-Tone Bourbon Burst and mint green pickguard. This series has more variety in the pickup choices; the Strat sports Custom Shop Fat ‘60’s Single Coils, Custom Shop Twisted Tele Single Coils (gold pickup cover for neck pickup as well!), the P-Bass gets a Custom Shop ’62 Split Single and the Jazz Bass dons two Custom Shop ‘60’s Single Coil Jazz pickups. Each has a unique neck as well. The Tele and Strat share a ‘Deep C’ profile, while the P-Bass glides with a ‘1963 C’ and the Jazz has a ‘Slim C’ and a Rosewood fret board.
These aren’t the only new models out of Fender though. The Ultra Series has received a complete overhaul, earning ‘Luxe’ as part of their title. Fender have combed through critique of the Ultra’s to see what players wanted most out of their guitars and brought those suggestions into reality. Apart from the wicked new finish options, there’s simple upgrades like stainless steel frets, improved contours and an ‘Augmented D’ neck – a refined, more bodied ‘Modern D’ neck according to Fender.
The big changes come in the form of the Floyd Rose Strat and Tele. Each has a not-quite-stock setup; the Strat has a Noiseless HSS with Ultra Double Tap Humbucker and the Tele gets two Wide Range Custom Double Tap Humbuckers. Fender aren’t normally ones to build user feedback directly into their builds, but we’re so glad they did here. While the upgrades are minor, this series is well deserving of the Ultra name and are fit for any professional musician and the absolute rigors their instruments go through.