The truth? Hybrid guitars are a tall order. But with the Acoustasonic line – now five models strong – Fender’s new factory dedicated to it is producing instruments boasting excellent workmanship and materials that offer streamlined functionality.
Fender was clever in fusing electric and acoustic elements for the Player Telecaster. Electric guitarists will find creature comforts – low action on a Modern C neck, 22 reachable frets, and 25.5″ Tele scale. Acoustic features are led by a solid Sitka-spruce top set into a lightweight body. The natural resonance between the body and bolt-on mahogany neck is apparent at every point on the guitar. Thoughtful ergonomics like a forearm contour and rounded heel edge conform to the player.
The Acoustasonic’s magic lies in the electronics package designed by Fender and Fishman – an N4 bridge pickup and an under-saddle piezo powered by 9-volt battery with a three-way pickup selector, Blend knob, and Master Volume. To give each pickup a fair shake, use a switcher to run the N4 through a traditional guitar amp and the piezo through an acoustic amp or direct to a PA. The N4 won’t give you true Tele bite, but it’s a convincing solidbody tone for crunchy rhythms or low-key leads. The APT shines brightest in delivering a legit acoustic tone – full and sparkly through an amplified system without feedback or piezo quack. And though the unplugged tone is nasal, don’t underrate the value of a smaller acoustic you can play unplugged at low volume.
For onstage convenience, demos, or transitioning from electric to acoustic for the first time, challenge your assumptions and see what the APT delivers. It’s supremely comfortable, and the amplified acoustic tones rival or beat those available from instruments selling for two and three times the price.
This article originally appeared in VG’s March 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.