Fender cranked out many new guitar models for 2015, but when it comes to guitar amps, they weren’t so prolific. Rather than introduce new ones, they’ve chosen to update two solid performers from the stable. So if you’re jonesing for more tones, check these out:
First is the Hot Rod DeVille ML 212:
The “ML” stands for Michael Landau, a solo artist, world-class sideman, session master and “players’ player.” Landau has used a two-amp Hot Rod DeVille-and-stomp-box setup on stage for years; the ML model is based on the Fender Hot Rod DeVille III, with tube circuitry and 60-watt output, two 12” speakers, spring reverb and an effects loop. The ML incorporates volume-switching and boost capabilities, with three channels (normal, drive, more drive). It features 3 x 12AX7 tubes, 2 x 6L6 power tubes, and a solid state rectifier.
Check out this video to see what the ML is capable of:
The Hot Rod DeVille ML 212 will be available in mid-March with an MSRP is $1,099.99.
The second update is the Blues Jr. LTD, with a lacquered tweed covering and a vintage-voiced 12″ Jensen speaker. Its tones are generated by an all-tube signal path using a pair of EL84 output tubes and 3 – 12AX7 preamp tubes, pumping out 15 watts. The LTD also features reverb, flexible controls, and a FAT switch for mid boost.
MSRP: $579.99 Available Late March
So there you have it: a couple of new amps to ponder. For more information on these amps, head to Fender.
By the looks of their new lineup, it’s a safe bet the Fender Custom Shop team put in some serious overtime getting ready for 2015 NAMM. There are many models to consider; study them wisely because it’s hard to justify more than one $5000 guitar a year, right?
First out of the gate is the 2015 American Custom Telecaster. It takes a double-bound early-’60s classic and “decks it out” with hand-wired Twisted Tele single-coil pickups, along the Greasebucket tone circuit, which rolls off highs without reducing gain.
Plus an AAA flame maple neck with a “large C” profile, maple or dark rosewood “slab” fingerboard, bone nut, 22 narrow jumbo frets, three way pickup switch, and Elite chrome tuners. Available NOS finishes include Two-Color Sunburst:
Faded Lake Placid Blue
The 2015 American Custom Telecaster FM has the same configuration, rosewood or maple fingerboard, but comes in NOS Violin burst:
And NOS Honey Burst
The 2015 Postmodern Journeyman Telecaster is a contemporary take on the classic Tele. It features a lightweight ash body with a contoured heel, a quartersawn maple neck with a ’60s “C” profile, a fast compound-radius (9.5”-12”) “round-laminated” maple or rosewood fingerboard, dual Twisted Tele pickups, the Greasebucket, a Custom Shop RSD bridge, American Vintage tuning machines, Schaller strap locks and Fender “F” logo engraved neck plate.
It’s available in either NOS or relic finishes in black:
Aged White Blonde:
The 1960 Relic Telecaster Custom has an alder body, three-color chocolate sunburst relic finish with dark plum sides, along with top and back binding. Pickups are Twisted Teles; the quartersawn maple neck has an early-’60s “oval C” profile. Plus a three-way pickup switch, three-ply mint green pickguard, American Vintage Telecaster bridge with threaded saddles, and American Vintage tuning machines.
The 1952 Heavy Relic Telecaster is an “authentic evocation of Fender’s first workhorse guitar,” along with some upgraded features, like Nocaster pickups with three-way switching, the Greasebucket, a maple neck with a Nocaster “U” profile, single-ply parchment pick guard, ’52 Telecaster bridge with brass saddles, and American Vintage tuning machines.
Available in Black, Blonde, and two-color sunburst:
The 1963 Relic Telecaster features dual American Vintage Telecaster pickups with three-way switching, the Greasebucket, a quartersawn maple neck with a mid-’60s “oval C” profile, 9.5”-radius “round-laminated” rosewood fingerboard with 21 narrow jumbo frets, three-ply mint green pickguard, American Vintage Telecaster bridge with threaded saddles, and American Vintage tuning machines.
Available in Olympic White, Blue Ice Metallic, and three-color sunburst:
The Limited Edition Caballo Tono (“tone horse”) gets its horsepower from a TV Jones Classic in the neck, and a hand-wound Texas Tele pickup in the bridge, along with the Greasebucket circuit.
Other features: quarter sawn AAA flame maple neck with a highly-worn heavy Relic treatment, 9.5”-radius maple fingerboard with 21 narrow jumbo frets, distinctive Cabronita pickguard and reverse control plate (pickup switch placed behind control knobs), Custom Shop RSD bridge, Sperzel tuning machines with pearl buttons, and Schaller strap locks.
Check it out here:
Last but not least is the Limited Edition 1955 Relic Esquire with Tele conversion kit. It features a hand-wound ’55 Telecaster single-coil bridge pickup with staggered/beveled pole pieces; if one pickup ain’t enough, the included conversion kit contains a ’55 Telecaster single-coil neck pickup, pickguard and control assembly .
Other features: a quartersawn maple neck with “soft V” profile and highly-worn Heavy Relic treatment on the back, a ’55 Telecaster bridge with ¼” steel saddles, American Vintage tuning machines and a Custom Shop Limited Edition neck plate. It’s available in two-color sunburst or Dirty White Blonde:
Phew. What a list of guitars. Take you’re pick: they’re all going to be awesome. For more, head to the Fender Custom Shop.
There will always be a certain allure to pre-CBS Fenders, but post-CBS models have their own cachet, as well. When Fender employees took over the company in late 1984, they started working on a new series of guitars. Released in 1986, these “American Standards” became an instant success. Every few years the series has seen changes and updates keeping them relevant for current players. Now, Fender has done it again and expanded the series with two upgraded Teles.
The American Standard Telecaster has a new body contour made for comfort. The neck gets a Custom Shop Twisted Tele pickup; a Broadcaster pickup is in the bridge. It’s also available in two new colors – Bordeaux Metallic:
and Ocean Blue Metallic:
The American Standard Telecaster HH boasts two Twin Head Vintage humbucking pickups with three-way switching. The neck has a modern “C” profile, 9.5” fingerboard radius and 22 medium jumbo fret. The string-through-body bridge has a stamped brass plate.
Available in 3-Color Sunburst with a rosewood fingerboard:
Black with a rosewood fingerboard:
Olympic White with a maple fingerboard:
Ocean Blue Metallic with a maple fingerboard:
MSRP for these Teles: $1299
Check them out at Fender.
Fender Music Corp announced that U2’s the Edge and Bono have joined the company’s board of directors. “By adding The Edge and Bono to the board of Fender, we are taking an important step toward building a company that is able to meet its potential as a business and a brand,” said Bill McGlashan, Fender co-chairman.
Bono added, “Wherever you go in the world Fender is a standard bearer, not just for excellence in technology and craft, but for the influence of American culture. This made-in-USA company has at its heart innovation…the iconoclasm of Jimi Hendrix, the subtle sweet murmurings of Bill Frisell, as well as the most roadworthy loudspeaker on earth. When a festival-goer wears a Fender t-shirt, they are saying a lot about themselves. They love music; they’re independent-spirited, they’re proud of this truly American company, a nexus of technology and culture which, in the end, can’t be copied no matter how hard the giants try. I’m excited to be part of developing newer technologies with Fender, as well as helping protect the jobs and commitment to excellence of their age-old craft.”
It’s not the first time U2 has interacted with Fender. In 2002, U2 bassist Adam Clayton collaborated with the company to build a Custom Shop Limited Edition Signature Precision Bass guitar.
In an interview with the New York Times, the Edge said he will still use equipment made by other companies, “but I’m most interested in working with the Fender design team on some new ideas.”
Edge has been seen playing a bevy of Teles in concert, including a ’66 blonde, a ’66 Pelham Blue, a ’69 blonde, a ’69 blue, a ’74 black, a ’75 blonde, a ’75 Custom walnut, a ’94 50th Anniversary Custom in Alpine White, an American Vintage ’52 reissue in Tobacco Burst, and this beauty from the Custom Shop.
Here he is talking Telecaster: