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Fender’s New American Standards

Fender American Standard SeriesThere 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:

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and Ocean Blue Metallic:

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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:

American Standard HH 3 Color Sunburst

Black with a rosewood fingerboard:

American Standard HH black

Olympic White with a maple fingerboard:

American Standard HH Olympic White

Ocean Blue Metallic with a maple fingerboard:

American Standard HH Blue

MSRP for these Teles: $1299

Check them out at Fender.

The Edge and Bono join Fender Board

bono-sings-as-the-edge-plays-his-fender-guitar-1Fender 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.

Photo by Kevin Mazur

Photo by Kevin Mazur

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.

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Here he is talking Telecaster:

Gibson’s new Memory Cable

MC-Article_01How many great riffs, chord progressions and solos do you lose a week? It’s not a problem if you’re constantly recording, but for me, that means breaking out the microphones, firing up Garageband and…actually that’s it.  But that process can still be a royal pain. The folks at Gibson feel they’ve come up with a new solution—Memory Cable.

Memory Cable has a built-in digital recorder, designed by Tascam. It records up to 13 hours of audio onto an included 4GB Micro SD card. The audio is uncompressed, CD-quality—44.1 kHz/16 bit fidelity. Files are saved in WAV format, compatible with Mac/Windows/iOS, and Android.

You can set Memory Cable to record continuously, or only when you are playing. If you play something you like, you can tag it afterwards to put it into a separate file.

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The 16 foot cable also works with bass, drum machines, syths, etc., and line-level signals. Plug it in to a PA mixer output to record rehearsals. You can also use it for “re-amping.”

It’s powered by one AA battery, good for approximately 8 hours of recording.  Fortunately, the cable will still work if the battery is dead.

MSRP: $99.

For more information, go to Gibson:

So what do you think? Does it fulfill a need?

Fender Gets Rid of Guild Brand

GlobalLogoFender has announced plans to sell the Guild brand to Cordoba Music Group, a distributor of nylon string guitars and ukeleles  in the United States.

Originally founded in 1952, Guild was purchased by Fender in 1995. During that time, Fender moved production from Rhode Island to Corona, California, then to Tacoma, Washington, finally ending up in New Hartford, Connecticut. On April 23, Fender announced it was shutting down the New Hartford plant.

Sales of Guild guitars will continue as usual during the transition. Cordoba expects to move production to Oxnard, California. “We will continue to make instruments of exceptional quality in the USA, and look forward to giving one of the industry’s great American brands a new home,” said Cordoba President Jonathan Thomas.

The sale was announced by FMIC’s interim CEO and board member Scott Gilbertson.

Many changes have been afoot at Fender in the past month. In April, CEO Larry Thomas announced his retirement, and Bob Roback, who previously worked in digital music and music licensing, was named as Fender Musical Instrument’s new President/CEO.

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