Was the Acoustasonic a flop?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Frankentwang, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. mugen74

    mugen74 TDPRI Member

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    As far as my experience has been anything that has the words Fender and acoustic together has been a flop. Their regular acoustics are horrible instruments that sound worse than toys. I can’t see how this thing is worth $2000, but I guess someone must be buying it.

    jh
     
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  2. Mike M

    Mike M TDPRI Member

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    I just got one yesterday.

    Was interested when they first came out, and badly wanted to try one. It happened to arrive in my local guitar store when I stopped in, was there when they unboxed it, and I started fooling around with it.

    It does a lot, and I wanted to spend more time with it, so I impulsively purchased it, knowing I can return in a couple of weeks if not satisfied.

    One caveat, the price at 2k is excessive, but due to a variety of factors and the relationship I have with them, they sold it to me for $1500.

    It's the sunburst version, and I think it's beautiful, but then again I'm attracted to anything tele shaped. :)

    I understand the criticism above (neither fish nor fowl) but I'm going to put it through its paces, and update in a week or so
     
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  3. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Meister

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    I dunno, this one sounds pretty ok. :twisted:

     
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  4. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    Sorry; I meant more that it's "unique in Fender's lineup". Plus all the Fishman Fluence electronics on-board are a new technology for this type of instrument - makes it a different implementation than what Taylor has been doing for 15 or so years now with the T5 or the other hybrids that have been around.
     
  5. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep, thanks for the clarification.
     
  6. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    upload_2019-12-21_16-4-5.jpeg

    I like this a lot better. But I still never closed on one - never saw one at a low enough price. The new one? If I found one in my stash, I'd trade it away the next day.
     
  7. davenumber2

    davenumber2 Friend of Leo's

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    The fact that they made it look like the cheapo Telecoustic isn’t doing it any favors. IMO it solves a problem that isn’t really a problem. Is it that big a deal to switch back and forth between acoustic and electric? People have done it forever.
     
  8. mugen74

    mugen74 TDPRI Member

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    That was another time. None of their acoustics I’ve picked up in the last twenty years were worth killing a tree for.

    jh
     
  9. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Meister

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    I would like to have one but not for that price.
     
  10. Corvus

    Corvus Tele-Meister

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    I'm afraid I'm just allergic to fancy electronics in a guitar. To me a guitar is the tool - the producer and all that electronic stuff would be best in a pedal. Trouble with all the electronics is that it's so soon out of date these days and probably unrepairable. I remember the RD Moog electronics in 80's Gibsons - who can repair those? Yes it's a brave attempt but it's fussy and needs batteries - my tele doesn't!
     
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  11. davenumber2

    davenumber2 Friend of Leo's

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    I feel like this represents most tele users, hence choosing a tele, one of the most bare bones guitars out there. A back to basics approach. I find simplicity is usually best.
     
  12. Patton

    Patton TDPRI Member Gold Supporter

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    I had the cheap Stratacoustic for a short period of time, never got over the toy like feel. Sound wasn’t too good plugged in either. I had a 90’s Korean made Ovation that blew it away plugged into an acoustic amp.

    I’ve had a Godin A6 for a few years now and love it! Should have bought an A12 before the price hike.

    The Acousasonic does look weird, and I don’t have that kind of $ to spend on one, but if it sounded twice as good as my A6 I’d get over it’s looks pretty quickly.
     
  13. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    The printed top is a manipulative attempt to introduce what will, I expect, become a common industry practice, and I think it makes the whole guitar look plastic, in contrast to the acoustic tone they're trying to sell. I don't find the overall design ugly, but neither do I find it attractive in any impactful way. It's neither tasteful nor creative -- not traditional enough to impress in that way, not distinctive enough to look new. The massive circuitry makes it come off like an effect rather than a guitar, given the character of a true Tele and any genuine acoustic guitar, that's another thing entirely. I find it intriguing, even promising, but definitely not appealing or convincing. I certainly wouldn't dump 2K on it -- be serious -- but would be interested in either a used one for way less, or the inevitable second, improved version of the first issue when that comes out. Reading all the self-congratulatory interviews with those involved is a turnoff to me as well. Julian Lage plays a Tele and a 000. If he doesn't need this, I sure as heck don't.
     
  14. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Tele-Meister

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    I'd rather have something like a Godin with a piezo. I appreciate them trying out ideas (especially since acoustic sales are way up, while electric sales are down (and recently just flat). But yeah, this seems like an expensive way to never sound particularly good.
     
  15. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    I would say that is likely true for proprietary electronics which is what this thing has.
     
  16. Amon

    Amon Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Assuming this is about the new ("american") acoustasonic,
    my GF got one, regular wood series.

    Having more experience with acoustics than electrics, I've touched a bunch of folks and classics in the last 15 years, and having enough data in my brain to compare, I have to say it sounds really good.

    If we put the price tag on the side long enough to discuss the guitar itself, and without trying to justify the price by calling it 5 guitars in 1,
    it's really a nice instrument.
    I'm not sure I agree with how Fender chose the soundscape presets, but they all sound really nice as well as really different. You can definitely trick people not watching, into believing they're hearing a bunch of different shapes/woods guitars.

    unplugged, it sounds very good and surprisingly loud.

    The tele neck pickup does sound decently telecaster-ish, although I know that if I bought one for myself, I'd put electric strings on it.
    The "gain" preset for the neck pick-up could use some more gain, but it makes it sound like a P-90 instead of a regular neck single coil, and as such is interesting enough.
    The clean preset sounds like a noiseless gen PU, which seems to be getting both love and hate.



    the only negative point I have about the guitar (still not discussing price) is that one of the acoustic PU presets is supposed to make the body sound louder, which is aimed at people who do percussive stuff on the guitar. Personally, I think that preset sucks. It's not good enough (not loud nor good-sounding enough) to really do nice percussion. It does enhance the guitar sound itself, but percussive players probably won't be satisfied.

    The weight and finish are both great, the gig bag looks like something ferrari might have designed, and is by far the best bag I've seen so far. It retails at 150 bucks give or take.

    The reason why the guitar is expensive, is because every piece is handpicked to make sure no unit will be bad and screw up the reputation.

    their mistake, imho, was to release it with very little promotional material on youtube.
    Let me explain: both the GF and myself saw the early vids, as well as couple japanese uber famous players demoing them at guitar shows.
    The problem was that unless you're someone who had been waiting for something like the acoustasonic, it was kind of too exotic and pricey to really get attention.

    I came back to it a later this year after Fender suddenly uploaded a ton of demoing, by a wide range of american artists, each with their own particular play style, some including loop machines and you name it.
    Most of those artists are also composers, and as such the creative potential of the acoustasonic made them dive into the realms of possibilities.

    After watching Fender's updated playlist, I completely changed my mind about the guitar.

    Note: in the meantime, I had one opportunity to actually play the guitar downtown Tokyo. The staff (of the Fender High-End Only floor) was absolutely not prepared or schooled to properly introduce the guitar, and because of that, it only looked like an expensive novelty. After all, 2000+ bucks will give you a very nice Tele, or get you near the "next level".

    As such, the guitar needs to be properly explained and showcased, and not just tuned up and described as an electro-acoustic with 10 positions.

    After watching a bunch of creatives demo the guitar in their own ways, it hit me that the potential even without any effector or looper is actually really really vast.

    If you check out the behind the scenes Fender workshop tour video,
    it becomes obvious that the acoustasonic is expensive mostly because of how much attention is spent on it. I believe you pay for american staff involvement rather than component quality.

    Personally, I consider the model like an entry level Custom shop item, which reconciles the price. Take a look at the exotic wood series, and you're fully within Custom Shop price range.

    Now again personally, I don't like folk guitars. I don't like folk strings either. If I went electro-acoustic, I'd go for classic or flamenco strings.
    But, after fooling around with the girlfriend's black model for a while, I have to admit it sounds really really good. Can I get better acoustic sounds from an acoustic guitar?
    Of course. But that is Sooo not the point.

    It's a fun guitar. Which can also hold its own as a telecaster.

    Something interesting is that I'm guessing that in the future you will be able to download and change the soundscape presets through a computer. The guitar is equipped for that, we just need an interface to access the soundboard.

    On a side note, we went to a rental studio, and the acoustasonic smoked my MIJ Fender Thinline Special (SSH) the whole session. I could NOT manage to cut through, against any preset on the acoustasonic. We swapped amps, same thing.
    The Thinline is loaded with Texas Specials and a draggster HB.
    The acoustasonic just didn't allow my tele to chime through. Not sure whether that's a good thing or not, but it was definitely impressive.

    If the exotic wood models didn't cost north of 3500 USD, I could probably admit I'm interested. Fortunately for me, the guitar unplugged is too loud for where I currently live, so playing after 8pm is a no-no.
    I also don't like how entry level models look, so all of that combined makes me not want to invest the money right now.
    If I saw an exotic woods around 2500 bucks though, I'd probably jump on it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2019
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  17. Kelleycaster

    Kelleycaster TDPRI Member

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    I played one at Guitar Center a few months ago. As an electric guitar, I was not impressed, but as a plugged-in acoustic it actually sounded way better that most actual acoustic guitar pickups I have heard and played. Seemed like an overpriced but cool alternative to a real acoustic for someone playing live who enjoys the size of an electric.
     
  18. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I guess a flop.

    Would like to play one some day tho
     
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  19. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Friend of Leo's

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    I’ll pick one up in a few more years when they’re affordable enough for me to justify it.
     
  20. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Holic

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    I like Amon’s perspective above. The Acousticaster has its own vibe and people should keep that in mind if they plan to try one. I would probably use it as a rhythm guitar for gigging, playing mostly acoustic but with the option to kick in the magnetic pickup for leads. A band that I play in (where we have a female singer) does “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac. The Acousticaster would be great for that song. I could then at the flick of a switch do “Landslide”. :)

    What Fender should consider doing is developing a simplified version with fewer acoustic emulation settings and lowering the price point to $1000. That probably won’t happen until sales of the current model start to decline. Meanwhile, I’ll keep my eye peeled to see if a bargain shows up on the used market...
     
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