NAMM 2018 - Fender

This is the place to be for all of the latest developments and product launches from Fender at the 2018 NAMM Shows!

With the otherworldly Parallel Universe lineup, the stylish 60th Anniversary Jazzmasters and more, get the full lowdown on Fender's expanded catalogue.

NAMM 2018 Andertons
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Written by

Jed Van Wyngaardt

Fender unveiled a lot over the Winter NAMM Show, and during the rest of 2018 they have continued to release amazing new products and lines to push the Fender spirit forward!

Due to the sheer amount of new gear they've brought out, we've helped you by breaking down some of the core product series from their main ranges. If you want to check out any of the other main releases from Fender in 2018, click the buttons below:

The Jazzmaster was initially introduced at the NAMM show in 1958, hence the need to release an anniversary model as a tribute to this fantastic instrument.

Though the Jazzmaster was intended to a clean sounding instrument offering jazzy tones, it managed to find its way into the hands of players like J Mascis who completely broke the rulebook and turned this instrument into an icon for experimentation. Jazz players aplenty still use these guitars however more experimental players who like to cut through the mix or use tones of fuzz and gain have found their voice with the Jazzmaster

Paying tribute to 60 years of the Jazzmaster, Fender bring us these Fender 60th Anniversary Jazzmasters.

Eric Johnson is famed for being an incredibly fussy guitarist and having one of the best ears around when it comes to choosing gear which is why we know that the Eric Johnson Signature Thinline Strat is going to be such a hit!

Firstly, it’s the first Strat to feature a full-blown F-Hole and when it was recently featured on one of his music videos, he almost broke the internet with the guitar community going crazy over this stunning new guitar.

It’s got a “57 Soft V shape Maple neck, vintage tuners and his specially voiced Eric Johnson singlecoils which are fat and clear sounding. These powerful pickups are a large part of his tone. The F-Hole now provides an airiness that’s not really been heard from a Strat before. The intention was to create a cross between a hollowbody and a Strat.

The body is made from semi-hollow Alder so it still retains that classic Fender tone but with a slightly different edge.

The Fender American Special guitars have always been a great way for players to get their hands on an American-Made instrument without breaking the bank. For the NAMM 2018 show, Fender have released 3 of their most popular models in limited edition colours.

All 3 of these models have got the greasebucket mod on the tone circuit which rolls off the top-end without adding in unwanted low-end.

The Parallel Universe FSR Fenders do exactly what they say on the tin. They look, play, sound and feel like they’ve been made in a parallel universe where the Fender guitars are close to what we have now, but with a few mixed specifications.

One only has to look at the Jazz Tele (Jazzmaster and Telecaster mashup) or the Jaguar Strat to understand where these guitars got their names from. If you’re already in love with Fender guitars (and who isn’t?) then you’ll love these new and interesting takes on classic instruments.

Some highlights are:

The Jazz Tele – A Tele body with Jazzmaster pickups, trem and knobs for an interesting take on the offset sound with a standard T-Shaped body.

The Limited Edition Meteora – A brand new body shape that looks ready to take the offset world by storm with Custom Shop Tele pickups that kick out a serious amount of dirt.

The Jaguar Strat – It’s a Jaguar with a Strat scale length and Jaguar specs. What’s not to like? This guitar would be at home in any Brit-inspired Mod band.

Tele PJ Bass – This bass has some thunderous tones with the PJ Bass pickup configuration and the classic Tele colouring and blackguard aesthetics.

These Parallel Universe guitars look absolutely amazing and they’re highly limited and collectable. And did I mention that they’re all made in America too. So you’re getting an authentic American instrument with a twist.

To Capture the vibe of California, have launched and re-issued some firm favourites to their entry-line of acoustics with the California Series.

These guitars are available in a wide array of cool finishes including:

  • Candy Apple Red
  • Arctic Gold
  • Aqua Splash
  • Jetty Black

You can choose between a number of different body shapes like the parlour Malibu, dreadnought shaped Redondo and Auditorium shaped Newporter. These smaller bodies are easier to play for smaller guitarists making them the perfect tool to learn on but don’t be fooled by their size. These full-size instruments still provide plenty of volume and great acoustic tones.

The Fender Paramount series have been a hit for Fender since their inception and for NAMM 2018 Fender have announced a few stunning limited edition models.

There are 2 Auditorium shaped acoustics with solid Mahogany back and sides and a bright-sounding Solid Spruce top. These guitars have got narrow hips and an oversized lower bout to give them a sweet, clear top-end with a well-defined bass response.

An all-mahogany parlour PM-2E has also been announced for folky, singer-songwriter acoustic vibes. This guitar has a warm tonal response and plenty of punch thanks to the narrow body. Not to mention it looks great in the Cognac Burst Finish.

The Fender Alternative acoustics are the perfect entry-level guitar for players who want something a little bit different to your standard starter kit. These are available in a number of cool shapes and finishes - like the Flame Maple Top on the FA-235E in 3-Tone Sunburst!

These guitars are typically smaller bodied which makes them quite easy to learn on and the range includes a ¾ sized nylon string and steel string. These guitars are great for players under the age of 13 wanting to learn. The FA-345CE is the king of the Alternative Range with a wide bout to give it a well-defined (and powerful) low-end response.

The Fender Hot Rod amps have been the best-selling pro and gigging amps for a long time now. The Hot Rod IV range sees some fan-requested upgrades with a general overhaul to make these amps even better than they were. And that’s really saying something when these amps have graced stages all around the world.

The famous Blues Junior and Hot Rod Deluxe are both amongst the new amps to see upgrades. How do you make a fantastic amp even better? Well, Fender have done it.

What’s New?

  • All Hot Rod amps have now had circuit tweaks for improved dynamics and better tone.
  • Notably the Hot Rod Deluxe has a much improved drive channel.
  • The Blues Junior, Hot Rod and Deville have had their reverb re-designed to give you a smoother, richer Reverb sound no matter how loud you have the Reverb turned up.
  • New Speakers for the Deluxe, Blues Junior & Deville. The Celestion A-type speaker has a well-rounded response with smooth highs, laid-back midrange and fat lows. This is one of the major upgrades that Fender users have been crying out for.
  • All amps have had subtle – but stunning – cosmetic upgrades so that they look more ‘Fender’ than ever.
  • The Pro Junior is now only available in a classic lacquered tweed.
  • Fender 2018 Amps on Andertons T.V.

    Fender have upped their digital bass amp offering with 2 new Rumble Amplifiers; the Rumble 800 and Rumble 40. These amps build on the massive success of the Mustang GT amp range which was the first time we saw WiFi enabled guitar amps on the market. The Rumbles have got incredible processing power meaning that they’re packed chock-full of useful features that gigging and bedroom players alike would both use.

    From smooth warm bass tones to guttural punch and snarling overdrive, you can easily dial in those sounds with the two new Rumble amps. They are modelling amps meaning you can get loads of other famous bass amp tones in one box. Both also have a USB output for direct recording into your computer or laptop.

    Rumble 800 – The Rumble 800 has a stunning 800w of power and 2x 10” speakers for a precise, but punchy sound. The cabinet has enough space to give your low-end precision without becoming woofy. It’s got stereo DI outputs so that you can get your effects in stereo when you’re recording or plugging directly into the PA system. It’s super-powerful and incredibly light making this a serious contender for ‘Best gigging bass amp’ of 2018.

    Rumble 40 – The Rumble 40 is the all-in-one practice amp solution. It’s got a single 10” speaker and 40w of power meaning it won’t be overwhelming when used at home. With plenty of effects and sounds on-board you’ll be able to adjust and tweak your bass tone until your hearts content and still be able to practice without sacrificing good tone.

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