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steve mac

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Anyone been or gone to NAMM this week, would love to know your opinion of the new Fender acoustasonic, looks ideal for a solo except for the price.

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There's a thread about it over in Electric Guitars. The responses have not been kind: https://www.harmonycentral.com/forum/forum/guitar/acapella-41/32459946-is-it-acoustic-is-it-electric-is-it-even-a-telecaster. You might try finding a Schecter C-1 E/A, a semihollow with a piezo pickup. Discontinued AFAIK but they can be found new and used for way less than an Acoustasonic: https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=schecter%20c-1%20piezo.

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The price is ridiculous...and Fender has a fairly weak reputation on acoustics. I remember that Carvin made a hybrid Tele style guitar maybe 20 years ago, piezo undersaddle, interesting at the time. That Fender waited this long after the disastrous Telecoustic/Stratocoustic issue [although my Stratocoustic actually sounds okay through the TC body rez pedal...] to release this hybrid is a tad too little too late, IMHO. Plus they are slamming this home EVERYWHERE, and at that pricepoint, they seem desperate to unload these. Wait a few months, the street price will tank, no matter how awesome they are.

I will go try one soon...once they ctually ship to stores. Testing anything at NAMM is always an auditory challenge...

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I don't know about the Fender but I own a Carvin AC-375 with a Mahogany body and a solid Koa top. It's hands down the best 'couch guitar' you could buy. It plays like butter and sounds quite good. When I'm at home its the first thing I grab. Sounds good and is very comfortable to play for hours sitting in an easy chair or couch. Without being plugged in its about half as loud as a standard dreadnought. The sound is close to the sound of a medium sized cutaway guitar like a Taylor 224CE and the time I bought it, I paid about the same price as the Taylor about $1500. I use a Fishman Aura pedal using that body style in the eq model and it sounds great plugged in. It is a bit less prone to feedback than a standard acoustic But still will feedback as any acoustic will. The sound hole is a bit smaller too so a standard 'plug' for the hole is too big. I had to make one to fit it, for stage use.

 

I played in a band with a guy who had a Telecoustic. It was okay for a couple of songs in a band setting but being front and center in a solo or duo act not really. Though it probably would be a good guitar for 'busing' along with a cheap battery powered amp.

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There's a thread about it over in Electric Guitars. The responses have not been kind:

 

It always cracks me up when that happens, considering the fact that outside of myself and one other person, I don't think anyone else who has posted in that thread has ever seen one in person, much less played or heard it.

 

 

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It always cracks me up when that happens, considering the fact that outside of myself and one other person, I don't think anyone else who has posted in that thread has ever seen one in person, much less played or heard it.

 

 

So what is your opinion of it? Did you play it?

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It always cracks me up when that happens' date=' considering the fact that outside of myself and one other person, I don't think anyone else who has posted in that thread has ever seen one in person, much less played or heard it.[/quote']

From what I can see most folks are conflating it with the original Telecoustic, or griping about the price (which is admittedly considerable), or just snorting because "That's not how we useta make 'em." It's not my cup of espresso in general but I wouldn't begrudge someone else owning one.

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Doesn't Godin make a model like that? Rhythm guitarist in my country band bought a pricey Taylor that looked similar in an effort to be able to et acoustic and electric sounds. He sold it after a few months and went back to just using his Tele.

 

I think an acoustic does better acoustic and an electric better electric. 2k is an expensive compromise.

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From what I can see most folks are conflating it with the original Telecoustic, or griping about the price (which is admittedly considerable), or just snorting because "That's not how we useta make 'em." It's not my cup of espresso in general but I wouldn't begrudge someone else owning one.

 

The price (~$2k) IS considerable - I agree. And I myself (as I think I said in that thread) originally thought of the Telecoustic when I first saw it, but it's in a whole different universe IMO than those - I never liked them, and still think they're cheap junk that sounds horrible. The new guitar actually does a very credible acoustic type sound, even running into a Deluxe Reverb - I think it would probably sound even better into the PA or straight into an acoustic amp, although that wouldn't be ideal for the electric side of what it does...

 

It's not really going to give you a good acoustic sound unplugged. You can hear it well enough to sit and play unplugged while watching TV, but the sound isn't going to be much more satisfying, and only a bit louder than your typical unplugged electric. In fact, I'd estimate that my Casino probably has a similar acoustical output level vs the new Fender when both are played unplugged, although I have not tried them side by side to make a direct comparison.

 

 

 

 

 

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The price (~$2k) IS considerable - I agree. And I myself (as I think I said in that thread) originally thought of the Telecoustic when I first saw it' date=' . . .[/quote']

Another guitar I thought of was the Ibanez Talman acoustic. Years ago the local Borders (which will tell you how long ago it was) had a live combo playing and one of the musicians had a Talman acoustic (the other two guys had an Ovation and a 12-string Washburn). I remember thinking, "Get a real guitar!"

 

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"Talman.jpg","data-attachmentid":32467635}[/ATTACH]

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I am curious why the majority of these type of guitar stick with "pins" and don't use "strings through the bridge". Is it a sound thing?

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I am curious why the majority of these type of guitar stick with "pins" and don't use "strings through the bridge". Is it a sound thing?

I suspect that it's because those guitars are based on existing acoustics and those usually have bridge pins. The Line 6 Variax acoustics I've seen did have pinless bridges for whatever reason but Line 6 has always gone its own way.

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I must be missing something. In their promo video the guitar sounds like some sort of acoustic... but nowhere IMHO does it ever get close to sounding like an electric. Again IMHO, the only reason to have a hybrid like that is if you travel to your gigs on transit as in New York, Toronto or even here in Vancouver. Otherwise, if you're driving, take two guitars and call it a day. I know of a solo artist here that travels with his own bar chair, huge pedal board, monitor and/or PA, and three guitars on a special stand. Before he plays a note, folks are impressed. I reckon most guitarists could handle a Bose L1 Compact or amp, small pedal/cable case and a couple of guitars. It's still less than drummers or keyboardists have to carry.

 

For $1k it might be worth the experiment but for $2k - that's getting close to the price of some very nice acoustics. Spend 50% more and get a D28 or something...

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Hmmmm never mind the D28, the much cheaper Martin DX1AE looks interesting, especially for rough gigs, where you don't want to use a mic or leave an expensive guitar unattended on the bandstand. You could get one of those and a nice Telecaster for the price of the new Acoustasonic. In fact I might just do that. Great thread, really got me pondering.

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Shaster, for me the point of this or any other hybrid guitar, whilst acknowledging their limitations, is not that it's easier to carry than two guitars (although obviously it is), but so that you can change from acoustic to electric sounds within the same song.

Having used a hybrid PRS for the last five years, there is no way I would go back to gigging without it. My acoustics now only getting a weekly outing when I teach guitar class.

 

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I am curious why the majority of these type of guitar stick with "pins" and don't use "strings through the bridge". Is it a sound thing?

 

That's one thing I do miss about Ovations (which I no longer play, but used to...) - the pinless bridges.

 

I don't know how much (if any) change in sound there is with a pin-less vs pinned bridge, but the pin-less variety are certainly easier and faster to re-string, and on "acoustic-inspired" guitars like the ones under discussion here, I think going pin-less makes sense.

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I must be missing something. In their promo video the guitar sounds like some sort of acoustic... but nowhere IMHO does it ever get close to sounding like an electric.

 

IMO, it's not really a very good demo video, and doesn't do a good job showing the guitar's tonal variety / range / versatility. IMHO they're using too much effects and not really showing the basic tones the guitar is capable of very well.

 

It has three pickups - one under-saddle, one for the "top" (for resonance, and so you can do percussive tapping, if that's your thing...) and one that basically looks like a Tele pickup with a solid cover (ala the Lace Sensors, etc.) on it. When using the Tele style pickup by itself, you can get very credible electric tones out of it. I can confirm that much from my relatively short but first-hand / hands-on experience with it.

 

 

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Doesn't Godin make a model like that? Rhythm guitarist in my country band bought a pricey Taylor that looked similar in an effort to be able to et acoustic and electric sounds. He sold it after a few months and went back to just using his Tele.

 

I think an acoustic does better acoustic and an electric better electric. 2k is an expensive compromise.

I thought of this post when I was reading about singer/songwriter Caroline Jones opening for Vince Gill here in St. Louis over the weekend. Here's a pic of her playing what looks like the 12-string version of the Godin:

 

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"C_Jones.jpg","data-attachmentid":32469002}[/ATTACH]

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I have always been impressed with the Tom Anderson Crowdster plus 2 but the price is, for me, prohibitive. Godwin has never been on my radar until recently but from what I have seen very impressed.

I wouldn't be looking if PRS actually spent as much time making their guitars as reliable as they do making them pretty. 😤

Edited by steve mac

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Yes, I would hope that the guitar does a better job of mixing and matching than the video shows. It must be a real disappointment to the engineers and craftsmen that worked on the guitar to see it so poorly represented in the video. I'd take that acoustic pedal (can't remember the maker) over that guitar as shown - and I don't really like acoustic pedals.

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Shaster, for me the point of this or any other hybrid guitar, whilst acknowledging their limitations, is not that it's easier to carry than two guitars (although obviously it is), but so that you can change from acoustic to electric sounds within the same song.

Having used a hybrid PRS for the last five years, there is no way I would go back to gigging without it. My acoustics now only getting a weekly outing when I teach guitar class.

 

Fair enough, although I'm so easily distracted, I find switching in a solo situation tends to make me lose focus. Even when I do the pedal dance I invariably mess something up. I don't have that problem in a band situation, but when it's all me, things go awry on the fly.

 

Unlike me, you must be able to walk and chew gum at the same time!

 

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The price is ridiculous...and Fender has a fairly weak reputation on acoustics.

 

Yes this and the video doesn't do anything to convince me either. I'll stick to my Takamine EF341SC if it's a great plugged in acoustic sound and wound G string that I want. Otherwise I recently did a duo gig with my wife, our first, where I used the Taylor T5 I bought at Gearfest.

 

I really liked the T5 and thought it was just what I needed for the gigs I'd hoped to be doing with my wife, sounds great and plays a lot like an electric but it was causing me a lot of frustration and almost ended up staying at home. I couldn't keep it in tune, especially the G. I replaced the strings with the recommended Elixers but it only got worse. Finally I took the kid gloves off and started treating it like a 0.50 cent whore; I loosened the strings up and put some graphite on the nut grooves then yanked on those strings and stretched them into next week! The thing began to cooperate and it turned out to be the only guitar I used for the gig.

 

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