With the Summer NAMM show comes a slew of new and updated Fender Signature models for 2018, including new and updated models for Flea, Albert Hammond Jr, Johnny Marr and Jimi Hendrix.
Albert Hammond Jr Stratocaster
The new Albert Hammond Jr Stratocaster is based around a ’70s-style Strat, with a large headstock, three-bolt micro-tilt neck and the bold ‘70s-era logo. What makes this particular model a bit more interesting is its switching system, with positions one and three being reversed from the usual layout, and position four activating the neck and bridge pickups in tandem. Now that is going to mess with your head for a while!
It is a nice looking guitar and if you like that ’70s styling then it should be one to contemplate, but you may find the switching awkward at first. They are built in Mexico and so come in at under a grand, which is always nice for a signature model guitar.
RRP – GBP 839 due October
Johnny Marr Jaguar
Living legend Mr Marr has already got a rather lovely signature Jaguar in production with Fender since 2012 and so for 2018, they have added a rather tasty looking Lake Placid Blue finish, which is in keeping with it’s ’60s styling.
Tweaked to perfection?
These are cracking guitars, and I have played a few of them over the last few years and never been disappointed with them, as Johnny has ironed out all the old Jaguar quirks, so you get a great set of BareKnuckle pickups wound to his spec, a useful four-position blade switching system and updated switch hardware compared to a regular Jaguar, plus a decent bridge.
I really don’t need another guitar myself, but I would buy one of these as Lake Placid Blue is one of my favourite Fender colours. I would have preferred to see this one come in at under the £1800 mark, but it does feature some great tweaks that make it worth being on your radar, in my opinion.
RRP – GBP 2069 inc hard case
Flea Jazz Bass Active
Mr Funkalicious gets a new signature Jazz Bass with active pickups for 2018, and a new satin finish. This body shape has been custom-shaped somewhat and it now has a matching satin finished headstock.
An onboard Aguilar OBP-1 18-volt preamp gives the Red Hot Chili Pepper treatment to the Fender humbucking pickup, so expect clean popping notes with plenty of clarity and drive.
RRP – GBP 1599 due October
Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster
This is yet another Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster variation on the Strat! No colour details or images are available yet, but expect the usual milking of the sacrificial cow with this one. Okay, I get it. But please, Fender, stop releasing any old Strat with a reversed bridge pickup, and/or headstock and slapping Hendrix on it.
Rant over. You know what to expect. We hear it will come in either a three-colour Sunburst and UltraViolet Pantone’s “Colour of the Year” for 2018. At least it will be loaded with a set of American Vintage ‘65 single-coil pickups, which are decent and should sound pretty sweet.
UPDATE – Pic below grabbed from video
RRP – GBP 799
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