New heel and C- D Profile neck · Source: http://intl.fender.com/en-GB/guitars/telecaster/american-eilte-telecaster-thinline-maple-fingerboard-mystic-ice-blue/
New Suspension Bridge · Source: http://intl.fender.com/en-GB/guitars/telecaster/american-eilte-telecaster-thinline-maple-fingerboard-mystic-ice-blue/
Locking Tuners · Source: http://intl.fender.com/en-GB/guitars/telecaster/american-eilte-telecaster-thinline-maple-fingerboard-mystic-ice-blue/
Amongst the American Elite range of new Telecasters and Stratocasters for 2016, Fender managed to sneak in their new ‘Suspension’ bridge technology. It’s unique to the Thinline Telecaster model and as yet unheard or played by anyone outside of the NAMM Show.
This new bridge is causing some heated debate online this week and I can see why. It divides opinion, mainly because it is radically different to what we traditionalist guitar players are used to. We like to think we embrace new technology, but let’s admit it: we all like old vintage 1950s designs at heart.
Fender claim the new bridge design will increase sustain significantly and that the new screw-less mount system was designed to supply exactly that. Okay… I’ll bite. I have no idea how this is supposed to increase sustain.
And there’s one more thing… Why are they still using a traditional three-brass-barrel system? It’s a pain to intonate when you are making the compromise of having two strings per saddle. I actually prefer the ‘traditional three barrel Telecaster bridge’, but I’m playing Devil’s Advocate here.
One foot seems stuck in the past and the other is firmly routed on pushing the design forwards. This is what a lot of players are now arguing over and I suspect until we get them in our hands the bickering will continue.
All the other specifications are similar to the rest of the new Elite range of guitars. That includes a new neck profile, new compound radius and heel design. And, as mentioned, the Fender Noiseless Pickups are on the new version 4. The guitar features Fender-branded locking tuners, too. My favourite new feature for me is the spoke wheel truss rod adjuster situated at the base of the neck, as it is just more convenient and easy to access.
So, will the Suspension bridge go down as a classic design or a flawed one? We will just have to wait and see.
RRP GBP £1409 inc hard case