Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and Fender are celebrating their 10 years long collaborative partnership with the new Anniversary Hellcat signature acoustic model. The guitar looks like a great songwriting tool and comes in at fabulous price point. Let’s take a closer look at what’s on offer here.
Fender Tim Armstrong Anniversary Hellcat
Fender has reproduced Tim Armstrong’s original 1960s acoustic, and I have to say, this Anniversary Hellcat model looks ace. I love that it maintains the original design, but adds a few modern enhancements such as the Fishman Preamp with built-in tuner, Graph Tech NuBone nut, and a set of Tim’s signature “Hellcat and double skulls” inlays.
The body is made of a solid spruce top with mahogany back and sides, and paired with a maple neck with a walnut fretboard. The guitar has a scalloped bracing construction, which is a lot thinner than conventional bracing. This means there is less wood inside the guitar, reducing the overall soundboard mass by quite a bit, thus allowing it to hopefully have a more resonant and responsive tone.
It comes in a gloss black finish with gold hardware, which, when paired with those hellcat/double skull inlays, looks unique. It’s an acoustic with subtle hints of punk rock, if there can be such a thing?
Other appointments include a gold pickguard, signature truss-rod cover, and a neat set of vintage-style, aged white plastic tuner buttons, which look period correct.
Small but perfectly formed
The guitar has a has a 25.3″ scale length and an 11.81″ fretboard radius, which in theory, adds up to a pretty comfortable playing experience. The vintage style frets should be great for chords, which is exactly what you want from an acoustic like this one. It all lends itself to being a great little songwriter, and I could easily imagine myself bashing out new riffs on this acoustic.
I will have to go check them out when they hit stores, as I really like the looks and specifications. It has a similar vibe to the recent PRS Tonare Parlor models, which come in at around the same price point, but with more attitude. I think Fender could be onto a winner with this little acoustic, as on paper it all adds up quite nicely. Check out the demos below, and you’ll see what I mean when I say it sounds perfect for cracking out new songs.
I’m presuming there will be a left-handed version of this as well, although there is no mention of it on the Fender website. But Tim is a southpaw player, so I’d expect there to be one. I know the standard version definitely comes in a left-handed version, so it would makes sense that this signature version does as well.
RRP – USD 449 / GBP 429