When Fender announced the release of the Acoustasonic series over a decade ago, it was met with skepticism. After all, could you really make a single guitar an all-in-one solution for acoustic and electric needs? Judging by the sales of Acoustasonic guitars, yes you can.
The Fender Acoustasonic Series has been a resounding success for years now. These hybrid guitars appeal to musicians that want to blend acoustic and electric sounds into one instrument while retaining a classic Fender feel on the neck.
Although the American-made Stratocaster Acoustasonic, Telecaster Acoustasonic, and Jazz Master Acoustasonic have proven popular, there was a demand for a more affordable Mexican-made Acoustasonic. Enter the Fender Acoustasonic Player Telecaster. As the name implies, this guitar combines the look of a Telecaster with the concept of the Acoustasonic: hollow body guitars that aim at bridging the gap between electric and acoustic guitars.
Naturally, the main reason for releasing a Mexican-made Acoustasonic model was to cut back on the costs. And that they did. With a price tag that is a bit over half of its American-made sibling, the Fender Acoustasonic Player Telecaster costs 800 dollars less.
Who is This For?
The Fender Acoustasonic Player Telecaster is for the musician that wants the playability and sound of an electric as well as the fullness and warmth of an acoustic guitar, at an affordable price.
This guitar is for gigging musicians that need an acoustic and an electric guitar sound from one single instrument and want to get as close to the real deal as possible. Also, the Fender Acoustasonic Player Telecaster will also appeal to songwriters looking for all the versatility and inspiration they can get from one guitar. If you’re not looking for a straight up Fender Telecaster, and none of the sea of Tele copies is calling your name, the Acoustasonic is a great option.
Appearance / Features / Controls
The Fender Acoustasonic Player Telecaster reviewed here is a Butterscotch Blonde with Rosewood fingerboard.
This guitar comes in three other colors: Shadow Burst, Brushed Black and Arctic White. All four models feature a rosewood fingerboard, the same construction, materials, and features, and cost exactly the same.
This Mexican-made Acoustasonic Telecaster features a mahogany body with a Sitka spruce top and satin polyester body finish. All and all, a nice-looking instrument that felt good in our hands as soon as we picked it up for an initial inspection.
It is interesting to note that Fender created a separate facility in Mexico to make this guitar. Although not identical, the craftmanship on the Fender Acoustasonic Player Telecaster is close to what you get at the American factory, but for a much lower cost.
When inspecting the guitar, we quickly noticed that Fender made it a point to include the feel and playability of their famous electric models on this Acoustasonic.
The neck features a Modern Deep C Plus profile with a 12-inch radius and 22 narrow-tall frets and the familiar Fender 25.5-inch scale length. In other words, you get proven playability features on this instrument.
However, most of the appeal of this guitar comes from its electronic system, hollowed body, and the variety of sounds provided.
The Acoustasonic Player Telecaster features a Fender/Fishman-designed electronic system with an N4 magnetic bridge pickup and an under-saddle piezo pickup. In short, you get a combination of the electric way of capturing sound via a magnetic pickup, and the acoustic guitar sound provided by the piezo located under the saddle.
In true Telecaster fashion, this is completed by the 3-way toggle pickup switch and one master volume knob. Each of the three positions offers two sounds that you control via a blend knob.
All of this is powered by a single 9V battery located in a compartment on the back. You get up to 22 hours of use per battery, which should be more than enough for an entire weekend of gigging.
Performance / Sound
We plugged the Acoustasonic Player Telecaster straight into a Roland JC-120. To start off, we put the switch on position one (closer to the bridge), to try out the sounds named “clean Telecaster” and “fat Telecaster”.
We played a few bluesy licks on it with a relatively convincing clean Tele tone. Truth be told, an actual clean Telecaster sound (from an actual electric Tele) has more bite and swagger than what we got from the Acoustasonic.
Once we turned the blend knob, we got into “fat Tele” sound. It was more convincing than the previous one, but still not that close to the real deal. That said, these sounds can come in handy in a gig situation unless you are a purist or extremely detail-oriented.
Next, we tried position two: “low fi clean” and “lo-fi crunch”. Here we got a nice sound that resembles an acoustic together with an electric. We felt that this position may be of great advantage to a songwriter that plays we a band.
Finally, we tried position three: “small body” and “dreadnought acoustic”. Here is where we had the most fun. These two acoustic sounds were full and projected quite well. We played everything from open chords to acoustic riffs and felt this is where this guitar shines the most.
As far as the playability, this Acoustasonic feels quite good and comfortable throughout the neck, with a nice response to the nuances in our playing.
Other Guitars To Consider
The Taylor T5z (full review here) is a great option that incorporates acoustic and electric sounds in one instrument. Featuring a tropical mahogany top, Sapele body, Acoustic Body Sensor System, and 2 Humbucking Pickups, this guitar is a true electric-acoustic hybrid.
The Godin A6 Ultra features a chambered silver leaf maple body, solid cedar top, and mahogany neck. This hybrid relies on 1 humbucking pickup, and 1 under-saddle transducer to give you the best of the electric/acoustic combo in style.
The Acoustasonic Player Telecaster is a good and affordable choice for those interested in blending electric and acoustic sounds and having them separated as well. If you need the best of both worlds and you don’t have the space, or budget, for multiple guitars, again, this is a great option.
From songwriters to gigging guitarists that are budget-conscious, this guitar offers good features, sound, and playability at a good price.