Did I mention that it’s turning out to be a great spring for new gear? Well, if I haven’t yet, it is! This week I’d like to dive into a couple of cool new things that are making a splash at Fender and arriving here at our shop as soon as humanly possible: that is to say, a brand new acoustics line and a Deluxe-to-Elite transformation…
A Quality Instrument is Paramount
That’s a bad pun, but a true statement. Quality gear is essential for quality music and Fender acknowledges that fact by name when introducing their brand new line of acoustics. Though we at the shop can proudly attest to the excellence and sweet deals Fender’s entry to mid-level acoustics have provided (and will continue to provide) for many of our customers over the years, the brand new Paramount Series of acoustic guitars is proof that Fender is out to shamelessly up their game in the unplugged arena by crafting some pretty dern fancy git-fiddles.
Rivaling the likes of other high-end acoustic champs such as Guild and Martin, the Paramount Series offers you three different models (the PM-1 Dreadnought, the PM-2 Parlor, and the PM-3 Triple-0) with each model available in two distinct flavors:
Even at the economic level, the Standard models come right out the gate with all the best stuff: Sitka spruce top and mahogany back/sides as solid as grandma’s meatloaf, bone nuts and saddles, open-back tuners, and plenty of tasty lil’ vintage touches including tortoise pickguard, classic fingerboard inlays, a lovely vintage headstock shape with even classier inlays and, my personal favorite, checkerboard purfling and rosette to launch you right back into the free-lovin’, mud-flingin’ Woodstock Era.
Paramount Deluxe (Vintage Burst or Natural):
Now we’re talkin’ FANCY. The Deluxe models (available either in a burst or natural) are where Fender pulls no punches with premium tone and aesthetics. Same thing as the standards: all solid all day and same Sitka tops but this time with East Indian rosewood backs and sides (exotic, amiright?), “aged” black nickel tuning keys and ebony fingerboards/bridges with the fance-pansiest mother of pearl and abalone inlays in the frets and on the headstock to just further the sentiment that you’ve got good taste, damnit! Same as the Standards, the Paramount Deluxes are equally equipped with the beloved vintage amenities including tortoise shell pickguards, checkerboard binding and rosette, and bone all the way, baby!
But don’t think that in the effort to nostalgia the crap out of these fine instruments did Fender sacrifice style over substance; possibly some of the coolest features in the entire Paramount Series are located in their new Fender/Fishman™ collaborative PM preamp systems which not only look sweet as hell but are specifically voiced for each body style you play.
Instead of slapping in the same ol’ preamp circuitry from a dreadnought into a parlor body or a triple-o cutaway, each model’s preamp is going to accentuate the inherent tonal characteristics of that body style’s voice: that way you KNOW your parlor is still going to sound like a parlor plugged in and pumped through arena rock speakers as well as in the studio or pluckin’ away on the front porch.
Each Paramount Model from either line comes with a hardshell case and the sweet scent of acoustic superiority…oh wait, sorry…that’s just the smell of the silica packets. Well, still.
Speaking of superiority, let’s warm up our amplifiers and input jacks for this next fleet of Fender hot rods…
Meet the Elite a.k.a. Deluxe now Sucks
That’s actually just flat-out incorrect. The Fender Deluxe Series never sucked in the slightest, but I had a sweet free-style rap thing going in my head when I was typing this and…well, anyway… the Deluxe stuff are (or should I say were) always great, but guess what! Now the Deluxe line is getting even better, now reimagined by the evil Fender marketing squad as the Elite Series! Meet the Elite…
I know what you’re thinking and no, renaming the Deluxe is not merely a marketing gimmick. Also yes, I can read your mind and no, I will not answer any follow up questions. Just…trust me. I’m psychic.
The Deluxe-to-Elite transformation goes further than just rebranding: they’ve actually made some friggin’ sweet improvements and modifications to the best electric guitars Fender has to offer, making them truly their namesake: Elite gear. Brand new Elite Strats (including a new Shawbucker Elite) and brand new Elite Teles, both traditional and Thinline (for which I got about as giddy as a school girl for as you know, I love me some Thinline Telecasters). Here are some of the cool new improvements they’ve made that we at Bigfoot are unabashedly geeking out on:
- 4th Generation Noiseless™ Pickups for all the vintage rock power you want without the buzz.
- Locking tuners complete with those adorable short posts. Naww, look at ‘em. So short!
- More dramatic contours and beveling so you get maximum comfort during those long, long gigs.
- Fender S-1™ switches on each model that give you a tonal edge and just that many more wiring options for ya.
And here are the best parts…in our humble opinions…
- NEW Compound Radius Fingerboard: essentially an ultra-comfy “C” neck profile up top for ease of chording that eventually smooths out to a speedy “D” profile for shredding your fingers off (not literally…actually, kind of the opposite…)
- NEW Neck Heel Contours that look slick as all get-out and grant you access to the high frets for screamin’ solos
- NEW Truss Adjustment Wheel ala MusicMan, which if you ask us at the shop is one of the best things you can get in a guitar if you’re the handy/tinker type! We’re pretty stoked about it ourselves.
You are also officially advised to check out the new Soft Touch Knobs that come with their Elite Strats and the fascinating new “Screwless Suspension Bridge” design that the Thinline Elite is now proudly packin’.
All of this rad new Fender gear will be arriving here at the shop quite soonly so feel free to drool over some links and videos regarding all these brand new blessings to the Bigfoot scene while we wait with baited breath (man, that was a lot of “B’s” in one sentence…) And be sure to stay tuned and get in touch with us for regular updates on new stuff and tech info with our newsletter or here on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Stay Elite and have a Paramount Week!