The Acoustasonic series started out as Fender’s moon shot at re-inventing the acoustic guitar for the modern age, but its ambitions quickly expanded to become much broader. Equipped with three different types of pickup and a built-in digital signal processor, these next-generation guitars let you flip through 10 different sounds, acoustic and electric, before you even touch your toe to a pedal.
The first Acoustasonic launched in 2019, named and modeled after the iconic Telecaster. That was followed up with an Acoustasonic Stratocaster in 2020, and now for 2021 we see the weirdo wild child of the Fender electric lineup get its own version with the new Acoustasonic Jazzmaster.
There’s a cute little full circle being completed here: the original Jazzmaster was designed back in the late 50s to be an axe that might tear the jazz guys away from their hollow-bodied Gretches and so forth, but it didn’t really find its feet until it was adopted by surf-rockers, eventually building a reputation as the “alternative” guitar in the Fender catalogue with its rowdy, slightly unhinged character.
Now, its art deco rocketship shape is being re-incarnated as the very thing it was born to supplant: a hollow-body. Of course, it’s a very different kind of hollow body – and the way the Acoustasonics work, it could really be just about any shape at all – but it’s a neat little tidbit.
The Acoustasonic Jazzmaster comes in five different colors, but none of them, even the starburst and the natural finish, want to look like a regular guitar. Our test unit, as you can see, came in a lurid shade of “Ocean Turquoise” with rather a linoleum kind of vibe to it. This, and its shape, quickly earned it the nickname “Gumby.”