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Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by feraledge, Nov 1, 2019.
"never play a fender the same way again" is deeefinitely a bit of hype.
How do you think they stay on top by selling 50+ variations of the same thing for 60 plus years?
Can we really say any brand is different?
Ibanez has been making slight variations of the RG for over 30 years, ESP has just slapped different finishes and pickups in the Horizon for just as long. Jackson has had roughly the exact same Soloist for decades, even before Fender bought them.
There's nothing wrong with finding what you're best at and sticking to it. Like I posted earlier, Fender has tried making something "different", but they wind up being pet projects that never take off, regardless of how great they are. Same for the various Ibanez, ESP, Jackson, and Schecter lines that are no longer available today.
Fender has some new stuff, I like the new meteora quite a bit. If it had a maple board I'd have bought one.
Not at all, and for the record I adore Fender and was being sarcastic. I'm cool with block heels. I also really wanted a Lead 1 when I was 11 and the first electric I ever touched was a Starcaster so I'm a bit biased. I just think Hank Marvin sells more Strats even today than the marketers...or...well maybe Jimi and EC.
Fender, ESP, Jackson etc, they all find something that works, and stick with it.
But slight variations/improvments are of course welcome.
I am trying to compare from many different photos the last years elite heel and the "new" ultra heel and is it me or is the difference really imperceptible?
Is the carve on the backside of the lower horn the only noticeable change?
The lower horn now has a fairly significant carve to it now. It's difficult to see in pictures, but the neck joint area (where neck joint meets surrounding body) is also carved out so it is less 'blocky'. So the lower horn has the most substantial change, but the 'middle' also has a fairly substantial carve to it, which reaches up a little bit into the upper horn.
m a r k e t i n g
fender's got some cool shit on the horizon.
Only part of that I find particularly interesting is the "true single" sounding split bridge. The heel redesign to me is more of an aesthetic change than functional.
That horn carve is like the Ibanez Uppercut series horn carve. It seems useful in only very specific situations. If I try to put my hand where I would actually need that type of cutout then I'm in some type of odd position. Maybe when doing the standard issue rock star poses it comes in handy.
I rewind to guys like Malmsteen who played on a (other than the scalloped fretboard) vintage style Stratocaster, big block heel, true singles and all, and played faster than anyone else in the world before. Same thing with SRV (especially those huge gauges) or even a guy like Paul Gilbert who, even though he's known for RGs, leans more toward chunky necks with block heels.
I like svelte lines and streamlined curves from an aesthetic and branding perspective but show me somebody who's "ah ha!" moment of playing came from moving off a block heel to a contoured heel.
Any guy routinely using 27 frets and their ilk I suppose.
If they do the tele in an HH config, I'm going to shit my pants.
Anyone with small hands and/or short fingers (which doesn't apply to the 3 guys you mention) certainly appreciates a contoured heel!
As far as the Ultra series, I agree with most here that the hype was way overblown for what they are - tweaked Elites.
Marketing aside, these, the Ultra series, are a pretty interesting evolution of the flagship production stuff.
The American Elite were an even further "modernized" American Deluxe. While here, the Ultras are sort of bringing back a few Fender hallmarks, such a skunk neck construction, while still adding "something", which is further refinement of the neck heel.
All together nothing ground breaking, but it's neat to see the ebb and flow of certain features and adaptations.
As someone who absolutely nerds the heck out over guitars and their history, this is really fun seeing in real time.
I was disappointed when I saw that they didn't use a new trem. Part of me was hoping they'd use a Hipshot contour or Gotoh 510. One can dream or get a Warmoth