- Eye-Catching Cosmic Turquoise Color
- Iconic Fender Stratocaster Headstock
- Solid Spruce Top with Solid Mahogany Back and Sides
- Pre-Installed Fishman Electronics
- Well Designed and Robust Gig Bag Included
I have been a Fender admirer since the beginning of my guitar journey. Images of my earliest influences: Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, and John Mayer swirl around in the deep recesses of my memories. And, as quickly as I recall these artists, I instantaneously recall their instruments. Each of their signature sounds built upon the same base structure – the Fender Stratocaster.
The Fender Stratocaster is the first instrument that comes to mind when I hear the words electric guitar. Its body shape, pickguard, pickups and tone controls are certainly defining features, but for me, none of these parts shine quite as brightly as its crowning glory – the Fender Stratocaster headstock. Hard corners and soft curves, sharp points and smooth ends. Its juxtaposed design perfectly outlines its ability to produce a myriad of tones.
Now, let’s make things interesting. What if one were to take that iconic electric guitar headstock and place it on another guitar? Now, let’s take it to the next level. What if one transplanted that headstock on to an acoustic guitar? Madness! That acoustic guitar would have a lot to live up to, wearing the crown of such an iconic instrument! This is how I felt after first seeing the Fender Newporter Classic acoustic-electric guitar. But let me tell you something, this instrument really surprised me.
Upon opening the beautifully designed and robust gig bag, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Blue. The spruce top and headstock are blue! While the purist inside me wondered, “Why?” The artist in me said, “Why not!” Fender is a master of color and, while it caught me off guard at first, this ‘cosmic turquoise’ quickly grew on me. It makes a statement. It announces that it is in the room. It makes sure you see it on stage. I have never owned an acoustic guitar with a colored top, but this color is a stunning consideration. Combine this with a gorgeous bridge shape, very reminiscent of a gypsy guitar from an old black and white photo, and a Koa rosette with matching binding, and you can see exactly what Fender had in mind – a well-crafted instrument that is also an eye-catching piece of art.
Picking up and playing this guitar was yet another wonderful surprise – the fit and feel of the neck is a very familiar one. Fender’s signature C-profile neck can be found in full effect, allowing for chords and lead lines up and down the beautiful pau ferro fretboard. In fact, further up the neck, the profile begins to flatten out in the back, offering the perfect shape as the hand changes its position. Its 1.69” wide bone nut and matching bone saddle are a great fit and a premium addition on a guitar in this price range.
The biggest, and best surprise of all was revealed upon my first strum – premium solid wood tone. There is a very special and distinct sound that emanates from a guitar built of solid wood – without getting overly spiritual about this idea, let’s just say that the instrument feels alive.
There are certain resonances and frequencies that are heard (and felt – more on this shortly). The Newporter’s solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides resound with all the makings of a living instrument. Now allow me to take this one step further. Every guitarist will tell you that playing guitar goes beyond just the sound that can be heard, but into the feeling of the instrument’s vibration against the core. The Newporter Classic has this very quality, the mark of a truly well-built guitar.
This instrument, in a phrase, blew me away. Looks, feel, tone, value. These are the qualities I look for in the guitars I play. The Newporter, for its price, is right in the sweet spot. Eye-catching, comfortable, alive, economically priced and comes with pre-installed Fishman Electronics. At a street price of $799.99 this is an awesome below $1,000.00 guitar with which to start learning on, worshipping with, and writing music for – and at the same time it is a beautiful ‘cosmic turquoise’ piece of art for the living room! Fender continues to impress with the Newporter, and I am proud to share that the iconic and defining headstock it wears is well earned and deserved.