One only had to open their ears to find the Fender acoustic booth at the 2014 NAMM Show.
Located in the Fender Showcase at the Anaheim Convention Center, the line of Fender acoustic models sat directly in front of an acoustic performance stage, where the likes of John Spicer, Rome, Jake Allen, Megumi Mori and Aly Tadros turned in amazing sets throughout the week.
Upon arrival in that area, however, it was tough to leave without the eyes fixating on some of the exciting new models in Fender’s acoustic line hanging on the wall.
Most people started with the several Fender Acoustic Custom Shop pieces that were handcrafted in New Hartford, Conn., by builders who have been perfecting their craft for over 40 years. The instruments were also used as canvases for skilled contemporary artists like Sara Ray and Joe Wood.
Also on display were a few of the new Pro Custom Bolt-On acoustic guitars, which have neck profiles with the look and feel of an electric.
Fender’s acoustic arm even expanded into more notable artist partnerships, with the release of signature models for Avril Lavigne, skateboarding pioneer Tony Alva and MC5 rock icon Wayne Kramer.
Both Alva and Kramer spent time in the Fender Showcase to chat with fans and see their namesake guitars.
According to Fender Acoustics Product Manager Jim Bryant, several spectators were pleasantly surprised at the selection of Fender ukuleles, banjos and other folk instrument —which also includes the striking Mando-Strat 8.
“People trust the Fender name, so when they go into the store and see a Fender banjo or mandolin or ukulele, they expect a certain quality,” said Bryant. “But they are also surprised because those aren’t things that we’ve done a lot in the past. We do sell a lot of them and people seem to love them.”
Also spotted at the Fender Showcase on Saturday:
- Artist Alan Aldridge, who designed the logos of House of Blues and Hard Rock, held court in the lobby to promote his new calendar featuring Beatle lyric art.
- Hard Rock memorabilia historian Jeff Nolan highlighted four displays of legendary Stratocasters from Jimi Hendrix, Elliot Easton, Eric Clapton and Ritchie Blackmore that came from his company.
Fender Acoustic Product Manager Jim Bryant gives the scoop on what’s up with the Fender acoustic line in this video interview.