Fender's 2020 NAMM in Review
From the Parallel Universe Collection to exciting new amps, here's a look back on some of Fender's most exciting debuts at the 2020 NAMM Show.
By Mike Duffy
With a slew of buzz-worthy instruments and accessories announced at the 2020 Winter NAMM Show, Fender had a packed booth full of gear aficionados throughout the entire annual event.
From the modern American Ultra Series to the mind-bending Parallel Universe Series to the new Lead II and Lead III, everywhere you looked featured another must-get item.
In case you didn't get the chance to see the gear up close, you can check out a rundown of some highlights from Fender's 2020 Winter NAMM Show below.
American Ultra Series
With sleek modern features, state-of-the-art craftsmanship and nuanced design, the American Ultra Series marks a pivotal moment in Fender history.
“Everything changes and evolves,” said Fender Executive Vice President of Product Justin Norvell. “We’ve always been pushing towards what musicians need today. It speaks to the spirit that goes back to the origins of Fender.
“American Ultra is the next chapter in Fender’s legacy of cutting-edge innovation. American Ultra has truly been decades in the making and is a result of our tireless commitment to meet the needs of today’s working and touring guitar players looking for a modern feel and tone.”
Exciting features include new body contours, Ultra Noiseless pickups, new eye-catching colors and advanced electronics.
What would happen if you crossed a Jazzmaster and a Stratocaster? Or, what if you put three humbucking pickups in a Telecaster?
Those questions - and more - will be answered in Fender's 2020 Parallel Universe Series. As the second iteration of the Parallel Universe line, which originally debuted two years ago, these crazy combinations mine Fender's DNA by mixing and matching body shapes, parts and design elements to give players the most exciting and rare instruments they only could have dreamed of.
"The Parallel Universe celebrates the modular nature of Fender guitars, splicing together DNA from various Fender models to create off-the-wall hybrids," said Norvell.
American Acoustasonic Stratocaster
When the Fender American Acoustasonic Telecaster was born in 2019, it cracked the code of giving players a guitar that could offer reliable acoustic and electric tones.
Now, Fender has taken the lessons learned from that revolutionary innovation and implemented them into the next phase of the Acoustasonic Series - the American Acoustasonic Stratocaster.
This new addition to the Acoustasonic Series had people buzzing at NAMM, as several artists even stopped by the Fender booth to play it.
They represent everything that the Mustang GT line promised – great tone, presets, Wifi, Bluetooth and a looper – while also offering stage-ready cosmetics, improved Celestion speakers and great-sounding cabinets. When paired with the new Fender Tone 3.0 app, the Mustang GTX becomes Fender’s flagship amp for players looking for a wide range of incredible-sounding tones in a flexible, roadworthy and affordable package. The Mustang GTX also offers several new effects, amp models, presets, global EQ settings and seven-button footswitching.
Lead II + III
Soon, Fender will release the Player Lead Series for the unconventional, offbeat, and most importantly, undefined players. The series offers the choice of the Player Lead II (an homage to the late '70s models) and the Player Lead III (a tribute to the original 1982-only model). Both incorporate era-correct Lead Series specs with a blend of the modern Player Series specs offering style, power, and versatility in comfortable, easy-to-play models.