Get a Closer Look at the Villager 12-String and Kingman Acoustic Bass
Check out these two new instruments and new satin finishes in Fender's California Series.
By Mike Duffy
When Fender released the California Series of acoustic guitars in 2018, the excitement level was high with energetic finishes and three playable body styles that could fill all sizes of rooms with sound.
But now, the California Series is going to thre next level with not only the Villager 12-String and the Kingman Acoustic Bass, but also a host of slick satin finishes across the line.
Yes, in addition to the already eye-catching Cosmic Turquoise and Arctic Gold, you can own a Redondo Player in Satin Slate and Satin Bronze, a Malibu Player in Satin Midnight and Satin Burgundy, and a Newporter Player in Satin Olive and Satin Ice Blue.
The California Series is rounded out by the Village 12-String and Kingman Bass, both of which could be excellent additions to any collection.
Originally introduced in 1965, the Villager 12-String boasts an authentic "hockey stick" heatstock from the 1960s, a gloss black finish, comfortable cutaway Newporter shape and Fishman electronics.
For musician and DJ Gregg Foreman, the Newporter body is easy to play without sacrificing any tonal quality.
"My first interactions with 12-strings were on a lot of post punk records, things like Bauhaus and the Cure," he said after taking the Villager for a test run. "We wanted to really figure out how to get those sounds, but when we would get our hands on a 12-string, they were often really thick, clunky, big bodies. It was hard to press a chord down, and when you could get a chord down it sounded like Christmas Eve.
"The beauty of this guitar is it's got a Newporter Auditorium style body. It's slimmer, you can pull it closer. It's easier to maneuver and play. The lows are lower and the highs are clearer and chime-y."
It's California Series sibling is the Kingman Bass, a short-scale offering with a smooth-playing mahogany Jazz Bass neck, Fishman preamp and tuner, and Newporter Bass body shape.
As John Famiglietti of Los Angeles rock band Health noted, it's a bass meant to be played, and played loud.
"It's got a very slim profile," said Famiglietti after playing the Kingman Bass through a Fender Rumble Bass amplifier. "It's trim, fits nicely with a cutaway and feels a little bit smaller than a regular acoustic guitar. It sounds great through an amp. [The neck is] a little shorter, but it basically feels exactly like an electric bass neck. You can rip all up and down it.
"I would never think I would play an acoustic bass, but I would play this one. It's not just for the campfire."
Do you want to see the entire California Series? Shop it all here.