Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster – One Month In

I’ve had my Acoustasonic Telecaster for just over a month now. How am I getting on with it? Here’s my personal experience so far …

It’s Been On A Podcast

If you want to hear for yourself what it sounds like, go and have a listen to Episode 4 of the AStrings podcast. Andrew and Adam do a great job of discussing it, who it’s for, and what it’s good for.

You should subscribe to the podcast anyways. You won’t find a friendlier guitar shop here in the UK. (They’re my local shop, and I’m a very happy repeat customer of theirs.)

I’m Using It At Rehearsals

I bought it to be a gigging instrument. I wouldn’t have bought one otherwise. It’s replaced my Taylor T5z as my main fake-acoustic guitar.

Tess (our vocalist) loves the live sound of the Acoustasonic through the Acus One 8 acoustic amp. Hopefully people’ll love the sound of it when we gig it too. I’m quietly confident.

Use A Good Amp

I think the amp choice is important to get the very best out of it.

Most of the YouTube demos that I’ve seen have used Fishman acoustic amps, Fender acoustic amps, Boss acoustic amps, or gone DI into PAs of one kind or another. To my ears, the Acus One 8 is a noticeable improvement over all of those amps. That holds true for electro-acoustic guitars, and it’s just as true for the Acoustasonic Tele.

As for the YouTube demos where they run the Acoustasonic Tele through an electric guitar amp … just don’t.

The Unplugged Sound Isn’t A Positive

Acoustically, it’s loud. It also sounds horrible unplugged, and at rehearsals we ended up cranking the amp a bit to drown out its own natural sound. That ended up being too loud for Tess (our vocalist) to sing over without help.

I think we’d all be happier if version 2 of the Acoustasonic was as quiet as a regular Tele when unplugged.

I’ve Settled On Two Sounds

The guitar offers 10 different positions for sound. (I’m not sure they’re actually 10 different sounds, but that’s for another day). I run the ‘mod knob’ about halfway, and switch between position 4 for strumming, and position 3 for finger picking.

It’s good that there’s other sounds in there. That’ll help other people playing through other amps.

I’m not sure the electric pickup’ll get much use though.

There’s Been A Couple Of Issues

It’s the very first edition of the instrument, and I got one of the first 10 in the country. Of course there’s going to be problems.

First off, if anything at all is loose on the guitar, it’s unusable. Anything rattling at all causes the onboard Fishman modelling to break down into a harmonic mess. And, unfortunately, I’ve had things come loose on mine. Repeatedly. I’m hoping that I’ve managed to tighten everything up by now, and that it isn’t being shaken loose from simply playing the guitar.

If it is the natural vibration from playing that’s making the pickups and knobs come loose, that’ll be a fundamental flaw.

Secondly, the neck is a little too unfinished. The neck feels like I’m holding MDF, and that’s not a good feeling at all. My fretting hand feels like it’s been Imhotep’d by the end of a couple hours of playing.

In between rehearsals, I’ve started reaching for a Strat or regular Tele instead to practice on, because of the neck. The string spacing is close enough that going back to electric Fenders isn’t an issue at all.

I’m going to find something to treat the neck before we start gigging. Crimson Guitars will almost certainly sell some kind of oil or finishing product that’ll sort it out.

The Launch Pricing Has Left A Bad Taste

At the time of writing, the Acoustasonic Tele is being advertised for around £150 less than what I paid for it. The catch is that it’s out of stock everywhere, with no date for when the next batch will arrive. And at least I actually have one in my possession.

Still, that’s a big price drop within 1 month.

I almost titled this blog post “Fender, You Owe Me Some Money”. It’s left a bad taste.

Now, there is a growing problem here in the UK of retailers advertising out-of-stock items at reduced prices, just to game the Google rankings. It’s unethical, but it doesn’t seem to actually be illegal atm. So, it could be that. And if it is, it would be great to see Fender quietly have a word with their dealers over it.

If Fender really have dropped the retail price, then it’d be nice to see Fender to offer some sort of gesture to the folks who supported them when all the YouTubers at NAMM were dismissing the Acoustasonic Tele.

I paid full launch price for it because I had an immediate need for it. I don’t regret that. It’s much better choice for gigging than using my Taylor T5z. Precisely because it isn’t a better guitar than my T5z.

It’s A Working Instrument

It’s a guitar for someone who prefers to play electric guitars, is gigging or recording, and who needs acoustic sounds. If anything happened to it at a gig, I’d feel the financial pain, but (out-of-stock issues aside) I wouldn’t be losing a unique instrument.

All the tone comes from the onboard Fishman modelling unit. That makes it an eminently replaceable guitar (financial pain aside).

If you’re someone who hunts out the best sounding examples of guitars, that might seem to be a real negative. It’s not, and this guitar probably isn’t for you.

It’s exactly what you want from a gigging guitar.

What’s Next?

I’ll write another blog post about the guitar once it’s seen a couple of gigs.

32 Replies to “Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster – One Month In”

  1. I was hoping to learn something about feedback. What have been your experiences so far? Specifically, how does it compare to a traditionally hollow body acoustic with a sound-hole (without plug and with plug) as well as a chambered acoustic like the Godin A6 Ultra. I currently use the Godin A6 Ultra, this is my number 1 guitar, it handles feedback great and it does a fair job at being an electric when it needs to be and an acoustic when it needs to be.

    1. I’ve done three gigs now with the Acoustasonic, and had zero feedback issues.

      Compared to a traditional acoustic guitar, I think the main drawback is that the Acoustasonic sounds a little too much like a recorded guitar in small venues / acoustic duo type gigs. It sounds good, and in a mix I’m confident it’ll work well. But when it’s the only instrument, I don’t think it fills the room as well as a traditional acoustic guitar can.

      I’m going to do a detailed blog post about this in July 🙂

  2. My acoustasonic has a rattling sound since receiving it yesterday, should I attempt to fix it or send it back? It sounds almost like the pickup is loose ok the inside –

    1. I had exactly the same problem when mine arrived. I fixed it myself by unscrewing the back plate, and then tightening all the internal screws.

      Did you buy yours from a retailer? If so, if you’re unsure about sorting it out yourself, give them a call to discuss it.

      1. I took mine back to my retailer. The first two switch positions died. Fender replaced the guitar. They were fast about it. But now I don’t trust it. And I’ve noticed distortion during gigs in the switch positions that are just acoustic sounds.

    2. The Pickup IS loose! Same with my Tele version. Plus, the bridge pickup in 1st position (Telecaster 1) is so fn’ LOUD and ear-piercingly bright, that you have to roll the middle knob right to the rear, which if course, i you use the middle (3) position for rythym, makes it way to quiet. So i have to do this ridiculous roll-off, switch to the rear to play lead all in one beat, and then back again, if I have to strum on the middle setting. It’s so , so annoying!

    3. I lost a pick inside my Acoustasonic Jazzmaster. It was a nightmare to get it out. While it was inside, the guitar never played correctly. I was considering returning it. That was not my only problem, either. I am on my 4th charger cord. No one uses that type of connection anymore because it sucks. I would much prefer a 9 volt…or at least a USB-C!

  3. i’m wondering what you do to avoid the guitar from taking a nose dive while playing standing up – just got mine and really love it but this is a problem for sure –
    any suggestions –

  4. my acoustasonic has been having charging issues ,was in the shop for three months and got it back with same problem ,the charging light blinks from red to green and wiont charge

      1. Hey John and Brian,

        I’m having the same issue only a month in – my new acoustasonic strat doesn’t hold charge. When plugged in for charging, the red light going green every 20 seconds or so. It’s been back for repair once already but the problem is still there. Any ideas for a fix? All advice much appreciated!

        1. Hi, i had this problem to and i was going through an apple charger. When i plug directly into a power board with a USB it works fine. Try changing what you plug into. Cheers, Brendan

          1. Hi! Just wanted to chime in and say thank you so much for posting this! My acoustasonic jazzmaster was having the same issue and switching from an apple plug saved the day!! 😀

          2. This may sound crazy. But, I was having the same issue with the charging light going from red/green every 20 seconds or so….and all I did was change the charging cable. It’s charging normal now.

    1. You need a better cord. I am on my 4th. Everytime I have charging issues, I get a new cord. With a pefect cord, your guitar will charge in a few hours and will be playable for quite a while. If you have a sub-perfect cord, it will not last long even after appearing to be fully charged….because it isn’t.

  5. I have the acoustasonic stratocaster. I love it but after about 3 months now, my diagonal single-coil pickup is rattling so loud, it is very difficult to play. Guitar Center has a 45 day return/refund policy and Fender has a 2 year warranty but before I reach out to them, I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem? Would appreciate any feedback. Thanks.

    1. Hey Steve! Sad to hear that the Acoustasonic Strat also has this problem. On my Acoustasonic Tele, I fixed this by taking the back plate off, and (carefully!) tightening the screws that hold the pickup in. Hope that helps!

      1. Thank you Stuart, you saved the day. Mine had exactly the same issue (it’s a player series), single coil pick up screws were loose.

  6. I am having the same issues with a fuzzy vibration which seems to be linked to the pickup. I had a Luthier take a look and after tightening things up inside it was much better. But 1 month later the same issue has returned. Seems like an inherent flaw. At the least, not what you expect from this brand and price tag. I shall be requesting a refund.

  7. For all you folks talking refunds….good luck. Bought my acoustasonic strat in Mar. 2021 and have played 1/2 gig with it before it lost a charge and wouldn’t recharge. In addition 1/4 Jack makes a terrible noise or makes no noise at all. Took to a GC per Fenders instructions. Was told everything was fine but had same problem when I got it back home. Fender refuses to refund since GC says it’s fine. Beginning to lose my patience.

  8. I had exactly the same thing shipped to Australia. Screws in pick up were loose as a goose. Remove back scratch plate and tighten them. Worked for me.. Quality control, urggghh

  9. Had the same issues of blinking charging lights and effectively I chargedwitn an apple charger. Will change it to another type. Thanx for this blog!

  10. I really disagree with this:

    > I think we’d all be happier if version 2 of the Acoustasonic was as quiet as a regular Tele when unplugged.

    Just no. This is amazing for a ‘quiet acoustic’ to play at night or in in apartments. There’s just no way I can play a standard acoustic in my apartment and playing an unplugged electric is just not fun. It sounds like you’d rather be after a Taylor T5 or silent Yahama if you want a silent option.

    This is perfect for playing without wires/amps when I just want to practice. Of course, it would be far better if Fender released a Squire version for $500 or so…

    1. I agree with you. I’m an apartment rat as well.
      I just got the acoustasonic USA tele.
      It’s just a tad louder than my Yamaha Silent unplugged but acceptable to my neighbors.

  11. Yep I had the same problem with the apple charger, Fender should be clear about that. I’ve read you need a fast charger at about 18watt output. (If this post is repeated I apologise) I’m trying to find out if I can use a portable power bank to charge my acoustasonic in the car or in the case if needed. I tried my 5v 18 watt power bank but it didn’t work. Anyone else tried and succeeded.

    1. Jazzmaster here, I’ve had the guitar fail getting no charge just blinking red/green, took it back, in shop for 2 months, came back perfect, since then I found out it is very fiddly with chargers. It works best with a 1A charger, I have one with dual outputs and it only takes charge from one… Find a charger the guitar is happy with, stick with it, and hope it doesn’t break down… I can’t understand not having a stable USB board or not being bundled with the right USB charger…. BTW forget powerbanks, it is likely what fried the motherboard on mine… (don’t know how)

  12. Jazzmaster here, I’ve had the guitar fail getting no charge just blinking red/green, took it back, in shop for 2 months, came back perfect, since then I found out it is very fiddly with chargers. It works best with a 1A charger, I have one with dual outputs and it only takes charge from one… Find a charger the guitar is happy with, stick with it, and hope it doesn’t break down… I can’t understand not having a stable USB board or not being bundled with the right USB charger for a guitar in this price range… BTW forget powerbanks, it is likely what fried the motherboard on mine… (don’t know how)

  13. The screws on my acoustasonic player tele became loose within a month and a few rehearsals. I tightened them by removing the back plate. Hopefully it wont keep happening from regular use or I’ll be going back to my strat.

    1. Acoustasonic jazzmaster – 1/4 cable jack is loose causing intermittent disconnects – almost threw away multiple cables before isolating the problem. I don’t see a way to tighten that jack, it’s coupled with the power cord input. Any ideas?

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