11 new electric and acoustic guitars: August 2020

Our favourite new electric and acoustic guitar announcements, releases and rumours of the past month.

Every month, we compile a few lists of guitars fresh out of the oven. Here’s one dedicated to the latest electric and acoustic guitars.

Fender Vintera Road Worn ’50s Strat

Fender Vintera Road Worn 50s Stratocaster
Image: Fender

This month, Fender announced the much-anticipated return of its Road Worn series, now under the Vintera banner. These instruments feature artificially-aged nitrocellulose finishes for a vintage look right out of the box.

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One of two Stratocaster models introduced in the new lineup, the Road Worn ‘50s Stratocaster has an alder body, vintage-style ‘50s Hot single-coil pickups and a thick soft V neck with 21 vintage tall frets. It comes in two classic looking finishes: Road Worn Fiesta Red and Seafoam Green.

Lukas Nelson ’56 LP Junior

Lukas Nelson Gibson Les Paul Junior
Image: Gibson

Lukas Nelson’s new signature Gibson is based on his very own ‘56 Les Paul Junior. Like the vintage original, this guitar pairs a slab of mahogany to a chunky mahogany neck. Its pickup is a single P90 with Alnico 3 magnets, which is voiced especially to Nelson’s liking. But while the instrument does keep much of the original’s vintage flavour, it also includes some more modern inclusions, such as a subtly compensated wraparound tailpiece for better intonation.

Lists for $1,599

Fender Shawn Mendes Musicmaster

Fender Shawn Mendes Foundation Musicmaster
Image: Fender

Fender teams up with Shawn Mendes on this revamp of the Musicmaster, which adds some modern updates to the classic Fender design. The guitar’s construction consists of an alder body, a bolt-on C-shaped maple neck and a maple fingerboard. The scale-length is a relatively short 24 inches, which is similar to that of the Fender Mustang.

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For electronics, there’s a Player Series humbucker in the neck and a Tex-Mex Stratocaster single-coil in the bridge position. For more tonal variety, the humbucker can be coil-split with a push-pull pot.

The guitar’s striking finish features a vintage illustration-style flower design across the body, which was created by a Mendes fan.

Lists for £699/$749

The Circle Guitar

Anthony Dickens Circle Guitar
Image: Anthony Dickens

The brainchild of inventor and product designer Anthony Dickens, the Circle Guitar lets players ‘program’ custom picking patterns by affixing picks onto a perpetually rotating disc. Players can then control which strings are heard through a set of buttons and switches, which are routed to a hexaphonic pickup. While still in a prototype phase, the instrument caught the attention of Radiohead’s Ed O’ Brien, who shared an Instagram video of himself testing it out.

Ernie Ball Music Man Super Sport Baritone

Ernie Ball Music Man Axis Starry Night
Image: Ernie Ball Music Man

The baritone variant of Ernie Ball Music Man’s Axis Super Sport, this sparkly instrument features a basswood body, a roasted maple neck and an ebony fingerboard. The guitar comes with a pair of custom-designed baritone humbuckers – routed to a straightforward control section with a master volume knob and tone pot, as well as a five-way pickup selector. The guitar comes in a Starry Night finish, and features a matching headstock as well.

Lists at $3,299. Limited to 60 pieces worldwide.

The Slite

Reveho The Slite
Image: Reveho

The Slite is a modular travel electric guitar from Reveho, a new instrument brand from France. The guitar has a full-scale design and breaks up into five modules. These were designed to fit into a laptop-sized carrying case with custom inserts, and according to the brand, can be put together in roughly 20 seconds. The guitar supplies its own preamp in the lower body module, and in the Amp version, the top module is outfitted with a 15-watt amplifier with up to six hours of battery life.

A Kickstarter for the instrument is due to launch on 9 September, stay tuned for that, here.

PRS 35th Anniversary SE Custom 24

PRS 35th anniversary SE Custom 24 Blue Faded Burst
Image: PRS Guitars

This anniversary edition of the SE Custom 24 comes in conjunction with PRS’ 35th anniversary this year. The model’s first run, which came in a Black Gold Wrap Burst, is now completely sold out. This second run, which PRS expects to sell equally quickly, comes in a Faded Blue Burst and is limited to less than 3,000 units.

The guitar takes after the PRS Custom 24, while taking several features from the Paul’s Guitar model. It features a mahogany body with a carved maple and flame maple veneer top. That gets paired to a 24-fret maple neck with a rosewood fretboard – adorned with the brand’s signature bird inlays in abalone. This model features a duo of TCI “S” humbuckers, with two mini-toggles for engaging both or either as single-coils.

The PRS 35th Anniversary SE Custom 24 lists at $999.

Fender Brent Mason Telecaster

Fender Brent Mason Telecaster
Image: Fender

The Brent Mason Telecaster was announced as part of Fender’s Stories Collection of artist models. Even at first glance, it’s clear that the session wizard’s signature model isn’t your average Telecaster.

It replaces the Telecaster’s usual two single-coil pickups with a combination of a Seymour Duncan mini vintage-voiced mini humbucker in the neck, a Hot Stack in the middle, and a Vintage Stack in the bridge position. These are routed to a three-way switch, two volume controls and a push-pull master tone. Pulling up on the tone knob engages an alternate switching mode, which lets you keep the middle pickup on, no matter what position you’re in.

The second volume control works exclusively for the middle pickup – allowing you to blend your tones just like a classic Strat and Telecaster. There’s also a Joe Glaser B-Bender system built-in, with an alternate strap button should you decide you don’t need it.

The production line version of the guitar lists for $2,499.

Ernie Ball Music Man Albert Lee MM-90

Ernie Ball Music Man Albert Lee MM90
Image: Ernie Ball Music Man

This mahogany variation of country legend Albert Lee’s signature electric model was announced as part of Ernie Ball’s Ball Family Reserve. The guitar also gets part of its name from a trio of Ernie Ball Music Man-designed MM-90 single-coils. It has an Indian rosewood neck and fingerboard, and a backplate autographed by Lee himself. As for hardware, the guitar comes fitted with Schaller locking tuners and a vintage vibrato bridge.

Lists at $2,799. Limited to 50 models worldwide.

Cort KX500

Cort KX500
Image: Cort Guitars

The new flagship model of Cort’s KX Series, the Cort KX500 electric guitar was designed with players of heavy genres in mind. It has a mahogany body and a 3D multi-layered ash burl top – finished of course, in black.

As for its electronics, the KX500 comes outfitted with a duo of active Fishman Fluence Modern humbuckers, which are controlled with a push/pull volume knob for two selectable voices. There’s also a push/pull tone knob, which acts as a coil split, and a three-way pickup selector.

The KX500 Etched is now available at $1,099.99.

Fender 70th Anniversary Esquire

The 70th Anniversary Esquire
Image: Fender

The Fender Esquire makes its return in this 70th Anniversary reissue, produced only for 2020. Just like the series’ earliest models, this instrument features a lightweight pine body, only this time treated with Fender’s roasting process for better resonance.

For period-accuracy, the neck is a thick ‘50s U-shaped one, and the guitar’s single bridge pickup is a Tim Shaw-designed Esquire single-coil. Fender’s 70th Anniversary Esquire comes in four distinct finishes: White Blonde, Lake Placid Blue, two-colour sunburst or Surf Green. It also ships with a special anniversary tweed case.

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