Fender’s innovative new Highway Series challenges the “large and bulky” acoustic guitar blueprint
These innovative instruments promise similar resonance to traditional acoustics, but measure only 2.25″ in depth.
Fender has expanded its already-vast acoustic guitar lineup with the all-new Highway Series.
Comprising two models – a smaller Parlor model and a fuller-bodied Dreadnought – the new range appears to take stylistic cues from the company’s Acoustasonic series, mainly due to the guitars’ slimline builds; both measure just 2.25 inches in depth.
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As Fender explains, historically, acoustic guitars have been characterised by “large and bulky body shapes”, but the Highway Series has been designed to “challenge” this industry standard.
The company adds that the nature of the size of the guitars in the Highway Series “streamlines the way artists can utilise it on stage”, and provides “versatility while offering a unique advantage for musicians during the songwriting process”.
In terms of build, Highway Series guitars sport traditional tonewoods – including rosewood fretboards and mahogany and spruce on the bodies – but with a selection of more innovative appointments.
They include backs and sides hewn from mahogany into a fully chambered design, rather than backs and sides that have been glued onto the top. This single body piece features an L-shaped lip running alongside the join with the top, and then the top sits within the lip. This, in theory, creates a more resonant connection between the body and the top.
Elsewhere, both guitars in the Highway Series feature an innovative pickup placement; a Fishman Fluence Core pickup developed specifically for the Highway Series is integrated seamlessly into the instrument, closer to the neck heel that regular acoustic pickups.
Other specs include a bolt-on neck design – with a Micro-Tilt screw, so players can adjust the neck angle at will – and a thinner neck for enhanced playability.
“The Highway Series represents a bold step forward in the world of acoustic guitars, offering musicians a new avenue for sonic exploration and self-expression,” says Billy Martinez, VP of Product – FMIC Acoustics & Squier.
“Among the many standout features, we partnered with Fishman to bring their cutting-edge electronic pickup technology, the Fishman Fluence Acoustic pickup to the realm of traditional acoustics and meticulously crafted the necks to deliver an amazing playing experience. These guitars are a testament to our dedication to pushing the boundaries of guitar design and manufacturing.”
In terms of availability, both the Parlor and Dreadnought Highway Series models come with either a spruce of mahogany top, and all options are priced at £949/$999.
For more info head to Fender.