Fender debuts all-new colour finishes on the modernistic MIJ Aerodyne Special Series

Fender Aerodyne Speciel Series
(Image credit: Fender)

Fender has launched a new Japanese-made line of electric guitars and bass guitars, the Aerodyne Special Series, applying new looks, fresh colours and and a 21st-century aesthetic to some of the most-loved models in its catalogue.

The name Aerodyne might ring a few bells among Fender fans, especially among those who watch – often in envy – the Japanese market to see their favourite models reimagined in special runs. 

In the mid-noughties, the Aerdoyne series brought with it some real off-menu builds, such as a medium-scale Stratocaster that in its own right would have been ripe for the Parallel Universe lineup, applying a Gibson-esque 24.75” scale to a classic Fender design. 

The Aerodyne Special Series does not go that far, but it does present some first for Fender, from new finishes to newly designed pickups. Across the series, Fender’s Japanese plant has taken the Stratocaster, HSS Strat, Telecaster, Precision Bass and Jazz Bass and applied the same Aerodyne Special design principals to each. 

Single-ply binding has been applied to the bodies. The bodies themselves are off-brand for Fender, which each of the new models featuring a solid basswood build. To this, we have a bolt-on maple neck with a satin-smooth finish, and depending on your finish option, you can have a rosewood or a maple fingerboard.

Fender has gone with a flatter 12” radius here – so, perhaps like the medium-scale Strat of the original Aerodyne range, there has been some sort of Gibsonisation of the dimensions.

All the pickups have been refreshed for the series. Each of the new models has a headstock painted to match the finish. Pickguards? Gone. The chrome-skirted control knobs add to the modern look. 

Fender has sourced its bridges and vibrato units from Babicz for all guitar and bass models here, while deluxe locking tuners are on-hand to make the guitars stay in tune longer.

The Aerodyne Special Telecaster (£/$1,299) is available in California Blue, Dolphin Gray Metallic or Hot Rod Burst, and does away with the need for a control plate; its three-way pickup selector, volume and tone are mounted to the body, controlling the newly designed vintage-voiced single-coil pickup pairing in the time-honoured fashion. 

The Dolphin Gray Metallic and Hot Rod Burst models have maple ‘boards, the California Blue model has rosewood.

The Strat is being offered in HSS and traditional triple single-coil formats. Both are equipped with a Babicz Z-Series FCH-2 Point Tremolo with a cream tip that matches the binding and the bobbins on the single-coils. The Stratocaster (£1,349 / ($1,329) is available in Chocolate Burst and Bright White with a rosewood fingerboard. The California Blue model has a maple ‘board.

Meanwhile, the Stratocaster HSS (£1,349 / $1,329) is offered in Dolphin Gray Metallic with a rosewood fingerboard, with both Hot Rod Burst and Speed Green Metallic models having maple. Besides the newly voiced humbucker at the bridge position, the Stratocaster HSS has a similar build to the SSS Strat, with a five-way blade pickup selector, volume, and dual tone controls as standard.

The Aerodyne Special Precision Bass (£/$1,349) is available in Hot Rod Burst or Speed Green Metallic with a maple fingerboard, and in Bright White with a rosewood ‘board. It has a Babicz Z-Series FCH-4 bridge and a single split-coil pickup.

Finally, the Aerodyne Special Jazz Bass is resplendent in Chocolate Burst, Dolphin Gray or California Blue, has a pair of vintage-voiced but similarly newly wound Jazz single-coil pickups, and the same Babicz Z-Series FCH-4 bridge that you would find on the P-Bass. Go for the California Blue model if you want a maple fingerboard. The other two have rosewood.

For more details, head over to Fender, where it has been a busy week already, with the gear giants expanding its hugely popular Tone Master digital guitar amp series with a Princeton. Finally, the studio favourite and one of Fender’s most sought-after and versatile amp designs gets the lightweight treatment.

For more information, head over to Fender.


MusicRadar is the number one website for music-makers of all kinds, be they guitarists, drummers, keyboard players, DJs or producers...

  • GEAR: We help musicians find the best gear with top-ranking gear round-ups and high-quality, authoritative reviews by a wide team of highly experienced experts.
  • TIPS: We also provide tuition, from bite-sized tips to advanced work-outs and guidance from recognised musicians and stars.
  • STARS: We talk to musicians and stars about their creative processes, and the nuts and bolts of their gear and technique. We give fans an insight into the craft of music-making that no other music website can.