In our new interview with Fender CEO Andy Mooney accessibility is a common theme and seems to be at the heart of the company's strategy; how to reach more players. And during our conversation with him, he revealed that this idea will expand to the Acoustastonic electric / acoustic guitar line with plans to expand it beyond US and Mexican-made models to more affordable instruments manufactured in South East Asia.
Last year saw the first Mexican Player Acoustasonic Telecaster following US-made versions, with impressive results. But Mooney revealed to us that Fender have a longterm plan for the hybrid electric guitar that goes further.
The Fender CEO notes that with the return of live music, the Acoustasonic is starting to be used more widely on stages – a place where it truly recognises its potential as our review explained – but the company wants to increase variation to attract even more players to the format.
"What we really need to do is to have variations of the Acoustasonic platform that are price accessible," Mooney explained to MusicRadar. "That means you've got to take it down to the under $1,000 price point. So we have that on the roadmap too."
What price new models will sit at is yet to be determined, but the idea is that there will be three tiers with the Player models, made at Fender's Ensenada factory in Mexico, sitting in the middle.
"So you're able to find Fender going all the way down to $200, and you won't find the Acoustasonic going down to that price," Mooney says, "but you will definitely go from Corona and Ensenada to Southeast Asia for the Acoustasonic platform going forward."
The Acoustasonic Player Telecaster currently sells for around £950 / $1050 street so we're interested to see where any future Asian-made model will sit compared to that. Mooney added that he envisions it being even more intuitive for budding players.
"When we went to the Ensenada-made [Mexican Player Series] Acoustasonic, we went to just a simple nine-volt battery. Uncomplicated and more intuitive. And I think, again, if you go to a future Southeast Asia version of the Acoustasonic; it will be even simpler, more intuitive, and easier to learn."