The return of the Fender offset guitar for the modern player
The Fender offset series of guitars has been revisited in 2016 providing fans of the more “Alternative” looking (and sounding) guitars with a whole range of beautifully crafted instruments that give a firm nod to the designs of old with a slew of new features for the modern musician.
Encompassing the new range are 5 glorious models with varying pickup configurations, fingerboard setups and of course, colour options all of which designed to take us back to the punk, alternative, post rock and post punk days where “normal” just wasn’t an option.
The new offset range features the Fender Duo-Sonic, Duo-Sonic HS, Mustang, Mustang P90 and the Mustang PJ Bass. Not only are they great value for money making them ideal for a beginner, but they’re designed for the stage and are just begging to be gigged with. So today we’re going to look at the entire offset series and show exactly how cool these guitars are!
Fender 2016 Duo Sonic MN
Not many people know that the Duo Sonic has actually been around since the mid-1950s, and was one of Jimi Hendrix’ first guitar choices. Eventually the New York punk scene took a shine to these models in the 1970s with the likes of Patti Smith, David Byrne of the Talking Heads and Tom Verlaine of Television using them heavily. Chances are, if you like the CBGB drenched punk scene of the 1970s you’ll have heard (and loved) the sound of a Duo Sonic being played. The keen eye will notice that this Fender 2016 Duo Sonic MN is a short scale, smaller size guitar when compared to the likes of the existing Fender range. This smaller scale with downsized body and 24” scale makes it a dream to play as you can fly up and down the frets easier and even throw it around onstage, if you’re into a more “enthusiastic” performance when playing live.
The maple neck is shaped to the modern “C” profile and features a slick satin polyurethane finish for protection. The 9.5 inch maple fingerboard feels great whilst you get to grips with 22 medium jumbo frets too! But let’s talk about the pickups! The Duo Sonic single coil pickups may look tame, but plug them in and watch out, because they’ve got some serious bite! The expansive range and versatility of these pickups can be heard when playing clean or with some added distortion, plus the very robust 3-way pickup toggle switch allows you flick between pickups for extra expression.
Fender Duo Sonic HS RW
For those who favour the rosewood fingerboard on a fender, fear not – the Duo Sonic also comes in a slightly different configuration. This Fender Duo Sonic HS RW features a vintage specification Duo Sonic Humbucker in the bridge, plus a Duo Sonic Single-Coil pickup in the neck position offering a greater range of tones and that extra power when you need it. The shorter scale guitar feels comfortable against the body, but at no point does it ever feel flimsy thanks to that reliable Fender construction. A rosewood fingerboard with a 9.5 inch radius plays a huge part in the feel and look of the guitar, as do the 22 medium jumbo frets as it’s quite simply a real joy to play whether you’re hammering out power chords or playing gentle licks.
The alder body is lightweight yet resonant and the gloss polyester finish offers protection to those great colours. It’s a robust touring guitar that features a strat hardtail bridge with bent steel saddles for reliability and sustain. A great option for the beginner who wants a great new style of guitar or the avid guitar player who wants something to really let rip at home or on stage.
Fender 2016 Mustang MN Electric Guitar
The Fender Mustang is now synonymous with the Grunge era thanks to the fact Kurt Cobain used one throughout his career and even said they were his favourite guitars of all time – quite the endorsement. Since then, these guitars have been coveted by the likes of those who want a different looking guitar with a great deal of punch – the Mustang became a guitar of a generation, a musical icon that said “I’m going to do it my way”. This uniquely shaped Fender 2016 Mustang MN Electric Guitar features two stage ready MUSTANG single-coil pickups set to an angle to allow extra dynamics and response.
Whether you’re into soft shoegaze and atmospheric tones or just want to rock out on stage with a load of distortion, these pickups will take everything you throw at them. The three-way toggle switch allows you to sculpt your sound to how you like it too! This offset guitar features a beautifully crafted maple neck shaped to the modern “C” profile with polyurethane finish for protection. The 6-saddle strings-through-body Strat hardtail bridge offers superior sustain and tuning you can rely on. The 4-ply aged white pearloid pickguard keeps the guitar safe and looks amazing too!
Fender 2016 Mustang 90 RW Electric Guitar
Another fantastic addition to the Mustang offset series comes in the form of the Mustang 90 RW electric guitar. You have that same striking shorter scale Mustang shape, with added MP-90 pickups to provide you with a huge range of tonal capabilities. These MP-90 pickups offer that typical soap bar pickup grit but with an unmistakable Fender tone. This great guitar can go from gritty distorted rock tones to soft and sweet in an instant, and particularly responds well to the likes of a Fender Bassbreaker. Glass like clean tones and power when you need it – that’s what the Fender 2016 Mustang 90 RW is all about! This stunning guitar comes equipped with Standard Cast / Sealed tuning machines at the headstock, a rosewood fingerboard and the modern “C” shape profile neck to provide the modern player with a gig ready option. A contemporary twist on an instrument with serious history.
Fender 2016 Mustang Bass PJ
The Fender Mustang Bass returns for 2016 and we couldn’t be happier! This short-scale Fender 2016 Mustang Bass PJ really delivers in the tone department here thanks to the upgraded pickups, namely a split P-Bass pickup in the middle position and a Jazz Bass pickup in the bridge position. These pickups can be isolated or blended thanks to the robust 3-way toggle pickup switch. The modern “C” shape profile neck has been included in the design for added comfort. Once you try one of these out you’ll realise why these have been such a sought after guitar, with the likes of Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads to Mikey Way from My Chemical Romance favouring these great bass guitars. The 19 medium jumbo frets adorn a slick 9.5 inch radius rosewood fretboard and the shorter scale of the bass reduced string tension this enhancing any bass playing style. The look and feel of these bass guitars will not be lost on the touring musician who needs a reliable workhorse to play and record with.
Check out a full range of Fender guitars over at the Dawsons website.
Lee Glynn is a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who lives in Liverpool, England. After moving to the UK from Perth, Australia, Lee enjoyed a successful career as guitarist in Liverpool based rock band Sound of Guns.
After releasing two albums, a myriad of EPs / singles and touring extensively around the world for 6 years including stops at Glastonbury, Latitude Festival, as well as the coveted Reading & Leeds Festivals, Lee decided it was a time for a change of scenery.
Utilising his experience in music journalism, Lee now works within the web team at Dawsons Music, where he can still relay his passion for music by producing great content for the Dawsons blog and social media. Lee is still an avid guitar player and writer.