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Fender launches refreshed Aerodyne Special series, putting a radical contemporary spin on its Stratocaster, Telecaster and bass models

Fender Aerodyne Series guitars
(Image credit: Fender)

Fender has reissued its Japanese-made Aerodyne Special series of electric guitars, which puts a radical contemporary twist on the Big F’s classic Stratocaster, Telecaster, Precision Bass and Jazz Bass designs.

The latest installment of the Aerodyne series – which first debuted in the early 2000s – is arguably its most modern-minded yet, introducing a whole new color palette and a range of intriguing specs that aim to deliver both heritage Fender feel and forward-thinking tones.

Populating the collection are two Strat iterations – SSS and HSS configured – a sole Tele model, and two bass guitar options, with each offering Babicz Z-Series FCH bridge systems, 12”-radius fingerboards and a choice of either maple or rosewood fretboards.

Perhaps the most eye-catching feature, though, is the aesthetics. New colors include Bright White, California Blue, Hot Rod Burst, Speed Green Metallic and more – all of which make this cohort of contemporary axes one of the most exciting Fender drops of recent years.

Read on for a full breakdown of Fender’s latest Aerodyne Special instruments, which will be available this October.

Fender Aerodyne Special Stratocaster – $1,299

Spearheading the series is the Aerodyne Special Stratocaster – arguably one of the most modern-looking Strats of recent times. Gone are the usual body contours and tidy pickguards: in their place is a slab top-bound basswood body that has direct-mounted single-coil pickups.

The Aerodyne Special single-coils are wired to the familiar Strat control layout – five-way switch, master volume and two tone parameters – which is given a modern flair via unlabeled chrome skirted control knobs.

Other contemporary touches include the Babicz Z-Series FCH-2 Point tremolo and speedy 12” radius fingerboard – which replaces the usual 9.5” or vintage 7.25” Strat alternatives – as well as the color-matched headstocks.

The ‘board itself is available in either maple or rosewood, depending on what finish you opt for, and is adorned with black or white pearloid dot inlays and 22 medium jumbo frets. Underneath sits a C-shaped maple neck.

Finishes include Bright White and Chocolate Burst – with a rosewood fingerboard – and California Blue, which features a maple ‘board. 

Fender Aerodyne Special Stratocaster HSS – $1,329

There’s nothing too complicated about the sonically souped-up Aerodyne Special Strat HSS, which is identical to the instrument above save the presence of a bridge humbucker.

Specifically, the two Aerodyne Special single-coils are joined by an Aerodyne Special Humbucking pickup, which aims to deliver a balance between classic Strat sounds and contemporary, high output tones.

To recap the other notable appointments, the HSS Strat features a basswood body, C-shaped maple neck, chrome skirted control knobs and a Babicz Z-Series FCH-2 Point tremolo. 

It’s available in Dolphin Gray Metallic with a rosewood ‘board, or Hot Rod Burst and Speed Green Metallic with a maple alternative.

Fender Aerodyne Special Telecaster – $1,299

Joining the Strats is a revamped reimagining of Fender’s flagship electric guitar. The Aerodyne Special Telecaster is available in a trio of colorways – California Blue, Dolphin Gray Metallic and Hot Rod Burst – and retains many of the functional appointments found on the Strats.

That includes a bound basswood body, C-shape maple neck and a color-dependent rosewood or maple fingerboard, as well as 22 medium jumbo frets and black or white pearloid dot inlays. A Babicz Z-Series FCH-Tele bridge also makes the cut, as does the Aerodyne standard color-matched headstock.

In the pickup department, newly designed, vintage-voiced Tele single-coils aim to retain some sonic heritage, and are controlled by master volume and tone controls, as well as a three-way selector switch.

This time round, California Blue is the maple neck option, while the other two iterations favor rosewood alternatives.

Fender Aerodyne Special Precision Bass – $1,349

First up in the bass department is the Aerodyne Special Precision Bass, available in Bright White, Hot Rod Burst and Speed Green Metallic. At its core is a basswood body – bound, naturally – and maple C-shape neck, which line up alongside a 12”-radius fingerboard and color-matched headstock.

Pickup-wise, the minimalist machine makes use of an Aerodyne Special Precision Bass pickup, which is dictated by tone and volume parameters. Other notable specs include the Babicz Z-Series FCH-4 bridge.

Fender Aerodyne Special Jazz Bass – $1,349

Capping off the catalog is the Aerodyne Special Jazz Bass. An equally minimalist creation, the J Bass boasts the series-standard bound basswood body and C-profile maple neck, and is available in California Blue – with a maple fretboard – and rosewood ‘board-equipped Chocolate Burst and Dolphin Gray.

It’s got newly designed Jazz Bass middle and bridge single-coils, which sit above the Babicz Z-Series FCH-4 bridge and three control knobs.

Elsewhere, it flashes a color-matched headstock, chrome skirted control knobs and either black or white pearloid dot inlays.

For more information on the new Aerodyne Special range, visit Fender (opens in new tab).

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.