Fender CEO Andy Mooney has hinted that guitar gear giant has plans for a cheaper, Southeast Asia-built Acoustasonic line of acoustic electric guitars.
Discussing the groundbreaking hybrid guitar with MusicRadar, Mooney said the pace of its success has taken the firm by surprise.
“When we launched the Acoustasonic our ambitions were really quite modest,” he said. “It way surpassed our expectations but it was only starting to pick up steam right at the front end of Covid, so… it’s now only starting to get out there onstage.”
Mooney says the firm is now focussed on meeting demand for the instrument and offering it at multiple price points, as it has begun to do so with the roll-out of the Mexican Acoustasonic Player Telecaster at the end of last year.
“What we really need to do is to have variations of the Acoustasonic platform that are price accessible,” he continued. “That means you've got to take it down to the under $1,000 price point. So we have that on the roadmap, too… You will definitely go from Corona and Ensenada [Fender's American and Mexican facilities] to Southeast Asia for the Acoustasonic platform going forward.”
Mooney does not offer any details on what such a guitar would look like, but he did say that it will likely mean simplifying the build, pointing again to the template set by the recent Mexican Acoustasonics.
“A good example is when we went to the Ensenada-made [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.”
In the same interview, Mooney echoed sentiments that many in the music industry have expressed in recent months, stating that he did not expect the firm’s supply chain challenges to be resolved anytime soon.
“There's concern across the board,” he said. “Some components that last year cost 30 cents, this year are costing $30, so it's literally making bringing some products to market completely impossible.”