Ibanez JEM Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,392 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
https://www.fender.com/articles/gea...tures-elevating-fenders-american-ultra-series

This is interesting. The Fender marketing department comes off as appealing. (You will need to watch the video to get the gist.)

https://reverb.com/news/interview-f...tra-mij-superstrats-and-the-future-of-guitars

This is interesting too. I learned who Andy Mooney is, metal was discussed quite a bit, and not the type article I've ever read from Fender. I realize Reverb is not The Wall Street Journal but it's at least something.

TLDR Version - the Ultra Series has a tapered heel now. ;)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,398 Posts
I think it's a good idea poorly executed, the tapered heel looks to be one of the least ergonomic ones out there.

I think fender have succeeded in putting a load of features into their guitars that Fender buyers just won't want and that won't be enough to tempt non-Fender players to the brand. The marketing machine spins its wheels and people will still want vintage features from Fender whilst gladly accepting modern "Strats" from Suhr...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
That was a great article. Thank you for posting it. Was surprised he shared all that research data on the marketplace and sales. His comment about 45% of all buyers being first time, and 90% giving up within a year sounds right. If they cut that ratio down, the business booms. Personally though, I think we already seen “peak guitar”.

The Ultra Series looks nice, but they made one massive mistake. No SS frets. I think (or at least hope) that Ibanez understands a lot of players now want them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
470 Posts
If the Ultra came with stainless steel frets I'd consider an Ultra Strat.It's not a big departure from what they were already doing with the Elite series though, more like a refresh without any radical steps forward, they definitely over-hyped the pre-release.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,398 Posts
I always find that Ss frets are more for the second owner than the first, it’s something I’m really not interested in. I see them as a non-user-serviceable part.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
470 Posts
I always find that Ss frets are more for the second owner than the first, it's something I'm really not interested in. I see them as a non-user-serviceable part.
My 30th Anniversary Jem (2017) already has lightly worn frets because I play it a lot, if they were SS that would not be the case. With SS you've got something like 10x the wear resistance with no drawbacks for the user, after you go SS you never want to go back to nickel because the only real difference between the two is how long they last before they need work. So with the Ultra if it had SS frets I could be sure that I can play it for 10 years and it will remain the same, with nickel it will need fret dresses and each one is consuming the life of the frets.

My buddy has been playing his Suhr every day for about 10 years and the frets still look like he bought the guitar yesterday.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,392 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think it's a good idea poorly executed, the tapered heel looks to be one of the least ergonomic ones out there.

I think fender have succeeded in putting a load of features into their guitars that Fender buyers just won't want and that won't be enough to tempt non-Fender players to the brand. The marketing machine spins its wheels and people will still want vintage features from Fender whilst gladly accepting modern "Strats" from Suhr...
I was more interested in reading what the CEO of Fender had to say about Fender and "the guitar" in general. There is not a tremendous amount of visible leadership on the business side of the guitar world, especially from the larger companies. It is nice to know someone is steering the proverbial Fender ship and is willing to talk about the general direction the boat is headed.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,398 Posts
My 30th Anniversary Jem (2017) already has lightly worn frets because I play it a lot, if they were SS that would not be the case. With SS you've got something like 10x the wear resistance with no drawbacks for the user, after you go SS you never want to go back to nickel because the only real difference between the two is how long they last before they need work. So with the Ultra if it had SS frets I could be sure that I can play it for 10 years and it will remain the same, with nickel it will need fret dresses and each one is consuming the life of the frets.

My buddy has been playing his Suhr every day for about 10 years and the frets still look like he bought the guitar yesterday.
If you play that much, I can see your point, I don't get to play as much as I used to, and in order to make myself feel like a guitarist, keep buying new guitars.

If I actually still played guitar, I might be more interested in SS frets ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
667 Posts
I completely get ss frets. I really regret not adding ss frets to my last custom neck. I wear out frets about every 2 years. Currently my solution is to try to get 3 guitars that are almost exactly the same so i can rotate them lol. An expensive option. But hey! I'll have more guitars 😉
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,414 Posts
Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon, but IMO the Ultra series just looks like the same guitars Fender has been making since the 1950's. Upgraded electronics, sure - you'd expect that. I also love the colors but I've always liked Fender colors. Luckily for them they still have Charvel, EVH, and their other brands. TBH, if I were to give another brand a go I'd try the Pro Mod DK24 Charvel. But then I love my AZ. Both are really Suhr takeoffs but when I play my AZ I do feel like some progressive thought went into its design. I'd suspect if I picked up a Pro Mod I might feel the same. (The jack in the back is kind of slick.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
470 Posts
Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon, but IMO the Ultra series just looks like the same guitars Fender has been making since the 1950's
That was the intent, they want them to look like classic models from the front while having all the modern features such as a contoured heel and modern neck carve on the back. Honestly for me the only thing that doesn't make it an instant buy is the frets, because it's otherwise a well made modern Strat with quality hardware and a pickup/electronic solution that is ahead of the competition. I mean who else offers a humbucker that is overwound and tapped in the default position so that when you split it into a single coil it uses the extra wind to beef up the sound of the single coil?

They have tried to address the weaknesses of splitting a humbucker and their solution is pretty cool. I don't know what other companies offer it but I like it. That said I would prefer instead of noiseless pickups they provided really good single coils and then utilised something like the Suhr silent single coil method which uses a dummy coil inside the guitar, that way you get genuine single coils that are about as quiet as a humbucker.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,328 Posts
I am interested in The Ultra Series. Specifically the alder SSS strat and the alder tele. I own two mid 80s MIJ strats and a mid 80s MIJ Tele. They are great guitars. I am a huge Ibanez guy. I have 3 Ibanez Strats (roadstar 2s). I was expecting the big Fender announcement to be a big let down but I am actually interested in the Ultra series. Will I spend $1900 on it...that remains to be seen.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,713 Posts
I think in general Fender really picked up their game build quality wise around 2012 or so. I have a Mexican made Baja Tele from I think '17? I don't really know, '16 or '17, I got it off Reverb, and it is an outstanding Tele in every way. Very 50's sound, great thicker neck, and just a fantastic, fun to play guitar. I got mine with a hard case and Callaham brass saddles for $700, so you can't beat that price with a stick. I haven't played any of the Fender "Ultra" series yet, but I have played recent Elites from the Strat and Tele lines and really liked those as well.

I can't see every not playing Jems, they just do everything so well, but who doesn't like to hear guitar companies are upping their game? With the Jem in house I don't really need any more "metal" guitars either, so classics are kind of where I look these days when I feel the itch to expand the collection ;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,392 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think in general Fender really picked up their game build quality wise around 2012 or so. I have a Mexican made Baja Tele from I think '17? I don't really know, '16 or '17, I got it off Reverb, and it is an outstanding Tele in every way. Very 50's sound, great thicker neck, and just a fantastic, fun to play guitar. I got mine with a hard case and Callaham brass saddles for $700, so you can't beat that price with a stick. I haven't played any of the Fender "Ultra" series yet, but I have played recent Elites from the Strat and Tele lines and really liked those as well.

I can't see every not playing Jems, they just do everything so well, but who doesn't like to hear guitar companies are upping their game? With the Jem in house I don't really need any more "metal" guitars either, so classics are kind of where I look these days when I feel the itch to expand the collection ;)
I don't know if the large guitar companies are upping their game or not. They have distanced themselves from their customers (end-user guitarists), which I don't really blame them for, because if the internet is anything to go by, we usually are not very helpful with our freely given advice about how they should run their company and build their products. To Fender's credit, they did research and made changes. We will see what happens.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top