|Body And Neck:|
Fender is known having a wide family of signature model guitars in their lineup. Sometimes these are dedicated to legendary guitarists who are known inside as well as outside of the guitar community, but sometimes the names are not that widely popular. Case in point Tim Armstrong’s Hellcat model. Frontman of Rancid definitely made an impact on several generations of punk fans out there. The music he used to accomplish this was written using an acoustic guitar that looks exactly like this tribute model. Aside from its history, this model is also among the best beginner acoustic guitars out there.
One quick glance at this guitar reveals what type of aesthetic they were going for. Everything about Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat screams vintage. From its headstock to the pick guard. In terms of construction, you are looking at a solid mahogany top combined with laminated mahogany back and sides. The neck comes in form of amaple piece that features a satin finish. The entire top and fretboard come with nice cream binding, which gives an interesting contrast to the dark brown finish Hellcat brings. This guitar is not only built solid, but it looks amazing as well.
When it comes to hardware, Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat is pretty much set. They ship this guitar with a rosewood bridge, a Tusq saddle and a NuBone nut – both made by Graph Tech. On the headstock, we find a set of Fender’s vintage die-cast tuners that are very accurate and fairly good at keeping the guitar in key. This selection of hardware might be considered standard these days, but definitely not in this price range.
A good concert body acoustic guitar is just a perfect candidate for a set of decent electronics. In the case of Hellcat here, Fender went with Fishman’s Isys III system. It is their middle of the road setup that offers a very balanced performance at a reasonable price. Tone reproduction is pretty authentic, however Isys III knocks the ball out of the park with its preamp and tone shaping features. To put it shortly, there’s a lot of potential just on guitar’s end.
When we said this was a great beginner guitar, we weren’t all that fair towards the Hellcat. The tone it offers, although somewhat affected by its laminate body construction, is still well within the limits of a lower midrange acoustic guitar. Thanks to its mahogany top, it’s pretty snappy with a fast response and crystal clear trebles. Mids are there, as well as the lows, but the entire guitar is obviously set up more toward the upper end of the frequency range.
Whether you’re an aspiring punk guitarist or just someone looking for a decent acoustic-electric guitar, Fender Tom Armstrong Hellcat is a great option. It brings a variety of great features at a reasonable price and it looks pretty cool while doing so.Everything about this guitar feels solid, inspiring confidence even in more experienced players out there.