Tim Armstrong, the vocalist, composer, and producer for Rancid, is a name familiar to anybody with even a passing interest in punk rock. The Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat, part of Fender’s renowned Artist Series, provides you the opportunity to write your songs using this amazing axe. This cheap acoustic exudes attitude while displaying the attributes that make it an excellent acoustic for both beginners and experienced musicians. Let’s have a look!
Aside from its good aesthetics, what else does the Hellcat have to offer?
Because it’s electro-acoustic, this signature model comes with Fishman’s Isys III system, which has an active onboard preamp with volume and three-band EQ settings (bass, mids, and treble).
This preamp also has a built-in digital tuner, which is useful for both beginners and advanced musicians.
The set of vintage-style tuners — with aged white plastic buttons – do an excellent job of keeping your tuning constant, so you may not need to use it very often.
The remainder of the hardware on this acoustic is solid, including a rosewood bridge and GraphTech Nubone compensated saddle, as well as a rosewood nut.
Body & Neck – Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat
This is a fantastic acoustic that screams punk rock. Fans of Rancid will recognize the design since the appointments on this less expensive model are similar to those on Armstrong’s personal Hellcat (although adapted to right-handed players).
When compared to a dreadnought, it has a smaller concert body with a 25.3″ scale length, making it more comfortable to carry – especially for novices.
The Hellcat is an all-mahogany model, with laminated mahogany for the back and sides and solid wood for the top, which should come as no surprise given the dark grain.
Under the hood, scalloped X bracing provides definition and protection, while cream binding adds definition and protection on the outside.
It’s already attractive, but the finishing touches add a level of distinction that makes this instrument really one-of-a-kind.
The four-ply tortoiseshell pickguard and Tim Armstrong’s autograph on the truss rod cover stand out, while Hellcat inlays run the length of the 19-fret walnut fretboard, with double skull inlays at the 12th fret. With a C shape and a thin satin finish, the maple neck is highly playable.
Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat – Sound
The Hellcat’s all-mahogany construction, along with its solid top, results in a genuine, rich, and warm tone that’s quite pleasant to the ear.
The acoustic projection is good, with plenty of resonance owing to the bracing arrangement, despite the tiny construction.
The tone is fairly organic when using the Fishman system, and the onboard controls provide plenty of sound tweaking options. It sounds fantastic for such a low-cost guitar!
Fender has done an excellent job at recreating a modern classic, and we’re sure Tim Armstrong is delighted with the results. The design is firmly rooted in radical punk rock, the playability is difficult to fault, and the tone is exactly what you’d want both plugged in and out. It’s an excellent value for the money.
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