I’ll be the first to admit that Fender’s announcement of their new digital-modeling guitar, the VG Stratocaster, left me more than a bit nonplussed––I mean, as much as I love Fender’s traditional instruments, the rather short history of digital guitars is littered with badly planned, badly executed, or just plain lackluster attempts to bring the next big thing to electric guitars, and I didn’t see much reason to expect that Fender would get it right either.
But I have to say that having just watched the VG Strat demo from Winter NAMM, well… I’m actually pretty impressed. Not that I necessarily see one in my future, but I can certainly imagine a number of circumstances where a single, highly versatile instrument like the VG would come in handy. And for the traditional low-income, starving artist-type guitar player this thing could really be a godsend.
While perhaps not everything is shiny and bright on the VG Strat (that so-called “acoustic” tone sounds a little useless to my ears,) the Tele & Humbucker settings seem pretty damned good (at least as far as I can tell from the noisy showroom demo,) and Fender definitely dodged a bullet by packing absolutely everything onboard and requiring just a traditional 1/4″ audio cable for output (Digital Les Paul anyone?)
Oh yeah, and those instant alternate tunings could be a lot of fun as well, provided the sound reproduction is good (once again, its hard to hear any nuances in the demo.)
Anyway, you should definitely check out the video if you’re at all intrigued by the VG Strat. Unfortunately, Fender doesn’t seem to be using permalinks, so while I originally wanted to link directly to the page on Fender’s Frontline Live where I came across the demo, I’m posting the link to YouTube instead.
I’ll be interested to hear what you think…