The Who guitarist discusses new Limited Edition Pete Townshend Stratocaster

The Who Limited Edition Pete Townshend Stratocaster
The Who Limited Edition Pete Townshend Stratocaster

The Who’s Pete Townshend has partnered with Fender to deliver a unique axe, the Limited Edition Pete Townshend Stratocaster. The Strat is distinguished by its hybrid acoustic/electric tones, which is enabled by the inclusion of a two-post Fishman Powerbridge tremolo bridge. The VIB-101 Powerbridge is essentially an acoustic piezo pick-up incorporated into a bridge system. The guitar is based off a series of Eric Clapton signature Stratocasters which Townshend has toured with since the late ’80s. Like the Clapton strats, the Townshend model has three Lace Sensor Gold single-coil pickups.

The Pete Townshend Stratocaster run is limited to 75 guitars. One is available on Reverb.com, while European buyers can snap it up on Thomann for €4,699 (£3,933.87). The Fender listing can be seen here.

The Who axeman explains genesis of Pete Townshend Stratocaster

Pete Townshend has used a huge number of axes over the years, although in his early days he wasn’t particularly associated with the Strat. The legendary guitarist sat down with Fender to discuss his history with the instrument:

“By ’89, by the 25th anniversary, I was using Strats exclusively. I was using them straight out of the box and they worked incredibly well for me. My model does vary from the Eric Clapton model on which it’s based. I have an electro-acoustic pick-up in the back… It’s just such an instant, magical, flexible sound, the three pick-up set-up. But with the piezo you get this singing, you get extra harmonics. You can get a dirty Pete Townshend sound a yagadangy sound, but with this kind of zing in it. That’s what I love about the piezo. I feel I can do anything I want to on this.”

Custom electronics set-up on Townshend Strat

The Who Limited Edition Pete Townshend Stratocaster rear
The rear panel of the the Pete Townshend Stratocaster, including the Fishman Powerbridge tremolo bridge piezo system.

The Pete Townshend Stratocaster features an onboard Fender preamp. It has a two-piece Alder body and 22-fret one-piece maple neck. The soft V-shaped neck has vintage-style frets. The controls are master volume, TBX tone, Master Active Mid Boost (0-25dB) and Powerbridge volume. The pick-up selector allows you to switch between the single coils in typical Strat style while the piezo can be added to taste via the volume pot. The guitar has Sperzel Locking tuners and ships with a deluxe hardshell case.

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