“The Coronado guitar is back, with greater sound, build and beauty than ever for the guitarist who appreciates a different Fender guitar with a special history.” – Fender
Fender has resurrected a relic from the past with the new Coronado model electric guitar. No doubt, that familiar headstock sitting atop a semi-hollow body is sure to catch some glances. The same goes with the Coronado’s two humbuckers. If not for the Fender logo, someone might think the Coronado was a product of that other company, the one that starts with a “G.”
What’s Old Is New Again
The Coronado was initially produced by Fender from the mid 1960s through the early 1970s before coming to an end. Being an archtop, it lies somewhere between an Epiphone DOT and a Gibson ES-335. With its customized twin f-hole design and dual humbuckers, you can’t help but think the Coronado was made to compete with Gibson, Epiphone or even Rickenbacker. But that was then and this is now, right? Not so fast.
Coronado Is a Modern Player
Modern Players Series 2.0 is the name of the latest entry-level line of guitars from Fender. It includes, among others, the Coronado, Starcaster®, Mustang®, Marauder®, Jazzmaster® and a number of Teles, Strats and basses.
According to Fender, Modern Player is the company’s “most adventurous series of entry-level instruments to date.”
The Coronado has a retail price of $699.99. If Fender thinks that’s an appropriate price tag for “entry-level” pickers and strummers, no wonder Epiphone’s DOT has been such a success. Speaking of entry-level, the DOT usually retails for about $399.99. But let’s see. What does the Fender Coronado have to offer aspiring axe-slingers?
The Coronado has a thin semi-hollow body profile, making it more comfortable to play. Fender has changed the original design, from hollow to semi-hollow, using an alder center-block. It’s likely that the center-block cuts down on unwanted feedback. Other companies, like Epiphone, use mahogany.
The laminated double cut-away maple body, available in 3-Color Sunburst, Black, Candy Apple Red and Black Cherry Burst gloss finishes, is fully bound, including the f-holes. All models are equipped with a black pickguard.
The 25.5˝C-shaped bolt-on maple neck, which is also bound, sports 21 medium jumbo frets, a synthetic string nut, rosewood fingerboard and the characteristic Fender headstock.
Chrome hardware is standard on all Coronados.
At the bridge and neck are Fender’s humbucking Fideli’Tron™ pick-ups. That’s right. There are no single coils here. Each bucker has separate volume and tone controls.
Mixing and matching is done via a three-way toggle with bridge, bridge and neck and just neck combinations.
Fender describes the bridge on the Coronado as a “Pinned Adjusto-Matic™ with Floating ‘F’ Trapeze Tailpiece.” The trapeze tailpiece was used on the Les Paul gold tops of the early 1950s. In this case, the “F” is for Fender.
The Coronado uses skirted “amp” style control knobs.
The dark etched sunburst finish, black pick guard and control knobs, along with the rosewood fingerboard, make for a striking image.
Is the Coronado worth the price tag? Fender may tout its blast from the past as an entry-level instrument, but by no means is it average. The Coronado costs twice as much as an Epiphone DOT and doesn’t approach the superiority of an ES-335. Fender may have a difficult time finding the right niche with this one.