Do you have half an interest in playing punk rock music tunes from a guitar?

If you are yet to find a guitar for this, then consider trying the Fender Hellcat acoustic-electric guitar. The Fender Hellcat is a guitar that pays tribute to the legendary Tim Armstrong – Rancid’s songwriter, producer, and frontman. While it might not bear the iconic black style used by Tim, it still features a ton of distinct symbols that punk rock fans identify with.

fender-tim-armstrong-hellcat

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Product Overview

From a distance, you can see this guitar screaming punk rock. It is one acoustic guitar that oozes attitude while showing off its features that make it an ideal acoustic guitar. Since Fender Hellcat is a tribute to Tim, Fender opted to retain the vibe of Armstrong’s two skulls on the 12th fret and add a touch of modern style and flair. Let’s take a look at its product description.

  • Scalloped x bracing
  • Solid mahogany top
  • Laminated mahogany sides and back
  • Rosewood bridge
  • Saddle and chrome die-cast tuning keys
  • Fishman Isys III system
  • 4-ply tortoiseshell pickguard
  • 6 strings
  • Maple neck
  • Walnut fingerboard
  • Pearl acrylic Hellcat logos at 3rd, 5th, and 7th frets

The pros and cons of this description include

PROS:

  • Vintage appeal
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable to hold as a result of its scale length of 25.3”
CONS:

  • The frets have a bit of buzz when playing particularly with a defective neck

Key Features and Benefits

A Fender Hellcat will not be complete without Armstrong’s logo which is two skulls at the twelfth fret. Well, that’s not all from this bad-ass guitar. Below are the key features and benefits you get from the Fender Hellcat.

  •  Body and neck

This guitar does not fail to show off its good looks. It features a scale length of 25.3”, which makes it more comfortable to hold and play compared to a dreadnought – particularly for beginners. With the dark spray-painted on its body, there is no surprise that it is an all-mahogany model. Nonetheless, the back and sides are made from laminated mahogany with solid mahogany on the top. Under the hood, you’ll find scalloped x bracing and cream binding, which adds protection externally and match perfectly with the brown aesthetics for a vintage look. Moreover, you’ll get a four-ply tortoiseshell pickguard with Armstrong’s signature on the truss rod. As good looking as it is, you’ll get a satin-finished maple neck that makes it playable.

  • Hardware

Putting the good looks aside, let’s see what else the Fender Hellcat has to offer. It is an electro-acoustic guitar that features the popular Fishman Isys III system. The system comes along with an active onboard preamp with 3-band EQ (mids, treble, and bass), and volume controls. Additionally, the preamp features a built-in digital tuner making it special for beginners. The white plastic buttons do a good job of maintaining your tuning stable.

  • Sound

The Fender Hellcat is equally not left behind in the delivery of sound by offering a true, rich and warm tone. This is all thanks to the all-mahogany build at the top, back, and sides. The bracing pattern ensures you get an excellent acoustic projection with ample resonance despite the guitar’s small build. Fishman Isys III system also chips in to ensure you get a tone that’s pretty organic. The Fishman system also offers onboard controls that give you several sound tweaking capabilities. Fender Hellcat also features 6-strings that also contributes to its rich and warm tone. The sound is further enhanced with its advanced scalloped bracing.

  • Playability

Since it’s a concert shaped guitar, it measures 13 ½ to 14 inches which is slightly lower compared to other acoustic and dreadnought guitars. This makes it ideal for players who like playing smaller guitars as it makes its playability enjoyable and interesting. The nut width of 1.69” also increases its playability.

How does it compare?

Today’s guitar’s manufacturers are continually developing ingenious production techniques so that they bring you high-end guitars. With so many guitars from traditional acoustic to the funky re-issue guitars in the production line, it may seem almost impossible to settle for the right one. If the Fender Hellcat does not give you that rich and warm tone, try considering one of the following.

1. Yamaha APX500III Thinline

It is a guitar that has that striking and arresting aesthetic appeal with its glossy and black finish. It’s a true competitor for the Hellcat; body-wise as well as color-wise. It is a thin line guitar; therefore, making it comfortable to hold. When it comes to sound, it features Yamaha’s system 66 preamp which is easy for beginners to use. Moreover, this system delivers authentic acoustic sound.

2. Ibanez Artwood Series Tenor guitar

It’s considered as a transition instrument between the 6-string swing guitar and the Dixieland Banjo. For 100 years now, the Tenor guitar is respected for its superior hardware, tonewoods, and solid tops. It also stands to face off the Hellcat due to its consideration of being akin to the mandolin and violin family and played using same chord shapes and scales.

3. Loar Brownstone LH – 204

If the Fender Hellcat does not give you that vintage feeling, then perhaps it’s time you consider the Loar Brownstone. It features mahogany sides and back and a solid Sitka spruce top with a rosewood fretboard. If the black-spray on the Fender Hellcat is not your thing, then the brown satin finish on its body will truly please you. Additionally, it features a gold logo decal that showcases the heritage of the guitar.

Who should buy this product?

The Fender Hellcat is not that big; therefore, any guitarist who prefers a small instrument will surely enjoy playing this guitar.

For the players who like a balanced and compact tone with the bass not resonant and the highs not jangly, then they’ll probably love the sound of the Fender Hellcat. It means even if you strum the guitar quite hard, the sound won’t sound muddled or piercing.

Kids learning how to play the guitar as well as beginners are also not left out. The small size makes it easy for them to play and handle. You can also lower the action making it an ideal starter guitar.