toronadoOver the years Fender have had a rich association with rock music – a number of seriously heavy rock acts such as Iron Maiden – Hendrix to name a few have used Fenders but it must irk a little that for serious rock muso’s a Gibson Les Paul is what they grab for – so with the Toronado Fender have taken a number of design innovations to their standard template in an attempt to make the guitar appeal to those players who wouldn’t normally go for a Fender

The first thing you notice when you glance at a Toronado is that it looks unlike any other Fender whilst being strangely familiar – the butt of the guitar is contoured like a strat and coupled with the offset waist it’s nice and comfortable to rest on your knee when you want to pick it up to play but the rest of the design is fairly angular and seems strangely reminiscent of some hybrid – Jaguar/Explorer combo – hardware wise well purists would argue that it’s laid out as rock guitar should be twin humbuckers (in this case Atomic Humbuckers) – two tone – two volume controls – and a pickup selector switch – the bridge is served by a Adjusto-Matic™ Bridge with Anchored-Tailpiece.

The body is made from Alder and comes in a range of colors set off by a Polyester finish and the neck is maple with a rosewood 22 fret fingerboard with a 9.5” radius – the frets are medium jumbo’s. Hardware is chrome and the body is finished with a typical Fender style pick guard.

As with most Fender’s the build quality is pretty good – one cutback has been the use of standard vintage tuner’s – perhaps we’re nitpicking but we always like to see locking tuners to keep that stability – especially if your gonna rock out – you may as well do it in tune.

As we said at the start – the Toronado is aimed at the rock market – with the Atomic Humbucker Fender have clearly kitted out the guitar with that in mind the pickups offer a gutsy mid range with plenty of bottom end. Turned up high with a loud amp – they can get a little noisy.

Being aimed at the “Les Paul” community it’s unsurprising that the Toronado has some similarities – the pickups are pretty meaty but don’t stretch all the way into the Les Paul sound – perhaps more like a P90 tone with an unmistakable Fender quality – a fair degree of warmth coupled with a full sound – a little bassy perhaps – whilst the pickups don’t have the loudest output by any means they do the job well – the neck pickup provides an excellent workhorse for rhythm tones and the bridge pickups adds that extra bite for solo’s – add some overdrive and you’ve got a lovely creamy tone – great for rock or blues the tone/volume options add versatility and if you do need a bit of range we think that the Toronado would make an excellent guitar for a covers band.

With it’s distinct look the Toronado is really something different from the Fender stable – while there tackling an established market – the guitar offers quite a bit – in both tone and versatility and with a RRP of around the $500 dollar mark that’s a fairly cheap price to pay for a “badged” instrument offering the Fender quality.

For more info check out the Fender Guitar website

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