Fender Selling Guitar With iOS, USB Connectivity

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Fender, long one of the music industry’s most popular guitar makers, has announced a new model that comes with the ability to connect directly to iOS devices like the iPad and iPhone, as well as Mac desktop computers via USB. Dubbed the Squier by Fender USB Stratocaster Guitar, the instrument is being offered exclusively at Apple’s online store.

Ever since the debut of the iPad, third-party accessory makers have worked to produce a wide range of add-ons and gadgets designed to allow musicians to take their studio sessions mobile. From specialized adapter cords to cleverly constructed interface jacks, in recent years the professional music community has become accustomed to using these devices to record sessions directly to the iPad and iPhone. Now, at least in the case of guitar players looking to go digital, the new Fender instrument essentially eliminates the need for many of these clunky accessories.

And while this instrument might be an exciting addition to any mobile musician’s setup, the Fender USB Stratocaster appears to have been developed without early access to Apple’s latest plans for the iPhone and iPad. The instrument connects easily to older iPhone and iPad models, but for the iPhone 5 and iPad 4, the device requires a Lightning to 30-pin Adapter, instantly adding another $29 to the bottom line for those with the latest Apple hardware.

Rather than hobble the instrument by making it exclusive to digital devices, the guitar can also be used as a normal guitar with any standard amplifier. The USB Stratocaster also comes with a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack with volume control, allowing users to monitor the digital audio directly from the instrument. Fender also has posted a video (below) showing off how the iOS-enabled instruments might allow musicians to collaborate more effectively.

The Fender USB Stratocaster Guitar is available now for $199.95 on the Apple website.

For more, see PCMag’s reviews of GarageBand for iPad and GarageBand ’11.

By Adario Strange, PCMag


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