Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat Acoustic Electric Guitar Review!

The newest addition to Fender’s Hellcat series is Tim Armstrong Hellcat, and if that name sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because Tim Armstrong is the left-playing front man of one of the most legendary punk bands to rock the world – Rancid. This guitar right here is made with respect, a tribute to Tim Armstrong’s ’60s Fender acoustic. While it may not be the exact color of the iconic guitar Tim used to play with, it still has several notable features that punk enthusiasts can spot and cherish.

The most original features being, of course, the hellcat inlays at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th frets, and if Fender ever forgets the 2 skulls at the 12th fret in a Tim Armstrong hellcat, I don’t think any punk fan will forgive them!

It’s made with a solid mahogany top and laminated mahogany back and sides. The neck, made of maple wood, is finished with satin. You can be assured of premium quality when you get the guitar. It looks and feels like a vintage guitar, with its brown wood body. The lining of cream bindings is just cherry on the top for the classic look.

The Hellcat can accommodate the needs of a professional player as well as a beginner. It’s very novice-friendly and can be played right out of the box, which seems to be a necessary availability for new players. Although, it packs quite a punch that can only be utilized by a skilled musician.

The guitar is also made up of mahogany wood. Combined with the scalloped bracing and bronze strings, the guitar offers an ear-pleasing sound.

Fender Hellcat Review:

Let’s take a look at each of the features of the Fender Hellcat.

Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat Acoustic Electric Guitar Review! 2

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Top Features:

  • Mahogany top and laminated mahogany finish on the sides and the back offering an immensely rich sound.
  • Scalloped bracing makes for a loud bass, clearer sound, and warm intonations. Coupled with the mahogany, the guitar produces excellently rich intonations.
  • Unique “Hellcat” inlays at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th frets. Double skull inlays at the 12th fret to signify it’s a “Tim Armstrong” Hellcat.
  • Tim Armstrong’s signature on the headstock.
  • Fishman Isys III system amplifies the already rich sound from the mahogany and makes it better, louder, and clearer.
  • Rosewood bridge that gives a new appeal to the vintage look of the guitar along with the chrome die-cast tuners.
Pros
  • Beginner friendly. The Hellcat comes ready to play out of the box. For novice players, that’s the biggest requirement while buying a guitar.
  • Vintage, classic look. The guitar looks vintage and will be a fine addition to any guitar collection. Lined with the cream bindings, the guitar just looks aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
  • Mahogany wood and scalloped bracing. Both of these features combine to form a sound with so rich intonations that you’d find it hard to find a competitor.
  • Tribute to Tim Armstrong. The entire guitar is named after the legendary 60s musician. Not only that, but it is embedded with Hellcat inlays and double skull inlays at the 12th fret, holding true to the original design.
  • Fender implemented the Fishman Isys III system in the Hellcat, which offers such amazing amplification that it’ll make anyone who listens to its fall in love with the guitar.
  • The Hellcat is an absolute bang on the buck for the affordable price bracket it finds itself in. No guitar within this price bracket offers something that good as the Hellcat offers, and even if they do, it’s mostly guitars that are much more expensive than the Hellcat.
  • Due to the guitar packing a punch at even high frequencies, it allows a skilled musician to have a skill cap that can be utilized with the powerful guitar.
Cons
  • If you are a hardcore fan of Tim Armstrong, then small faults of the guitar, such as it being not available as a left-hand model despite Tim being a left-hander himself and how the guitar isn’t spray painted black like the original one and is instead been stuck with a vintage brown, will be more apparent to you. In such a case, you might not want to buy the guitar as these details will bother you much later if you are that crazy for Tim Armstrong.
  • The Hellcat uses two or more types of wood. To avoid damaging the wood of your guitar, one needs to properly maintain room temperature and moisture to protect the guitar. If you are too careless about your guitar, then the Hellcat is not for you.

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Tim Armstrong Acoustic-Electric Guitar Body:

As stated earlier, the body is made of mahogany wood, and the back and the sides are laminated mahogany. The shape is a dreadnought, and the number of strings is 6. This gives the guitar a classic, vintage look. The bindings go amazingly well with the overall look, too – cream-colored, perfectly complimenting with the rich mahogany brown.

However, the most attractive part is the neck, which is made up of maple and finished with premium satin, adding to the vintage visuals. The bridge is of rosewood, painted black (adorned by a Tim Armstrong autograph!), and the tuners are shiny chrome die-cast. What makes the Hellcat “Tim Armstrong Hellcat” is its inlays. At the 3rd,5th,7th, and 9th frets, we have the “Hellcat” logo, and at the 12th fret two skulls, in classical Tim Armstrong style.

Also checkout other guitar blogs on ibanez artwood acoustic guitar review or traveler acoustic guitar review.

Fender Hellcat Acoustic Guitar Sound:

With the Tim Armstrong Hellcat, the sound should be the least of your worries. The Hellcat comes with the Fishman Isys III system, which also comes with a built-in tuner, which amplifies its sound to a level where the Hellcat makes sure it packs a punch.

Basically, with the Hellcat, you have a beast that roars at higher frequencies and shines in them, just what an avid punk fan would want from a guitar. This is possible due to scalloped bracing. At lower frequencies, one can expect rich intonations due to the mahogany and bronze strings. Not only the scalloped bracing allows the guitar to be powerful with boosted bass, but it also allows it to be more responsive, making sure you hit your notes perfectly on time. The Hellcat is an acoustic-electric guitar, and the acoustic itself, without being connected, sounds deep.

Tim Armstrong Hellcat Acoustic Guitar Comfort:

The 4-ply tortoiseshell pickguard acts as a protective shield while playing the guitar, safeguarding you from the occasional wrong pick click. The strings are made of bronze, and thus are less sharper and are more resistant to humid climate and corrosion. The guitar is in full dreadnought shape and fits very comfortably in the arms. All in all, the Hellcat can be your pleasant, warm companion during those cozy evenings when you need to rock it out. The guitar is also very light and is only 4.4 pounds, which can be easily handled even if you are skinny.

Conclusion

Tim Armstrong Hellcat acoustic-electric guitar is an amazing buy. I think it’s very hard to tribute a talented musician in a way that respects them and keeps their legacy alive. Fender was successful in doing just that. If you are a punk fan enthusiast, you are a fan of Rancid or Tim, and want to rock the world with the absolute dangerous power of this beast; then this guitar belongs in your collection. Hands down.

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