Fender has announced a new addition to its budget-friendly Squier line of guitars, in the form of a Stratocaster with integrated USB connectivity. This feature allows users to record and share tracks without the need of an additional interface. Though the guitar is clearly marketed with Apple’s iOS platform in mind, the company states that it is also compatible with Macs and Windows PCs.
The snappily-named “Squier by Fender Strat Guitar with USB and iOS Connectivity” features an on-board mini USB connector in addition to the relevant adapters and cables for connection to a computer or iOS device – providing the iOS device in question features the previous-generation 30-pin jack. Owners of the most recent iOS models will be required to purchase Apple's Lightning-to-30-pin adapter.
The guitar also features an integrated stereo headphone jack with volume control, for use when it is hooked up to a Mac, PC or iDevice. The USB Squier Stratocaster can still be used as a normal guitar, with the standard 1/4-inch guitar lead jack.
While a Strat with built-in USB port is unlikely to replace high-end audio interfaces for recording, Fender seems to be promoting it more as a useful tool for sketching ideas into GarageBand and sharing over the internet – something which could indeed prove handy for both long-distance bands and newcomers to the instrument.
At present, the USB Squier Stratocaster is sold exclusively via the Apple Store, at a retail price of US$199.95.
The promo video below shows a band putting the new USB Squier Stratocaster to use with various Apple devices.