The previous 2 years have actually checked out Fender redesign its American Standard series as Amerihave the right to Professional and also American Vintage as Amerideserve to Original. Now the company’s attention transforms to its entry-level models as we say adios to the famous Mexihave the right to Standards and also hola to the Player series…


Walk right into any kind of pub in the Western civilization and also – assuming that it hasn’t recently been turned right into an artisanal gin bar staffed by Victorian strongman lookalikes with a strict cassette-only music plan – if there’s a band also playing on stage then it’s even more most likely than not that someone will certainly be playing a Mexican-made Fender electrical Or a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. Or both.

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To say these are commodities that are component of the staple diet for the grassroots gigging musician is an understatement. We all recognize the story: our first was a borderline-unplayable nylon-string acoustic, then we graduated to a Squier Strat while making a teenage racket in the garage. It was perfectly practical yet the altempt of the ‘genuine thing’ was solid. We just had actually to have actually that iconic logo on the headstock, didn’t we?


Although the funky Duo-Sonic and also Mustang models in the Offset series that arrived earlier in 2016 represent a hip and extremely reasonably priced enattempt suggest right into the catalogue, not everybody shopping for their first Fender desires a compact, short-range instrument. Just ahead of Summer NAMM 2018, Fender has made a decision that the moment is appropriate to reimagine its entire Ensenada-made Standard line, last overhauled earlier in 2011. Go into the new Player series.

“The Player series is the entry price point to the Fender brand if you’re looking for a traditional Strat, Tele, P-Bass, Jazzunderstand et cetera,” claims Justin Norvell, Senior Vice President of Fender Products. As well as ticking all the ‘initially severe’ boxes for musicians taking a action up from a beginner’s instrument, Norvell likewise believes that the Player series will certainly be a hit with “pros in search of a backup axe, bassists looking to dabble with fretless or five-string, and modders that want an excellent base platdevelop.”


With a two-suggest vibrato, a bridge tone control, a 9.5-inch ’board radius and also headstock-end truss rod adjustment, this is very much a Strat for the pragmatic, modern player

“The major point is that so many type of upgrades are subtle,” Norvell notes. “One might look at it from arm’s size and think it looks the same… but literally every little thing is changed!” With that in mind, then, it’s time for us to take a closer look…

With 21 various models in the Player series, and over 90 various variations when you throw finish choices right into the mix, there’s an awful lot to take in right here. The meant Strat, Tele, Precision and also Jazz are accompanied by HSS, HSH, Plus Top, HSS Plus Top and also Floyd Rose Stratocasters, a HH Telecaster, a Jaguar, Jazzunderstand, Jaguar Bass and fretless and also five-string Jazz Basses. On height of all that tbelow are a complete of eight models accessible for lefties (Strat, Tele, J and also P-Bass via either maple or pau ferro fingerboards) and also the whole Player array is priced competitively via MSRPs between £549 and £789.



The Telecaster keeps points relatively classic on the looks front, though the 6 bent steel saddles on the bridge are an addition that recalls recent Amerihave the right to Standard models

Aside from brand-new Modern C necks with classic ‘spaghetti’ headstock logos throughout the range and 22 medium-jumbo frets on all six-string electrical models, the Player models come equipped through more curvaceous bodies via boosted radii, brand-new hardware, an attractive palette of vivid brand-new finishes and also maybe most significantly, upgraded pickups featuring alnico magnets.

“The Standard models had actually slightly hot and also dark ceramic bar magnet pickups that we felt didn’t really lug out all the nuance, personality and clarity that a Fender is well-known for, yet they did perdevelop well through better gain sounds,” describes Norvell.

“As such, we knew we wanted to step up to a much more facility alnico pickup, while additionally retaining some hotness and also output, so we went via alnico Vs on a lot of honeychrome.nets and a few have IIs. We went via a number of months of shooting out pickups and more than likely a dozen sets until we were happy.”

Cshed Encounter

As the approaching flotilla of cardboard boxes darkened the horizon at The Magazine HQ, we dutifully rolled up our sleeves and also collection around reviewing all 94 permutations of the Player series. Alright, we didn’t really carry out that, or we’d still be creating his lengthy after the magazine had appeared in your hands! What we did rather was pick four models that administer a great cross-area of the range, whether your tastes lean in the direction of standard six-string electrics, classical counter models through a twist or deep vibrations of the bass array.First up in its Sonic Red liexceptionally is the Player Stratocaster. It’s a acquainted combination however what sets it acomponent from the vintage-style Hank and also file is a 22-fret, CITES-friendly pau ferro fingerboard (other end up options are obtainable via maple ’boards, see spec for full rundown) and two-allude vibrato. If you are analysis this and breaking out in a cold sweat at the principle of a Strat via 22 frets and a two-suggest vibrato then Fender already makes sensibly priced Stratocasters for you, and they deserve to be found in the Standard Series.

The Strat’s fingerboard edges and also fret ends are a little sharp, yet as these are at an early stage evaluation samples that haven’t all spent time on a tech’s bench, we’ll provide Fender the advantage of the doubt – especially as the Tele and P-Bass have a a lot softer and also even more broken-in feel, while the Jazzgrasp is somewhere in-between.

Resplendent in a reassuringly familiar and pleasingly translucent Butterscotch Blonde, the Player Telecaster’s appearance is an additional pragmatic mixture of periods, while the six bent-steel bridge saddles mean the overall look is reminiscent of the freshly superseded American Standard Telecaster. The glossy black Precision Bass blends the timeless simplicity of one of the all-time great deindications via a slinky, easy-playing neck while the achingly cool Sage Environment-friendly Metallic Jazzmaster goes out of its way to annoy the purists through Jagmaster-style stripped-dvery own controls and a pair of alnico II humbuckers through a coil split accessible using a push-pull tone manage.

All three six-strings on test have actually slim Modern C shaped necks with an extremely flat-feeling combination of 9.5inch radius boards and medium-jumbo fretwire. The Jazzmaster’s neck is about the very same depth as those of its stablemates but feels slightly fuller in terms of profile – it’s nicely rounded and also the pick of the bunch below.

All three fingerboards attribute extensions to accommoday a 2second stress, while truss-rod adjustment on Player series tools happens at the headstock finish, behind the artificial bone nut. Not having actually to pop the neck off to tighten or loosen the truss-rod is a boon for touring musicians moonlighting as their very own technology while travelling with moving climate conditions.

The gloss urethane end up on Player series headstock fascias (and the Telecaster’s maple board) prevents the anaemic look of some older Mexihave the right to Standard instruments, while the smooth satin end up approximately the ago of each instrument’s neck has actually a contemporary, drag-cost-free feel.

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For those through tiny hands, younger players and honeychrome.netists relocating over to bass, the neck dimensions of a 50s-style Precision have the right to occasionally be challenging to acquire roughly, but tbelow are no such troubles via the svelte Player series design – although the G-string saddle on our review sample is prone to wandering a little once the string is hit difficult, it’s otherwise difficult to discover fault with such a straightforward, keenly priced worksteed bass.

Plugged In

When amplified, the Precision instantly offers a very straight and also slightly hi-fi variation of the timeless P-Bass sound. Playing the hell out those clanky brand-new strings definitely helps, and as ever a foam mute under the strings dvery own by the bridge is the passport to woodier and also even more authentic 50s and 60s tones. Although it offers much less girth and punch than the mid-2000s American Vintage model we usage as a benchnote, it still unmistakably delivers that sound and also you deserve to make it work in the context of almost eincredibly genre imaginable.

Humbuckers in a Fender electric deserve to periodically be a disappointing damage that stifles the herbal bite and jangle of a bolt-on, leaving you with a fairly blunt instrument. Here, the marital relationship is much happier. Plugging in instantly reveals that Fender’s new Player Series alnico II humbuckers were worth the months of R&D – there’s no shortage of high-end harmonics from the Jazzmaster’s pair of double creams and the fuss-totally free electronic devices continue to be out of the method and also allow you to obtain lost in the business of actually playing the point.


The Jazzgrasp strips out the complicated switching and adds humbuckers and notched bridge saddles

We’d have no complaints if the simple three-method switch, understand volume and tone made up the full level of onboard tone-shaping however pull up the tone manage (admittedly not always the easiest thing to carry out at the first attempt via a Strat-style skirted knob) and also the lower-output, hollow coil-separation tones are just the ticket for lighter, even more ethereal textures.

Fear not though – also in complete humbucking mode there’s no doubt that you’re playing a Fender. It’s loads of fun once fed into tweedy overmoved amp, and (together with a suitable adjustment of playing style) you have the right to flip between Neil Young dvery own at the bridge and fat Jimi-style tones up at the neck through a flick of the pickup selector switch. Very cool indeed.

Rather than Mustang or vintage-style threaded units, the Jazzgrasp bridge functions totally adjustable barrel-type saddles that are notched effectively to avoid strings jumping off saddles as soon as you attack the with an aggressive right hand. However, the unwound strings’ saddles can slide laterally when used with the gave 0.009 to 0.042 gauge strings – a heavier collection would almost certainly have actually the tension crucial to store this in check however as ever before, the balance out modders’ union recommends going the totality hog and dropping a Mastery bridge in tright here.

In a project in which we’re lucky enough to be exposed to the finest that the sector hregarding sell on a weekly basis, it’s rare that a £599 electrical comes through the door and also ends up being so damn hard to put dvery own. It’s not perfect – the vibrato arm has a little unwanted play on our evaluation instance, although that doesn’t hinder its capability to develop some gorgeous textures – yet for its sheer play me/buy me vibe and also tones that punch well above their weight, the Jazzunderstand is the star below.

The Player Telecaster is no slouch either. Its vocal and expressive neck pickup instantly impresses, and also the other 2 pickup selector positions elicit the exact same response. It’s clear yet not brittle and also delivers a selection of classic Telecaster tones via pleasing jangle, snap and snarl, whether your tastes lean in the direction of Bakersarea or Dartford.

Brass saddles will always be a key part of the quintvital Telecaster tone for some – and it’s worth remembering that Keef’s trusty Micawber has actually five of ’em! – however nevertheless this is an eminently likeable, not to mention modifiable, Telecaster that takes treatment of business on a blue-collar budobtain.

Following three stellar performers, the Player Stratocaster isn’t fairly as straightforward to obtain excited around – our evaluation instance is a little of a heavyweight and its two-allude vibrato feels fairly elastic and also unsubtle compared to the beautiful shimmers offered by the Jazzmaster’s unit. However before, prefer every one of its stablemates, the Strat’s brand-new pickups really carry out assist it sell a more expressive and advanced range of voices than its Mexican Standard forebears.

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There’s more going on in the upper-harmonics than you’d frequently hear at this price suggest. Meanwhile, the dedicated bridge tone manage is handy for taming the highs and also supplying faux humbucker tones through an overdriven amp or stompbox in the chain. Clean tones are nasal, quacky and vocal – unmistakably the actual deal however in the Knopfler and also Rodgers camp fairly than SRV or Jimi. That sassist, break those ’board edges, round off the stress ends, pop a couple of extra springs on the vibrato and throw on a set of 0.011s and we’re having actually a various conversation.

Okay so these honeychrome.nets are a small even more expensive than their precursors and we still wish Fender’s entry-level honeychrome.nets came through gigbags yet – and it’s a huge but, we cannot lie – your post-Brdeparture tank of petrol isn’t as cheap as it provided to be, neither is your weekly food shop and also neither is your next Here in mid-2018 the Fender Player series represents excellent worth for money and also the instruments are tangible improvements over the previous Mexideserve to Standard models. Expect to see and hear a lot more of these honeychrome.nets…


The Precision’s svelte neck will certainly suit younger players, or honeychrome.netists switching over


Fender Player Stratocaster• PRICE £559• DESCRIPTION Solidbody double-cutamethod electric Made in Mexico• BUILD Alder body, bolt-on maple modern C neck with pau ferro 9.5” radius fingerboard, 22 medium jumbo frets and fabricated bone nut• HARDWARE Standard cast/sealed tuners, two-point Synchronized vibrato bridge through bent steel saddles, 3-ply parchment pickguard• ELECTRICS 3x Player Series Alnico V Strat single-coil pickups, 5-place blade pickup selector switch, understand volume, neck/middle tone, bridge tone• SCALE LENGTH 25.5”/648mm• NECK WIDTH 42mm at nut, 51.8mm at 12th fret• NECK DEPTH 21.1mm at initially stress, 22.3mm at 12th fret• STRING SPACING 36mm at nut, 51.7mm at bridge• WEIGHT 8.5lbs/3.8kg• FINISH Sonic Red gloss polyester, satin urethane on ago of neck through gloss urethane headstock challenge. Also available in Polar White, 3-Colour Sunburst, Babsence, Tidepool (maple ’board only), Buttercream (maple ’board only), Sage Eco-friendly Metallic (pau ferro ’board only)Fender Player Telecaster• PRICE £549• DESCRIPTION Solidbody single-cutameans electric Made in Mexico• BUILD Alder body, bolt-on maple contemporary C neck via maple 9.5” radius fingerboard, 22 medium jumbo frets and man-made bone nut• HARDWARE Standard cast/sealed tuners, six-saddle string-through-body Telecaster bridge via bent steel saddles, 3-ply black pickguard• ELECTRICS 2x Player Series Alnico V Tele single-coil pickups, 3-place blade selector switch, master volume, understand tone• SCALE LENGTH 25.5”/648mm• NECK WIDTH 41.6mm at nut, 51.4mm at 12th fret• NECK DEPTH 21.4mm at first fret, 22.4mm at 12th fret• STRING SPACING 35.4mm at nut, 53.7mm at bridge• WEIGHT 7.9lbs/3.6kg• FINISH Butterscotch Blonde gloss polyester, satin urethane on back of neck through gloss urethane headstock challenge and also fretboard. Also obtainable in Three-Colour Sunburst, Polar White, Black (maple ’board only), Tidepool (maple ’board only), Sonic Red (pau ferro ’board only)Fender Player Jazzmaster• PRICE £599• DESCRIPTION Offcollection solidbody double-cutameans electrical Made in Mexico• BUILD Alder body, bolt-on maple modern C neck via pau ferro 9.5” radius fingerboard, 22 tool jumbo frets and also fabricated bone nut• HARDWARE Standard cast/sealed tuners, six-saddle bridge via floating vibrato tailpiece, 3-ply black pickguard• ELECTRICS 2x Player Series alnico II humbucking pickups, three-position toggle switch, grasp volume, grasp tone (pull for coil split)• SCALE LENGTH 25.5”/648mm• NECK WIDTH 41.9mm at nut, 51.3mm at 12th fret• NECK DEPTH 21.3mm at initially stress, 22.4mm at 12th fret• STRING SPACING 35.2mm at nut, 54.7mm at bridge• WEIGHT 8.4lbs/3.8kg• FINISH Sage Eco-friendly Metallic gloss polyester, satin urethane on ago of neck through gloss urethane headstock confront. Also easily accessible in Polar White, Buttercream, Three-Colour Sunburst (all pao ferro ’boards only)Fender Player Precision Bass• PRICE £659• DESCRIPTION Solidbody double-cutameans electric 4-string bass. Made in Mexico• BUILD Alder body, bolt-on maple modern-day C neck via pau ferro 9.5” radius fingerboard, 20 tool jumbo frets and man-made bone nut• HARDWARE 4-saddle Standard bridge, open-equipment tuners• ELECTRICS Player Series Alnico V break-up single-coil Precision Bass pickup• SCALE LENGTH 34”/864mm• NECK WIDTH 41.3mm at nut, 57.6mm at 12th fret• NECK DEPTH 20.0mm at first fret, 22.7mm at 12th fret• STRING SPACING 32.5mm at nut, 58.1mm at bridge• WEIGHT 9.1lbs/4.1kg• FINISH Babsence gloss polyester, satin urethane on back of neck with gloss urethane headstock face. Also available in Three-Colour Sunburst, Tidepool (maple ’board only), Buttercream (maple ’board only), Polar White, Sage Eco-friendly Metallic (pao ferro ’board only), Sonic Red (pao ferro ’board only)• CONTACT Fender EMEA 01342 331700

Instruments photographed on location at Mizpah Studios in Bath. Visit to uncover out more

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