Fender Player Series Stratocaster Telecaster Precision Bass Jaguar

Fender Player Series  ·  Source: Fender

Fender’s new Player Series has just been announced, and it includes some old familiar favourites amongst the various models for 2018 like the Stratocaster, Jaguar, Telecaster and the Precision Bass. Unfortunately for Fender, we have seen them all already, with US dealers offering these models weeks ahead of the official launch.

Fender 2018 Leaks

This might just be the worst-kept secret of the guitar world in 2018: The new Mexican-made Fender Player Series is a revamp of the whole Fender Standard line-up, with some tweaks and a new, updated Jaguar model. I’m sure you have already seen them all, so this is just a quick overview of the whole range, which has already been heatedly discussed on many guitar forums across the world!

Fender Player Series

The Player Series models include some upgraded specifications, including new Fender Alnico pickups across the range, an updated body radius for added comfort, 22-fret necks with either maple or Pau Ferro fretboards and upgraded bridge hardware. The latter which includes the non-traditional two-point trem system on the Stratocasters, which I know many players will not like at all, as many prefer the six-screw traditional bridge.

We also get some new colours including Sage Green, Polar White, Tide Pool, Butter Cream, and Sonic Red, plus the older style ‘classic’ Fender logo on the headstock.

Out with the old

This new lineup consists of some pretty familiar models: the Stratocaster, Telecaster plus a Jazz and a P-Bass. But then there is a new take on the classic ‘offset’  Jaguar (the one we all saw last week for sale in Sam Ash stores) which has been pared down somewhat in the control section department and now includes a bridge humbucker! Purists will be up in arms, no doubt, but it makes some sense if you are a working musician that needs a good workhorse guitar.

Not Enough?

The general consensus on many guitar forums like The Fretboard is that this re-branding of a range adds nothing particularly special, just makes the price higher and could perhaps have been a bit more exciting. Personally, I mostly agree that this is a bit of a renaming exercise. I think I’ll probably avoid most of these new models, but only because they don’t offer anything ground-breaking. I would probably buy the older version if I was in the market for a Mexican-made Fender.

RRP – USD 649.99 – 774.99 / from GBP 549

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by Jef

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It’s funny: after so many discussions on the forums around pickups and the mantra “buy a standard strat but then swap the (ceramic) pickups” now the upgrade to Alnico V is called “nothing particularly special”. I’m curious about the first reviews…

Definitely not a renaming exercise to raise the price. These guitars are a vast improvement in quality, fit and finish, playability and tone over the Standard Series. I found the MIM guitars severely lacking when compared to USA made guitars. These new instruments are very close in quality to their USA counterparts.

The new version is obviously better. All the changes made were the reason I never bought a Mexican strat. Now I will definately been a Mexican strat guy because of the price.