Professional gear without the hefty price tag…
Whatever the task, there’s nothing better than the reassurance in knowing you’ve got the tools to get the job done with ease. In the studio it might be a raft of vintage models with signature tones that can’t be matched by any other. On the stage, it could be a little different. You don’t want to risk damaging your cherished 50s/60s-era Strat or Tele when you’re on the road. But you also don’t want to skimp on those rich tones and effortless playability either. Enter the Fender Player Series!
Enter the Player Series
Alright, so I might have over-egged it with the vintage hype but even so, the Player Series is a legit beast in all the right ways. Marrying affordability, playability and tonal versatility isn’t easy, but Fender make it look so. Taking over the mantle from the Mexican Standard series hailing from Fender’s Ensenada factory, these models benefit from steadfast dedication to the perfection of one’s craft. Affordability is key but maintaining the highest standard of quality is core to the Player Series’ design.
Who are they for?
Whether you’ve been playing on your first guitar for a bit and fancy taking things up a notch or are a seasoned pro looking for a gig-ready workhorse, then you can’t go wrong with one of these beauties. Elegantly constructed to adhere to the classic models we’ve all come to know and love, the Player Series models are an absolute joy to play. Along with their extensive Fender Play lessons, the US giant appreciates that many drop out of learning their instrument within the first year or so, part of which can be put down to hard to play instruments. Hence, the Player Series accommodates newbies with open arms to encourage their development whilst they hone their chops. Playability aside, they’re also built to take all the abuse that comes with life on the road.
What’s on offer?
A fair few models from the Fender stable are covered in the Player Series line-up including Strats, Teles, Jaguars, P-Bass, Jazz Bass, and Jag Bass. There are right-handed and left-handed variants to please all-comers, as well as varying hardware/pickup arrangements with humbuckers, non-Fender trems, and satin finishes galore.
Rather than opting for old-school ceramic pickups, the Player Series guitars and basses feature Alnico magnetic pole pieces with varying strengths across each model to accentuate the characteristics of each one. From light and subtle clean licks to down and dirty riffage, each and every model offers touch-sensitive responsiveness for tactile tonal mastery (say that with a mouthful).
Revamped Neck/Fingerboard Partnership
Rather than the traditional 21-fret layout, an additional fret extends that creative potential across the guitars for seamless bends, scale runs, and musical expression. The basses even boast an extra fret, taking their tally up to a total of 20. Adopting a modern “C” neck shape and 9.5-inch fingerboard radius (with choices of maple or pau ferro fingerboard options), you can float effortlessly through riffs and licks like a bird on the wing.
Our man Tom Quayle puts the Fender Player Series Stratocaster MN through its paces, and oh my is it glorious or what?!
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Fancy a step up from the Player Series? Check out the Fender American Performer models for even more Fender goodness.
As well as producing glorious guitars and basses, Fender are doing their bit to craft industry-leading guitar effects units too. In this article we cast our eyes over the extensive range of Fender Effects Pedals.
Jon is a multi-instrumentalist with a passion for inspiring others to get involved in making music. After spending many years playing venues here, there and – pretty much – everywhere, he joined the Dawsons’ Music Web Team before progressing into his current role managing the Dawsons Blog.