Music Gear News
Fender 2018 Player Series Guitars and Basses are Here to Become the New Standard
The Fender Player Series is a complete, brand-new line of guitars and basses designed to replace the Mexican Standard Series.
For over two decades, the Fender Standard Series - Made in Mexico (MIM) - has given guitarists and bassists an affordable entry-point into the Fender family. With a feature-laden specification and created under the guidance of Fender USA, MIM guitars are high-quality instruments that truly warrant the iconic Fender logo. The Fender Player Series is a new line of guitars designed to replace the Standard Series, with an upgraded specification and some wonderful new colours for 2018.
Made in Mexico
The Fender Mexican factory turned 25 years old in 2012 and has been producing a complete range of Fender guitars and basses under the guidance of Fender USA. Located in Ensenada, Mexico, Instrumentos Musicales Fender is only a short 200-mile drive from Fender Musical Instruments in Corona, California, yet that cross-country location means the MIM guitars and basses offer exceptional value for money.
Built to replace the Standard Series, the new Fender Player Series is designed to provide the essence of classic Fender designs with just the right level of modern features to appeal to contemporary players. While the electric guitars and basses from the Classic Series, the Road Worn series, and -to some extent- the Custom Shop; feature aged designs and classic hardware to pay tribute to vintage Fender guitars, the new Player Series has its feet firmly in the present-day.
In a similar fashion to the Fender Deluxe Series, the Player Series pairs the iconic Fender body shapes with modern hardware for reliable performance and smooth playability. This combination gives players access to a modern guitar with the look and the sound of a classic Fender instrument. With the Player Series you can be sure that every specification has been honed for tone and playability, giving you the essence of what makes Fender guitars so popular.
The Mexican production ensures that the Fender Player Series is within reach of the 'average' player, and makes these guitars perfect for students, weekend-warriors, and even professionals (just ask Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro about his Fender MIM guitars). We've always found the Mexican Fender guitars to be thoroughly deserving of their 'F' logo on the headstock, and these new Player Series guitars look set to cement the popularity of Fender's Mexican range.
Let's have a quick look through each of the new models to see what's new. There's quite a lot of new guitars here, so use the links below to skip ahead!
- Fender Player Series Stratocaster
- Fender Player Series Telecaster
- Fender Player Series Jaguar / Jazzmaster
- Fender Player Series Precision Bass / Jazz Bass
The Player Series Stratocaster features the iconic double-cutaway alder body with either maple or pau ferro fingerboards (a wood that is becoming increasingly popular due to CITES restrictions). The Stratocasters all feature a modern 9.5'' radius fingerboard with a "Modern C"-shaped neck profile and 22 medium jumbo frets. This neck specification is the ideal "middle of the road" design; neither too modern nor too vintage in its feel. The neck has a modern, semi-flat fingerboard and a medium-thin profile offering easy soloing capabilities along with a comfortable hold for the fretting hand. The Stratocaster necks all have a satin-finished rear for a smooth and tactile feel, meaning you won't find any stickiness when performing in hot or humid conditions.Fender Player Stratocaster HSS MN, Tidepool Fender Player Stratocaster HSS PF, Polar White Fender Player Stratocaster HSS PF, Sonic Red Fender Player Stratocaster HSS Plus Top MN, Aged Cherry Burst
The Strats all feature cast/sealed tuners and a synthetic bone nut for a low-friction action with stable tuning. A modern 2-point synchronized tremolo with 6 individual, bent-steel saddles is included for a smooth whammy bar action and fully adjustable action/intonation. Fender also has a Floyd Rose Tremolo-equipped Stratocaster for those players looking for more extreme whammy bar use.
The Player Series Stratocasters all feature new Player Series pickups and are available in SSS, HSS, and HSH configurations, so you can find your perfect setup no matter what your style. The 5-way pickup selectors offer the classic combinations of tones while the single-volume/dual-tone control arrangement is the modern version of this control layout (with an independent bridge-pickup tone control to tame those high frequencies).Fender Player Stratocaster FR HSS PF, Sonic Red Fender Player Stratocaster HSH PF, Tobacco Burst
The Player Series Telecaster follows in the footsteps of its Stratocaster sibling and features a classic alder body with new Player Series pickups for traditional tones. The guitar is available in SS, HH, and HS pickup configurations, again letting you select the perfect level of humbucking power or single-coil nuance for your style of playing. The Player Series Telecaster's bridge is a modern 6-saddle string-though-body design for maximum adjustability and resonance, while the synthetic bone nut and sealed tuners give stable tuning with a low-friction action.Fender Player Telecaster MN, 3-Color Sunburst Fender Player Telecaster PF, Polar White
The Player Series Telecaster is available with a maple or pau ferro fingerboard and has the same playing specification as the Stratocaster above (9.5'' radius, modern "C" profile, 22 medium jumbo frets, satin-finished reverse) for a smooth playing feel that is the perfect half-way between vintage and modern designs.
If you're seeking the classic 'twang-machine', the SS Player Series Telecaster should be high up on your 'to try' list, but don't neglect the HH or the HS Telecaster for higher-octane rock and blues.Fender Player Telecaster HH MN, Tidepool Fender Player Telecaster HH PF, Sonic Red
Fender Player Series Jaguar and Jazzmaster
The Jaguar and Jazzmaster are the two stand-out guitars in the Fender range, with their unique offset designs making them extremely popular with rockers and indie musicians. The Player Series Jaguar and Jazzmaster guitars both feature alder bodies and new Player Series humbucking pickups for a classic range of tones. Both guitars feature a single volume/tone control layout, 3-way pickup selector, and a 6-saddle vintage-style adjustable "floating" tremolo. As with the Player Series Tele and Strat, the modern neck specification (9.5'' radius, modern "C" profile, 22 medium jumbo frets, satin-finished reverse) gives the perfect balance between comfort and smooth playability.
For players looking to bridge the gap between guitar and bass, the Fender Player Series Jaguar Bass features the stand-out offset outline of the Jaguar guitar, but with the pickup combination of a P/J-Bass, making this a very versatile bass guitar!Fender Player Jaguar Bass PF, Sage Green Metallic
Fender Player Series Precision Bass and Jazz Bass
The two most important bass guitar models from Fender have also undergone the new Player Series treatment. Fans of these guitars will find no surprises with their specifications, but hopefully be reassured by the high-quality inclusions that make them ideal for any level of musician. Alder bodies and Player Series single coils (P-bass split coil and J-bass single coils) promise a classic range of tones, while the simple control layouts (volume for each pickup and tone) provide just the right level of tone-sculpting options to shape your sound.Fender Player Jazz Bass PF, Sage Green Metallic Fender Player Jazz Bass MN, Buttercream Fender Player Precision Bass MN, 3-Color Sunburst Fender Player Precision Bass PF, Polar White
Each bass guitar model is available with a pau ferro or maple fingerboard and they feature a modern specification for a comfortable hold and smooth playability (9.5'' radius fingerboard, satin-finished, 20 medium jumbo frets, Modern "C" neck profile).
Between these two bass guitars, almost any tone is achievable, and the Player Series P-Bass/J-Bass distils the essence of what makes these classic designs so popular. If you're seeking a great tone, smooth playability, and modern-day reliability/consistency, the Player Series is well worth a look.
For players looking beyond the standard 4-string bass guitar, Fender has also released the 5-string Fender Player Series Jazz Bass V and the fretless Jazz Bass!Fender Player Jazz Bass Fretless PF, Polar White Fender Player Jazz Bass V PF, 3-Color Sunburst
The Player Series - Everything You Need
The Fender Player Series provides everything that makes a great instrument - solid tonewoods, quality pickups, stable hardware, smooth playability, comfortable feel, and great tone. For students and budget-conscious players, the Fender Player Series gives affordable access to a "real" Fender guitar. Don't be fooled by this affordability, though; while the price tag may be at the lower end of Fender's spectrum, the Mexican factory produces instruments that can match any level of player experience.
With specifications that you may expect to see on more expensive guitars, the Player Series is a perfect entry-point to the Fender family and gives a true representation of what makes this brand so prolific.
If you've ever wondered why Fender has become one of the world's top guitar brands, come and play these new Player Series instruments and see how even the lower-priced, "standard" Fender guitars are completely worthy of the Fender logo.
See more about the new Fender Player Series
By Matt Wilkinson
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The Fender Player Series is a complete, brand-new line of guitars and basses designed to replace the Mexican Standard Series. Featuring the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster, P Precision Bass, J Jazz Bass and more.
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