The 2-point tremolo is smoother and a little more reliable than the 6-screw. According to Fender, recommended pickups height for standard single coils is 2mm on bass side and 1.6 mm on treble side. :-). Our review model is quite traditionally spec'd and finished in Buttercream. For the same money, I have chance to purchase 2003 HSS MIM or a year old MIM SSS. Guitar Gopher (author) on August 27, 2014: Thanks! But I have a bug to try a Stratocaster.. You have any thoughts... Hi J! If anything ever happened to my Strat I’d be devastated, but I can also replace it without straining the family budget. This is a big deal for your tone. If you get hung up on these things, by all means, don’t settle for anything less than an American HSS Stratocaster. You can still grab a Standard new, or used for a good price. One of the benefits of choosing a MIM Fender is that you can swap out the pickups to something better without feeling like you're compromising an expensive guitar. But there are other reasons I highly recommend the Fender MIM Strat, and this review will cover them all. There are HSS, HSH pickup configurations, as and if you are feeling fancy you've even got the flame maple-topped Plus Top and HSS Plus Top – at around £729 street, these top the range. The Fender Standard HSS Strat is the best way for guitar players on a budget to land a real Fender Stratocaster with a hot humbucker and two single-coil pickups. I have a Strat with a sweet maple neck and fingerboard with rolled edges. Tone 1 handles your neck and middle pickups while tone 2 adjusts the bridge pickup. Like the other three amigos in this round-up, this well-finished guitar's bolt-on maple neck has a slim 'C' profile and 22 large frets, which feel great for string bending. To kick off this Fender Player Stratocaster review, let’s first take a look at some of the specs that make this guitar so great. Guitar Gopher (author) on August 21, 2020: Since MIM stock guitars are good enough for Jimmie Vaughan there should be no reason to worry. Strats are Strats and thus can never outrun their past; they will always pay homage to former glories, but what is great about the Player Series model is that it references tones from across the Strat's history and bring's them right up to date. An American Standard HSS Stratocaster comes with a pair of Fender Custom Shop Fat ’50s pickups and a Fender Diamondback Humbucker, where the MIM Strat comes with pickups Fender refers to simply as Standard Single-Coil Strat and Standard Humbucking pickups. They give you the classic Fender tones where they should, in each of the five pickup positions. The guitar plays very well, and the neck feels solid and fast. So why choose the HSS instead of the classic SSS setup? Maybe this will help you decide whether or not it is the right guitar for you! We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices. stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on August 26, 2014: Good information. Maybe that’s true for you, but if it is let it be because it’s really what you want, not because you think you’ll be looked down on for playing a Mexican HSS Strat. While the guitar does not have the depth you'd expect from a Les Paul or any mahogany or basswood-bodied instrument, the bridge humbucker does have a very thick sound suitable for metal. Vital is an eye-catching spectral warping wavetable synth plugin that you can have for free, Strats just a bit too... stratty? The Blacktop HSH crams all of its goodies onto an alder body. $300. But the Player Strat is the MIM of the future. This probably does account for some of the improved sounds of the USA-made Stratocaster, as does the high-mass bridge block used in the American version. If you’re a tone geek you’ll notice they aren’t as rich and full as the American Fender pickups, but if you are one of those guitarists who believe most of your tone is in your hands, you won’t miss much. They are still made in Mexico, but they feature some improved features over the older Standard model. MusicRadar verdict: Fender's Player Series has been a resounding success and this Strat is quite possibly the best they have ever put together for the price. Standard HSS Stratocasters sound amazing, look as cool as their American counterparts and have what it takes to get the job done jamming in the basement or onstage at the club. As with the Player Series Tele, there's a satin neck to provide a speedy playing experience, and there really are no quibbles with the build quality other than some slightly stiff tuners – but that's a minor thing. Especially since it seems like you've never owned a Strat before, you might want to experiment with those SSS sounds. My advice? Here are. Visit our corporate site. This also paved the way for the Super Strat revolution of the 1980s, which led to the rise of now-legendary guitars like the Ibanez RG and Jackson Soloist. MusicRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. The Player Series takes Fender's classic electric guitar designs, offering a generous range of features for a tricked-out spec that makes them ideal for today's musician, then builds them at the Big F's Mexican factory and sells them at a very attractive price. It sounds amazing with clean tones, or with a touch of overdrive for that SRV blues sound. You won't find that on vintage Strats, which offer no control over the bridge pup, but it is incredibly useful. Please refresh the page and try again. Fender knows the audience it’s aiming for with the Player series, and based on the performance of our review Stratocaster, it’s hit the bull’s-eye. So here’s my advice: Make your decision based on logic, not hype. Obviously this isn’t a problem I’ve had, but it can happen, even with an American-made instrument. You will receive a verification email shortly. If the neck single coil lacks a little presence, it positively lights up when used in combination with the middle, which some serious quack attack on offer. It really doesn’t matter if the body is two pieces, or three pieces, or eighteen pieces if you like the sound of the guitar. Fender really goes to town whenever it's time to revise its pride and joy, and this Player Series Stratocaster is no exception. The bridge pickup can be weedy on mid-priced Strats but here it is rich yet cutting – and if it gets a little on the spiky side, the tone knob is pleasingly responsive, and allows for a precise treble cut. Don’t worry about it. I know if I end up in a band tomorrow it will be the guitar I play. On the other hand, if you don’t want to spend a lot of cash, but you do want a solid guitar that sounds great and will stick by you for years to come, the MIM HSS Strat might be the way to go. You probably already know this, but Standard Strats are made in Mexico, and instruments in the Fender Standard Series are often referred to as Mexican or MIM Fenders. Have a Les Paul Special II now. Don't miss the latest deals, news, reviews, features and tutorials. Yeah, that neck is a little better than the one on my Mexican Fender. You can check out the Fender Player Strat HSS and see if the upgrades are worth it to you. It a matter of preference, and neither is better than the other. Buyers' guides to all the best music gear, the best electric guitars for all budgets, 8 best keyboards for beginners and kids 2020: Start playing today with these top beginner keyboards, The best DAWs 2020: the best digital audio workstations for PC and Mac, Free music samples: download loops, hits and multis from SampleRadar, Bidding starts at $1 million, as Eric Clapton's 1954 Fender Stratocaster ”Slowhand” is up for auction, Arturia responds to Behringer’s KeyStep MIDI keyboard lookalike Swing: “This is not fair competition”, The 30 greatest synth players of all time: keyboard wizards, programming gurus and sound design legends. Fender gives us so many options when it comes to the Strat. It's one of the smoothest-operating systems we’ve used at this price, returning perfectly to pitch. Do you play a lot of hard rock and metal? Bath The neck pickup is glassy and smooth, just like a Strat ought to be. I'm a relative new player. One reason is value. I believe the Fender MIM Strat is just about the best intermediate-level guitar you’re going to find. Fender Player Series Stratocaster is keeping it classic with some contemporary updates. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. Nice hub. But you have to ask yourself how much the humbucker matters to you. Thank you for signing up to Musicradar.