Fender guitarguitar Exclusive models!
Published on 17 November 2021
Are you a Fender fan?
It’s a fairly safe bet to presume at least a moderate ;yes’ in response, given how significant and, well, cool, the brand is. We all love Fender, it’s just a matter of degrees, right?
Well, how about some special limited edition models with features and finishes you can’t get anywhere else this side of the Atlantic?
Good! Then let’s embark on our tour of these lovely new guitars! Each is available in limited quantities, and each has exclusive features, from finishes to pickups to necks. Most are from the phenomenal Player range but we have a great Ultra model in here too!
Roasted Player Stratocasters
First up, we have a pair of Stratocasters from Fender’s hit Player line. The Player range replaces what was once known as the Mexican Standard range, though the fact is, even the standard Player models are a significant upgrade in feel and tone. They’ve proven to be a runaway success, which is entirely justified: pound for pound, the Fender Player guitars are some of the very best out there. They have the correct name on the headstock, the correct body shape, and everything a guitarist could reasonably ask for at the price point.
So what’s so different about these ones?
Well, the two main differences are the neck and the pickups. These two Roasted Player Strats earn the extra word in the name from having necks made from roasted maple. You’re probably familiar with this term but now since it has become exceptionally popular, but for those who aren’t, the roasting process is as follows. The timbers are subjected to intensely high temperatures in an oxygen-free environment until all of the wood’s moisture has left it. These dehydrated pieces of wood make for extra string, extra lightweight necks, which are more tolerant of environmental and temperature changes. Perfect gigging necks, then, and the ‘caramelising’ colour change that occurs during the process doesn’t hurt things either!
The other upgrade on these guitars is the pickups...
Handmade Pickups: The Difference
Speaking plainly, the Fender Player range already has nice sounding pickups. That was one of the main upgrades Fender applied when the Mexican Standard range was replaced, and it’s one of the main selling points for Fender Player guitars: they genuinely sound really good! So, if a pickup upgrade is being considered, they’d have to bring in something special...
How about handmade Fender Custom Shop pickups? Yes indeed, these Roasted Player Strats have a set of specially calibrated, handwound Custom Shop Fat 50s pickups loaded in. These are lovely, moderate output units (the DC resistance ranges from 6.26k in the neck to 6.4k at the bridge) with a definitively ‘vintage’ voice. Carve out authentic golden-era clean tones with these staggered alnico 5 pickups, and not only hear but feel the difference that a world-class set of pickups can do for your tone. These are a wonderful upgrade for pretty much any Strat, so to have them pre-installed from the get-go in such an affordable guitar is such a great forward start! As we say, the Player range already sounds ace, but play these and you’ll understand where the extra outlay is going.
Player Telecaster with Nocaster Pickups
It’s a staple of Fender’s history, and it’s timelessly cool. We don’t think there’s been a time since 1950 when a Butterscotch Blonde Telecaster (okay, Broadcaster, Nocaster and Esquire included) hasn’t been ineffably cool. Rockers love them, country players love them, indie fans love them... there’s a place in every guitar collection for a trusty blonde Tele...
...Especially if they are as well spec’d and affordable as this one! Another hit from the Player range, we’ve asked Fender up upgrade this Roasted Player Tele model in a similar way to the Strats we’ve just seen. Taking the excellent, highly effective Player Tele as a base, we’ve had Fender add a roasted maple neck to this model, and a set of Custom Shop Nocaster pickups.
We’ve learned about the roasted necks already, so let’s jump straight to the pickups. These beauties have been carefully created to provide that ‘skinny but strong’ tone which is key to the appeal of the Tele. Again, these are moderate in output but rich in detail, with an excellent cut and zing that helps distinguish the classic Telecaster sound from that of a Strat. Alnico 3 magnets are used this time.
As with those roasted Player Stratocasters, this is an excellent ‘enhanced’ version of an already excellent guitar, and entirely deserves your attention while it is available!
Player Jazzmaster Shell Pink
Here’s another guitarguitar exclusive from the Fender Player range. This time, it is the Jazzmaster, and he have it in a most excellent Shell Pink finish!
Shell Pink is something of a classic Fender colour, and it really suits this popular offset. Fender have also opted for an Olympic White painted headstock, to make this guitar truly unique!
The other great addition is a set of full-sized Pure Vintage 65 Jazzmaster single coil pickups. This changed not only the look of the guitar but the whole vibe! Fender’s Player Jazzmaster currently sports a set of humbuckers, and whilst it sounds ace, we do sometimes miss those classic ‘big pickups’, so it’s great to see them returning here for this exclusive, limited edition Shell Pink model.
Two Black Strats
Finally, we have a pair of ‘dressed to kill’ black Strats: one taken and modified from the Player range and the other from Fender’s top-end American Ultra range. Superficially similar from a cursory glance, as we know, these are actually hugely different beasts. We’ve named them ‘Tribute’ models and we expect we don’t have to resort to any puns to imply the nature of that tribute! Let us merely say that there is a very famous black Strat with a black pickguard and white parts out there, played by one of the world’s favourite lead guitarists, and we’ll leave the associations there!
So, with the Black Player Strat model, what we have is a set of those wonderful Custom Shop Fat 50s Strat pickups installed, the same ones you’ll find on the other Strats. In addition, a black pickguard has been fitted in order to evoke those iconic good looks, but that’s where the modifications have stopped. If you want a fantastic sounding Strat with excellent pickups, a famous look and a great price, this is a prime choice indeed.
Ultra Strat in Black with Roasted Maple Neck
If you are in the market for a USA model Strat though, and have already been eyeing up the Ultra, then this guitarguitar exclusive Ultra Strat model may just be the one you’ve been waiting for.
The American Ultra Strat is the choice for guitarists looking for a more contemporary set of features wedded to what is a very classic design. The traditional Strat looks have been subtly enhanced for the needs of today’s demanding professional guitarist. For example, the pickups are Fender Noiseless single coils, designed to eradicate the annoying hum that sometimes occurs with overdriven single coils. There’s also a cool S-1 switch installed to bring in the neck pickup, regardless of where the selector blade is positioned. This allows for sounds that just can’t be had otherwise!
The most significant characteristics of the Ultra Strat appear on the neck, and that’s the main area of modification for this guitarguitar exclusive, too. The neck profile is carved into a modern ‘D’ shape, a relatively unique and very playable choice which suits the instrument’s contemporary slant. The fingerboard uses a compound radius, so the first fret has a 10” radius and that flattens out into a modern 14” higher up. This is a very popular choice that we see on many ‘performance’ guitars and it’s well placed here.
The modification is again with the torrefaction process, giving us a roasted maple neck here too. All of the previously explained benefits apply here, making our limited edition Strat Ultra one stable, light and very capable instrument. Add those classic ‘tribute’ looks and you have something really quite special.
Limited Runs, Exclusive in Europe to guitarguitar
As mentioned, each of these fantastic guitars is only available from us in terms of Europe and the UK. We’ve spec’d these to offer the most value and the most tone that we possibly could, and then we made sure they looked great too! Every guitarist needs Fender in their lives, and these selections are just a little less usual than the choices you get every day. We think they’ve surpassed our high expectations, and we hope you love them as much as we do! Visit us to try them for yourself, or simply click through to order yours today!