Even though I’m a skilled keyboard and bass player, I play electric guitar in my live band and the guitar is my main instrument. If I could, I’d buy a new guitar about every month. I can’t afford that so I get out and shop for them always looking for that next great instrument.
I like brand new guitars and I certainly haven’t bought into this whole “vintage instrument” craze. I believe that new guitars are being built better than ever before. It’s a lot more fun for me to get a new guitar and play it than to collect a vintage guitar and keep it in it’s case, un-played.
The other day I played one of Fender’s very best Made In Mexico Stratocasters. It’s the Fender Deluxe Player’s Straocaster and it has some features that make it extremely playable and very unique in Fender’s current line of Stratocasters. This guitar is really the top of the line for the MIM Stratocasters.
What makes this guitar so great? It’s the incredible blend of custom features that the guitar has. I’ll start with the Vintage Noiseless Pickups. These pickups sound very much like a regular single-coil pickup but they have no more hum than a standard humbucker. They don’t sound perfectly like a single coil, but the general sound is there and you can tell it’s a Stratocaster the second you hear the pickups. These are the same pickups that were being used on the Made In The USA American Deluxe Stratocaster a few years ago. I’ll take a hum free pickup over a noisy one any day of the week.
The next excellent feature on the Fender Player’s Stratocaster is the 12″ radius neck. Most Stratocasters have a either a 7.25″ or a 9.5″ radius. What the 12″ radius gives you as a player is a flatter fretboard which keeps the strings ringing a little better and allows you to set the string height a little lower. Some people feel like a 12″ radius allows you to play bar chords easier as well. The neck is also the very smooth playing C-shaped neck. It all adds up to a silky smooth playing guitar neck.
The next unique feature on the Deluxe Player’s Stratocaster is the push-button switch by the pickup selector. This gives you the ability to turn on the bridge pickup at the same time as the neck pickup. It also gives you the ability to turn on all three pickups simultaneously. This new pickup switching gives you excellent tonal options through different pickup configurations. You don’t have as many pickup switching options as the American Deluxe Stratocaster with it’s S-1 switching system but you get more options than most of the other Fender Stratocasters.
Another option I love on this Stratocaster is the Transparent Crimson Red and Transparent Blue finishes. I really dig how you can look through the colored finish to see the grain of the wood. It really makes this a beautiful instrument to look at. The Deluxe Player’s Stratocaster also features gold hardware to compliment its already excellent looks.
The guitar truly is an excellent playing Stratocaster and it is named well. It really is a Deluxe Player’s guitar. The neck is smooth and fast while the versatile pickup selection gives a lot of excellent sounds. I really enjoyed playing this guitar!
There are some things I don’t like about this guitar. I don’t really like the vintage tuners. I have been spoiled by how well my locking tuners stay in tune as well as how easy they are to string. The tuners are staggered though, so you only have one string tree for the strings to get hung up on when using the tremolo.
As for the vintage tremolo, I’ve never been a fan of it. I know you can set them up so that they stay in tune well but I am much more experienced with the 2-point modern tremolo. I would be willing to give this vintage tremolo a try though since it looks so cool plated in gold.
If you can’t afford to pick up my personal favorite Strat, the Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster, then I highly recommend the Fender Deluxe Player’s Stratocaster. It’s one heck of a deal and it’s currently on sale at Musician’s Friend. You can pick it up for MIM prices and still have one of the finest Stratocasters made anywhere.
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