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Guitar + Bass Review: Fender Player Series Guitars and Basses

Guitar + Bass Review: Fender Player Series Guitars and Basses

Steve Reed

Fender has had a big year. Much time has been spent updating most of their product lines while also launching a new line of effects pedals and acoustic guitars. Though that seems like a lot, maybe they have saved the best til now as some of their best-selling guitars just got better.

A new level of quality that also needed a new name, “The Player Series.” For those familiar with Fender products, this would be the replacement of their MIM (made in Mexico) series, which is a pretty good step above their entry-level ‘Squire’ series and somewhere slightly below what their American series was before it too received an update. This update to the entire line of guitars and basses has brought improvements to the pickups and internal components added a fret and has freshened the pallet of colors to once again establish Fender as the industry leader in style and sound. Guitars like the often imitated Stratocaster and Telecaster or basses like the Precision Bass and Jazz Bass (P Bass and J Bass for short) are the top choice of many of today’s top music makers. This is no more true than within the worship community as you’d be hard-pressed to find any well-known worship team where there isn’t at least one if not all of their musicians playing a Fender product.

Fender Telecaster HH

 Specifically, I reviewed the Telecaster HH in the very cool Tide Pool finish, which straight out of the box played great and sounded amazing. Telecasters, or ‘Tele’ for short, are arguably the “it” guitar at the moment (not that I want to argue and maybe it’s really a tie between the Telecaster and an arch-top semi-hollow body). This style of guitar is marked by an unmistakable thin sound found in so many modern recordings and features a slightly wider ‘C’ shape neck that I found very easy to play. I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality of intonation (how the notes at each fret were in tune) which is pretty tight up to the 12th fret.

In the traditional configuration, a Telecaster has two single coil pickups that have recently been updated from ceramic to Alnico (type of metal). The HH model that I reviewed, however, differs from the original in that it comes with two Humbucker pickups (two coils put together that, as the name implies, help buck or eliminate the hum) which can actually be split into single-coil pickups by pulling up on the tone knob. This option allows you to get a much wider spectrum of sounds from the same guitar, from thick sounds too thin sounds quickly and easily.

So whether you want to keep it traditional, want to get the latest colors, need a left-handed version, or want the flexibility of the HH versions the new Player Series from Fender has a lot to choose from. You can check them out online at or head over to your local retailer and be ready to fall in love (metaphorically speaking).

Pros and Cons of the Fender Player Series Guitars and Basses

Pros: Great quality for the price with the legendary sound and style included.

Cons: If I’m getting picky, the intonation wanders a bit above the 12th fret, which is somewhat to be expected for guitars at this price point so if that matters to you consider stepping up a level to the American Professional Series. Also, a case of any kind is not included.

Bottom Line: These are the instruments that are shaping the current sound of worship music at a price most people can afford.

What instruments would you like us to review? Comment below.

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