I think anyone who knows about guitars in one way or another knows about Fender. In this Fender Player Stratocaster HSS review, I will tell you why a guitar born in 1954 still deserves the best reviews from musicians. The embodiment of the classics combined with modern electronics is a great choice for affordable money. It’s likely to be the instrument that stays with you for life.
Let me start with the body. It is made of solid Alder with a glossy polyester finish in the classic Stratocaster shape that many people use now. This body allows you to play even when lying on the bed. The double cutaway cutout allows you to play all the frets without having to reach for them. The guitar does not slip in your hands and is extremely comfortable. The series has seven colors: 3-color Sunburst, Tidepool, Black, Polar White, Buttercream, Silver, and Capri Orange.
There is a 3-layer Pickguard parchment on the body. And on that, in turn, are the pickups, knobs, and bridge. The standard molded/sealed knobs are made of parchment plastic and are easy and comfortable to operate. The impeccably smooth two-point tremolo bridge is quiet in operation. Many people don’t like bent steel saddles, but I find the bridge particularly stable in this configuration. The new logo on the head end completes the design.
To understand if the Fender Player Stratocaster HSS is a good guitar, you need to get to know its electronics. After all, this is what makes the guitar modern and so desirable for many people. The manufacturer himself writes their pickups are “a modern modification of our classic sound.” Indeed, with the Stratocaster, you’ll hear clean tones and articulate dynamism when overdriven/distorted.
To elaborate a bit more, the guitar has a 5-way switch for the Player Series Alnico 2 Humbucking bridge and two Player Series Alnico 5 Strat Single-Coil on the midrange and neck. The versatile HSS pickup configuration gives your instrument an unmistakable sound. And it allows you to play absolutely any genre and style.
Neck, fingerboard, headstock
The modern C-shaped fingerboard is made of Maple, with a Glossy Urethane finish on the back and a Satin finish on the front. Thanks to its 9.5″ radius, which is not too narrow, it fits in your hand without question. It’s incredibly fast and pleasant to the touch. You can play anything from classical to heavy rock.
The Pau Ferro fingerboard has a 25.5-inch scale length and 22 medium Jumbo frets. The frets are beautifully polished; there are no gaps, and you can easily reach any of them. There’s no question why the Fender Stratocaster is so popular. A 4-bolt neck plate with the “F” logo and standard Fender cast/sealed picks rounds out the construction.
The Fender Player Strat HSS sound is recognizable, that’s what I can say. In the right hands, the guitar produces tonal dexterity and expressive vibrato. All frequencies are clear and crisp, powerful but not ringing. I heard every note I extracted without swallowing. The pickups really do their job perfectly. The 5-step positioning allows you to achieve effects not available on other instruments. That’s why I think musicians of all genres use the Strat – the guitar offers the widest range of possibilities.
- Scale, in/cm: 25.5/64.7.
- Frets: 22.
- Fretboard radius, in/cm: 9.5/24.1.
- Type: electric.
- Body material: alder.
- Neck material: maple.
- Neck joint: bolt-on.