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Best Fender Electric Guitar Reviews

An interesting fact is that Fender was founded in 1946 by a man who could not play the guitar at all. However, this did not stop Leo Fender from creating the best Fender electric guitars (and not only ones), which are popular to this day. Many celebrities have chosen and continue to choose the products of this brand, regardless of the cost. Isn’t it proof? And today, I will answer the most popular questions related to what these amazing instruments are.

Our pick
Fender Player Stratocaster HSS
Fender Player Stratocaster HSS
Best Fender electric guitar
This classic sound of Fender Player Stratocaster HSS features a bell-like high end, punchy mids, and robust low end, combined with crystal-clear articulation. Read the full review.

Best Fender electric guitar comparison table

Guitar Scale, in/cm Fretboard radius, in/cm Neck joint Detailed review
Fender Player Stratocaster HSS best overall 25.5/64.7 9.5/24.1 bolt-on Review
Fender Player Telecaster 25.5/64.7 9.5/24.1 bolt-on Review
Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster 25.5/64.7 15.7/40 one-piece Review

Are Fender guitars worth the money?

To answer this question, you probably need to identify the factors influencing electric guitars’ cost. And the first one I would name is reputation. Kurt Cobain, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, and Jimi Hendrix played them at different times. I think you can trust the opinion of these gurus unconditionally, and following their example, many people want to join the Fender family. But we must remember that the quality of playing depends not only on the instrument but also the skill, so keep improving.

The second factor is the materials that Fender electric guitars are made of. The company has introduced many modifications over the years, but some technologies and components remain unmodified, creating a uniquely recognizable instrument sound. All components of electric guitars are undeniably high quality, durable and reliable. The brand also produces spare parts in case you need to replace this or that part, so you always keep your Fender originality.

Also quite expensive are the so-called vintage models. Rare, authentic masterpieces have become the object of desire for many collectors. But if you’re not one of them, there are many models in the range with a lower price tag while remaining Fender original.

Best Fender electric guitar reviews

Fender Player Stratocaster HSS – best overall

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.

Body

Fender Player Stratocaster HSS

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.

Pickup system

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.

Sound quality

Fender Player Stratocaster HSS photo

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.

Key specs
  • 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.

The Fender Player Stratocaster HSS is the best Fender electric guitar. It’s enough to say that its sound is recognizable. In the right hands, the guitar produces tonal dexterity and expressive vibrato, and all frequencies are clear and crisp, powerful, but not ringing. The pickups really do their job perfectly. The 5-step positioning allows you to achieve effects not available on other instruments. I think this is why musicians of all genres use the Strat – the guitar offers the widest range of possibilities.

Fender Player Telecaster

Well, ambiguous instruments always cause a storm of controversy, and fans of this or that brand come up with unsound nicknames for competitors. For example, such as "the one-armed pony," which was awarded to the Telecaster. In this Fender Player Telecaster review, I will tell you what I think of this guitar. After all, there's a reason it's used by such popular musicians today as Brad Paisley and Vince Gill. Isn't it interesting? Let's find out.

Body

Fender Player Telecaster

The guitar comes in 6 colors: 3-Color Sunburst, Black, Tidepool, Polar White, Butterscotch Blonde, and Capri Orange. Its single-cut body was an innovation when it was created in 1950, but now it is a classic. The one-piece body of their Gloss Polyester Finish Alder creates a nice bright resonance.

The build quality is excellent. The guitar is very comfortable to use, and you will feel it confidently in your hands. Also, there is a Pickguard on the body made of 3-ply parchment and a 6-Saddle String-Through-Body Tele with block steel saddles. You should know your attitude towards bent steel ahead of time because not all players like it. Regarding Hardware, I can't point out anything special: the standard cast/sealed tuning machines are simple and comfortable to play with. But they are made of what is called synthetic bone, which is plastic, even though it's chrome-plated.

Pickup system

As for the electronics, there are two passive pickups in the SS configuration Player Series Alnico 5 Tele Single-Coil and bridge pickup 6-Saddle String-Through-Body Tele. They provide clean, detailed sound, perhaps with some low frequencies. You can switch and play in 3 positions: bridge pickup, bridge and neck pickups, and Neck Pickup. This will allow you to play songs in different genres without much effort. All in all, I would say that for its price this guitar has decent electronics that will give you a clean powerful sound.

Neck, fingerboard, headstock

Fender fingerboards are an art form in their own right. Made of solid maple with Satin Urethane Finish on the Back, Gloss Urethane Finish on the Front, it has a Modern C-shape with a 9.6" radius. The Maple fingerboard overlay provides a bright, bouncy sound with rounded tones. The scale length is 25.5 inches, and 22 Medium Jumbo frets. This, too, is a specificity that takes some getting used to, as previous models had 21-fret lengths. The fingerboard fits my hand like a fixture, and thanks to the finish, my hand glided smoothly, allowing for quick playability.

Sound quality

Fender Player Telecaster photo

Is the Fender Player Telecaster a good guitar? My answer is unequivocal yes. The combination of quality and price is impressive because it's the entry-level of the line, but it is a brand! The Fender Player Telecaster sounds great and clean but not vintage if that's what you expect. However, the pickup system offers a spectrum of sound for many performance styles: the bridge pickup will give you plenty of twangs, and the more jazzy and mellow sounds will come from the neck pickup. Put it together, experiment, and you'll have a great stage-worthy guitar.

Key specs
  • 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.

The impressive combination of quality and price is because it’s the entry-level of the line, but it’s Fender. This beauty sounds great and clean but not vintage if that’s what you expect. However, the pickup system offers a spectrum of sound for many performance styles: the bridge pickup will give you plenty of twangs, and the more jazzy and mellow sounds will come from the neck pickup. Put it together, experiment, and you’ll have a great stage-worthy guitar.

Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster

When you hear a Telecaster, you know we're talking about the popular Fender guitar. But what if the manufacturer decided to surprise you this time? I offer you the Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster review, an unusual model with several differences from the classic version. But such differences take the Telecaster to a new level of sound. Are you ready? Go for it!

Body

Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster

Even the Special Edition Custom Telecaster FMT HH case is made of solid Mahogany, which makes it stand out from its predecessor. After all, this wood is characterized by its resonant properties and gives the instrument a warm tonal sound. The carved Maple top comes in three colors Amber, Crimson Red Transparent, and Black Cherry Burst with Gloss Urethane Finish as if saying that this guitar is fire!

The Knurled Dome Control Knobs (master volume, master tone with built-in push/pull coil tap) and Black Switch Tip are located right on the top. They are easy to operate and don't get in the way when playing. The Black Nickel hardware complements the bright image of the Telecaster FMT HH.

Pickup system

Well, as for the electronics, Fender didn't disappoint. The rock parts on the fiery Telecaster look beautiful and sound vintage and snarly. The dual high-octane Seymour Duncan humbucker delivers power and old-school style. The '59 SH-1N Neck Pickup produces an elevated midrange and pot, while the Pearly Gates bridge adds grit and dynamics. The 6-Saddle String-Through-Body Hardtail With Block Saddles Bridge provides stability and sustain, so you can really "go wild" on the toughest compositions. The HH in the name refers to the configuration, and the three-way pickup switching and push/pull coil switch built into the main tone control knob allow you to have a wide range and perform a variety of styles even on one coil.

Neck, fingerboard, headstock

The neck is the same as the standard Telecaster - a modern C-shape with Gloss Urethane Finish, but like the body, it is made of Mahogany. Its playability and stability are both amazing. It fits perfectly in hand, and the 15.75-inch radius makes it suitable for musicians with large hands. In addition to the glossy finish, the Indian Laurel fretboard with a 25.5" scale length provides optimal speed. It features 22 Jumbo frets with Abalone Dot Position inlays that are extremely comfortable, smooth, and well-polished. Standard Cast/Sealed Tuning Machines and Graphite Nut complete the neck construction. Perhaps they could have been better, but to save the cost of the guitar, the manufacturer spared on something that could well be replaced if desired.

Sound quality

Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster photo

Basically, I've already told you what kind of sound you can expect from a Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster. I didn't hear any dead notes, buzzing, or tinny effects. Instead, everything works quickly and smoothly. You get a powerful, as many call it, "beast" that will please you if you like heavy styles. But the guitar will also suit other styles, so you should try it. If I were asked if the Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster guitar is good, I would say yes. But as we all know, there is no perfect thing for everyone. Who knows, maybe this is just the perfect one for you?

Key specs
  • Scale, in/cm: 25.5/64.7.
  • Frets: 22.
  • Fretboard radius, in/cm: 15.7/40.
  • Type: electric.
  • Body material: mahogany, maple.
  • Neck material: mahogany.
  • Neck joint: one-piece.

You get a powerful, as many call it, “beast” that will please you if you like heavy styles. But also the guitar will suit many styles, so you should try it. If I were asked whether the Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster guitar is good, I would say yes. But as we all know, there is no such thing as perfect for everyone. But who knows, maybe this is just the perfect one for you?

FAQ

What kind of music is Fender good for?

Fender affects almost all musical genres: rock and roll, country and western, jazz, rhythm and blues, and many others. The timbre range of Fender guitars is impressive and astonishing. Some of them have a direct purpose, while others can be used to play several styles. But one thing is certain: Fender guitars have the best sound. Alternative or punk rock, which is the most versatile style in the world, is also at the mercy of this brand, as evidenced by the masterpieces of Kurt Cobain and many other artists. Just listen to Fender in the hands of famous performers, and everything falls into place.

How many types of Fender guitars are there?

Fender has numerous guitar models in its range, which can be divided by body style and series. There are only six body styles: Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster, Jaguar, Mustang, and Lead. Then there are eighteen series: American Original to Vintera, as well as Artist, Deluxe, Limited Edition, 75th Anniversary, 75th Anniversary Commemorative, American Acoustasonic, American Performer, American Professional II, American Ultra, Boxer, Contemporary, Made in Japan Artist, Made in Japan Traditional, Noventa, Player, rarities between them, and Custom Shop models and Squier series. Altogether 120 electric guitars in different colors and fingerboard materials, right and left-handed. So there’s plenty for you to do!

How long do electric guitars last?

An electric guitar can last you forever; all you have to do is observe a few conditions. You can learn more about this subject here.

Can a Strat play blues or jazz?

There are conflicting opinions on this. Some musicians think the Stratocaster is good for jazz and blues, while others hate its sound in those genres. I’m of the latter opinion. As for me, the Stratocaster is good for rock. Still, try it for yourself, and experiment.

Is Strat better than Telecaster?

I’ll be honest – no one will give you an objective answer to this question. It all depends on what you expect, what you like to play, and how you feel about the instrument. But I can give you some objective comparisons between these two great models:

  • The Telecaster is more versatile. It is suitable for different genres, from blues and country to rock. The Stratocaster will appeal to fans of heavy rock and metal genres.
  • Telecaster is easy to set up and play. The Stratocaster is more comfortable.
  • Telecaster has a fixed bridge, and Stratocaster has a two-point tremolo system.

In any case, both of these models have earned acclaim all over the world and are copied by many brands. It’s all in your hands: try, choose, and you won’t go wrong.

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About M. Lacey
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