For as long as they have been around, Fender has never been one to rest on their laurels. They have continued to revamp their guitars for the modern era while staying true to the roots of their illustrious history – but is that is precisely why we found the need to make this Fender Guitar Guide.
With so many series updates coming and going in Fender’s already impressive selection of instruments, we are truly spoiled for choice. But just how are they different? Do they justify their different price tags? Well, that’s where we come in!
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Join us as we compare all of Fender’s current lineup of instruments. It’ll definitely help give you an idea of which guitar suits your playing needs best.
Fender Player Series
Introduced back in 2018, the Fender Player Series is created to be the next generation of budget-friendly instruments with the timeless quality of the Fender brand. Made in the Enseda facility in Mexico, these instruments are the ideal starting point for someone wanting a bonafide Fender decal on their guitar. Encapsulating the same timeless designs and iconic sounds of Fender’s legendary instruments, the Player Series goes beyond the call of duty by offering a whopping 21 different models that will suit almost any music style you’ll want to get into.
You’ll be able to pick from HSS, HSH, SSS, and Floyd Rose Stratocasters, HH and SS Telecaster, a Jaguar, Jazzmaster, Jaguar Bass, and fretless and five-string Jazz Basses. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your first guitar or find a road-worthy gigging instrument, you’ll definitely want to consider the Fender Player Series lineup.
Building on the foundations of the acclaimed Player series, Fender’s new Player Plus series introduces select changes and improvements that are sure to appeal to players who love a little more modern injection to their guitars.
Some select improvements include all-new high-powered noiseless electronics – pickups that output high octane tones without becoming muddy or muffled. In fact, these enhancements are further complemented by the expanded switching options and a treble-bleed circuit that you’ll find on the Player Plus.
Other major refinements include rolled fingerboard edges, active circuitry (for bass), a flatter 12-inch fretboard, HiMass bridge (for bass), and deluxe locking tuners. Throw in Fender’s Deluxe Gig Bag plus an assortment of new colours and you’ve got yourself a hell of a deal!
High performance and specs at an unbeatable price, the Player Plus Series is a welcome treat for the player who prioritises playability perks!
A limited-edition offering for fans of hot-rodded guitars, the Fender Noventa is the ideal instrument if you just want to rock out. Built with classic tonewoods and vintage-inspired electronics, you’ll find the common denominator of the Noventa line to be the inclusion of its exclusive MP-90 pickups. Tonally between the classic single-coil and humbucker, the MP-90 is renowned for its crystalline cleans and chunky overdriven tones. In fact, these guitars would not be amiss in the hands of punk rockers, indie darlings, or even rockabilly reverends.
The Telecaster, Stratocaster, and the Jazzmaster are the mediums of choice for this radical overhaul – each with their own unique specs and pickup configuration. However, the similarities lie in their shared use of a fast 60s “C” maple neck and 9.5-inch radius – details that make churning out riffs and licks an absolute breeze.
What’s the best way to get the vibes of a vintage Fender without spending a huge amount of dough? The Fender Vintera Series of course!
The replacement for Fender’s Classic Player range, Fender’s Vintera Series combines highly sought-after features of Pre-CBS instruments at accessible prices. Featuring 17 instruments, the Vintera series encompasses the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jaguar, Mustang, and Jazzmaster models within its extensive catalog.
Expect specs and features like period-correct neck shapes, new pickups with decade-specific tones, and vintage correct colours for the vintage aficionados out there. In addition, for almost every decade-correct model, there’s also a counterpart “modded” version that offers modern tweaks that are sure to appease contemporary players.
Made in America
Built in Fender’s Corona, California factory, Fender’s USA models are the gold standard for quality, tone and playability. Made with premium tonewoods, high-end hardware, and elite craftsmanship, Fender’s American guitars are sure to please even the most discerning players.
As the entry point to Fender’s upper echelon, the Fender American Performer Series puts USA-made Fender quality in the hands of working musicians.
Built upon the foundations of its predecessor – the American Special – the Fender American Performer Series refines its models with some noteworthy upgrades that strike the perfect balance between traditional design and modern practicality.
Featuring the all-new Yosemite pickups, Fender’s acclaimed Greasebucket tone circuit, some seriously potent hardware upgrades, and some eye-catching colours – these guitars and basses play extremely well and dare we say, give higher-end instruments a serious run for their money.
Fender American Professional II Series
Designed for musicians seeking exceptional playability, versatility, and performance – the Fender American Professional II are solid workhorses for hobbyists and touring pros alike.
Built upon the foundations of its first iteration, Fender utilised player feedback and collaborated with various artists to improve its guitars for an encore performance. Developing an instrument that strikes the perfect balance between traditional design and modern practicality.
Maintaining much that made the original American Professional lineup so popular, the American Professional II range sees upgrades in the neck carve (Deep “C” with rolled fingerboard edges), materials (Roasted Pine is now an option for bodies), pickups (V-Mod II pickups), and so many other aspects – making it some of the best guitars we’ve seen in this price point.
The American Original Series captures that vintage mojo by constructing guitars and basses in the same manner that the fabled instruments were made in the fifties, the sixties, and the seventies. Utilising the same materials, construction methods, and quirks from each decade, the American Original instruments only differ in two aspects: a flatter 9.5-inch fretboard radius for better playability and changes in pickup switching for more tonal variations.
If you come from the school of guitarists believing that the first iterations of the electric guitars made in the golden age are the end all be all, then we have a feeling that you’d get along swimmingly with these instruments.
Fender American Ultra Series
The highest specced model from Fender’s production line, the Fender American Ultra is Fender’s most advanced series of electric guitars and basses. These instruments are heavily-engineered guitars that cover lots of sonic territory and while providing unmatched performance.
Sporting forward-thinking electronics and hardware appointments like the Ultra Noiseless Pickups, S-1 Switching, and Deluxe Locking Tuners on their guitars and Active/Passive Electronics, a 3-Band EQ and HiMass Bridges their basses – these instruments represent the ultimate Fender instrument in terms of versatility and playability
In addition to ergonomic construction tweaks and welcome playability modifications, the Fender American Ultra Series is undoubtedly the one for you if you demand ultimate precision and uncompromising tone from your instruments.
The latest series to be launched by the Californian company, the American Ultra Luxe is the new top dog in the Fender catalog.
Consisting of four distinct Strat and Tele models, these instruments share many similarities with their predecessor but with a few notable changes. The most apparent feature is undoubtedly the introduction of stainless steel frets – a first from Fender. These frets are advantageous in many ways, being that they are virtually impervious to fret wear and are a godsend for silky smooth bends.
The neck profile of the American Ultra Luxe has also been revamped. Instead of the modern D of the Ultra, the Ultra Luxe sports a unique and fuller Augmented “D” neck profile. This, combined with meticulously rolled fingerboard edges and a tapered neck heel are the recipe for endless playing comfort with effortless access to the highest register.
Amongst the many specs that see a return from the Ultra include the 10”-14” compound-radius fingerboard, Ultra Noiseless Vintage electronics, sculpted rear body contours, sealed locking tuning machines, chrome hardware, and a TUSQ nut. A versatile, state-of-the-art instrument – this novel series will undoubtedly inspire you to push your playing to new heights!
What if I want even more?
This is where the Fender Custom Shop comes in. The crème de la crème of the Fender Guitar Guide, the Fender Custom Shop is where you should be if you plan to get a truly special instrument.
Read more: Why You Should Buy a Custom Shop Guitar
Here is where you’ll find eye-watering, one-of-a-kind instruments crafted by Fender’s prestigious Master Builders, to the exquisite team-built recreations of sought-after models from the early 60s. Fender Custom Shop instruments can be found off the walls of Swee Lee, and can also be fitted out in your dream specifications the way you’d commission a bespoke suit.
|Series||Guitar Options||Bass Options||Price||Notables Features|
|Player Series||Duo Sonic, |
Lead, Stratocaster, Telecaster,
|Jazz, Precision, Jaguar, and Mustang||From $929.00 to $1,269.00||Satin-finished necks, |
revamped & improved pickups,
two-point tremolos (Stratocasters) and
|Player Plus||Stratocaster and Telecaster||Jazz and Precision||From $1,449.00 to $1,659.00||Alder bodies,|
satin modern “C” maple necks,
locking tuners, expanded electronics, treble-bleed circuit,
22 medium jumbo frets
|Noventa||Telecaster, Stratocaster and Jazzmaster||NA||From $1,449.00 to $1,729.00||Noventa single-coil pickups, ’60s “C”-shaped maple neck,|
9.5” radius maple or pau ferro fingerboard, 21 medium jumbo frets, classic vintage tuners
|Jazz, Precision, and Mustang||From $1,369.00 to $1,779.00||Recreated vintage pickups sets, period-correct neck profiles, vintage colours, and modern electronics or modifications (Modified Versions)|
|American Performer||Stratocaster, Telecaster,|
|Jazz, Precision, and Mustang||From $1,729.00 to $2,249.00||Most affordable American-made Fenders, new Yosemite single-coil pickups, enhanced electronics, and vintage-style hardware|
|American Professional II||Stratocaster, Telecaster,|
|Jazz and Precision||From $2,179.00 to $2,599.00||All-new V-Mod II pickups, treble-bleed circuit, rolled fingerboard edges, and a new sculpted heel|
|American Ultra||Stratocaster, Telecaster,|
|Jazz and Precision||From $2,749.00 to $3,199.00||Super-sculpted neck heel, locking tuning machines,Ultra-Noiseless pickups, treble-bleed circuit, redesigned preamp with active/passive switching (bass), and HiMass bridge (bass)|
|American Ultra Lux||Stratocaster and Telecaster||NA||From $3,459.00||Stainless steel medium-jumbo frets, compound-radius fingerboard, Super-sculpted neck heel, locking tuning machines, Ultra Noiseless pickups, augmented “D”-shaped neck with Ultra satin finish|
|American Original||Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jaguar,|
|Jazz and Precision||From $2,699.00 to $3,299.00||Historic neck profiles, vintage tall frets with modern radiuses, period-correct pickups and hardware, and gorgeous lacquer finishes|
Thanks for taking the time to look at our Fender Guitar Guide – we do hope that it has made your guitar buying decision a lot more clearer. If you’d like to take your time and browse through our catalog of Fender instruments, you can do so at our website!