However, small refinements have been made over the years to improve the instrument in terms of its tones, quality, and playability.
The Fender Player Stratocaster HSS encompasses all of Fender's guitar-building experience, available at a price that is more accessible to a wider audience. Made in Mexico, these affordable instruments boast a number of updates to give players an instrument with more versatility and elegance than ever before.
Fender has long-established its preferred tonewoods, and the Player Series Stratocaster retains their iconic Alder and Maple combination. The Alder body emits a balanced sound with a tight low-end, plenty of mid-range punch and a crisp presence, serving as a great foundation for the trio of pickups. With a gorgeous Flamed Maple top, this guitar will inspire you to pick it up and play for hours on end!
Paired with a bolt-on Maple neck, a true Fender staple, this wood is what gives Fender instruments their signature snap. With a bright top-end, this material allows notes and chords to effortlessly cut through in a mix, ensuring that your playing is heard amongst a full band. Adorned with a Maple fretboard too, the tonal clarity of this guitar is practically unmatched.
Featuring a "Modern C" neck shape, this profile provides both traditionalists and contemporary players with a comfortable feel. Thin enough for aspiring shredders, this neck shape is still solid and substantial, offering great support for your thumb. With a satin finish, a noteworthy Player Series update, the neck has a super-smooth feel that allows you to easily glide up and down, without getting sticky at sweaty gigs!
Apart from its cosy neck contours and practical finish, the Players Series Stratocaster also sports medium jumbo frets, giving players great control and intonation across the fretboard. Meeting the growing demands of fans, Fender has also added a 22nd fret to its Player Series Strats, expanding the range of the instrument for further musical expression.
The Fender Stratocaster is notorious for its three pickups, and the Player Series Strat HSS features a revised set. Projecting that legendary, vibrant Fender tone, these particular pickups emit a more modern voice, with a bolder mid-range that can handle overdrive far better than its predecessors, especially with the beefy-sounding humbucker in the bridge. Keep your amp settings clean, and you'll still be able to attain those classic chimey Strat tones with the 5-way blade pickup switch in positions 2 and 4.
Dedicated tone controls for the neck/middle and bridge pickups let you tame any aggressive highs, particularly if plugged into a bright-sounding amplifier. Nearest the bridge pickup you have an ergonomically-placed master volume knob, which can be used to roll off gain for a milder, "cleaned-up" sound, or for achieving dramatic volume swells.
A huge improvement that Fender has implemented across the Player Series Strat range is the 2-point tremolo. A bridge that has been seen on their more expensive US-made counterparts, this tremolo provides a smoother action for more expressive vibrato, and also ensures better tuning stability with its low friction design.