FENDER STRATOCASTER PLAYER SERIES - REVIEW
Price: In the neighbourhood of 60000 rupees
The first aspect of this guitar that needs to be admired is its spectacular build, colour and shape. It’s the kind of guitar that, as you’re walking past it, you would be tempted to pick up and play a few licks on. It is truly irresistible in its charm. This particular Strat with the Pau Ferro fretboard is very easy to play. I’m yet to try many of the other Strat models, so I can’t give you a comprehensive comparison between them. I can however, tell you that from the other electric guitars I have, namely the ESP, Telecaster and the Ibanez, this one definitely has the smoothest fretboard. It is like holding a bar of soap almost (minus the slippery bit).
The sound is where it gets really interesting. Stratocasters are known for their versatility, and this one’s no different. I’ve got to work on 3 songs since I made the purchase recently, and each song is vastly distinct from the other. First is a progressive rock song (It’s actually the last single I released, “Through The Haze”, which is available on all fine digital stores just in case you’re curious), the second is a funk rock song, and the last one’s an ambient instrumental. The last two songs should be out in a month or so for you to check out.
The model here has a floating bridge. Hence, it is remarkably expressive. If you’re to experiment extensively with the whammy bar, you’ll reliably be tapping into some darker sounds as well. So, although it has this pleasant, bright and rich texture when playing through a delay or reverb, it can be equally intense and heavy with distortion. The great discovery I made is that unlike many other guitars I’ve used, I don’t have to spend hours on EQ and compression pedals, as the sound right off the bat is already quite crisp. Plus, the distortion here doesn’t get in the way of the guitar’s signature texture.
Now, the price part which I left for the end (because economics when juxtaposed with art can be particularly exasperating). The guitar costs roughly 60k rupees. This may sound exorbitant, but it actually isn’t. You see, your typical Strat costs around a lakh. And, the ones we here in Bangalore and elsewhere in India buy are usually Fender Squiers which only costs 20k or so. The Player series, although 40k cheaper than the standard Strats, offer nearly the same textures and quality. So, for me personally it was an excellent purchase. And, I do feel there are plenty more songs and sounds to be unraveled on it.
So, I'll be reviewing another great product on the next edition. See you all then.
By Vishnu Ravindran Nair