Fender launches all-new Player Plus electric guitar and bass models with fresh finishes and switching options

Fender Player Plus guitars
(Image credit: Fender)

Fender has announced the expansion of its Player Series of electric guitars and bass guitars, in a bid to cater towards and nurture the next generation of players – the Player Plus Series.

Arriving in the form of SSS- and HSS-configured Stratocasters, two individual Telecasters, an Active Precision Pass, and two Active Jazz Bass models, Fender’s new offerings take inspiration from the brand’s iconic body shapes, though aim to provide improved playability and comfort.

Conceived in a bid to offer a “next-level playing experience” to both seasoned players and aspiring guitarists alike, each model features 12”-radius fingerboards with rolled edges, locking tuners and newly voiced Noiseless pickups.

They also aim to tap into sonic avenues rarely seen on Fender models, with an array of push-pull pots and toggle switches serving up a wealth of intriguing pickup combos.

But perhaps the most noticeable addition is the range's eye-catching color palette, which boasts striking new and reworked finishes such as Tequila Sunrise, Opal Spark, Cosmic Jade, Silverburst, Belair Blue, Olympic Pearl and Silver Smoke, to name but a few.

Of the latest made-in-Mexico lineup, EVP Fender Products Justin Norvell commented, “We designed the Player Plus series to match the unique characteristics of today’s players and creators. When we first launched the Player Series in 2018, we set a new standard for what an entry-point Fender could be.

“We’ve delivered a visually-striking line of performance instruments that exemplify Fender’s ethos: honoring our past while looking to the future.”

In addition to bolstering the Player lineup, the Player Plus range looks to be replacing Fender's Deluxe Series, which also offered a Nashville Telecaster and an HSS-configured Stratocaster, complete with Noiseless pickups.

Read on for the full lowdown on Fender’s latest player-friendly guitars.

Fender Player Plus Stratocaster and Player Plus Stratocaster HSS

First up is the SSS- and HSS-configured Strats, which, aside from the tweaked pickup pairing, arrive with identical spec sheets featuring a 12” fretboard radius and C-shape maple neck with rolled edges.

These comfort-minded specs are joined by 22 medium jumbo frets, a choice of either maple or rosewood fingerboards, a two-point tremolo bridge system and locking tuners.

In the pickup department, the Strats sport newly designed Player Plus Noiseless single-coils, and both feature push-pull tone pots. While the control triggers a coil-split in the HSS’s additional Player Plus humbucker, the pot conversely adds the single-coil-loaded Strat’s neck pickup to positions one and two.

The control circuit is completed by a five-way selector switch, secondary tone control and master volume knob.

The regular and HSS-equipped Player Plus Stratocasters are available now in a range of finishes – including Cosmic Jade, Silverburst, Olympic Pearl and Tequila Sunrise – for $999 and $1,029, respectively.

Fender Player Plus Telecaster and Player Plus Nashville Telecaster

Next up is the Player Plus Telecaster and Player Plus Nashville Telecaster. While the former is a modern take on the conventional Tele blueprint, the latter equips Fender’s famed single-cut with an additional Strat-style middle single-coil for added tonal options.

Again, the guitars come loaded with Fender’s Player Plus Noiseless pickups, which are at the mercy of push-pull tone switches. The regular Tele’s switch engages both pickups in series for increased output and body, while the Nashville Tele once again engages the neck pickup in switch positions one and two.

Build-wise, the line-standard 12”-radius fingerboard with rolled edges, modern-C Player Plus-profile neck and 22 medium jumbo frets make the cut, with a modern six-saddle Tele bridge with block steel saddles also featuring.

A range of colors are on offer, with highlights including Opal Spark, Aged Candy Apple Red and Silver Smoke.

The Player Plus Telecaster and Player Plus Nashville Telecaster are available now for $999 and $1,029, respectively.

Fender Player Plus Active Precision Bass

Fender Player Plus guitar

Fender Player Plus Precision Bass in Olympic Pearl (Image credit: Fender)

Moving on into the bass department, we have a freshly spec’d Precision Bass, which aims to deliver the “punch and growl” that defines Fender’s four-string tones.

A three-band active EQ features a switchable active/passive operation for increased tone-sculpting flexibility, and works alongside all-new Player Plus Noiseless Precision and Jazz Bass pickups. 

Other specs include a four-saddle HiMass bridge, 12”-radius fingerboard with rolled edges and – once again – a modern-C neck profile, included for silky fretboard slides.

The Fender Player Plus Precision Bass arrives in Silver Smoke, Cosmic Jade, Three-Color Sunburst and Olympic Pearl, and is available for $1,049.

Fender Player Plus Jazz Bass and Player Plus Jazz Bass V

Last but certainly not least are the Player Plus Jazz Bass and Player Plus Jazz Bass V models. As the names would suggest, the only thing separating the two is an extra bass string, meaning they both come equipped with a host of identical specs.

As such, both feature a 12”-radius fingerboard, modern-C back-shape neck, HiMass bridge and Player Plus Noiseless Jazz Bass pickups.

One again, the Jazz Bass pickups are at the mercy of a nifty switch that aims to wring out as much tone from the circuit as possible, with an active/passive toggle switch featuring in partnership with a three-band active EQ for a hands-on tone-tweaking experience.

Three-Tone Sunburst, Cosmic Jade, Opal Spark, Belair Blue and Olympic Pearl are just some of the colorways on offer for the Player Plus Jazz Bass and Jazz Bass V, both of which are available for $1,099 and $1,149, respectively.

To find out more, head over to Fender.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.