Fender’s Player Series gets a new limited run with roasted maple necks and Custom Shop pickups

Fender Player Series guitarguitar
(Image credit: guitarguitar)

The Fender Player Series – known for its reliable Mexican-made guitars which combine affordability and great tone – has announced an updated, limited run collection of electric guitars exclusive to the UK guitar store guitarguitar.

Arriving in the form of two Stratocasters and a Telecaster, Fender has swapped out the Player Series Alnico 5 pickups in favor of more boutique Custom Shop replacements and given the maple necks a stunning makeover.

Achieved through torrefaction – a fancy way of saying ”baking” the wood – the maple is treated at extremely high temperatures in an oxygen-free environment, changing its physical properties to create a lighter and stronger wood. The result is a more durable guitar neck that is more resistant to atmospheric and temperature changes.

That, and the deep caramel color of wood that is achieved through the process looks fantastic.

Aside from the roasted maple neck, the new Player Series instruments are also treated to an upgrade in the pickup department.

Fender Player Series guitarguitar

(Image credit: guitarguitar)

The two Stratocasters – available in a striking Sonic Blue and Three-Tone Sunburst – come equipped with Custom Shop Fat '50s pickups in an effort to give players a full-bodied, classic-era Strat twang.

Likewise, the Butterscotch Blonde Telecaster features Custom Shop Nocaster pickups, which emulate the classic Tele bite and grit. Both can be heard in action below.

Despite updates that seek to add the vintage feel and sound of pricier instruments, the guitars remain amongst the most affordable Fender instruments currently available, retailing at £799 (approx $1,050), around £200 more than the standard Player models. 

Although exclusive to the UK guitar retailer, we hope to see a similarly striking update to the Fender Player Series in the US in the near future.

Visit guitarguitar for more info.

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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.