NAMM 2020: Fender Leads the charge as it revives the Lead II and III for the Player Series

(Image credit: Fender)

NAMM 2020 (opens in new tab): St Vincent, Bono, Eric Clapton and Steve Morse are just a handful of names that have been associated with the Fender Lead series over the years, its history stretching all the way back to 1979. The unique-looking double-cutaways will be making their return this year, in the form of these Player Lead II and Player Lead III reissues.

The Lead II - available in Crimson Red Transparent, Black and Neon Green - offers dual-slanted Player series single coil pickups, a modern C-shape neck, medium jumbo frets and Dual-toggle switches (one for pickup selection, one for phase-reverse.

(Image credit: Fender)

The Lead III, which comes in Olympic White, Sienna Sunburst and Metallic Purple, features two Player humbucking pickups, dual-toggle switches for pickup selection and coil-splits.

(Image credit: Fender)

Just a few weeks ago, St Vincent (aka Annie Clarke) uploaded a cover of Jimi Hendrix classic Little Wing on her Instagram channel, demonstrating just how glassy and chimey her original neon green Lead II can sound in the right hands.

And much like the early 80s model in that video, the new versions offer high-quality tone and durability in a quirky, compact package - and best of all - at fairly low prices:  just $599 apiece.

For more information, visit Fender (opens in new tab).

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Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences. He's interviewed everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handling lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).