Deluxe Players Strat review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.7 (176 votes)
Fender: Deluxe Players Strat

Purchased from:

Sound — 10
Wow, that's all I can say. The noiseless pickups deliver a wonderful single coil sound. Truly amazing. Imagine taking single coils off of a guitar and eliminating that annoying hum. Imagine taking those twangy, glass-cutting humbuckers and adding some bottom end and reducing some of the treble so the sound is well balanced and buttery. That is exactly what these pickups do. This clean sound is sooooo amazing I could listen to it all day. The standard tone knobs also allow you to tweak the neck and middle pickups for a bit more control over your sound. The bridge pickup clean sounds exactly like a normal humbucker clean. I guarantee, this thing kills when clean. When Distorted this guitar wails with the best of them. Very sensitive though. Good for tapping, handles songs like "Crazy Train" pretty well. With the wrong amount of gain/contour though even light contact with the strings will make annoying squeals. Other than that, I have no complaints with the distortion. These pickups are basically humbuckers, so they get no fuzz, but they still can mimic the Hendrix sound if you have the right equipment. I can also do some pretty good Maiden, Ozzy, Metallica, and Zepellin with the right settings. I play all types of music except hip-hop and rap because you really don't have much to work with in those categories. I bought the Strat instead of something with EMG's because I would need single coils instead of Humbuckers to play Jazz band. So at first I was skeptical about this guitar's sound because I wanted High output pickups for a metal band but humbuckers don't sound too great with Jazz. Unless it's Seymour Duncan's Jazz Humbucker. These thoughts were instantly gone once I heard this plugged in. I was amazed at what this thing could do for my playing! These single- coils sound great with any type of music I throw at it, though I haven't played any "Slayer" yet. I mainly play modern rock/blues/jazz/grunge/and classic rock and these pickups will perform all of them and this guitar will definitely come through in the sound department, clean or distorted. If you don't buy this guitar, and you do have poor stock single-coils replace them with one of these. It's the best move you will ever make. Until Fender releases Samarium Cobalt Noiseless pickups to everyone that doesn't have a $1200 Strat these are the best single coils you can buy aftermarket (I'm not including single coil slot humbuckers in that statement, because I don't have enough experience with them). Lace Sensors do have a great single coil clean sound, but distorted they are not this good. But then again, sound is a matter of opinion, so see for yourself go play around with some.

Overall Impression — 10
I play all muusic, this guitar fits me perfectly, end of story. If you are buying this guitar, ask how long it will take. I waited a month on backorder before mine shipped, but it was well worth it anyway. If it were stolen, I would hunt the thief down, shake his hand, and congratualte him for being able to hear how wonderful this guitar is. Then, I would steal my guitar back. Otherwise, I would definitely buy it again, I love it. I love the noiseless pickups. I am ot fond of the brown pickguard. I thought the Pickup push button toggle was a good idea, but it doesn't do that much for you. I compared this to a Jackson DXMG dinky, a couple of Ibanez's, a Standard Strat, an Epiphone G-400, and a couple semi-hollow bodies. Above all of them, I love this. At first I bought it for Jazz band, but now I feel I bought it for myself.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is great, It will last, period. High Fender quality. Reasonable price for a guitar this nice. Everything is solid. It is dependable, but come on! If you can have a backup, why wouldn't you carry one? There is always the possibility of bad things happening. I'm giving it a 5 just because I haven't had any problems with it. This is well made.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Everything in this guitar was perfect. The only complaint I have is some buzzing in the lower strings. But, once you play enough, the strings will break themselves in and the buzz goes away. The pickups were the perfect height. The strings came in tune. Everything was well lubes and easy to use. The finish is beautiful and so far seems very difficult to damage (haven't tried too much). This guitar is perfectly set up from the factory I have nothing but good things to say to Fender about this wonderful guitar. It isn't much of a problem but I will warn you anyway, the 15th fret and higher isnt quite as smoothed down, but it isn't a problem at all.

Features — 10
The Deluxe Player Strat is an updated version of Fender's Super Strat. I believe this guitar was manufactured in Mexico in the year 2004 (if not, that's when this model started being produced). This guitar is a common Stratocaster, plain and simple, but it has just been upgraded with some top-of the line Fender enhancements. First, the usual: 21-frets, 5-way selector, two tone knobs, one volume, Vintage tuners, synchronized tremolo, strings! I am almost positive the body is made of ash, though I have never found a website that fully elaborates on this. The neck is available in two choices: maple and rosewood. Personally I chose the Maple because I felt it looked best with my finish (3-tone sunburst) and it would produce a beautiful sound. The neck is a 12" radius C-shaped neck and is very comfortable and easy to play. All 21 frets are very easily accessible and are good sized. This guitar has medium-jumbo sized frets. This guitar being a Stratocaster I'm just going to tell you now, it has a Strat body style. This guitar is available in 4 different finishes: transparent sapphire blue, transparent red, honey blonde, and 3-tone sunburst. The transparent finishes are beautiful if I do say so myself but the sunburst blew me away. I had seen pictures of it, but when my guitar actually arrived I was amazed. Out of all of them, honey blonde seemed least spectacular though it is still nice. It was just too much of a natural color for me. Be warned though, this guitar does not come with your Standard Strat pickguard, it comes with a 3-ply brown Tortoise Shell pickguard. It still looks good, but you will have to base the finish off of how you think it looks with the brown. Now, the best part of this guitar, the pickups. This guitar comes from Fender's Mexico factory equipped with 3-single coil Vintage noiseless pickups. These are among the greatest pickups ever designed, but I'll go into that later. This guitar also comes with a Fender gig bag. Not that special, but it works. This guitar includes a push-button Switch in between the tone knobs. In addition to the 5-way this button is used to adjust your sound. This button activates the bridge pickup when it can't normally be selected due to the 5-way being in a certain position. This allows you to use all three pickups at once. It's like a cheaper S-1. This guitar comes with Fender Super Bullet Strings. Use .09 gauge to take full advantage of the very low action. To take a normal Mexican Strat and upgrade it with this stuff you would be paying way more than you would for this bargain.

36 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I love this guitar. After a long wait (15 years old, no job. Money doesnt come fast.), I'll finally be picking this up on saturday. I honestly cant wait any longer. I play a wide variety of music, so i decided that a Strat is a must. This compares well to even American strats in my opinion. I'll give a proper review after having it a couple days.
    i'm sorry, but i own an american deluxe stratocaster which is too equipped with vintage noiseless pickups, and they DO NOT SOUND LIKE HUMBUCKERS -they sound like an awesome set of slightly-warmer-than-norm al single coils only without the hum.
    E V H 5150
    Hey, StratsDONTSuck, who ever said strats did? I agree, they don't. I think they're great guitars. If I got one of these, I'd definitely go blue. I think the gold hardware accents it perfectly, and has the perfect balance of sound and cosmetics for this price range. But realistically, I don't think I'd get one anytime soon, because I'm gonna fix up my Squier, and I was thinking of putting in some SCN pickups from Fender.
    I was just totally blown away by a honey blond version of this guitar at my local store. I was looking for something to get single coil tones with and this one blew the competition out of the water tone wise. I already have a PRS (untappable pickups) and a Hamer (untappable pickups) to get all the heavy humbucker stuff taken care of. This guitar really shines through a low output (5-15w) class A tube amp (Epiphone Valve JR, Peavy JSX Mini Colossal, Bad Cat Mini Cat, or Mesa Boogie Lone Star Special), something you can get good power tube overdrive out of. Despite being called "Vintage" the noiseless pickups are pretty modern sounding (extremely clean and articulate) and they are higher output than a true vintage voiced pickup would be. For roughly 600.00 this Strat can't be beat. FYI: I A/B'd this guitar against a G&L SL-500 (pickups too-hot), Valley Arts Tele (flashy high-end guitar with truely vintage voiced pickups), and a PRS Johnny Highland (Awesome guitar but the bridge pickup is humbucker only).
    does anyone know what the hue of the red one is because i played a blue one and i havent seen a red one in person. the pictures on the web are all so different. ill be getting it soon and i cant decide which colour
    got this in blue as a joint christmas and birthday present instead of a car. i made the right choice beautiful guitar
    Stores are trying to sell this thing for $800 now. Good thing I already got mine when they were $600!!!
    want one sooooo bad but i'm also looking to get another xavier they r amazing
    So I've wrote the initial review for this guitar and now I'm back to give more thoughts on it. Would I still give it perfect tens? No. I still score it above a 9 though. I've had some problems getting the intonation as precise as I want it, but you can't really tell the difference unless you're trying to harmonize with another guitar. Even then, it's minor. After all these years, the hardware has held up fine. I ended up swapping the bridge pickup out for a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails, and it not only looks better, but it sounds way better too. Heavy palm muting and resting my hand on the bridge has caused the gold hardware to tarnish some, this is very minor, but it seems the gold paint wears off after heavy use. Again, you need to be very close to notice. I put a set of .10 gauge strings on, and that seems to have made the guitar sound much nicer and much more playable. I went to a few music stores intent on purchasing another guitar. After trying a Parker, a Taylor, and a few Ibanez guitars, I've decided to wait on my purchase of a new guitar because my Strat is comparable for a fraction of the price. I would still HIGHLY recommend the guitar to anyone, and I still love mine very much.
    I have had this guitar for a while now, and I feel ready enough to post a comment (not ready to review it yet). This guitar is beautiful , and this cannot be emphasized enough. It plays outstanding clean, as mentioned many times as well. But, I disagree with the complaints on playing with (some) distortion. I have not had a problem with this at all. But other than that, the reviews nail all the other aspects perfectly. A great workhorse of a guitar, and it can do whatever you want if you try. A great guitar--recommended.
    Uncle Festus
    I own this guitar and i love it...the only thing i modified on it was i blocked the tremolo arm for a little more sustain and it stays in tune much better.For the price,you really cant go wrong.
    I bought this guitar as a birthday present to myself and I am really pleased with it. Upon reciept, neither action or the neck were adjusted properly, however I was able to make those adjustments myself. My Deluxe Player's Strat is configured as follwos: 3 Color Sunburst 4-ply brown shell pickguard 12" neck radius Modern C-shaped Rosewood neck 21 medium-jumbo frets Gold-plated hardware 3 Vintage Noiseless single-coil pickups Push-button Switch activates bridge pickup in positions 4 and 5 of blade Switch for 7 pickup configurations Vintage-style synchronized tremolo Vintage-style tuners The tone of this guitar is just out of this world. I also like the 12" radius neck. My previous Fender had a 9.5" radius and I had some problems with bending and fretting out. I find the larger radius much more comfortable for my hand. The workmanship and the wood grain on my guitar is absolutely top of the line. I can't see how they could do a better job. The ash body has a nice weight to it and everything seems very balanced to me. The guitar stays in tune and I play at least an hour or two every day and more on weekends. I thnk the noiseless pickups outperform the previous pickups I had and teh tome controls really let me get a rich sound, regardless of what my amp settings are. I do like the push button control of my pickups which actually gives me 7 configurations and some great effects. I use a line 6 amplifier which gives me a wide range of distortion from none to insane levels. I have no problems anywhere along the range. I purchased this new and it was made in Mexico. The next step up to an Amercian made Strat was quite a price differential for fewer features. I struggled over this for some time before I made this purchase, and I am convinced I made the correct choice. The Gold plated metal pieces just add a special look to the entire package. I have not had any problems with tarnishing. I highly recommend this package. I don't see how anyone can go wrong with this for the money. Loving it is just an understatement.
    "...most of the hardware is standard American hardware (the gold hardware incl bridge and tuners are Standard American)..." Cause Standard American Strats have 6-point trems...not! Maybe it's the same bridge as a Highway 1, an American Special, or even some of the vintage replicas or signature guitars, but it's not the same as an American Standard. Those have 2 point trems. And it's not from a Deluxe either; those have 2 point trems with a pop-in bar. I'd get a Blacktop Strat before getting one of these; better quality and 22 frets!
    dzaerpoor wrote: hawk5211 wrote: lol picking between the blue transparent and the red transparent wont be easy Seriosly! this guitar is beutiful in both!
    If you're thinking about getting an American Strat, skip it and by both red and blue players that way you don't have to chose!
    hawk5211 wrote: lol picking between the blue transparent and the red transparent wont be easy
    Seriosly! this guitar is beutiful in both!
    this is an amazing guitar to have for every music style except for really heavy stuff. the pickups aren't hot at all, and i'll have to argue that they don't replicate a les paul humbucker very well. great guitar overall though.
    I have had this guitar for three months and i love it. It is definatly an upgrade from a squire. It has a nice rich bluesy sound, but it is capable of playing metal and hard rock. The thing can take quite a beating also. i bring it to my band practices and my gigs. It can take in weather and even a few beatings. This guitar is perfect for anyone looking for a new guitar.
    I want one of these badly as a clean tone guitar, gold hardware doesnt look cheap on this!
    wow do i want this guitar, it all sounds so good. Will it work for sounds like Joe satriani and Steve vai? Or is it more confined to blues? W/e doesnt really matter because i play mostly blues ie SRV, Clapton JIMI.... but still like to play some satch somtimes....
    lol picking between the blue transparent and the red transparent wont be easy
    ive had this guitar for about a month and i cant be bothered writing a review so il just say, great for blues, really good for SRV/clapton/hendrix/direstraits but doesnt perform too well with too heavy stuff. best clean sound ive heard out of any guitar
    i just got this guitar today, and it complements my les paul perfectly for my musi styles.... a great all around guitar comparable to the american standard series stratocaster
    and for anyone with vintage noiseless pickups- if you wish to push the versatility of your guitar further have it fitted with the Fender Eric Clapton Mid Boost Circuit: it gives a 25 decibal mid boost which can be used for a lead boost, to make the pickups sound like humbuckers, to thicken the tone etc.
    i dont like the look of that particular strat(colours) but i reckon that Strats are a pretty good overall guitar.. I would consider buying one to pick up now and then..