Lead III review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.6 (16 votes)
Fender: Lead III

Sound — 10
I love playing AC/DC, GNR and a little pop music like Oasis, and these pickups are awesome, designed by seth lover they just rock. I think and so do a lot of people that Fender bought these out to compete with Gibson and the SG, and I think they're right because the sound is on par with if not better than a Gibson. I'm using a Peavey trans tube amp with it, but with a true tube amp I think it would blow away an SG. Put that with the phase switching and you've got one kick ass guitar.

Overall Impression — 9
I like playing crunch guitar, and this is about the best you could get. You could play shred, heavy rock or singing blues on this. The phase switching is great fun to play around with and the different sounds you get are amazing. I love its playability, the neck is fantastic, really nice. If I lost it I'd definitely get another. So if you see one on ebay take a look, you wont be disapointed. A great Fender guitar very much under rated...

Reliability & Durability — 9
This thing weighs a ton its as heavy as a les paul, but also has the sound too, which can't be a bad thing. Its well made as were all fenders during the CBS era and would hold out Live. U2 played them Live on the album under a blood red sky, you can see bono playing it on the album sleeve. The strap buttons are the old Vintage ones, so the chances of it falling off are pretty remote. The only thing that might break is where the jack lead plugs in. It plugs down into the pick guard so if hit with any force theres a good chance it will snap off,so be carefull when trying to impress the girls at a gig..

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Well I can't say anything about factory setup but its a pain in arse to do it, so I'm taking it to a shop to get it done. This was artic white at some point but has turned a lovely yellow colour. It has spider cracking all over it and the paint falls off at the slightish knock. Fender must be kicking themselves at the way this has reliced its self at no cost to me, yet they charge thousands for a relic job, but don't know why these ones do it in such a short time. Apparently its some thing to do with the wood selant, but Fender lost the recipe..

Features — 10
I got this Fender off a friend who stopped playing yrs ago. It had been stuck in a garage for 20 years, and was covered in moss and rust. But I've clean it up and it looks just great. It was made in 1980 or 81 at fenders fullerton plant in california during the CBS era. It has a 3 piece swamp Ash body, 2 seth Lover Humbuckers, phase switching and a 1954 Strat style maple neck... All the parts are stamped with Fender, the tuners, neck plate and inside the body.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    What exactly is phase switching? Does it have anything in common with a phaser?
    A phase switch reverses the polarity of one of the pickups so that some of the lower frequencies cancel out. Brian May's guitar has phase switches, you can here the effect they make on a lot of queen's early songs.
    FionnRuadh wrote: What exactly is phase switching? Does it have anything in common with a phaser?
    As Erudhalion said,its puts the pickups out of phase with each other,adding a nice crunch sound to it.You can mix single and humbucking sounds together by using the two toggle switches.there is a bit of buzzing,but i think this is down to feedback..steve
    Looks and sounds great but I don't think you can really compare it with a Gibson, they are just too different!
    Lloydikins wrote: Looks and sounds great but I don't think you can really compare it with a Gibson, they are just too different!
    well it sounds a lot like one,and seth lover did design gibsons humbuckers.it also has though the body strings,which gives it a nice ringing sound and sustain..