Showmaster Celtic HH review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 5
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.5 (17 votes)
Fender: Showmaster Celtic HH
0

Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: Musiciansfriend.com

Sound — 9
When I am playing metal, this is one of my many go to guitars. It sustains fairly well and has a very deep bassy tone when droptuned (for me that is drop C#) I use it with my Splawn Nitro with KT88's, Splawn Pro Mod, Ampeg Lee Jackson, with no effects other than an occasionaly boost or reverb. The sound is very bassy and full and it is a quiet and exceptionally well insulated (electronically) guitar. I would say there isn't a ton of variety for this guitar, because only a single humbucker can get you so far. I will only use it on songs that have no solos, because I use the neck pickup for leads, and this doesn't have one.

Overall Impression — 10
This is one of the best new buys I have ever had. I think they sold around triple that price before they were clearanced out when I got mine. I play metal and blues, and this is a go to metal guitar for me, however, blues, not so much. I have Gibsons, and Strats for that. I would like to find an identical twin to this guitar, but they are few and far between, and people often try to get way too much money for them used.

Reliability & Durability — 5
This guitar has handled all sorts of use and abuse and will take plenty more. My only issue is that the black chrome eroded very quikly (within the first year) I like how it looks, but Fender said that was a common problem. So the Celtic loses a few points for that. The hardware is still solid and uncompromised. The strap buttons are still solid as ever, and they are positioned in a way where I do not feel does not necessitate straplocks.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Despite being a Korean guitar, the action, fit, and finish is exceptional, I honestly do not remember how it came set up from the factory, because it is eight years old now and I have had so many guitars come and go since I have had it, how they arive in the box is jumbled.

Features — 8
I believe this guitar was made in 2003, and it wasn't a success for Fender at all, although it really should have been. It was made in Korea of excellent build quality. it is a 25.5" 24 fret set neck superstrat with a Standard Fender non tremolo bridge, and non branded tuners. I believe that the Celtic models were only available in silver with the Celtic inlay at the twelth fret. It is a single pickup single, volume knob, metal machine. The pickup that came in stock was a Fender Atomic 2, but has since had an EMG 81, EMG 85, a JB, and now and most likely perminantly a Gibson 490t. Rating is 8 due to the not so amazing stock pickup.

33 comments sorted by best / new / date

    krvolok
    GenerationKILL wrote: They make awesome metal guitars if you get them worked on or customized! A good fender or gibson is worth its weight in gold when playing metal on them!
    A friend of mine plays death metal on a squier hss strat,tuned down to A# standard and he gets an awesome tone.Of course he has a marshall jmc and a separate pre-amp which give him 80& of his tone.
    GenerationKILL
    espplayer400 wrote: GenerationKILL wrote: rv_phoenix wrote: GenerationKILL wrote: rv_phoenix wrote: Lunasco_23 wrote: If fender made this they have obviously gone mad. They have to sell some gear to those guys who play metal too. Although a real metal guitarist would never buy a Strat, for obvious reasons. So you're absolutely right: they've gone mad. But what about Gibson's Firebird X, then? Have you seen that mutant? What obvious reasons are those? Malmsteen and even Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden have played strats. So has even Kirk Hammett! They make awesome metal guitars if you get them worked on or customized! A good fender or gibson is worth its weight in gold when playing metal on them! I guess you just didn't get my allusion. I didn't mean you cannot play metal on a Strat (I did it successfully 20 years ago). I only meant that, for a huge number of so-called 'guitar players', a guitar so reffined, but deprived of humbuckers, 24 frets and active pickups is not a 'metal' guitar. For those guys, Iron Maiden, Malmsteen or Ritchie Blackmore are not true 'metal' guitarists. This odd - if not plainly stupid - Strat was meant for this kind of guys... Are you kidding me? Adrian Smith and Ritchie Blackmore are not "metal guitarists?!" What are they then?! I was always under the impression that Deep Purple and Iron Maiden were ORIGINAL METAL BANDS. You're crazy. YOu actually just completely missed his point haha.
    His point was complete shitte. "True metal" is a sound, not a type of guitar. It can be played on any guitar, much like Frank Zappa could transform any music into rock n roll or pop. Many famous "metal" guitarists use and endorse fender. This was not what some ESP playing metalhead thinks is metal, its what is whats widely excepted as metal. It can be played on anything, including telecasters, mandolins, banjos and even Cellos like Apocalyptica does. Metal is a type of composition, not what you play it on.
    theogonia777
    maybe it's called Celtic cause only an Irishman or a Scotsman would be able to drink enough to make that guitar look attractive. :haha:
    super collasal
    rv_phoenix wrote: GenerationKILL wrote: rv_phoenix wrote: Lunasco_23 wrote: If fender made this they have obviously gone mad. They have to sell some gear to those guys who play metal too. Although a real metal guitarist would never buy a Strat, for obvious reasons. So you're absolutely right: they've gone mad. But what about Gibson's Firebird X, then? Have you seen that mutant? What obvious reasons are those? Malmsteen and even Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden have played strats. So has even Kirk Hammett! They make awesome metal guitars if you get them worked on or customized! A good fender or gibson is worth its weight in gold when playing metal on them! I guess you just didn't get my allusion. I didn't mean you cannot play metal on a Strat (I did it successfully 20 years ago). I only meant that, for a huge number of so-called 'guitar players', a guitar so reffined, but deprived of humbuckers, 24 frets and active pickups is not a 'metal' guitar. For those guys, Iron Maiden, Malmsteen or Ritchie Blackmore are not true 'metal' guitarists. This odd - if not plainly stupid - Strat was meant for this kind of guys...
    the first orgins of heavy metal were played on a strat
    Seref
    GenerationKILL wrote: rv_phoenix wrote: GenerationKILL wrote: rv_phoenix wrote: Lunasco_23 wrote: If fender made this they have obviously gone mad. They have to sell some gear to those guys who play metal too. Although a real metal guitarist would never buy a Strat, for obvious reasons. So you're absolutely right: they've gone mad. But what about Gibson's Firebird X, then? Have you seen that mutant? What obvious reasons are those? Malmsteen and even Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden have played strats. So has even Kirk Hammett! They make awesome metal guitars if you get them worked on or customized! A good fender or gibson is worth its weight in gold when playing metal on them! I guess you just didn't get my allusion. I didn't mean you cannot play metal on a Strat (I did it successfully 20 years ago). I only meant that, for a huge number of so-called 'guitar players', a guitar so reffined, but deprived of humbuckers, 24 frets and active pickups is not a 'metal' guitar. For those guys, Iron Maiden, Malmsteen or Ritchie Blackmore are not true 'metal' guitarists. This odd - if not plainly stupid - Strat was meant for this kind of guys... Are you kidding me? Adrian Smith and Ritchie Blackmore are not "metal guitarists?!" What are they then?! I was always under the impression that Deep Purple and Iron Maiden were ORIGINAL METAL BANDS. You're crazy.
    He is wrongly calling modern metal "true" metal. When in reality it's just modern metal. All metal is "true" metal. Otherwise it wouldn't be called metal. It doesn't need to be a djenty gainmonster covered with hard edges and spikes on the body to be "a true metal guitar." Anyway, ugly looking Strat imo.
    espplayer400
    GenerationKILL wrote: rv_phoenix wrote: GenerationKILL wrote: rv_phoenix wrote: Lunasco_23 wrote: If fender made this they have obviously gone mad. They have to sell some gear to those guys who play metal too. Although a real metal guitarist would never buy a Strat, for obvious reasons. So you're absolutely right: they've gone mad. But what about Gibson's Firebird X, then? Have you seen that mutant? What obvious reasons are those? Malmsteen and even Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden have played strats. So has even Kirk Hammett! They make awesome metal guitars if you get them worked on or customized! A good fender or gibson is worth its weight in gold when playing metal on them! I guess you just didn't get my allusion. I didn't mean you cannot play metal on a Strat (I did it successfully 20 years ago). I only meant that, for a huge number of so-called 'guitar players', a guitar so reffined, but deprived of humbuckers, 24 frets and active pickups is not a 'metal' guitar. For those guys, Iron Maiden, Malmsteen or Ritchie Blackmore are not true 'metal' guitarists. This odd - if not plainly stupid - Strat was meant for this kind of guys... Are you kidding me? Adrian Smith and Ritchie Blackmore are not "metal guitarists?!" What are they then?! I was always under the impression that Deep Purple and Iron Maiden were ORIGINAL METAL BANDS. You're crazy.
    YOu actually just completely missed his point haha.
    GenerationKILL
    rv_phoenix wrote: GenerationKILL wrote: rv_phoenix wrote: Lunasco_23 wrote: If fender made this they have obviously gone mad. They have to sell some gear to those guys who play metal too. Although a real metal guitarist would never buy a Strat, for obvious reasons. So you're absolutely right: they've gone mad. But what about Gibson's Firebird X, then? Have you seen that mutant? What obvious reasons are those? Malmsteen and even Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden have played strats. So has even Kirk Hammett! They make awesome metal guitars if you get them worked on or customized! A good fender or gibson is worth its weight in gold when playing metal on them! I guess you just didn't get my allusion. I didn't mean you cannot play metal on a Strat (I did it successfully 20 years ago). I only meant that, for a huge number of so-called 'guitar players', a guitar so reffined, but deprived of humbuckers, 24 frets and active pickups is not a 'metal' guitar. For those guys, Iron Maiden, Malmsteen or Ritchie Blackmore are not true 'metal' guitarists. This odd - if not plainly stupid - Strat was meant for this kind of guys...
    Are you kidding me? Adrian Smith and Ritchie Blackmore are not "metal guitarists?!" What are they then?! I was always under the impression that Deep Purple and Iron Maiden were ORIGINAL METAL BANDS. You're crazy.
    MonsterOfRock
    GenerationKILL wrote: rv_phoenix wrote: Lunasco_23 wrote: If fender made this they have obviously gone mad. They have to sell some gear to those guys who play metal too. Although a real metal guitarist would never buy a Strat, for obvious reasons. So you're absolutely right: they've gone mad. But what about Gibson's Firebird X, then? Have you seen that mutant? What obvious reasons are those? Malmsteen and even Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden have played strats. So has even Kirk Hammett! They make awesome metal guitars if you get them worked on or customized! A good fender or gibson is worth its weight in gold when playing metal on them!
    Don't forget Jerry Cantrell! Strats with Humbuckers on the bridge are pretty badass for metal. Charvels for example.
    rv_phoenix
    GenerationKILL wrote: rv_phoenix wrote: Lunasco_23 wrote: If fender made this they have obviously gone mad. They have to sell some gear to those guys who play metal too. Although a real metal guitarist would never buy a Strat, for obvious reasons. So you're absolutely right: they've gone mad. But what about Gibson's Firebird X, then? Have you seen that mutant? What obvious reasons are those? Malmsteen and even Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden have played strats. So has even Kirk Hammett! They make awesome metal guitars if you get them worked on or customized! A good fender or gibson is worth its weight in gold when playing metal on them!
    I guess you just didn't get my allusion. I didn't mean you cannot play metal on a Strat (I did it successfully 20 years ago). I only meant that, for a huge number of so-called 'guitar players', a guitar so reffined, but deprived of humbuckers, 24 frets and active pickups is not a 'metal' guitar. For those guys, Iron Maiden, Malmsteen or Ritchie Blackmore are not true 'metal' guitarists. This odd - if not plainly stupid - Strat was meant for this kind of guys...
    krvolok
    moose1512 wrote: just no, if his amp setup gives 80% of his tone hes doing it wrong. Your guitar should provide the groundwork and your amp fine tune it.
    Perhaps in a parallel universe but not in this one.The amp gives around 80% of any guitarist tone.I know that out of first hand experience,I plug in my rr1 in my FM212 and it's bland and I have to use a eq pedal to bring life to it.When I plug it into his jmc it sounds incredible.Why? A much better amp.The output of an electric guitar is an electric signal which must go thorough an amp in order to be amplified and heard.The amp is effectively the electric guitar resonator box,and with out the amp the electric guitar is basically a neck with strings.Does the guitar have anything to do in this process? Yes,but take any high end guitar and plug it in a 5w SX amp and it will sound bad.Take a no name cheap build guitar plug it into a high end tube amp and it will sound 100 times better than the expensive guitar into a 5w SX amp.And again the fact is that the man is getting a killer death metal tone out of a squier strat,that by itself demonstrates how having a good amp is more important that having some super high end guitar.How do,let's say metal guitarist achieve massive distortion? Because they have high gain amps.How do blues guitarist get that warm feel? Because they use boutique tube amps.Guitar do matter but amps matter more.And if you believe other wise,well I feel sorry for you,because you will or have already spent a lot of money trying to get a certain tone out of your guitar.
    MaggaraMarine
    How can you say it in percentage? Everything matters. The amp will sound different if you play different guitars through it. And what's the point of an amplifier? It AMPLIFIES the sound of the guitar. Of course a better amp will always sound better. But it still sounds different with different guitars. And Strat will always sound like a Strat, no matter what amp you are playing through. Of course if you want to improve your sound, you need to look for a new amp. But if you want a Strat sound, buy a Strat. An amp is not going to make your guitar sound like a Strat. Everything matters and I wouldn't talk about percentage because that's a subjective thing, you can't measure it.
    krvolok
    Necroposting on this, really? But it does NOT sound like a Strat, or to be more precise like a doggy 90s squire HSS Strat, it sounds like a proper chugg-monster. The fact of the matter is still this -- I can plug my RR1 into my fender frontman and have it sound decent, and I can plug my LTD-V200 into a Peavey 5150 ovet at my rehearsal place and have it sound like a proper thrash destroyer. You really can't argue with that, percentages or not.
    MaggaraMarine
    Yes, I agree. If you want it to sound like Strat then you need a Strat. But if you want improvement in your sound, amp should come first. For thrash metal you'll be using lots of pre amp gain so if your amp is high gain enough, the guitar doesn't matter that much. Of course the sound must be clear (and that's when guitar matters a bit). But if you are playing clean(er), the guitar matters more (not more than the amp but more than if you were playing with distortion) and gives more character to the sound. But the main point is, you need both, a good guitar and amp to sound good and amp is the first thing to look at if you want improvement in sound.
    moose1512
    krvolok wrote: GenerationKILL wrote: They make awesome metal guitars if you get them worked on or customized! A good fender or gibson is worth its weight in gold when playing metal on them! A friend of mine plays death metal on a squier hss strat,tuned down to A# standard and he gets an awesome tone.Of course he has a marshall jmc and a separate pre-amp which give him 80& of his tone.
    just no, if his amp setup gives 80% of his tone hes doing it wrong. Your guitar should provide the groundwork and your amp fine tune it.
    GenerationKILL
    rv_phoenix wrote: Lunasco_23 wrote: If fender made this they have obviously gone mad. They have to sell some gear to those guys who play metal too. Although a real metal guitarist would never buy a Strat, for obvious reasons. So you're absolutely right: they've gone mad. But what about Gibson's Firebird X, then? Have you seen that mutant?
    What obvious reasons are those? Malmsteen and even Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden have played strats. So has even Kirk Hammett! They make awesome metal guitars if you get them worked on or customized! A good fender or gibson is worth its weight in gold when playing metal on them!
    GenerationKILL
    Fender did something like this a long time ago when I first started playing that was identical almost only it was gloss black and had a scorpion inlay at the 12th fret. It played pretty good from what I remember. But then again I was just a beginner on the guitar.
    lespaul4eveR
    how could a guitar with just a volume pot, plain finish, 1 humbucker and solid bridge sell for $600 when its made in korea? sure you weren't huffing something? but i think i would buy one for $200... and id turn it into a SSH strat. lol
    rv_phoenix
    Lunasco_23 wrote: If fender made this they have obviously gone mad.
    They have to sell some gear to those guys who play metal too. Although a real metal guitarist would never buy a Strat, for obvious reasons. So you're absolutely right: they've gone mad. But what about Gibson's Firebird X, then? Have you seen that mutant?
    Lord_Doku
    This bloke actually bought this to go dropC# with his EMG's, JB and 490t. These are pickups deserve atleast a brother in arms on the same piece of wood.
    Rogue Hermit
    The inlays are Celtic symbols. Also, 95% certain the moderators who look over/post the reviews who get the final say in the title and image. If you do a quick google search for it, it's listed as a single humbucker guitar. Seems like a pretty boring guitar though.
    ?Loki?
    Ugly!! and i dont normally stress about look but this is ugly