Starcaster S2 review by Fender

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  • Sound: 5
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 6
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 6
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.2 Neat
  • Users' score: 6.8 (93 votes)
Fender: Starcaster S2
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Price paid: $ 179.99

Purchased from: MusiciansFriend.com

Sound — 5
The tone of the Starcaster sounds exactly like the way a Fender should. Clear, harmonious notes echo throughout my Rickenbacker amplifier everytime I strum the strings. The Fender Starcaster can easily handle the sound of 70's classic rock, but with any type of sound, the stock pickups don't handle the tone or output as well. However, increase the tone and the gain, let the amp do the work and it can scream out hard rock to the world! The 5-way tone switch is also extremely helpful when it comes to increasing the tone of the stock pickups. You can easily transition from a clear, crisp sound to a low, almost bass-like tone. However, after changing the pickups on this guitar to Seymour Duncans, the true potential of this guitar really came out.

Overall Impression — 7
The 2012 Fender Starcaster is an incredible instrument, with amazing quality and large potential. This guitar dominantly boasts a beautiful starburst finish and stunning white hardware, but to get the true power of this guitar comes out after a change of pickups. The Starcaster is a great guitar that can handle nearly any style of music with a little help from some new pickups or guitar pedals, and your hand can easily slide between quick riffs of metal or jazz. With over 10 years of guitar experience, I can easily say this guitar cannot honestly match up against a Gibson or an actual Fender Strat. However, taking the price into consideration, this guitar is definitely a great buy and an essential guitar to have in your collection.

Reliability & Durability — 6
With a solid Agathis wood body and rosewood neck, the Fender Starcaster will and has stood up to many beatings and came out nearly unharmed. Despite several drops and and slams, this guitar is still unscratched. The stock hardware on the Starcaster are of great quality, and have lasted over two years without any change in performance. Although the stock pickups are really excellent for the price, the real potential truly comes out after a change in pickups. This guitar is incredibly reliable when it comes to being on the road and onstage.

Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Immediately out of the box, this guitar was in beautiful condition and shape! The guitar tuned up incredibly well, however the action and truss rod of the guitar did need to be adjusted before I could begin playing. Out of the box, the guitar would barely manage to choke out a faint, buzzing sound on the first frets of each string. But after 5 minutes of adjustments, this Starcaster was ready to shine! The finish on the guitar was absolutely flawless, and all of the small details began to really add up. Overall, I was moderately satisfied with this out of box shape.

Features — 7
Fender guitars are well known for having beautiful craftsmanship, an easy to use layout, and an overall excellent sound. But all of these great qualities came at a price, which pushed many guitar players away from a great brand and product. The Fender Starcaster is the perfect remedy for that Fender withdrawal. From first glance, you can immediately tell what kind of guitar you're dealing with. A Japanese Stratocaster clone, my 2012 Fender Starcaster shines with the essence of the sun, with a beautiful starburst finish radiating from its core. The snow white pickguard, control knobs, five-way tone switch and three pearl white pickups stand out wonderfully against the starlight body, making its appearance alone the showcase for a room. The 2012 Fender Starcaster has a 24 medium fret neck and a satin lacquer neck, which allows your hand to slide easily up and down the guitar. Already this guitar has made great first impressions.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    paschaljosh1
    I bought one at a pawn shop for $150.00. Excellent condition, just needed new strings. Only problem is that it likes to come out of tune when i put the whammy bar on. Any advice?
    Finger2
    I think it's a Ford Chevy thing...you like what you like. I like Fender sound myself and looks, although the Gibson's look and sound nice too, but 2 different animals. I'm new and have this Starcaster for now and really like it.