Fender Stratocaster Classic Player 60's
Original Author: Staffay
Model: Classic Player 60's (Mexico)
Price: appr. 800 $ (180$ extra for vintage case)
The classic player series by Fender are made in Mexico. The guitars are designed by Custom Shop builders and are an attempt to replicate the classical old Strats/Teles at an affordable price. The classic player 60's is designed by Masterbuilder Greg Fessler, the other guitars in the series are designed by other Masterbuilders.
The guitar comes with a standard soft bag and is adjusted at the factory, if Your local dealer hasn't made a setup on the guitar. This must be considered when trying this guitar out, since the action is fairly high on the instruments I've tested. It looks like an old Strat, and its weight is just about the same. The colouring is nothing to write letters about, it's OK - on the other hand was the coloring on the original guitars just about the same. Worth to mention is that Fender used polyester laquer instead of the original nitro-cellulousa laquer, but this is a minor problem in this price-range. The tremolo is the same as Fender use in the Custom Shop and the pick-ups are 69's top-quality which are sounding really good. The only difference from a "real" 60's strat is the radius of the fingerboard (12') and the jumbo frets. This makes it a more modern, as a flatter fingerboard is easier to perform bends on. The neck is c-shaped as the original and a little bit thinner than the 50's neck. (which actually is the main difference between 60's and 50's pre-CBS strats.) All the hardware, knobs etc. has a vintage look. The only thing to complain about is the output jack, why didn't they put a locking laquer onto the mutter that holds the jack onto the pickguard? Just after a week or two, this unscrews from the pickguard (because of pulling the cord in/out), and You have to constantly screw this jack in place.
This baby sounds incredibly good with the standard pickups. I have changed to Texas Specials on my guitar, but I'm thinking of switching them back, since the clean sound was even warmer in the standard pickups. The sound can be compared to guitars in a much higher price-range, and reminds me of Hendrix sound with just the standard pickups. (they are also from Custom Shop)
This guitar feels like an old Fender, but it's a little easier to play - because of the fingerboard radius. The neck is covered up with too much laquer for my taste, but this is very easy to sand down. The weight is just perfect, and the guitar balances just fine with a strap on.
This guitar is a big improvement compared to the other Strats made in Mexico. The next step in the Fender family would be to get an American Standard, but the question is if it's worth the extra money, since this guitar actually have better hardware. Of course it's not comparable to the Custom Shop instruments, but for it's price it's just a killer!
-No hard case
-Bad action from the factory, adjustments is a MUST.
Colors: (300) 3-Color Sunburst, (372) Sonic Blue, (Polyester Finish)
Neck: Maple, “C” Shape
Fingerboard: Rosewood, 12” Radius (305 mm)
No. of Frets: 21 Medium Jumbo Frets
Pickups: 3 Custom ‘69 Single-Coil Strat® Pickups with Grey Bobbins
Controls: Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 2. (Middle Pickup)
Pickup Switching: (5-Position Blade)
Position 1. Bridge Pickupv Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup
Position 3. Middle Pickup
Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickupv Position 5. Neck Pickup
Bridge: Vintage Style 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with Stamped Steel Saddlesv Machine Heads: Fender®/Ping® Vintage Style Tuning Machines
Pickguard: 3-Ply Mint Green
Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)
Width at Nut: 1.650” (42 mm)
Unique Features: Aged Knobs and Switch Tip, Vintage Style Tuning Machines, Custom ‘69 Single-Coil Strat® Pickups, 21 Medium Jumbo Frets, “Custom Shop Designed” Neck Plate, Vintage Style 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo, 12” Fingerboard Radius, Synthetic Bone Nut
Accessories: Deluxe Gig Bag
Alternative's might just include Fender's more expensive instruments. A Fender is a Fender, and if You want that vintage looking Strat, there is no alternatives.