A Series Guide to Fender
As one of the most iconic guitar brands of all time, Fender have spawned a huge variety of different series for their instruments. Today, you can expect to find Fender guitars adhering to one of 25 different series – and this is excluding Squier, Fender’s entry-level brand, and their acoustic offerings. Read on to find out about each of the different series we currently stock here at GV, and as always keep an eye on our website for new additions.
The first step into the world of Fender, the Player series replaces what was once known as Fender’s Standard series. These guitars are designed to be the aspiring artists’ first “proper” electric instrument. Guitars from the Player Series feature Alnico pickups and your standard Fender 22 fret neck across all models, which include all of Fender’s iconic offerings from their 70+ years in the business: including Telecasters, Stratocasters, Jaguars, Mustangs, Jazzmasters and so on. With 21 models in total and a variety of new and traditional colours, the aspiring guitarist need look no further than the Player series for a wallet-friendly slice of that iconic Fender tone.
For your next level up, look no further than the Player Plus range: the most advanced entry-level series that Fender has ever offered. Building on the foundations of the Player series, you can expect to find more modern features and some more unusual body shapes – look to Fender’s Meteora, for example – as well as some striking new colours. Key upgrades here include newly designed Noiseless pickups to kill that low-level hum so familiar from your standard single coils, expanded switching options to increase the guitarists’ tonal palette and Fender’s supremely convenient locking tuners.
A series of guitars built entirely around the P90 pickup: for those players looking for something a little different. Never extensively used by Fender, the Noventa series exclusively makes use of Gibson’s legendary single coil: one on the Noventa Tele, two on the Noventa Strat, and three on the Noventa Jazzmaster. With these guitars, expect a no-nonsense aesthetic and a biting, versatile tone.
A hugely popular series from Fender at present, the Vintera series looks to Fender guitars of the past and seeks to recreate some of the most iconic guitar sounds ever produced. Covering the 50s, 60s and 70s, expect to find differences characteristic of the era (chunky necks on the 50s models vs slimmer necks on the 60s models, for example) and era-appropriate finishes. In addition, look out for the modified counterparts to the standard Vintera range: offering new features not found on period-correct instruments, such as different switching options and hotter pickups.
For a totally different playing experience. Ever wanted to bridge the gap between acoustic and electric guitars? Fender have answered the call with their hybrid Acoustasonic. A thin-bodied electric instrument strung with acoustic strings, expect sounds ranging from sweet, warm acoustic tones to your favourite electric sounds. Available in Tele, Strat and Jazzmaster body shapes, the acoustic tones are delivered by a Fishman pickup and the electric tones by one of Fender’s versatile noiseless single-coils, while the neck offers a familiar tele/strat feel allowing for a supremely comfortable playing experience.
Your first step into American-made Fenders. The Performer series is designed primarily for its eponymous purpose. Expect a modern feel to all of the instruments in this range, with jumbo frets, slim necks and a 9.5” radius across all models. A key feature of this series is the newly crafted Yosemite pickup which features on all models, and offers a punchy, clear sound that cuts expertly through the mix.
As the name would suggest, all instruments in this series are made in Japan in tribute to the Japanese guitars Fender started manufacturing in the 80s. This far-eastern production developed some distinctive hallmarks that players can still expect in the newer series: smaller fretwire, for a more delicate feel; thin, glossy necks for a supremely easy playing experience; a unique approach to pickup combination and configuration; and a classy, adventurous aesthetic.
Usurping the original Professional series launched in 2016, 2020’s Professional II series was the result of four years of Fender tweaking the original Professional design in order to create the ultimate professional grade guitar. With brand new V Mod II pickups, upgraded 2-point tremolo and a re-configured neck for ultimate playing comfort, this is a premium gigging instrument.
Welcome to Fender’s most premium core line of instruments. The purpose of these guitars is to push your playing beyond any envisaged boundaries. Featuring noiseless pickups, newly contoured body shape (including a newly shaped neck heel that gives the player unparalleled access to the upper fretboard) and Fender’s fastest playing neck to date, with the Ultra series you can safely leave those sonic limitations behind.
Some of Fender’s most unique and interesting instruments can be found coming out the Custom Shop today. Starting in 1987 and housed in the Fender headquarters complex in Corona, Riverside County, California, the original function of the Custom Shop was to return Fender to the perceived precision and higher quality of Leo fender and the original Fender facilities at Fullerton.
Today, the mark of the Custom Shop is still this focus on precision and accuracy, with a small team of master builders overseeing the production of a small number of instruments per year. The main function of the Custom Shop is to create, as the name would suggest, custom-made instruments to the desired specifications of particular artists, however focus in recent years has also increasingly grown to encompass instruments for sale to the general public. Each guitar from the Custom Shop is a one off, unique embodiment of the talents of Fender’s most skilled craftspeople. Expect specificity, precision, and a supreme level of care and attention to detail. Custom Shop instruments have become particularly well known in recent years for the “relicing” that is common across many instruments: a deliberate ageing of the guitars to make them appear older; as though they have been played for many years. A controversial approach to finishing a guitar, the only way to determine if relicing is for you is to come down to the shop and check out a few reliced guitars in the flesh.
The crème de la crème of Fender’s offerings. A natural extension of the Custom Shop: whereas “standard” Custom Shop guitars pass through multiple hands, Masterbuilt instruments are made by one of Fender’s top craftspeople from start to finish. Each Masterbuilt guitar is a painstaking zenith of craftsmanship, quality and control.
Overall, then, here at the shop we have a vast selection of instruments from many of Fender’s different series. You can check out the full selection here.