14 October 2008

Fender Deluxe Players Stratocaster

This piece has a real story to it. I learned some important lessons in trying to setup your own guitar the hard way. I'll leave those details out. I got this piece pre owned. This guitar was equipped with 3 Seymour Duncan high output pickups initially. I couldn't stand the high output that the Seymour Duncans produced on this strat. They were muddy, the cleans were horrible and they didn't look good on a potentially classic looking strat. The set of Seymour Duncans were the Hot rails, Cool Rails & Vintage Rails. I was looking for a classic tone but those rails just didn't do it for me. But if you're a rabid Iron Maiden fan, that configuration might just be your cup of tea.
Before

I took the opportunity to have the pickups changed. I managed to get myself a set of Fender Custom Shop Jeff beck Noiseless Dual Ceramic pickups. These pickups can't be bought out of the retail market. You'll need to own the Jeff beck signature strat to get a hold of these pups. These pickups would pop up in ebay once in a while but will certainly not be a cheap item to acquire.

This guitar has got a killer look. I love the 4 ply shell pickguard with a beautiful 3 tone sunburst on a ash body. The grains from the ash wood is remarkable. To top it off, there's gold hardware to compliment the classic look. This guitar is finished with Nitro lacquer that helps the guitar to breathe and resonates better. The back of the neck has a satin finish for a smooth feel. There's a 12mm neck radius which i think is a little too much and needs some getting used to.


Tone wise, The new Jeff Beck noiseless pups were somewhat of a let down for me. The highs were just too much for my liking. Dual ceramics and an ash body just equals to increased levels of highs. There was just too much SNAP out of the dual ceramic and ash combo. I didn't fancy the tone too much for overdrive tones but the cleans were very nice. Of course the noiseless part of the pups were very good. No 60 cycle hum when pushed into high gain which is ideal for studio stuff. another unique feature of this guitar is the push port in between the tone knobs which provides an additional 2 tones on positions 5 & 6 to activate the Neck + Bridge & All 3 pickups when the button is depressed.


Overall, it's not a bad guitar. It could have been better if it came stock with the stock Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups. I had tested it in stock at the retail shops and it sounded great. For a Mexican strat, The listed retail price of $1800+ before discount is a bit pricey. For that kinda price tag, You'll be able to fetch an American standard strat.which will probably cost around the same price but with better re-sale value and quality.

Pro's:
  • Beautiful 3 tone sunburst with ash grains highly visible
  • Satin finished neck
  • Push button (S1) for 7 different tones on a 5 way switch
  • Nice cleans
  • No 60 cycle hum, Noiseless when pushed into high gain
Con's
  • Heavy in weight, it's probably the Ash wood.
  • High velocity snappy tone when pushed into high gain due to the ash + dual ceramic combo
  • High retail price
  • 12mm neck radius

Rating: 7.5/10