A few months ago, facing a minor financial crisis, I had to sell my Strat. It wasn’t an expensive one, but it was extremely cool: a black early 90s made in Mexico Squier with a maple neck, I had installed an LSR roller nut, vintage tuners, and a pickguard loaded with Pribora pickups that I had hand wired myself. I regret selling it, because it was today I replaced it with something I hope will be equally cool.

That’s a 2018 ‘Player Series’ Fender Stratocaster HSS in Sage Green Metallic with a Pao Ferro fretboard, and I think it looks absolutely killer. I’ve never liked rosewood fretboards except with greens and blues, and even then I’d usually take maple 100 times out of 100, but Fender’s recent switch to Pao Ferro just does it for me.


It’s a fair bit lighter in color than rosewood, and paired with sage green, it’s basically my favorite Strat colorway ever.

They also made some nice changes to the Player Series, which takes the place of the former ‘Standard’ Fender guitars, aka the Made in Mexico Standard. The tremolo is now a 2 post rather than a 6 hole vintage, the pickups are Shaw-inspired alnico pieces instead of the Standard’s ceramic magnets, and they gave it the same vintage style headstock logo as the American Professional gets.

I’ve also heard the neck is a little chunkier, but this was kind of an impulse buy and I haven’t so much as been to Guitar Center to hold one. This one was a demo from Sweetwater, and the price was great, so I pulled the trigger knowing if I hate it, Sweetwater is great about returns.

It gets here Tuesday, I’m pretty excited about it. 

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