“A detailed re-imagining of our core silhouettes, incorporating feedback from musicians around the world”: Fender introduces its second generation of Player Series guitars with choice upgrades

Four Fender Player II Series guitars
(Image credit: Fender)

Fender has unveiled a new generation of its Player Series of top-selling mid-price electric guitars.

The simply named Player II Series aims to “up the ante” on all the features that made the series, first introduced six years ago, so successful, by upgrading specs and materials, offering new colorways, and bringing more options for chambered bodies to the table.

Tailored to guitarists looking “to take that next step in their musical journey,” the company hopes to set “a new benchmark for quality and performance in the mid-price points,” by further pushing the envelope of its winning formula.

Indeed, as options in the beginner guitar market continued to expand, and premium guitars continued to seduce long-term players, Fender had seen the middle ground between those ranges neglected and subsequently filled the hole with its Player Series.

The Player Plus Series, which offered modern takes on the original Player builds, arrived in 2021 – the Player II Series may be treated similarly soon.

A Fender Player II Series Stratocaster

(Image credit: Fender)

Three features – modern C-profile necks, 9.5” radius fretboards, and medium-jumbo frets – remain key parts of these builds, with maple and rosewood – formerly pau ferro and maple – fingerboards now on offer.

The re-introduction of rosewood ‘boards is, according to Fender's EVP of Product, Justin Norvell, “a restoration of the ‘original Fender recipe’ and will no doubt be a fan favorite.”

The fingerboard edges have now been rolled for a broken-in feel, while improved, parchment, plastic-free bridges and ClassicGear tuners – in lieu of cast and sealed tuners – offer hardware bump-ups.

There's nothing new about its pickups, with its Player Series Alnico V pickups returning after impressing first time out. A Guitar Player review of a first-gen Player Strat described them as having “gutsiness and sustain” in equal measure, adding that “this guitar and a high-gain amp is really all that’s needed to cover a lot of gigs.”

The series models also offer four never-released vintage colorways, Coral Red, Aquatone Blue, Hialeah Yellow, and Birch Green. These finishes are inspired by classic car colors of the ‘50s and ‘60s, with aged white pickups adding extra nuance to the vintage chic.

“We listened to the feedback from musicians around the world and incorporated their insights,” says Norvell.

A Fender Player II Series Telecaster, positioned in front of a drum set

(Image credit: Fender)

“The Player II Series is not just an upgrade, it's a detailed re-imagining of our core silhouettes, highlighting our dedication to quality and the continuous refinement of our instruments.”

The range includes SSS ($799) and HSS ($829) Stratocaster models, with the former also available left-handed.

There are SS ($799) and HH Telecaster options ($829), again with the single-coil-only model extended to lefties.

Fender Player II Series

(Image credit: Fender)

In addition, there are Jazzmaster, Jaguar, (both $829), and Mustang ($799) body shapes available. These offer Alnico V single-coil Jazzmaster, Alnico V, Alnico II Single-Coil Jaguar, and Alnico V Single-Coil Mustang pickups, respectively.

Bass players can choose from Precision, Jazz, and Mustang shapes, all of which cost $799.

New options for chambered ash and mahogany bodies for the Player II Stratocaster and Telecaster models will arrive in October.

Head to Fender to learn more about the Player II Series.

Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to ProgGuitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.