Which Fender Strat Series?

First picked up a guitar a year ago and have been learning on an acoustic but my intention was always to get an electric. It will be a Fender Strat because of Mr Hendrix and Wayne’s World and frankly I just love the look of them. I may never buy another Strat so my question is which series? Basically what is worth paying more for? Player looks good but is it good enough or should I go Player Plus, Pro, Performer Ultra Luxe? I’ll never be in a band and not sure I’ve got the patience to tune a floating bridge.

Any and all comments welcome. Cheers

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Oooh, I’ll get my popcorn.
Seriously though, there’s no right answer. There’s a real law of diminishing returns at play here. The Squire series make great guitars which might serve all your needs and never look back. From there every price point gets some upgrades, but you pay significantly more for each ‘level’. Having a ‘made the the USA’ stamp means a lot to some people who are willing to pay more for that.
FWIW, I’ve got both ends of the spectrum (Squire and silly high end) and sure there’s a difference, but it’s not as large as the price might lead you to believe.
If you possibly can, get to a shop and try some out.
One last thought, if you secretly have your heart set on a particular model or feature then in my experience (and assuming you can afford it) then I would go for that, because you’ll always be looking over your shoulder thinking ‘I should trade up’.
Oh, and another last thought (?!) … I always buy second hand if I can. Much more value for money, and a possibility of getting more of your money back if you ever sell.

ps - I don’t have any issues tuning a floating bridge, but if you don’t like it, then set it up with 5 springs and it’s won’t be floating!

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Vintera Road Worn has a lot of appeal for me.
I have a hard time with the upper end, stupid money for a bolt-on neck guitar so Ultra and the like don’t do it for me.

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I guess the thing is as well with getting a Squire, you could always do some upgrades yourself along the line if you wish to. A great way to gain guitar knowledge.

For me I would only ever pay that sort of money for a guitar if I was making a living from it.

Welcome to the community, Graham. :slight_smile: Why don’t you pop on over to here and introduce yourself and spill some of your backstory.

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I really would agree with the buy second hand idea, you can get a lot for your money. I have a Squire and a Fender Clapton Strat. One thing I will say though is, if you can try a few out at a shop as the neck shapes among the strats can be quite different. The older types seem to have a narrower neck than the later versions. There is not a lot of difference, but you might find you prefer the thicker neck than the narrower neck, especially coming from an acoustic.

The 70th anniversary ones look great, choose your price point. https://youtu.be/pDyo7a5bKWg?si=-gK7AfaR9JF4wsh4

What price range are you considering? And does it have to be a Fender, or just a Strat-type?

Not sure how big your budget is, but The Guitar Geek says not to buy a Strat until you watch this video… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufsHetvvHL8

Have fun shopping!!!

Tod

Yes, the Player series is good enough. In the Fender line it’s probably a sweet spot as far as value for the money.

(Doesn’t sound like you’re on a tight budget, but Squire Classic Vibe is good value for money on the budget end of the spectrum.)

You can certainly go for more expensive strats, too – nothing wrong with that. And the quality does usually increase with the price, but understand that you get diminishing returns on the higher end of the price range. That is, a $2000 guitar is 100% more money than a $1000 guitar, but it’s not 100% better than the $1000 guitar. With that said, my advice if you want an expensive strat that is within your means is to just get it. “I can afford it and I want it” is a valid justification. :slight_smile:

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Already some good advice in this thread.

A year in with guitar, it would be highly unusual if you buy your only-electric-forever-guitar. There might be things you like, and others you don’t… my first electric was a Squier strat, and after a year or so of that decided I would prefer a fixed bridge so ended up with an HH Tele.

You can always change your mind and get something else. Keep or sell… etc.

Lot of good points so thanks for that. Initially I was keen on the Made in USA but it does come at quite a premium and I have heard good things about the Mexican models so I’m leaning that way now. I hadn’t really considered upgrading components (which is crazy as I’m a cyclist and doing that all the time) but that makes the decision a bit easier. Player Series is looking better all the time. Comments on floating bridges is interesting but if I’m honest I wouldn’t really need it (and Player doesn’t have it anyway).

Still reading through the replies…

“You can always change your mind and get something else. Keep or sell… etc.”

Good point. I’m always selling my old tech etc. so that’s definitely an option.

" my advice if you want an expensive strat that is within your means is to just get it."

Many people have said this and I agree as it’s very likely to make me just want to pick it up and play it.

" buy second hand idea, you can get a lot for your money. I have a Squire and a Fender Clapton Strat. One thing I will say though is, if you can try a few out at a shop as the neck shapes among the strats can be quite different."

Second hand IS a good idea as is trying several in a shop. I live in the Lincolnshire Fens in the UK which is a bit like the Great Plains in the US & Canada. Its been described as a bit of a cultural desert and guitar shops are a bit few and far between. However they do exist and maybe I should make the effort to seek them out. As for neck shapes a thinner one might be a good idea for my little stubby fingers.

“What price range are you considering? And does it have to be a Fender, or just a Strat-type?”

I am pretty flexible on price but value is still important and don’t want to buy something that is way beyond my ability just because I can. I want to play it. And ‘yes’ I do wan’t a Fender. It’s just something I want :slight_smile:

I am watching the video’s suggested too

Uk isnt a big place, London isnt that far away, or andertons, go for a guitar day and have a play of everything

Plenty of strat shaped objects around to suit almost anyone.

p.s. buy a telecaster.

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This is of course the correct answer :rofl:

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Hello Graham.
Welcome to the Community.
Wanting a Fender (not a looky-likey) is a fine desire. Choosing the model is a minefield as there are so many.

Although you are instantly dismissing some quality instruments - including G&L which Leo Fender designed and made after he leftt he Fender company. G&L Legacy = Strat for all intents and purposes, at a lower price point. Check the Legacy Tribute.

You need to consider amplification too and factor the balance of guitar and amp to a total budget.

All Strats have a floating bridge - unless they are specifically designed and sold as ‘hardtail’ (which are few and far between).

Second hand is a great way to go - there are hundreds and thousands of Strats on ebay, marketplace, reverb etc.

… they are all typically set up to float at the factory , but they can all be set up to not float by adding springs / screwing in the claw.

The best reason I’ve heard to not have float is when playing a bend alongside another note. Bending a note on a floating bridge will cause a little detuning of all other strings. It’s not typically dramatic, but can be heard.

Indeed. Including the Player series.
The design feature can be totally bypassed if the bridge is ‘decked’ by tightening the spring screws or adding more springs or inserting a block of wood cut for the purpose. And not inserting the tremolo arm.
I have always decked my Strat bridges.

You’re right a Telecaster IS the logical choice. That said, I’ll be getting a Strat ha ha

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Re: All Strats have a floating bridge. Probably my misunderstanding reading specs online where some specify a floating bridge and some don’t mention it. I understand they can be decked. Maybe I’m overthinking it.

It seems the best advice is to get to a shop and try a few before deciding so that’s what I’ll do.

Thanks for all the advice its really helped

If you are serious about never buying another then you should go to the Custom SHop and get what makes you happy. The quality will be there and you will be happy for the next 50 years.