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Fender Player Stratocaster HSS – Is It Good? [REVIEW]

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Fender Player Stratocaster HSS

If you’re wondering if Fender Player HSS Stratocaster is a good guitar or not, don’t worry – you’ve come to the right place! In today’s article, I’m going to take a very close look on that cool Strat. Surely, it’s really popular, but is it actually good?

The truth is that Fender Player Stratocaster HSS is an affordable, great looking and great sounding electric guitar. Thanks to the bridge humbucker, it offers a bit more punchy and versatile tone than the regular Fender Strat with three single-coil pickups.

Let’s dive deeper with research to find out what exactly makes the Fender Player Stratocaster HSS so good and so popular. Firstly, we’ll start with the specs and the main advantages of that model. Of course, you’ll also be able to hear how it sounds!

Hopefully, this guide will help you to figure out if this Mexican-made Strat is a good fit for you and your style of playing.

Specs & Pricing

Fender Player Stratocaster HSS

Fender Player Stratocaster HSS is a classic and well-known solid body electric guitar. This particular model offers a legendary Strat tone at a relatively low price.

The guitar is available in a few different versions – while some of them feature a maple fretboard, the other ones have a Pau Ferro fretboard.

The HSS Stratocaster visible on the picture above offers an alder body and a comfortable Modern C-Shaped maple neck. On top of that, there’s a two-point tremolo bridge with bent steel saddles.

What’s important, the manufacturer this model with a very versatile pickup setting – HSS. In comparison with the regular Strats with the SSS pickup setting, this Stratocaster offers a bit more aggressive and more punchy tone. Surely, a lot of you are going to love that bridge humbucker!

When it comes to pricing, this is not exactly a cheap guitar. Nevertheless, this is one of the most affordable Strats manufactured by Fender. If you want to get a Strat specifically made by this brand, this is the best option for you.

Overall, Fender Player HSS Stratocaster is a truly great guitar. It’s really difficult not to love that axe! It’s a legendary model, so you just can’t go wrong with it. I’m sure that if you decide to add it to your collection, you won’t be disappointed.

Here’s the sound demo – feel free to check it out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71QdGvz1P9A

Who Is It For?

Fender Player Stratocaster HSS is suitable for both amateur and more intermediate guitarists. This is a mid-level guitar, which means that it features a pretty good quality – it’s definitely better than all the cheap guitars out there.

As I mentioned earlier, the HSS Strat is also a really versatile guitar. The bridge humbucker adds a lot of character to that instrument, so it’s perfect for all musicians who like to play heavier riffs.

In my opinion, this Stratocaster can be efficiently used in the vast majority of music genres. Whether you’re into blues, country, rock, indie or grunge – the HSS Strat will be an excellent choice.

It is also worth mentioning that this Mexican-made Strat is not as expensive as American-made Strats, so it’s suitable for guitarists with a bit tighter budget. If you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a new piece of gear, Fender Player HSS Strat is your safe bet. That’s for sure!

Here’s an another sound demo of that Strat.

Disadvantages Of Fender Player Stratocaster HSS

Although Fender Player HSS Strat is generally a really good guitar, it has its own disadvantages as well. In the end, this is not a high-end, American-made electric guitar.

Here’s what you need to know about the potential flaws of that guitar.

Firstly, some guitarists report that Mexican-made Strats require a bit of adjusting after unboxing. That may include setting up the bridge, truss rod and the string action. But personally, I never had any problems with the string action or anything like that on Mexican Fenders – they were always ready to go straight from the box. Maybe I was just lucky!

Additionally, this guitar comes without a gig bag or a hard case. So if you’re planning on traveling with that guitar, you’ll have to get it separately.

Summing up, the problem with initial setup is the biggest disadvantage of Fender Player Stratocaster HSS. But again, every guitar is different, so there’s still a chance that your Strat will be already properly adjusted.

Fender Strats

Would I Get It?

Yes! Fender Player Stratocaster HSS is a perfect guitar for all guitarists who are searching for a top quality mid-level guitar.

Although it’s not as good as some of the American-made Strats, it’s definitely worth the money. At the same time, it seems to be a better choice than cheap Squier Strats made in China and Indonesia.

Overall, if you’re searching for for a great Stratocaster and you specifically want to play on a Fender guitar, you should definitely consider adding this model to your collection. There’s a high chance that you’re going to love it!

Are There Any Alternatives?

If you don’t like the look or the sound of Fender Player HSS Stratocaster, don’t worry! There’s a lot of other great guitars out there. Of course, it all depends on what you’re looking for and how much are you willing to spend.

Here’s a few great guitars that I can definitely recommend to musicians who are looking for inexpensive and great sounding guitars.

Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Stratocaster

squier classic vibe 60s strat vs fender player stratocaster

Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Stratocaster is one of the best and most popular alternative options for guitarists who can’t afford getting the Fender Player Strat.

What makes it so popular? Well, the Classic Vibe Series by Squier offers an absolutely amazing guitar at relatively affordable prices. They look and sound great, but they also have problems with the initial setup.

If you’re okay with playing on a Strat which doesn’t have a Fender logo on the headstock, you should definitely consider getting this model. To be honest, the quality of the CV Strat is comparable with the Mexican-made Stratocasters.

There’s a few different versions of that Strat. If you want to learn more about them, I highly encourage you to check out my other article – Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster (’50s vs ’60s vs ’70s).

Squier Affinity Stratocaster HSS

squier affinity hss vs fender player stratocaster

Squier Affinity Stratocaster HSS is an another great alternative for guitarists who don’t want to spend too much on a Fender Player Stratocaster HSS.

Again, this is a great sounding and versatile Strat which is far more affordable than the one made by Fender. I personally own a Squier from the Affinity Series (made in China) and I have to admit that it really offers a really good quality.

Of course, it may not be on the same level as the Fender Stratocaster, but it’s still a great option for guitarists on a tighter budget. It will also works perfectly fine as your first guitar!

Squier 40th Anniversary Stratocaster

squier 40th anniversary vs fender player stratocaster

Squier 40th Anniversary Stratocaster is a brand new Strat which was introduced by this brand in early 2022.

Again, this is a great alternative option for guitarists who can’t afford getting the Fender Player Stratocaster. This particular model features a classic Strat pickup setting (three single coils), so it’s really versatile when it comes to tone.

On top of that, the guitars from the 40th Anniversary Series offer a really unique design. There’s something really cool about that golden hardware, golden pickguard and pearloid block inlays on the fretboard!

Overall, this is a fantastic guitar. I had the pleasure to test out it on my own and I can definitely recommend checking it out. If you want to read more about that model, feel free to check out my other review – Squier 40th Anniversary Stratocaster [REVIEW].

Fender Vintera ’50s Stratocaster

fender vintera '50s

Fender Vintera ’50s Stratocaster is an another amazing Mexican Strat made by this legendary brand.

Just like the CV Strat, there’s a few different versions of that guitar. If you want to read more about all of them, check out my other article – Fender Vintera Stratocaster – ’50s vs ’60s vs ’70s.

In comparison with the Fender Player Stratocaster, the Vintera model offers a really unique, vintage vibe. If you like that aesthetic, you should definitely consider adding it to your collection!

I particularly recommend checking out the ’50s version – it has a really interesting soft V-shaped maple neck, which feels a bit different than all the C-shaped necks used in other models.

Ibanez AS53

ibanez as53

Ibanez AS53 is an excellent semi-hollow body guitar suitable for the most demanding guitarists out there. This is not a Stratocaster, but it’s definitely a great alternative option for those who are searching for a high quality guitar.

I personally own that model and I can totally confirm that it offers a really good quality. It looks and feels like a much more expensive guitar. On top of that, it usually comes with an excellent setup. Undoubtedly, this Japanese brand really knows how to make good guitars!

If you’re not necessarily looking for a Stratocaster and you want to get a versatile and great sounding guitar – perhaps the Ibanez AS53 will be a good fit for you. It has two humbuckers, which offer a lot of punch.

It is also worth mentioning that the AS53 model is far more affordable than the Fender Player Stratocaster HSS. That’s why I highly encourage you to check it out!

FAQ

Where is Fender Player Stratocaster HSS made?

Fender Player Stratocaster HSS is made in Mexico.

Where can I find out more about Fender guitars?

If you want to find out more information about Fender guitars, make sure to visit their official website.

Is Fender Player Series good?

Yes, Fender Player Series offers a really good quality. All instruments from the Player Series are well-made and they’re not as expensive as some of the American-made Fenders.

Is Fender Player Series good for beginners?

Yes, Fender Player Series is great for beginners. A lot of guitarists start their musical journey with one of the guitars from the Player Series.

Summary

As you can see, Fender Player Stratocaster HSS is a truly amazing electric guitar. It’s a perfect instrument for all guitarists who are searching for an affordable mid-level guitar suitable for gigging and recording.

What do you think about the Player Strat with the HSS pickup setting? Would you add it to your own guitar collection? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for checking out today’s review, hopefully it was helpful. If you enjoyed this article, you may also like: