Player Series Club

GK34

Tele-Meister
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Posts
406
Location
Pearland, TX
I does not look like anyone has started a Player Series Club. I have a had my Player Series HH a few days and love everything about it so far.

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Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Deathray

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Posts
2,065
Age
57
Location
Waiting in your driveway
My name is Jeff, and I have a serious addiction to Fender Player Series guitars.
The guy over by the coffee pot said I’d come to the right place...
I now have three, after the recent acquisition of my Chicago Music Exchange Player Series FSR:

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Every one of these awesome guitars has its own sonic territory. They are all capable of being my one and only electric, but each one has a WOW zone.

...and that neck!!!
 

Rusty Shackelford

TDPRI Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Posts
52
Location
Fort Lauderdale
My first and only Fender
Never thought I'd get along with bolt on necks but here I am playing it daily and neglecting my other guitars
Great sustain, great twang, quick neck. Flipped the control plate and added a LP switch at a 45 degree angle. A little gap onothe side of the neck pocket is my only complaint
 

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33Jayman

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 1, 2018
Posts
20
Age
56
Location
West Michigan
I have joined the ranks with my Tidepool Blue HH Telecaster also. I had a Player Jazzmaster that was awfully nice but i just like the Telecaster body better. Although the wiring is the same as the Jazzmaster, the tele sounds fuller to me.

I also found myself wanting the buttercream Stratocaster. I would have opted for the one with a maple neck and the HSS config. Then after a time switch out the pickups and did an HSH configuration.

Jayman
 

DougM

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jul 5, 2017
Posts
7,764
Location
Honolulu, HI
Looking at player strats .That sage green one looks good which is odd as I hate green guitars.
I had the red one, sold it, and bought the green one, and I like it more than the red one. The best bang for the buck in the whole Fender catalog IMO, including Squiers, now that the CP series is no more. But, those were $799, and the Player Strat is $675.
DSCN0830-2.jpg

As good as the Squier CV series Strats and Teles are, the Player Series ones are way better.
 
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JamesPaul

Tele-Meister
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Posts
164
Location
Hometown of THE GODZ & ROSIE

JamesPaul

Tele-Meister
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Posts
164
Location
Hometown of THE GODZ & ROSIE
I'm joining up with my new Player Series Lead III.

Rather than duplicating a bunch of pics and commentary here, I would ask that you review this link: https://forum.seymourduncan.com/showthread.php?339835-NGD-Fender-Player-Series-Lead-III

You can check here to see what motivated me to get my Lead III in the first place: https://www.tdpri.com/threads/fender-lead-series-owners-club.343452/page-8#post-9597882

Here are my current thoughts comparing my Player Lead III with my 1981 Lead II. Please see the first link if you want pics.

Like the original Lead Series, my Lead III is a three piece body. Cosmetically my neck has one light colored 0.25 inch birdseye, perpendicular to the fretboard running thru to the back of the neck, just inside the low E string between the 13th and 14th frets. The birdseye is not perceptible when playing. The fit and finish are excellent according to my old eyes.

Comparing with my 1981 Lead II:

Lead III weighs 7.0 pounds
Lead II weighs 9.2 pounds

Based on NAMM photos/videos I was seeing an increase in the size of the armrest cut. While there is some, I would prefer more.


The Lead III belly cut is wider and not as deep. This is likely the trade-off which limited the armrest cut.


It will take some playing time to form an opinion on the new belly cut.

I was impressed with the setup between the factory and the Sweetwater inspections. The neck sights straight with just the slightest amount of relief. There are no sharp fret ends. As for action, there is no fret buzz anywhere on the neck and none of my bends choked; although I'm not a big bender. I took some measurements to compare, but remember my Lead II is a mutt with the '72 Tele Deluxe neck.

Lead III, 9.5 inch radius, 0.009-0.042 strings is 0.080 inch for both low and high E strings.
Lead II, 12 inch radius, 0.010-0.046 strings is 0.100 inch for low E string and 0.070 inch for high E string.

I spent a couple hours playing them unplugged, trying to focus on how the bodies and necks compared.

My 9.2 lbs Lead II was instantly and obviously heavier than my 7.0 lbs Lead III. It was almost surprising that 2.2 lbs made that much difference, but my back assured me the difference is real.

The Lead III armrest cut is an improvement. My forearm actually falls in my Lead III armrest cut, unlike the miss on my Lead II. Now as time has passed I have been wearing my guitars higher and higher. So those of you who still wear them below your belt might or might not benefit from the larger armrest cut.

For this playing, the wider belly cut on my Lead III won.

As for the necks, remember my disclaimer that I have '72 Telecaster Deluxe neck on my Lead II. It is a vintage C shape like the Lead Series had, but the '72 TD has a 12 inch fretboard radius. I am remembering the Lead Series had a 7.25 inch radius. The Lead III has a modern C shape neck and a 9.5 inch fretboard radius. I really could not feel a lot of difference unless I was above the 10th fret playing on the low strings. There my Lead II neck felt fatter than my Lead III neck. Bouncing back and forth between them, there was an initial feeling something was different but it did not throw my playing off and quickly subsided.

The next opportunity I have, I will get a pickup comparison in.
 
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JamesPaul

Tele-Meister
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Posts
164
Location
Hometown of THE GODZ & ROSIE
...

The next opportunity I have, I will get a pickup comparison in.

I spent a few hours this evening comparing the pickups. On paper the pickups are:

Lead III
Bridge & Neck: Fender Player Series Alnico 2 Humbucker
Configurations: S1 - bridge/both/neck & S2 - bridge split/both humbucking/neck split

Lead II
Bridge - Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Fender X-1 (Alnico 5)
Neck - Fender X-1 (Alnico 5)
Configurations: S1 - bridge/both/neck & S2 - both can be in/out of phase

To me the Leads are 80's guitars, so I contemplated dragging out the Windsor half stack for the comparison. Realizing most of my neighbors are at home, courtesy of the state shutting everything down to limit the spread of COVOID-19, I opted to instead use the Butcher model on my Vypyr VIP 3. More reasonable levels and I could also use my cans if needed. I set the Butcher EQ flat at 12:00 for this comparison.

Since my Lead II X-1's are single coils, I only compared my Lead III pups split to singles against my Lead II. However, I did adjust and balance my Lead III pickups as humbuckers.

Before directly comparing them, I started with my Lead III on the Clean channel. When playing a humbucker and then splitting to single it is obvious in the tone. It thins out, gets brighter and chimey as expected. Sounded good on both the bridge and neck. I did this for a while until I was satisfied I had hum and single tones available with a flick of the switch.

Then I switched to my Lead II. Thin, bright, chimey and ... jangly. Hmmm, where was that jangle on my Lead III? I went back and forth between bridge and neck on my Lead II and there was plenty of jangle in each position.

Back to my Lead III. At this point I could hear the jangle, but it was maybe 10%-15% of what my Lead II had. Probably why I did not even think of jangle when I was first switching hum/single on my Lead III.

Back and forth between my II and III I went, trying to figure out why the jangle was not comparable. I finally took a detour and got my '62 Vintage RI Stratocaster to compare jangle. My '62 RI was more jangly than my Lead II. Obviously I do not play clean often enough.

My Clean channel conclusion is either I need to spend some more time adjusting my Lead III pups, or split they check all the boxes except jangle. Maybe not the be all end all pickups if you want to get that perfect Fender pickup clean tone. My Lead II is brighter than my Lead III.

On to the Crunch channel with an 80's level of gain dialed in. I started with my Lead III. It sounded like what I was remembering in my head for my Lead II. I ran thru some AC/DC, Priest, Krokus, Crue, Fastway and Leppard then switched to my Lead II.

My Lead II was noticeably, maybe 25% or more, hotter. Back and forth between my II and III again. My Lead II is still brighter or my Lead III is darker. Under gain, jangle is not a tonal artifact or at least I cannot hear it.

My Crunch channel conclusion is my Lead III will cover the same gain tones as my Lead II. However my Lead III will need another notch on the preamp/gain of the amplifier.

I will work on the Lead III pickup height a little more. If anything, I am thinking the bridge may be set a little too high on the high E side but I will see how it pans out.
 

Mincer

Tele-Holic
Joined
Dec 19, 2017
Posts
721
Age
51
Location
Tampa Bay Area
I wanna hear more about the SD X-1, as I have a 1982 The Strat with an X-1 pickup that I absolutely love.
 

JamesPaul

Tele-Meister
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Posts
164
Location
Hometown of THE GODZ & ROSIE
I wanna hear more about the SD X-1, as I have a 1982 The Strat with an X-1 pickup that I absolutely love.

I can understand why. The SD X-1 is currently my favorite single coil.

I spent some time today comparing my Fender single coil guitars thru my Peavey Classic 50 Clean and Lead channels. I was using the Normal input with all controls at 12:00 o'clock except the Master volume.

On the Lead channel with the guitar at full volume the SD X-1 is hotter than my '62 RI Strat and my 1992 MIM Strat pickups. Yet it quickly cleans up when I roll the volume down. To me it has all of my Strats' tones between 1 and 8.5 on the volume control. Above 8.5 it sounds like the SD X-1 hits the preamp harder. Almost like a clean boost as the SD X-1 does not get muddy or harsh.

I am not a big clean player, but I tried to focus on some Clean channel comparisons. I must admit that clean is what revealed the most about the SD X-1. At full guitar volume it is not just a hotter pickup. It is a pickup that has "more" of everything single coil, without overdoing it. The attack is quicker and more aggressive. It is brighter and has more jangle. But it also has more bottom end and a fuller tone. The dynamics are still there and I do not sense any compression type tone at high volumes or with hard picking like I do with my hot humbuckers in other guitars.

I remember seeing something about the original X-1 bobbins being different than single coil bobbins post-CBS, which gave them a little different tone. I know comparing the bridge position SD X-1 to the neck position Fender X-1 is not exactly apples to apples, but I am not hearing any unexpected differences between them. They also balance well to my ears. In my opinion the SD Custom Shop did a great job with whatever bobbin they used.

Overall I think the SD X-1 is a hotter single coil which offers more of all things single coil, without sacrificing traditional single coil tones.
 

Mincer

Tele-Holic
Joined
Dec 19, 2017
Posts
721
Age
51
Location
Tampa Bay Area
The X-1 bobbins were indeed different. Were the specs of your Custom Shop one the same as the original? Do you remember what they were (or have a pic of the Custom Shop box)?
 

JamesPaul

Tele-Meister
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Posts
164
Location
Hometown of THE GODZ & ROSIE
I called the Custom Shop and we discussed that I was wanting the tone of a 1981 X-1 pickup for the bridge of a Lead II. We did talk about the Lead II and also that the X-1 was used in the bridge of the Dan Smith Strats. I forgot that the X-1 was also used in The Strat. Then I used notes from our conversation to fill in the Custom Shop online form.

Here is a pic of the box:

sdX1box.jpg
 




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