Player vs. Fender Special Edition Deluxe Ash from a few years back

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by tenthstreet, May 8, 2021.

  1. tenthstreet

    tenthstreet TDPRI Member

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    Hey all,

    I've been looking seriously at the Player Telecaster in butterscotch blonde and after a while of saving up, I've been about to pull the trigger on it, but an offer to buy a like-new Fender Special Edition Deluxe Ash from someone just came my way. This is the model that was made in Mexico a few years back, with the reverse switch plate.

    Definitely don't want to open the tone woods door here, but style-wise, I tend to like the look of ash (the blackguard look) vs. the more plain alder look. On the other hand, I tend to also like satin neck finishes (Player) vs. glossy (FSR). Don't know the weight of the FSR, but have been waiting on a Player at less than 8 lbs and with some nice wood grain.

    Aside from pickups, has anyone compared the two of them in the past in terms of build quality? I know electronics favor the Player, but was considering swapping out pickups and bridge to brass saddles regardless, so this would be a question of overall fit and finish, the feel of the guitar, construction quality, and so on.

    If money was no object, the Original 50s would be the dream guitar, and if they still made the modified Vintera in butterscotch/ash, that'd be the one I'd buy in a heartbeat.

    Thanks for your thoughts and advice on this one! Which one would you go for at around the same price—Player or the FSR?
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
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  2. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Afflicted

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    I haven’t spent any time with a Player but have owned an FSR. The FSR was great guitar whose fit and finish was a bit better than many MIM Standards I had played. The pickups are the same as the ones in the Standards, which I liked. I doubt the “electronics” in the Player are any better. Pickups are different, though.

    My FSR was light, but many others I’d picked up in Guitar Center were heavy. Often over 8 pounds. If you’re after the Blackguard look, get the FSR.
     
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  3. wblynch

    wblynch Tele-Meister

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    I would go for the FSR Ash. That grain peeking through is pretty darn nice.
     
  4. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I am in the FSR camp as well, assuming the price is reasonable AND

    Assuming it isn't a boat anchor (some are). I mean, I own 9 pound T-styles, but you need to know you actually like everything about it as it is. Or that it can be modded easily to your liking. I'm under the impression that, as hot as the guitar market is right now, it is still not an easy thing to sell one of these heavier examples (and the FSRs can surely be that way). I hear you, about not wishing to go into the tonality associated with different wood species - I'm just saying, alder is almost always middling to middling-plus in weight/density. But ash can be either quite light or surprisingly heavy.
     
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  5. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Players are great guitars. Unfortunately, I had one of the badly made ones from the first run in 2018.
     
  6. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like Ash. Light and has a great sound.
     
  7. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Just some curiosity on my part, but have you ever just browsed Stratosphere or Warmoth or other sources of ash bodies? I have done so, for about the last 15 years and I have seen some seriously heavy ash bodies for sale. As well as some average weight ones and some remarkably lightweight ash bodies.

    Which reminds me of my buddy Ricky, who came back from living in Santa Monica for a year when we were all kids. He promised us that the girls in Southern California were all ready for the runway, and all you had to do was go to the beach and it was even better than Jan and Dean said. So, in a few years I got it together and headed out there and discovered that while some girls there were simply spectacular to look at, there were a significant number of duds also.
     
  8. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    FSR and Player are both fine instruments; both are very well-made in my experience.

    I prefer the look of ash, given a transparent finish of course. My ash FSR has the aged cherry finish and to my eyes, is just gorgeous. Body is mated to a 2018 Fender American Special maple neck. The finish work on the body is flawless!

    [​IMG]

    Some ash bodies can be quite heavy - as this one is. But I don't mind the weight.

    My Player HH has the Tidepool finish over alder, so whatever grain/figure the wood might have is irrelevant. The finish work on this body is flawless, as well.

    [​IMG]

    Duncan Antiquity II Mini humbucker pickup and Fender Fat '50s Strat pickup are in the Tidepool Player. Switchcraft toggle selector switch. Body is mated to a 2018 Fender American Special Rosewood board.

    If you're open to parts swaps, neck swaps, etc. just go with whichever body flips your switch. Fit, finish, and overall quality is likely to be comparable between the two. You can change pretty much everything BUT the finish on these guitars. Well, you could change the finish, but that would be a bit extreme to do.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
  9. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    @boris bubbanov -in answer to your query. No I have not bought a Warmoth nor a Stratosphere Ash body the postage alone is too much and their prices too high. I have built a Partscaster for a genuine maestro, who loved my Telecaster's neck, and he commissioned me to replicate the Telecaster. I actually gave him some genuine Fender parts I was saving for myself (tailpiece/bridge. 5 screw black pickguard and CRL switch and other parts).
    Anyway an Australian Company called AusGuitars ( not a company anymore) was holding a competition and used my entry for advertising showing some instruments I'd built. I got a whole kit from them and used the Ash body. It turned out well. As the buyer said "phenomenal" after one week playing it. I can only say that it was genuine Ash , very light and sounded very good.
    I had a business , an ABN , ( Australian Business Number) but also a job as an electronics/Maths lecturer at what you'd call College level in the US. I started making nuts in 1969, heavy modifications by 1980 and serious building in 2004.
    I am inept at posting photos , sorry, I am rectifying this asap . Have made most classic style guitars, will not make certain Gibson shapes and know the weaknesses of most models.
    When I get good at posting photos I'll send you my samples including acoustics that I have made.
    Finally, I can only say that that particular Ash was a twin in grain to Springsteen's Esquire/Telecaster and was probably the best guitar I've ever made.
     
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