The Starcaster® guitar is back. Virtually fabled since its original mid-to-late ’70s tenure, the seldom-seen Starcaster occupies a special place in our history as Fender’s one and only offset-waist semi-hollow electric guitar. Prized decades later by a new generation of adventurous guitarists with a flair for appealingly unconventional Fender style, the Starcaster now returns in fabulous new Modern Player form with greater sound, build and beauty that’ll have you seeing stars.
The Fender Starcaster guitar’s thin semi-hollow offset body has a bound maple top and back, with stylish bound f holes. Its “C”-shaped maple neck has a 9.5”-radius maple fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets, black-dot inlays and the distinctively curvaceous Starcaster headstock. Other premium features include full-voiced dual Fender Wide Range humbucking pickups with three-way toggle switching, three-ply black pickguard, four skirted “amp”-style control knobs (volume and tone for each pickup) and an Adjusto-Matic™ bridge with anchored tailpiece. Available in gorgeous Natural, Black and Aged Cherry Burst gloss finishes.
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I love the warm, bright and thick tone of the Fender Starcaster. When I saw it first in the mid-70s I was a little bit astonished about the strange look of the guitar. But now some decades later I got rather familiar with it. I bought one in natural from a huge german music shop. My guitar was ready to be played without any issues. The sound is totally different from what you would expect from a Fender (Strat or Tele). Only my Tele deluxe sounds a bit like it (it has got the same wide range humbuckers). For everyone who likes Fender guitars and owns Strats or Teles I highly recommend you to play a Starcaster guitar. I think if a guitar is well crafted and looks and plays fine, it is not necessary where it comes from (USA, Japan Mexico or even China). This guitar is absolutely worth the Price. Would be great if Fender would produce the Starcaster with a Bigsby tremolo.
thommymartin owns this item
What a surprise!! Great tone, great neck, great style, great price (incredible value). What not to like? Even the headstock is growing on me. A case would have been good but this is a review of the guitar. I love the tone which is different from anything else I have in the collection.
rjw1000 owns this item
The thing that really sold this guitar to me (other than Jonny Greenwood's original) was the concept of a semi-acoustic guitar with a maple Tele-like fretboard, which is a trick missed by many manufacturers. After waiting impatiently for my Starcaster to arrive, my first impression when I opened the box was WOW! Shiny and beautiful in aged Cherryburst. Apart from a wobbly volume pot, these things are well made despite made in China, which seems to put a lot off. I don't really like chunky necks, but this one is so comfortable and true, also pretty ready set-up and excellent playability I must add. I had a MIM Tele Custom '72 Deluxe and wasn't really a fan of the modern wide range pickups on that but on this they work well. I would recommend a good valve amp to get the best out of it tonally. It sounds so much better on my Evil Twin than on my solid state Pro 185 amp. Starcaster+The Twin+Marshall shredmaster= awesome distortion! I had a rare Rick 360WB and this £610 guitar out-jangles it on clean! I'm a Fender-holic with 2x90's US Tele plus' 1x90's mex tele and a 80's Korean E10 Squier, yet the Starcaster is becoming the most used of the lot. I prefer the flame top/bridge on originals, but a top luthier told me the originals were unstable and the re-issues are much better design. I don't know who designed them as of most Fender guitars. I guess they do look very odd but, they're so aesthetically right!!!!! Really good for the money and compared to the outrageous asking price for the 70's versions. Hey Fender, How about a custom shop US flametop with orig volume knobs and similar thru body bridge £1200???? oh yeah, and CASE to fit it in :)
Grantham10 owns this item
I am a worship director at a small church in Michigan. I play direct through our PA (via a vox tonelab) and good, solid tone is always difficult. I've been a huge fan of wide range humbuckers for years, but tele neck radii are a bit tough on my hands. When I found this guitar, it was like a combination of a 335 and a thinline, it blew my mind. I only had to play it once to knew I wanted it. I've sold off half of my collection this past year and picked this one up. The raves were instantaneous. my harshest critic at the church can't get enough of the tone (use the neck pickup for leads, bridge for rhythm a la steve morse). The volume controls are incredibly useful. I back off for rhythm and it cleans up, and then open them up for lead. the other guitarist has used it and is in love with it. he's going to check out buying one this weekend. I play blues on the side, and there is nothing like the tone and warmth. The fretboard is responsive and amazing. I can use way less crunch and get amazing lead tone, but still crank it if I want. I feel like I was waiting for this reissue my whole life, and had no idea. I can't put it down. I haven't touched my other electrics except to polish the frets lately. Fender blew it out of the water with this one.
jlaura76 owns this item
I've wanted one of these for years but the vintage price tag was a bit too high for a non-professional. When I received the notice of reissued Starcaster I bought one sight unseen. It was the longest 6-months.
I rang Fender's Customer Service team who had played one and told me all about it.
I like the new bridge that give it a modern edge. I've always liked the design even when it wasn't appreciated when first introduced. Although skeptical about being made in China, I was more than pleasantly surprised when I plugged it into my Blues Jr. amp. Excellent tone range from smooth to bright and worked really well with crunch courtesy of my Marshall.
I feel that the neck is fast and think the design is lovely. I decided on the aged cherry colour finish and it's really well done.
It's a great value and I feel that Fender's quality control is alive and well in Asia. The only downside is the lack of a case. The offset body and headstock make looking for a case a bit of a challenge but the rumour is that Fender will be releasing one in the near future - we'll see.
I’m a 40+ years player with fond memories of the old Starcaster and Coronado series. I bought my first Strat “new” after graduating High School in 1974 for tidy sum of $326. (Big Bucks for me back in the day). It was an awesome time to be a young guitar student. I am very impressed with the Starcaster reissue. Fender did a great job. The improvements made to this guitar were well thought out. The center block greatly improves hollow body feedback issues. The humbucking pickups are a wonderful improvement over the original CuNiFe (Copper, Nickle, Iron) wide-range pickups. While there is still a following for them, I found them to be too biting and shrill for my taste. The reissue pickups have a wonderful balance of warmth with just the right amount of bite. The overall fit and finish of my guitar is quite good. The action from the factory was acceptable but I adjusted it to my own longstanding formula. I lowered the action from the original configuration without hint of fret buzz. I have no fit or finish quality issues with my guitar and I disagree with some of the criticisms out there regarding the strings not being exactly in line with the pickup pole pieces. That is not possible on this guitar due to neck width and string spread. It affects nothing; best to use your ears and not your eyes when evaluating these things. This is not a flaw. This guitar does not come with a case nor is one made specifically for it. This is not an issue. An Epiphone 335 hardshell case will fit the Starcaster or the Coronado reissue very well. I own some very fine and very expensive guitars. This reissue is a great player’s guitar with tons of mojo minus the sticker shock. You won’t be afraid to gig and have fun with it.
arrow04 owns this item
Since the time I first saw an Original Starcaster I wanted one—no needed one. But the price on the vintage ones that pop up on ebay was just too much. When Fender announced that they were making a reissue my heart skipped a beat. At first I worried that the price would be equal to what the originals are. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was affordable. It is made in china. A slight turn off for the purist. But this guitar absolutely sings! Clean or with some dirt on it! It has a wonderful amount of that Fender twang while still keeping the lower tones of a humbucker. I can only think of two things that turn me off from this guitar. The first is that Fender doesn't have a hard case for it(For now, I call almost every week to ask about it! Change will come!) and second that the strings that come on it are absolutely awful. After 2 days of playing it they got swapped for Elixir Polyweb with anti-rust.
All in all an absolutely WONDERFUL guitar! Highly recommend.
jetknight774 owns this item
This guitar design is really cool, and I love the fact that it has a center block to keep the feedback down. The finish is cool looking on the aging cherry guitar. The aged neck patina gives it a retro look, as does the head stock. The frets are smooth and easy on the fingers the entire length of the neck.
Was looking for a tone monster, and it comes close. Even sounds good acoustically.
The nut appears to be plastic and I am afraid that it won't support my string taste, 11s or 12s. Need the heavier strings for good tone. The bridge spacing is way off. It could have been made to cover the poles on the pickups; both E strings and the B string are off, especially the high E and B. I pulled the high E over the poles of the both pickups and there was plenty of room left on the neck.
One of the pots was loose. It just spins around continuously. When I contacted Fender about this I was told, "that's no problem, it can be fixed by a technician." That kind of attitude is disheartening. I paid for this guitar and I expect at least a little empathy when I describe a problem.
The worst thing about this guitar is that is does not come with any protection; no gig bag or case. I haven't seen a case advertised, but I did purchase the metro gig bag and discovered it to be useless. The quality of the gig bag is not as advertised and the bag was way too big. There is over 2 inches of play on the body. How can you do this to us Fender?
Overall, if you want a novelty guitar, this might work for you. Otherwise, the drawbacks might lead you on a path to another guitar.
mikelk owns this item
I have both the Starcaster and Coronado as well as an original 60's Coronado. I'm very impressed with all of them. I started really banging on the Starcaster yesterday and it held up really well. I'd say these reissues are solid if you want modern electronics. Will these displace an American Tele or Strat? Well, no. Are these inexpensive hollow body guitars that perform well? Yes. Are they worth the money? Absolutely. I could get into some technical details and wax on about the neck, Bigsby (or lack thereof) and so on. Fact is, they are approximations of past products and they are inexpensive enough to be customized if the need should arise. It's like any guitar, make sure the fit is good with the player BEFORE you buy it. All told, solid products that are stable enough to gig with easily.
mrkuffler owns this item
I've loved this guitar since I was little. I love Fender but also always loved semi-hollow guitars so it fits perfect for that. The guitar is great and even though it doesn't have an original bridge, pickups, and master volume, I think there is still a demand. One thing I would like to see Fender do with the Starcaster is add a rosewood neck option, and if they are using the tune-o-matic bridge option, maybe offer an optional bigsby option. These little things could help people create a new sound with a new instrument and achieve a true semi-hollow look and sound.
I'm a guitar builder and player. I was wanting to build a SC style guitar, but couldn't have touched just the parts alone under $1k. Our local stores in Tucson, none of them, had one of these in stock ever since they first appeared in the new version. I ordered one online from Guitar Center's web site, and it was on back order until late December when one in the burst color finally came in. I found none available anywhere, including Sweetwater and Sam Ash. Everyone was back ordered EXCEPT vendors on eBay, which I find highly wrong. I refused to buy one there and waiting. Now...first thing. The shipping box is cool..unique. Kinda works as a case. I might line it with some foam and stuff if you're not going to make a case available. But...please do. The only thing I don't like about the guitar is a lack of a rear control cavity panel. After dealing directly with Chinese guitar makers for several years and guitars, I do however understand not pursuing it at this time. The neck on this is quite comfortable...not skinny, not fat. I'd love a rosewood board option though. Playabiity is great. It sounds outstanding going through my 72 Vibrolux Reverb...but then almost everything does. It also sounds great through my Gibson L5, which is solid state. It's warm without being dark as some humbuckers can get. Great job...now...a US Custom shop version maybe??
thewizardofaz owns this item
I was excited about getting a Starcaster and I really dig it, but no guitar case? The fact that there is no guitar case made for the Modern Player Series Starcaster (and I assume the same for the Coronado) is a serious misstep by Fender for the following reason: A Starcaster doesn't fit in any other guitar case because of it's unusual shape. The only solution is to put it in a gig bag and a gig bag is not great for storing an instrument. And not only that, but there are certain times when a hardshell case is needed, such as when flying.
I upgraded all of the electronics on my new Starcaster and had it set up. Now it plays and sounds great. Now I need to solve the problem of having no case for it. Drag!
skafftone owns this item
I won't repeat comments from two previous reviewers who nailed it. I'll add that Fender has provided a high quality "tribute" model in the Starcaster that is a pleasure to play and sounds great. I own lots of US and Mexico made guitars, and this model while not quite comparable in build spec/quality, yet is a fine Fender. Prevailing opinion on boards is that Fender branded Modern Player series is made in same Chinese factory as Squier, but focused on special specs, models, and quality maybe a step above. That said, some components are lower quality than US. The Starcaster did ship to me with a cracked tone pot (the pot was loose from the socket; 3/4" pot, not std 1" pot), which my guitar repair guy told me was over tighted at factory. I had it replaced and everything is now wonderful. The FWRH pickups are obviously not the 70's cunife threaded magnets, and probably once again removed from Mexico made FWRH, but the ones in this guitar sound great nevertheless - they sound somewhere inbetween PAF humbuckers and single coils, a more gentle open sounding pup, and they sound really creamy smooth when overdriven via amp or pedal. This guitar for the price is well worth it. Its a head turner and loads of fun to play.
Mark Engel owns this item
Let me first say this guitar isn't for everyone. Purists will scoff at the bolt on neck and off-center body. For me personally, dare I say I've mostly been a Gibson USA / humbucker guy. And while I love the tone on the Gibson semi-hollows... they just never felt right on me. I felt like a little kid trying to play dress up. I also never really loved the fatter necks. And so when this re-issue came along, it was exactly what I was looking for. The off-center body (with cherry burst finish) looks great and feels well balanced. As for the neck, it definitely comes down to personal preference, but I think the neck on this thing is perfect the way it is.
Now on to what really matters. Perhaps most surprising was the tone. When I saw this puppy was made in China, I chuckled but figured I'd give it a whirl. Plugged into a Fender blues deluxe and it was love at first riff. These WR humbuckers sound amazing, especially for the price. Coupled with a great percussive and natural tone, it brought out a sound that I did not expect from an "entry level" piece. I've been playing guitar for 20 years and perform regularly, and this just might be my new favorite ax.
So before you judge because it's not a true reissue, or because it's made in China, or because it's a bolt on neck, or because its not the original WR humbuckers... plug the thing in and let your ears be the judge. Great craftsmanship, great neck and frets... smooth all the way down. And did I mention versatile? Can't overstate that part. Thanks Fender for bringing something of incredible value to the market.
first-time-o-fender owns this item
The Starcaster is a damn fine guitar with bags of character and charm. It's as sonically arresting as it is visually and has one of the nicest playing necks I've tried for a while. And while I'm talking about necks; it's really quite odd to see a semi acoustic with a bolt on neck, but just another oddity that make this guitar so cool. Traditionalist seem to slag off these pickups as not being true to the originals but I'm hearing a really great squishy compressed alnico tone that's just great played clean or dirty. I love this guitar.
sean65 owns this item
I am about to own this guitar and I am buying it because I find the Starcaster one of the best guitars I have ever seen! It has an incredible, unique design, amazing specs, and, for what I can see from videos, it also has a greaat sound and is really easy to play! I really love Fender, and really love the Starcaster! Also the Starcaster, unlike most of the hollow bodys, has a great, comfortable to play, neck, wich might not seem very important, but infact, it is!
If you are in the same situation as I am, looking for a good hollow body guitar for a good price, go for the Starcaster instead, an amazing hollow body guitar for a good price!
|Model Name:||Starcaster®, Maple Fingerboard, Black|
|Body Material:||Laminated Maple with Alder Center-Block|
|Body Finish:||Gloss Polyester|
|Neck Finish:||Gloss Polyester|
|Neck Shape:||"C" Shape|
|Scale Length:||25.5" (64.8 cm)|
|Fingerboard Radius:||9.5" (241 mm)|
|Number of Frets:||22|
|Fret Size:||Medium Jumbo|
|String Nut:||Synthetic Bone|
|Nut Width:||1.650" (42 mm)|
|Position Inlays:||Black Dot|
|Neck Plate:||4-Bolt Standard|
|Bridge Pickup:||Fender "Wide Range" Humbucking|
|Neck Pickup:||Fender "Wide Range" Humbucking|
|Controls:||Volume 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Volume 2. (Bridge Pickup), Tone 2. (Bridge Pickup)|
|Pickup Switching:||3-Position Toggle: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Neck Pickup|
|Bridge:||Pinned Adjusto-Matic™ with Anchored Tailpiece|
|Tuning Machines:||Fender Standard Cast/Sealed|
|Control Knobs:||Skirted Amp Knobs|
|Strings:||Fender® USA, NPS, (.009-.042 Gauges)|
|Unique Features:||Offset-Waist Semi-Hollow Body with Center-Block, Distinctive Starcaster® Headstock Shape with Black Accent Stripe, Bound Top, Back and “F”-Holes, Vintage Tinted Neck, Black Pickup Bezels, Vintage Style Skirted Control Knobs, Single Wing String Tree, Fender® Engraved Neck Plate|
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