The Player Series Expands with Duo-Sonic, Mustang and Lead Guitars & Basses
New models introduce head-turning offsets and cult classic designs to Fender’s popular foundational line
By Beth Wawerna
Introduced in 2018, the Player Series quickly became Fender’s foundational line. Marrying classic looks with modern features, this popular series offered updated versions of our most iconic models – including the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster, Precision Bass and Jazz Bass – designed to empower players to take the next step in their musical journeys.
Adding Offsets to the Player Series
Now, Fender has taken the Player Series to the next level with the introduction of three classic offset models – the Player Duo-Sonic, Player Mustang and Player Mustang Bass – crafted to meet the needs of today’s artists with both value and vibe.
“More people are playing guitar than ever before,” says Justin Norvell, EVP of Fender Products. “Music fans everywhere continue to turn to music and playing guitar in times of hardship and artists are finding new ways to create. Like our artists, we’re always pushing the boundaries of what a guitar can be, giving players products that inspire and deliver quality craftsmanship, timeless design and iconic sound that takes their music to new heights. These new offset models are no exception and bring some our most-popular designs and vintage-inspired colors to the Fender brand’s entry point and the forefront of a musical renaissance.”
A petite powerhouse, the original Duo-Sonic immediately turned heads upon its introduction in 1956 with a bold offset body shape, shorter scale and dual pickup configuration. Over the years, this inexpensive student-model guitar has been championed by artists like Jimi Hendrix and Talking Heads’ David Byrne, as well as current six-string innovators like Lydia Night of L.A. power pop band, The Regrettes, who says “When I play a Duo-Sonic, it just feels free.”
The Mustang followed in 1964, building off similar distinguishing features. Its one-of-a-kind style led to the model’s wide embrace in the ‘90s by alt rockers looking to make a statement, among them Kurt Cobain and John Frusciante. The Mustang bass was introduced just two years later, offering a shorter scale and single split-coil pickup for classic, punchy Fender tone.
Paying Tribute to the Originals
These new Player Series additions pay tribute to the coveted offset originals, while updating them for today’s artists with single-coil, humbucking and MP-90 pickups for vintage-inspired tones and better performance . The classic logo and “F”-stamped neck plate announce that you’re playing a genuine Fender. These refreshed designs are finished in a variety of classic Fender colors, including Desert Sand and Sienna Sunburst for the Duo-Sonic and Fire Mist Gold and Sonic Blue for the Mustang.
These new Offsets join another recent addition to the Player Series family – the Lead II and III. Back with a vengeance from Fender’s vintage vaults, these offbeat guitars were (re)introduced in 2019 as an homage to the late ‘70s/early ‘80s originals – featuring a smaller lightweight body, unique asymmetrical shape, screaming hot pickups and dual toggles for special switching. The Lead’s striking looks are paired with arresting finishes like Neon Green and Metallic Purple.
A Look to the Future and a Nod to the Past
Since its introduction in 2018, The Player Series has always given a nod to the past while looking to the future. And today, a new generation of artists – like the Regrettes, Omar Apollo, soulful duo Black Pumas and U.K. rocker beadadoobee – are taking these beloved models into their own hands. “The Mustang was the first-ever electric I got,” says beadadoobee. “It will always have a special place in my heart.”
“A Fender is legendary,” Lydia Night says simply. “It does everything you need it to do.”
Affordable, stylish and undeniably Fender, the new Player Series lineup packs a whole lot of mojo in a modern-classic guitar.