Gas Sup­ply

Our pick of the month’s most de­lec­ta­ble, wal­let-both­er­ing new gear

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Fender Per­former Se­ries £999 to £1,049

Q&A What is it?

The first range-wide over­haul of Fender’s en­try-level US-built electrics in a decade – and it’s a beauty. The new Amer­i­can Per­form­ers re­place the Amer­i­can Spe­cial line of sim­ple-but­func­tional electrics with an all-new range of gui­tars in vibey colours, with new pick­ups and other cus­tom-es­que fea­tures.

What are the high­lights of the new range?

There are nine new gui­tars and basses in the range, in an at­trac­tive range of cus­tom colours – but we par­tic­u­larly like the look of the Amer­i­can Per­former Tele­caster Hum (pic­tured, right) with a new Dou­bleTap hum­bucker at the neck and an also-new Yosemite sin­gle coil at the bridge. It’s avail­able in Surf Green, Au­bergine, Vin­tage White and Three-Colour Sun­burst fin­ishes for £999.

Any­thing good for Strat fans in the range?

Of course. The Amer­i­can Per­former Stra­to­caster fea­tures three new-de­sign Yosemite sin­gle coils and has a Hen­drixstyle large head­stock and tran­si­tion logo, plus Fender’s Grease­bucket tone cir­cuit. Con­trary to the name, it adds clar­ity – see ‘Jar­gon Crunch­ing’, right. Go fig­ure... The AP Strat is avail­able in Honey Burst and Arc­tic White fin­ishes for £999. There’s also an Amer­i­can Per­former HSS Strat, with a Dou­bleTap hum­bucker at the bridge, in Au­bergine and Three-Colour Sun­burst fin­ish op­tions.

What about off­sets and stu­dent mod­els?

Fender would be fool­hardy to ig­nore its cur­rently on-trend off­set de­signs and, ac­cord­ingly, there’s a Mus­tang that comes in four fin­ish op­tions, in­clud­ing the rather Cus­tom Shop-look­ing cop­per-like ‘Penny’. There’s also an Amer­i­can Per­former Jazzmas­ter with a Strat-style vi­brato and sim­pli­fied tone and vol­ume con­trols, plus Yosemite sin­gle coils with shel­lac pot­ting. The Jazzmas­ter costs a lit­tle more than the rest of the range at £1,049. There is no Jaguar in the range as yet, how­ever, which is a shame.

What can I get for a bit more cash?

The gen­eral vibe of the range is ‘up­dated vin­tage’, so you could al­ter­nately look at Fender’s con­tem­po­rary-spec Amer­i­can Pro­fes­sional range, which streets at about £1,200 for an Am-Pro Strat, or its ex­cel­lent Amer­i­can Orig­i­nal reis­sue line, which comes in at just un­der £1,500 for a 60s Strat.

What can I get for a bit less cash?

Fender re­cently in­tro­duced Mex­i­can-built Player electrics in a va­ri­ety of vin­tage-tinged mod­els. They are very de­cent qual­ity and come in cool cus­tom-style fin­ishes at around £550.

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