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 sem... Read More
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.
Reviewed by 8 customers
Displaying reviews 1-8
I've had this guitar for about 6 months. I play every week as a music director at a church, and this guitar is a workhorse! Before I bought it, I was testing out thinline tele's and 335s. I love the snap of the widerange humbuckers and the feel of the maple neck, but wanted more warmth. 335s sounded great, but could be a little too dark for my taste, plus much more $$$. I finally stumbled on to one of these and was blown away. great response with the maple neck, warmth and snap from the pickups. sounds fantastic clean (good for jazz fingerstyle) and handles distortion incredibly well for blues and rock. My other guitarist went out and put one on layaway a few weeks after seeing mine. I haven't had any feedback issues, and use quite a bit of dirt on my leads. Fender gave me a great instrument at an unbelieveable price. I'm very impressed.
ordered from my local gc store where everybody knows your name! little disapointed that dii not have one in stock to touch,play and look at so just had to rely on picts.chose the black w/maple neck, when arrived was very well boxed took it out tuned and started playing, dont know why but plays much better than comprable tele i bought last year, very nice finish. but here is the but .i like to take the pick guards off just think they look faster? can see both f holes well,i found one of the screws that holds guard to mount was almost 1/4 " to long and had already left a ring rubbed in finish. could not see it with guard on, but who leaves them stock now day's? thats the only issue also will always wonder what the natural finish looks like.
The last time I held a Starcaster was 38 years ago. I was a kid in school, and there was no way it could be mine. College, grad school, kids, mortgage, and I watched as vintage Starcasters (and vintage Strats for that matter) went up and up. I've had a Strat for 3 decades now, but not a Starcaster. Until NOW! I picked it up yesterday and played my first gig today (church praise band). The finish is very good, and the pics online don't do it justice (the flame in the maple has to been seen to be believed). The online reviews get a wider range of tone than I can get, but playing today through my little tube amp (vintage Super Champ) with reverb the tone and sustain was amazing. The case problem is easily solved, it fits almost perfectly in a 335 case. The look is great, it's classic Fender and classic hollowbody at the same time. I love it. The perfect complement to my Strat and Tele Thinline. Okay, I get that it's not a perfect vintage reissue, but this is awfully good. If you're an old guy like me and missed out last time, or if you're a hollowbody fan and always wanted a Fender neck, this is your guitar. I love mine...
I came home yesterday evening to find my Fender Starcaster reissue waiting for me. As soon as I ripped it from the box, it played like a dream. Action is fast and smooth, intonation (while perhaps not perfect) isn't noticeably awful like many new guitars that you need to set up yourself to make playable. The wide response humbuckers are built for tone, and they sound absolutely great. This may be a humbuckered semihollowbody, but there's nothing about this that suggests Gibson. This is pure Fendery goodness, baby. You could play surf rock with it and no one would blink. And the sunburst finish is GORGEOUS. There is a shine on this baby like nothing I've seen before. I popped a Bigsby on it last night and it opens up the playability even more. The bridge pickup volume knob was loose when it arrived, but that's a minor issue when faced with an instrument of this quality.
I received the following response from Fender: Hello, thanks for your review. Regarding the switch issue, you are correct. It should have been mounted vertically instead of horizontally. We are letting our factory know, thanks for bringing this to our attention. If you want to take your instrument to a service center, the repair will be covered under warranty. Regarding the pick-ups, what you describe is the way these pickups are supposed to work, and is how most double humbucking guitars function. You can still adjust the blend of one pickup to another in the middle position. Those volumes are not master volumes. Each volume controls the volume of its respective pickup only until you actually get to 0, then the volume is completely cut off regardless of which volume is at zero. That is done on purpose to avoid the tone getting too muddy, which happens if you wire it the other way. Hope this helps. Thanks! Nice of them to take the time to respond, and with thoughtful and valuable information. So - go buy one! What are you waiting for??
I purchased this guitar by mail never having seen one in person or having played one. I was not disappointed. First the looks. I got the black and the finish is just perfect. The frets are done very well. The action right out of the box is set very low with no fret buzz. The neck is thin though slighter thicker than a Strat. I wanted a semi hollow body guitar that played as well as a Strat but with the tone of a good 335. That's exactly what the Starcaster gives me. I'm lovin it.
I was also thrilled to find out Fender was re-issuing the original Starcaster, as I considered buying one back in 1978 and opted for a Strat instead. Hindsight . . . I ordered mine on September 26th and received it on December 16th. Yes, it's a beauty - although my neck has virtually no grain whatsoever (at first glance I thought it might be plastic!). The factory set-up was nice, and considering it shipped from China it arrived tuned a half-step down - I would have hoped for a little less stress on the neck in transit. There are two things that do have me a bit concerned: 1) the pick-up switch is mounted horizontally instead of vertically. Logically this makes sense - when switched towards the neck, the neck pick-up is active and vice-versa with the bridge pick-up. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but I have never heard of a two pick-up guitar having it's switch mounted this way (ie Les Pauls). Maybe someone in China made a mistake? Easily rectified if I decide to rotate it. However; 2) This is the one that has me baffled. As mentioned, this guitar has two pick-ups. Also a volume control and tone control for each. What I found is, when switched to one pick-up or the other, the volume and tone controls for that pick-up work fine. Perfect! But, when the switch is set for both pick-ups (center position), turning either volume control down turns the master volume for the guitar down. What that means is, I can't adjust the amount of "blend" between the two pick-ups by adjusting one volume control or the other. I have to think this is a wiring error - why would Fender design this guitar so that you can't fine tune the blend of the pick-ups? If I want to bring down the volume of the bridge pick-up slightly, I can't do it. The original Starcasters had a Master Volume Control - maybe Fender should have left the wiring the way it was? I will post my findings with Fender and see if this is defect that they can correct or if the guitar is wired that way on purpose. Otherwise, a very nice guitar. Very playable, and I am still tweaking my amp to get the best tone out of it as possible.
I always wanted one of these but by the time I had the dough they were a no show. I ordered my aged cherry burst as soon as they announced the reissue and I received mine on December 12th. The lads at the store asked to see it immediately. When I offered to let them play it I received a standing "O". This Starcaster has beautiful birds eye maple grain on the front, back, neck and headstock. The colour finish is brilliant as well. It's a little heavier than what I was expecting no doubt due to the needed centre block for neck stability. Don't even get me started on the headstock -AWESOME... Albeit crafted in China, she's got great tone. I use it with my Marshall TSL, Roland, Vox and Fender Blues amp and it has great resonance and changes to suit the types of music I play. Only drawback, no case but rumours say they are on the way. Forget the rock stars who use the vintage Starcasters, buy one for yourself.
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