My local guitar shop called me the other day because a cherry burst Fender Starcaster had just arrived. They lamented it had only taken 3 and a half months to arrive, but they finally had one. I was just glad to finally try one instead of only read about them and see them in youtube demos.
So at my next lunch break I headed over. They plugged me into a Fender amp (like a ProSonic or something, I don’t remember) and quickly dialed in a clean channel and a dirty channel. Both sounded pretty good. I then played the guitar.
I love the offset body. It feels great tucked up against my body when sitting down to play. My right arm felt just right as I strummed and picked out tunes. But my main comparison guitar is my Epiphone Sheraton VSB. The Sheraton is a big bodied guitar, and while the Sheraton isn’t uncomfortable to play, my right arm knows it is having to go around something. That is not the case with the Starcaster. It feels really good. Not melt into your body like a strat, but I really liked it.
The pick ups on the Starcaster are a bit close together. I don’t know if that is because of the neck placement or the larger (wide range) pickups Fender installed on the Starcaster, but it surprised me. Also, the pickguard is pretty bland. Maybe I’m being sillly, but it looks like a cheap piece of plastic thrown on as an after thought. I would probably remove it or replace it.
The burst paint job isn’t horrible. I was afriad it would look like a cheap can of spray paint was used, but it actually has a good transition from the natural wood to the red. Not my favorite, but not a show stopper. I still like the natural, or even the black, better.
The neck is where I made my final decision not to go further with this guitar (for now). I must start off by saying the headstock is awesome and is one of the things that draws me to this guitar (almost as much as the offset body). And I need to say that I have a problem with standard Fender strat neck profiles. I find them too thick. And this neck has the standard strat profile. It isn’t a bad neck. In fact if you like almost every other Fender guitar neck out there, this one will be just fine. But I have become very picky about neck profiles and this one fit exactly what I was worried it would feel like.
So I’m not going to buy this instrument new. I’m not going to sell other guitars and gear to be able to shell out the $699 they are asking. I like it, but not for something brand new.
But, if I see one used for half off, then I will be getting one. I’ll shave down the neck profile, install a master volume, throw in some locking tuners, and get rid of the pick guard. A great guitar, but not great enough to get me out of my used buying habits. A big thanks to Fender for reissuing this guitar because I hope to eventually have one. And an even bigger thanks to my local guitar shop for their customer service and general friendly approach to my tone quest.