Review: Fender Juanes Stratocaster

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Review: Fender Juanes Stratocaster

Juanes Stratocaster
Words by Lewis Noke Edwards

Juanes Stratocaster®, Maple Fingerboard, Luna White | Fender Music Australia | RRP $3999

The Juanes Stratocaster pays tribute to an artist with a stellar career, spanning decades and multiple awards now. Juanes is a solo artist from Colombia, having begun his solo career after his band Ekhymosis disbanded in the late 90s, and launching his first album in 2000, Fíjate Bien (Take a Good Look). Since then, he has released multiple albums, toured internationally and won multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, as well as becoming a household name for his music and activism, speaking out against inequality and violence in Columbia.

2023 sees Fender honour the artist with his own Stratocaster, the aptly named ‘Juanes Stratocaster’. The Juanes Stratocaster incorporates some of Fender’s tried and true designs, coupled with more modern designs and technology like locking tuners, a compound radius fretboard and a contoured heel for access to all 22 frets. The Juanes Stratocaster is finished in the unique Luna White, a metallic, pearly off-white. While Fender has explored both metallic and pearl colours in the past, the Juanes’ finish is a subtle blend of both, while also unlike any other production Fender Strat.

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The Juanes Stratocaster arrives safely from production in the USA in a Deluxe Molded Case, a nice addition to an already well-priced guitar. The body is alder, par for the course for Stratocasters, harnessing the classic, controlled tone of the famous electric. The aforementioned Luna White is subtly satin, while the back of the neck follows this trend for maximum playability. The fretboard has a gloss finish, but you won’t find your hands sticking to a grabby, sticky gloss back of the neck like other guitars. The neck is a “Deep C” shape that starts out quite slim and flat at the nut, noticeably slimmer than most Fender necks, and retains that comfortable feel all the way up the neck. The fretboard boasts a 10”-14” compound radius, flattening out the higher you go, allowing for smoother bends at the top frets.

The electronics only serve to elevate the Juanes Stratocaster further, featuring a HSS configuration made up of Custom Juanes Ultra Noiseless Strat pickups and an Alnico II humbucker. For solos, the Strat features a 12dB Mid-Boost Circuit activated via an S-1 switch as part of the master volume pot. The S-1 is activated by depressing the middle part of the knob! While it looks like a standard electronic layout for a Strat, the Juanes features a single master volume and master tone, the second tone pot serving as a volume for the 12dB boost. Give your sound a subtle kick, or give it all 12dB to push harder into your amp for more grit to help you cut through.

Juanes Stratocaster boost

Pulling the Juanes Stratocaster out of the Deluxe Molded Case gives an immediate nod to the modern playability of the guitar. The Luna White finish is something to behold, while the contoured heel is immediately visible, allowing access to the entire neck with ease. The neck plate itself features Custom Juanes Artwork and an access hole for Fender’s ingenious Micro-Tilt neck adjustment.

The “Deep C” neck is comfortable the whole way up, and feels quite flat at lower frets, allowing you to fret big chords easily while seamlessly moving up the neck. The satin finish on the guitar feels comfortable, retaining good looks while higher gloss finishes seem to attract fingerprints and micro scratches more easily. Playability aside, the Noiseless pickups do a great job of staying quiet and hum-free while retaining that “Fender” sound, the 5-way blade selector offering a bunch of great pickup combinations.

The locking Fender tuners push the Juanes into the modern day as well, helping to keep the whole instrument in tune for longer, even with extended use of the pop-in tremolo bar for the 2-point Synchronized Tremolo system. The Juanes feels supremely in tune, a combination of specs, hardware and build quality giving it the authority of a reliable, utilitarian workhorse guitar.


This Stratocaster is a classic re-imagined, designed with the ingenuity of a player like Juanes at the helm. It encapsulates a lot of what makes the Stratocaster so famous, while incorporating more modern specs like locking tuners, contoured neck heel and compound radius fretboard for contemporary playability. Noiseless pickups allow the Juanes Stratocaster to be used for a variety of genres, with as much gain as you might need without hum, while the clever, in-built boost allows you to jump out from your band when needed! 12dB too much? The Juanes Stratocaster has a volume for the boost built in! Having a Deluxe Molded Case included means you’re ready to gig, or fly with it, and take the Juanes to the stage anywhere in the world.

The Juanes Stratocaster is just one more in a growing range of Fender artist models paying homage to musicians who are shaping and changing the musical landscape. This Strat takes cues from Fender’s long and storied history, but elevated it into the modern day with improved designs, sonics and build quality to boot. The Juanes Stratocaster is comfortable, refined and well-built, encompassing the best of Fender’s designs over the last few decades, as well as Juanes’ own exacting specifications having been a world-class, touring musician who requires the best.

For local enquiries, visit Fender Australia.