Fender Australia | RRP: $2,299
It’s not often that an entirely new body shape is introduced to the guitar market, but what’s even more impressive is that it’s Fender, who’ve created some of the most iconic body shapes in history. The Meteora has been soft launched slowly with limited runs over the last few years, but they’ve finally found a home in the burgeoning Player Plus range.
The Player series is a staple of the Ensenada factory, and the Player Plus builds further on the legacy that the Player Series brought to the table. Player Plus brings improved pickups, neck shapes and locking tuners, and the Meteora features all of these, as well brand new Fireball humbucking pickups.
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The Meteora comes in a four-string bass or six-string guitar version in both classic colours as well as modern finishes borrowed from the Player Plus collection, the specs, electronics, and body shape is entirely new. The Player Plus Meteora HH’s body shape is like a Jazzmaster or Jaguar pushed to its angular limit, featuring sharper edges and more pronounced curves with the same contour body that Fender is famed for. This particular model is in Silverburst with a Maple fingerboard to match the Maple neck. Humbuckers (splittable via an S1 switch) and a two-point synchronised tremolo make a super versatile instrument for the modern player.
In use, the Meteora nestles nicely against your body and feels comfortable whether standing or sitting. It’s well weighted, with the Satin Urethane finish on the back of the neck makes for a more comfortable play than some stickier gloss finishes. Three knobs to control volume and tone are well within reach, as is the three-way toggle to switch between the two Fireball Humbucking pickups.
While we’re on the pickups, the Fireballs absolutely rip. To my ears they’re a combination of more traditional Wide Range style humbucking pickups that Fender is known for, with more modern articulation and grit. They can easily clean right up while riding the volume control, and dimming the brightness with the tone knob can transport you to full-bodied jazz territory. They’re a classic Fender sound redefined for the modern world, and I hope we see them as an ongoing staple of Fender guitars (and basses for that matter!) The neck radius feels modern and flat while the Modern “C” feels refined when coupled with a more contemporary offset body shape. Acoustically, the guitar is resonant and fretted notes are succinct and this is only pushed when the guitar is amplified. The Meteora comes in a deluxe gig bag so it’ll arrive safe when travelling to and from gigs or recording.
Fender’s Player Plus Meteora series are a range of Alder-bodied guitar and basses with Maple necks. They range from Maple and Pau Ferro fingerboards depending on what will compliment the finish best. The guitar finishes offer more classic stylings like Silverburst and 3-Colour Sunburst, as well as Belair Blue and Cosmic Jade. The basses offer the classic bursts with the bright blue Opal Spark or rich orange Tequila Sunrise.
The guitars are a 25.5” scale length so you’ll feel right at home when jumping between this and a Strat, and the synthetic bone nut offers the best in both tone and environmentally friendly solutions. The dual Fireball Humbucking pickups in both the neck and bridge positions are controlled by a three-way toggle, master volume, and separate tone pots for each pickup. The master volume doubles as an S1 switch which, when depressed, splits the coils for more tonal options. The strings are secured by six individual brushed steel block saddles and a tremolo at one end, with six Deluxe Cast/Sealed Locking tuners at the other. Locking tuners are a welcome addition to just about any guitar with a tremolo system, and it just adds value to an already very affordable guitar.
All in all, the Player Plus Meteora HH is very much its own beast. While borrowing heavily from its relatives within the Fender family, the body shape, pickups, and specs are all of these influences maxed out for a more modern sound and playing style. Alder bodies and Maple fingerboards are common, but Satin Urethane finishes on a neck coupled with modern Fireball Humbucking pickups and contemporary switching options make for a player’s guitar.
The Player Plus Meteora HH can offer a bunch of different sounds, but at its core it’s a comfortable guitar designed to be an extension of the player both physically and sonically, while the modern finishes and colours allow you to express yourself visually as well. The Meteora is an instrument that offers a lot within a tidy package, they’re well constructed and refined for today’s sounds and they meet the demands of today’s players. Big fat humbucker tones work for rock rhythms, while single coils provide snappy, articulate sounds for leads or cleaner passages, and the Meteora offers both of these even before any pedals or amps are involved. Fender is a company focused on their players, and they prove that in the range of Player Plus.
Head to Fender for more information.