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Rating and Reviews: Fender MP Starcaster

Preferred by experimental players like Johnny Greenwood, the Fender Starcaster boasts a unique semi-hollow design -- now updated with Wide Range humbuckers.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"The Fender Starcaster" submitted January 3, 2014

By Daryl Winn in Small Town, IL
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Musical Background: Been playing for 49 years. I don't go out to gig anymore so I just jam in my small studio built on back of my garage
Music Style: rock, country, blue, christian and of course oldies.
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Overall: I just received my Fender Starcaster yesterday. Man, what a great guitar. I know somebody is aking "is it made in China?" Yes, it is. I took a magnifying glass and looked this guitar over good. There is not a single flaw in this guitar. I was kind of disappointed in the delivery time. It took a week for the guitar to get here and it was shipped from Nevada not New Jersey. From now on I'm going to have all my orders overnighted. Yes, its a little expensive but to me its worth it.. Just to let you know, I buy 90% of my gear from zZounds.com. They know what they're doing and they will help you get your order as fast as possible.
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"RI Fender Starcaster" submitted February 16, 2014

By Johnnie M in Brooklyn, NY
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Musical Background: Playing 20 years. Guitar/bass/vox/drums. Semi-professional.
Music Style: Indie rock
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Sound: I play Indie Rock/Alternative through a Vox AC50. So, the sounds I dial up tend to use modest gain (some Big Muff sounds for weird fuzzed out leads) and boat loads of reverb. Playing this guitar stock yielded some pretty decent sounds. It's the only semi-/hollow body guitar I own. However, I'm familiar with the kind of sounds a semi-hollow body produces. Surprisingly, these RI WRHBs had solid articulation with some gain. Though the neck pup tend to be a little muddy. Also, it has plenty of beef in the low end. I have since installed a B5 Bigsby with V5 Vibramate plate (w/Vibramate Spoiler). Since this is an archtop the V5 doesn't sit flush with the body. But, it doesn't seem to affect the tuning in any way. In my experience the Bigsby tends to add a nice mid range shimmer to the guitar. I'm awaiting arrival of my MIM '72 RI WRHB reworked by Curtis Novak. Once that arrives, Champtone Custom Guitars is going to install the pups with Gibson '50s wiring. Feature: It has a modern C neck which is not too thick and not too thin. It is a really well balanced guitar too.Typical Gibson HB/PAF setup. 3 way toggle switch (Neck, Neck/Bridge, Bridge). Separate Tone and Volume controls for the neck and bridge pups. Ease of Use: Played really well out of the box. Just plug and play. I'm a modder by nature. So, don't mind me. It's really a good guitar to play stock. I actually did a show with this (stock) and had no issues. Quality: Well, the build quality is really fantastic for a MIC guitar. The frets were dressed properly. It seems like it has 20 million coats of lacquer. But overall, very well made. My one issue lies with the wiring. I haven't looked at the pots and the wiring yet. But all of my Google research indicates that the wiring is inferior. Yesterday, after I installed the B5, the bridge pup connection started failing. I noticed when I had the guitar in perpendicular to the ground the connection started to "buzz" out. When I laid the guitar flat it started to work again. I gave it the old Fonzy bang on the side of body and I had no problems with it the rest of the day (though in no way do I condone doing that...I'm just an idiot sometimes). Value: Excellent value. I believe the original retailed for around $900.00 when it debuted in '76. That was a lot of money then. For $699.00 today you get a pretty well built reissue of a much beloved oddball from Fender. Manufacturer Support: Haven't had to deal with Fender regarding this guitar. The Wow Factor: This is a crazy looking guitar. It was originally Fender's attempt at entering the hollow body market dominated by Gibson (though the Coronado was first and that had no center block). It's well documented that the Starcaster has seen a resurgence as of late, especially in the rock world, by its use by Jonny Greenwood, Dave Keuning, et al. It has its detractors of course. "It's such an ugly guitar!"/"It never sold well in its first run". But if you like offset guitars, semi-hollowbodies, and Fender. This is the way to go. You can mod the hell out of it like me to customise your sound a bit. Or you can play it stock. It's a steal for the price! Overall: Always had a jones for this guitar. The crazy machete headstock. The offset body. The Seth Lover WRHB (unfortunately, that is definitely not what these pups are). Completely floored when Fender reissued this. That being said, though my review will be biased, I'll try to be objective as much as I can.The guitar arrived in a well packaged cardboard case (what's up Fender with no case??). However, it shipped with the strings tuned down a half step. I always prefer guitars to be shipped with less string tension. Also, there were a few blemishes on the back of the body. Not a huge deal. I'm a player. I'm not going to hang this beauty on a wall and forget about it. I just wish that the scratches were a fault of mine, not someone else.
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"Fender Modern Players Starcaster" submitted February 2, 2014

By Dave C in Springfield, IL
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Musical Background: been playing for 49 years, mostly just for fun anymore. Collect newer guitars.
Music Style: Rock, blues and a little jazz
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Overall: I wanted one of these when they came out in the 70's, no dealer close by had one, so I finally was able to purchase this beauty. Great looks!!! Plays wonderfully, very well balanced both weight and sonically. The pickups sound huge! Sounds like a rocker..or a blues guitaror jazz or even country. All around I think this is one of the best semi-hollow guitars for the buck you can buy today!!
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"Amazing Guitar!" submitted December 10, 2014

By Billy W in Morris Plains, NJ
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Overall: Finally got a hold of one of these to try out, and I HAD to have one (which zZounds generous payment plan made possible). Pickups are my thing- very few of my guitars keep their stock ones- and the stock WR 'buckers in the Starcaster blew me away- they're crisp and articulate, but dirty up real nice when leaned on a little. At this price, I expected generic 'buckers in WR covers, but these're anyting but that... Combined w/the Maple 'board and 25.5" scale, they make this axe a beast. Fit, finish and playability are all top-shelf. I set it up w'some 11s, and I don't think I've ever bonded w/any guitar this quickly or completely.
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"fender starcaster is a great guitar" submitted March 4, 2014

By Vesey Kevin in Smithtown, NY
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Musical Background: play with band and duo amateur
Music Style: rock
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Overall: This is an amazingly well made instrument with great action. it is very well finished and so very playable your fingers float up and down the neck. thepickups have great sound. The neck has beautiful grain. It's also a very comfortable guitar to play on your lap. It was delivered practically overnight and the service was excellent.
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"deserves respect" submitted March 30, 2014

By jesse mancillas in elk grove, CA
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Musical Background: 17 years. professionally
Music Style: Indie ambient some occasional hardcore
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Overall: Mad awesome sustain and musical feedback. Sounds defined in a heavy reverb/delay chain and has cut my need for compression/drive to occasionally and just for flair. Cant compare to classic starcaster but i will say it murders for my band "cemetery sun" sound. Has moved my johhny marr jag to backup status. Finish well done and looks expensive. Dont see a need to upgrade anything yet except maybe a bigsby.
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