The Fender Starcaster is one of the company’s most unusual creations, and following a successful Modern Player reissue back in 2013, the offset semi-hollow has now become more accessible and affordable than ever before thanks to the launch of three new Squier Starcasters at Summer NAMM 2019.
When Fender reissued that Modern Player Starcaster five years ago, the company clearly wanted to appeal to guitarists who’d seen the guitar in the hands of Johnny Greenwood or Leo Nocentelli, and kept things very vintage in vibe.
The new Squier guitars comprise three models in three different ranges that are intended to appeal to very different audiences.
The Classic Vibe Starcaster is quite appropriately, a very classic Starcaster design – with its choice of natural, sunburst or walnut finish, swooping headstock, tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece, and Fender-designed Wide Range humbuckers it’s extremely similar to the 2013 Modern Player Fender. It’s also the most expensive of the range, priced at £439 ($399)
The Affinity Series Starcaster is the entry-level model in the Squier range, at just £279 ($299). You still get the option of sunburst (albeit two-colour) plus Arctic White, black and Candy Apple Red and instead of four controls you’ll have to make do with two.
The neck here is laminated maple, notably without the headstock paint accent, and the Wide Range humbuckers are swapped for uncovered standard Squier models, giving an all-round stripped-back rock-ready vibe.
In the middle of the range is perhaps the most curious and unconventional of the trio – the Contemporary Active Starcaster (£399/$399) ditches the F-holes and two of the controls, and mounts a pair of Squier SQR ceramic active humbuckers.
Available in Surf Pearl, Flat Black and Ice Blue Metallic, it’s perhaps the first Starcaster that’s been designed from the ground up for hard rock and metal players.