Backed by decades of tradition, tone, and admiration by some of the greatest guitarists to ever live, Fender is one of the main references in electric guitar history.
With the Player Plus Meteora HH, Fender breaks with tradition by giving us a unique instrument with a body shape that is strikingly different from their celebrated models.
A quick glance at this guitar might even have some asking “is that a Fender”? But make no mistake: the quality, tone, feel and overall Fender flair is quite present on the Player Plus Meteora.
This guitar is made in Mexico and is based on the 2018 limited edition Meteora. However, this new version has a redesigned body, a tremolo arm, and comes with humbuckers instead of single coils.
In short, a nice guitar that hits the sweet spot of cost-benefit ratio in style. Let’s take a look.
Who Is This For?
The Fender Player Plus Meteora HH is for the guitarist that wants an instrument that is unique at a relatively affordable price. If you want to try something different from the traditional guitars, the Player Plus Meteora is for you. This guitar is a great buy for the professional guitarist or dedicated student that needs something reliable and good but is not afraid of going off the beaten track.
The Meteora range is notable for its unusual looks and the Player Series HH is no exception. However, upon unboxing the guitar, we realized that pictures don’t quite convey how impressively distinct the guitar looks in person.
Although it comes with the beloved alder body and maple neck combination, it features an offset body that has little relation to a Strat or Tele. If anything, a Fender Jaguar may be a distant cousin to the Player Plus Meteora based on its looks.
However, that is not where the differences end. Fender is known for its tradition of single-coil company guitars. Yet, the Player Plus Meteora sports two high output Fireball humbucker pickups. Granted, you can split each humbucker via the included SS H-1 coil-split, so you can still get single-coil sounds on both the bridge and neck positions. This is completed by the 3-way toggle pickup switch, one master volume knob, and two tone knobs.
The model we reviewed here is the 3-tone Sunburst with a maple neck and fretboard. However, a Balair Blue model with Pau Ferro fretboard is also available.
Regardless of the model, the Player Plus Meteora features a modern “C” Player Plus neck profile with a rolled-edge fingerboard. It also comes with a 12-inch radius and 22 medium-jumbo frets, which felt familiar as soon as we grabbed the guitar. Adding to that familiarity, there is the 25.5-inch scale length, typical for Strats, Teles, and more.
Because of all of the above, the neck felt comfortable and familiar from the moment we picked up the instrument for some unplugged playing. It was nice to get that Fender feel and playability that many of us appreciate.
Continuing with our visual inspection, we welcomed the sight of locking tuners. This helps with keeping the guitar in tune, as well as making it easier to change strings.
As far as hardware, this guitar is equipped with a 2-point synchronized tremolo that felt sturdy when played and gave us the confidence to use it willingly.
We plugged the Player Plus Meteora HH straight into a TubeScreamer and into a Twin Reverb amp for some serious distortion. The Fireball Humbucker delivered riveting tones on the bridge position, bright and powerful, yet not piercing. This pickup is able to walk that fine line of power and control that we guitarists crave.
There was clear note separation and we got lost jamming on everything from Led Zeppelin to AC/DC. The Fireball on the bridge handled riffs and solos well and gave the impression that the sound will most likely stand out in a busy mix or live show.
Moving to the neck position, we got some darker distortion tones that sounded good on some Nirvana tunes. This complements what the Player Plus Meteora has going with the neck pickup, especially when we switched to a single-coil by pressing the knob to split the humbucker. In other words, this guitar has got you covered for everything from classic rock to modern distorted tones.
We then switched to clean tones for some jazz-induced chord solos, and other rhythm playing. The Player Plus Metheora HH delivered balanced and round tones on both pickups. We especially liked the darker clean of the neck pickup, with the tone knob around 3.
By switching on the split coil, we went for some funk-inspired on the neck pickup. Even though we did enjoy the cleans, this guitar shined the most on the distortion front.
The playability of this guitar is nice, and we were able to move about the neck comfortably. It was interesting to get a Strat feel on the left hand but a modern and rounder sound coming out of the speakers. Add to this the new feel of the right hand over the offset body of this guitar. In short, a lot of new mixed in with a bit of old for a unique playing experience.
Other Guitars To Consider
With premium Korina, bolt-on roasted maple neck and sporting two Reverend Retroblast mini-humbuckers at the neck and the bridge, this guitar delivers crunch and playability. For fantastic distortion and clean, and with comfort to boot, the Revered Jetstream RB is a great buy for just over a grand.
Looking for a nice guitar that looks different and is affordable? Then check out the Yamaha Revstar Standard RSS02T. This guitar features a lightweight chambered mahogany body and two warm VP5 pickups for classic P-90 tones. Overall, a nice-sounding guitar with modern aesthetics at a fantastic price.
If you’re in the market for something different but that has a bit of familiarity on the neck, then the Player Plus Meteora is a nice choice. For a bit over a grand, you get a good solid body electric with a unique personality and great tone and playability.
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