How much is a Fender Stratocaster in 2023? Here’s everything you need to know in a single article…
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Looking to buy a Fender Stratocaster but not sure which model is right for you?
With a range of options available, from the affordable Player Series to the high-end Ultra Stratocaster series, it can be tough to know where to start.
In this article, we’ll break down each model and its unique features so you can make an informed decision about how much you should be spending on a Fender Strat in 2023.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, there’s a Stratocaster out there that’s perfect for you.
Read on for our in-depth guide to the Fender Stratocaster lineup and find the guitar that matches your style and budget.
Fender Stratocaster Price Comparison By Model
|Fender Player Stratocaster||$849.99|
|Fender American Performer Stratocaster||$1,399.99|
|Fender American Professional Stratocaster||$1,699.99|
|Fender American Ultra Stratocaster||$2,149.99|
The Different Levels of Stratocaster
Fender has been, quite literally, killing it in the guitar market since about 2020.
Lockdown was great for Fender sales. But its success post-2020 weren’t just down to pure luck.
No, Fender did a complete 180 on its business model and, unlike Gibson, it has made every effort to be a more egalitarian guitar company.
By making its iconic models – most notably, the Tele and the Strat – more approachable from a price perspective, it has secured itself a ton of new customers and lifelong fans.
The Standard – Made in Mexico (MIM) – line of its guitars was replaced with the new Player series and, as we noted inside our Fender Player Stratocaster review, the changes were significant, to say the least.
To be frank, we literally couldn’t find any reason why anyone – pro or otherwise – would buy an American Fender over a Mexican-built Player series.
And that is freakin’ significant whichever way you slice it.
Fender’s latest MIM Teles and Strats, for the most part, are brilliant guitars that play great and sound even better. And now they’re far more accessible too, making them a great option for intermediate players.
Fender Player Stratocaster
The Fender Player Stratocaster is an affordable option for those looking to purchase a high-quality guitar without breaking the bank.
It features an alder body, maple neck with a modern “C” shape, and a 22-fret fingerboard made of either maple or pau ferro wood.
The pickups are three Player Series Alnico 5 single-coil pickups that deliver classic Fender tone, although you can opt for a HSS configuration too which is ideal if you want to play heavier music.
For more information on pickup configuration, check out our Fender Stratocaster Pickups Guide: SSS vs HSS – it covers everything you need to know.
Fender American Performer Stratocaster
The Fender American Performer Stratocaster is a step up from the Player Series in terms of price and quality.
It has Yosemite single-coil pickups that are designed specifically for this model and produce a clear and dynamic sound.
Other features include a push-pull pot that activates the neck pickup in positions four and five, jumbo frets for easier playing, and Greasebucket tone circuitry that maintains clarity when rolling back the volume knob.
Fender American Professional Stratocaster
The Fender American Professional Stratocaster is a popular choice among professional musicians due to its versatility and playability.
It has V-Mod single-coil pickups that use a combination of alnico magnets to achieve a balanced sound across all three positions.
The neck shape is called the “Deep C” profile which provides comfort and stability during long playing sessions.
Fender American Ultra Stratocaster
The Fender American Ultra Stratocaster, as the name suggests, is the company’s most expensive stock Strat you can buy. You can buy more, of course, for its custom shop stuff and its signature line models.
But for a straight-up Strat from Fender, the Ultra Strat is as good as it gets right now.
It has Noiseless Vintage single-coil pickups that eliminate unwanted hum while still delivering authentic Fender tone.
Other features include an S-1 switch for additional tonal options, tapered heel for easier access to higher frets, and a compound radius fingerboard for improved playability.
What’s The Best Fender Strat?
If money is no concern, go with the Professional and Ultra Stratocaster. They’re freaking great guitars that look amazing and play even better. But if we’re being honest, most people cannot afford to drop over $2000 on a guitar – even some pros would struggle to cover this.
And that’s fine. You don’t need to spend that much to get a proper Fender Strat.
We’ve played most Strats over the years, at least going back to the late 1990s. Chris used to work in studios in LA, and he’s constantly banging on about how Fender’s MIM Strats are just as good as its American-made ones.
In 2023, this isn’t just subjective conjecture on his part anymore. Fender’s new MIM Strats, its Player series models, ARE practically as good as its American made models in all the areas that count, so…
- Build quality
- Tone and sound
- Holding their tune
And that is why we recommend the Fender Player Stratocaster to anyone that’ll listen. It is a phenomenal guitar that looks, sounds, and plays just as well its $2000+ American-made bigger brothers.
RichardRichard has been playing guitar for over a decade and is a huge fan of metal, doom, sludge, and rock music in general – though mostly metal. Having played in bands and worked in studios since the early 2000s, Richard is a massive music production geek, a fan of minimalist recording techniques, and he really likes old-school guitars.
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