Fender Series Quality Ranking

Fender has many guitar & bass series; which can be confusing for the customer. In this post, I will make a clear ascending ranking of alleged quality levels of their instruments.

Alleged is emphasized, because each and every guitar is unique. A supposedly low-ranking guitar might turn out to be great, while a supposedly high-ranking guitar might turn out to be mediocre. Plus, you might prefer a supposedly lower-ranking guitar to a supposedly higher-ranking guitar due to subjective reasons (I like passive basses better, for instance).

So, always buy with a trusted expert to do the essential checks if you aren’t experienced to tell gems from lemons; to ensure that the price surplus really corresponds to a quality surplus.

If you are wondering about how expensive your guitar should be; check this article.


Level 10: Squier

  • 11: Affinity
  • 12: Standard
  • 13: Classic Vibe (formerly Vintage Modified)
  • 14: Contemporary

Level 20: Mexican

  • 21: Player (formerly Standard)
  • 22: Vintera (+ discontinued Aeordyne)
  • 23: Player Plus (formerly Deluxe Active)
  • 24: Road Worn
  • 25: Artist

Level 30: Japan

Fender Japan’s alleged quality level is right between Mexican and USA models.

Level 40: USA

  • 41: Performer (formerly American Special, Highway One)
  • 42: Pro II (formerly American Standard, Pro)
  • 43: Ultra Luxe (formerly Ultra, Elite, Deluxe)
  • 44: Original
  • 45: American Artist

Level 50: Custom Shop

  • 51: Team Built
  • 52: Master Built


7 thoughts on “Fender Series Quality Ranking

  1. Could you define what you mean by “quality” in this context? Is it the craftsmanship and reliability, or does that include playability and sound — which are naturally more subjective. For example, the fact that a Player does NOT come with a glossy neck immediately puts it above many others ranked higher for me, even tho the Ultras have magnificent neck finishes to look at 🙂

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