Fender Starcaster Bass

The characterful bass makes its debut

Fender released the Starcaster guitar in 1976, but a bass version didn't follow. Until now. This is one stylish fully bound offset semi-hollowbody with f-holes, and along with the distinctive upswept headstock it's more assertive-looking than the Coronado bass.

It features long shank open-gear tuners, and although it's slightly headstock-heavy, this is easily countered. The bolt-on neck has familiar Fender proportions, but the body has a feel of its own.

The Starcaster sports a pair of fat Fender humbuckers and a new-generation solid Fender bridge. It's light and comes in natural and aged cherry burst at this price, and in black at £862, all with maple fingerboards.

Sounds

"From the moment we plug in, we're instantly aware that this sounds like no other Fender bass"

From the moment we plug in, we're instantly aware that this sounds like no other Fender bass. It's big and fat-sounding, as those humbuckers are extremely powerful. And with individual tone and volume controls for each one, plus a three-way selector switch, the range of tones is fantastic.

Either pickup produces a solid, beefy sound; mixing the two adds texture and superior clarity. Like any hollow-bodied bass, at high volume the sound can run away with you - and with this level of output you need to be aware of that - but tonally it's sublime.

Well conceived and typically well made, the Starcaster bass is not only a delightful playing experience, but offers a full and rich sound that is a whole new tool in the Fender bass collection. Just when you thought that you didn't need another bass...

MusicRadar Rating

4 / 5 stars
Pros

Distinctive tone that's all of its own. Very playable.

Cons

Headstock may deter.

Verdict

An excellent and viable alternative to Fender's solidbodies, this comfortable and stylish bass will turn heads.

Scale Length (mm)

762

Scale Length (Inches)

30

No. of Frets

22

Hardware

4-Saddle Fender Hi-Mass bridge, open-gear tuners

Fingerboard Material

Maple

Neck Material

Maple

Pickup Type

2x Fender "Wide Range" Humbucking Bass

Guitar Body Material

Alder Maple

Body Style

Semi-hollow, offset

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.

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