Fender comes out swinging with the 2021 MIJ Boxer Series Stratocaster HH

Gear 2021: Fender has had great success bringing back old models and runs - last year's return of the Lead III and II being a case in point – and now it's gone back to the '80s to revive the humbucker-toting Boxer Series Strat with a Japanese-made reissue.

It's a basswood body / maple neck and rosewood 'board combo with a medium C-shape neck. 12" radius and jumbo frets.  There's two gloss finish options with Inca Silver and  Ice Blue, both with black headstocks and hardware. And the electrics are where things get really interesting because this is no shallow old school shred Strat. 

NAMM 2021 is cancelled, but we'll be covering all the big January gear announcements right here on MusicRadar.

There's two Boxer series humbuckers here, both with coil-splits via a toggle switch but there's a TBX control too – that's a Treble Bass Expander. Fender say this offers "versatile tone shaping, offering sounds not available with standard tone control". 

This is a Fender factory mod that emerged sometime in the 80s and is essentially a stacked 250k passive control that's like a standard tone control between 0 and 5 but alters resistance as you turn it up from there; allowing more, bass, treble and output in general. 


(Image credit: Fender)

Fender hasn't reverted to the locking trem of the mid eighties Japan Boxers that might have been a step too far for wider appeal. Here we have the contemporary Fender two-point design. 


(Image credit: Fender)

The 2021 Fender Boxer will retail for $1,199 / £1,295 and looks like it will be another distinct take on the continuously versatile Strat design. 

More info at Fender

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.