The Fender Tom DeLonge Starcaster makes its debut on Planet Earth and the Blink-182 guitarist guarantees that it is “certified cool by the scholars of cool”

Fender Tom DeLonge Starcaster
(Image credit: Fender)

Fender has officially launched Tom DeLonge’s new Starcaster, making the single-pickup vintage-modern signature guitar available in four smooth – literally satin smooth – finishes.

After the Blink-182 guitarist teased the launch last week, it was no surprise to see that Satin Shell Pink was one of our finish options, but a treat to see Satin Shoreline Gold, Satin Surf Green and Satin Olympic White options rounding out the collection. 

The question is whether the Starcaster can eclipse DeLonge’s blockbuster signature Stratocaster, which has been a redoubtable unit-shifter ever since Fender reissued it last July? Well, don’t rule it out.

Okay, the Starcaster might be a more niche model in the Fender canon but with DeLonge’s name behind it this has a lot of mojo for Blink fans, and the restrained signature details – engraving on the neck plate, DeLonge’s signature alien on the back of the headstock – mean anyone can pick it up without feeling under pressure to learn the dance moves to All The Small Things. This isn’t that kind of guitar.

But then, that slightly squashed, offset semi-hollow body, with f-holes, a maple centre block to nix feedback, and a solitary Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom humbucker at the bridge position, what kind of electric guitar is this. A cool one says, DeLonge. Mind-expanding, too. 

“I love this guitar, I really do. It’s the coolest guitar ever made,” he says. “Firstly, it is called a Starcaster – that’s the most important thing. It goes to space and expands your mind,” exclaimed DeLonge. “I made some changes to the original Starcaster; I’ve streamlined the electronics, added the 70s headstock to round out the weight, and chose the matte finish with black hardware, so its look matches its modern feel. This guitar shows my evolution as a player but also has the hallmarks of where I came from and what I’m about.”

DeLonge’s Starcaster has a laminated maple semi-hollow body, to which we have a bolted-on roasted maple neck with a 12” radius rosewood fingerboard, dot inlays as standard. There are 22 frets. Not a whole lot of knobs and switches to familiarise yourself with.

After all, this is a single-pickup guitar – turn it up and let’s go. But that said there is a master volume with a treble bleed so you can work those dynamics between the guitar and your guitar amp. You’ll get not fuss from the bridge, with the six-saddle unit fully adjustable and accompanied by a string-through tailpiece. And the C profile on the neck is going to be a crowd-pleaser for today’s players.

Fender Tom DeLonge Starcaster

(Image credit: Fender)

One cool feature is that ‘70s profile Strat headstock, which really ties the whole thing together – and it has locking tuners to keep things solid and stable while the right hand is hammering out the power chords. 

The only trouble will be choosing a finish. The Tom DeLonge Starcaster is available now, made in Indonesia, and priced £1,149 / $1,199. See Fender for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.