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.
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...