Billed as “futuristic and familiar,” Fender’s Meteora design first arrived as part of the Parallel Universe line – mashups of Leo’s body types, hot-rod concepts, and blasts of pure guitar fantasy. The latest is the Player Plus Meteora, a made-in-Mexico solidbody with two humbuckers, whammy bar, and S-1 circuit to split the humbuckers for even more quackability.
The Meteora sports an offset body vaguely resembling a Jazzmaster, but even more aerodynamic, hence its space-projectile name. The test model came in a swank silverburst with black pickguard, though there are three other finish options. The body is alder with a gloss poly finish, while the maple neck has a 25.5″ scale and 12″ radius on the 22-fret maple (or pau ferro, depending on finish) ’board. The neck has a standard Modern C shape, four-bolt heel, and vintage-styled headstock. Look for nickel/chrome hardware, vibrato bridge, a pair of covered Fireball humbuckers, and premium locking tuners.
Plugged in, the Meteora delivers the impact you’d expect from an alder-body axe with humbuckers – bold, rockin’, and bright. Players can cover a tremendous amount of ground from completely clean textures to full-on scorch with heavy distortion. The alder and maple neck give the pickups quite a bit of snap, so players will have no problem cutting through a mix or jam session. For extra twang, push the S-1 button in the Volume pot to split the coils for more Fender funk.
In hand, the Meteora’s neck is quick, its body comfortable if a bit hefty for the weight-sensitive. The vibrato performs seamlessly, adding to the rock attitude. All told, the Player Plus Meteora is a sweet addition to the family – Leo would surely approve.
This article originally appeared in VG’s August 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.