The Lead II & III | Player Series | Fender

The Lead II & III | Player Series | Fender


(guitar music) – Hey, it’s John Dreyer. You know, I get to play some
really incredible guitars when we make these videos. And, well, this series is
certainly no exception. I’m talking about the Player
Lead II and Lead III guitars. Just out of this world, fun to play. So, the original Lead Series
was introduced in 1979 and appealed to a wide variety of players. And I think the appeal with the series is that they are just
simply a delight to play. It has a smaller body, kind
of a smaller strut body. It’s super comfortable to hold and play. Great sounding pick ups, solid design, clean layout on the controls. We have a volume and tone
and a couple of switches. And then your fixed bridge here. The Lead Series is a great
starting point for new players as well as experienced
players who are just looking to add something new and
exciting to the collection. And, as we go through the features, you’ll see that there
are some modifications to the original design. But, trust me, it’s all for the best. Tone wise, what you heard
up top was the guitar, the Lead II, plugged into
a few pedals that I have here on the floor. Distortion, delay and reverb. And then, we’re going into a Hot Rod Deluxe amplifier set clean. So let’s run down the
features of the Lead II, which is the two single coil model, and then we’ll hear some more tones. And then later on, I’ll
switch over to the Lead III. All right, let’s start with the body. The body wood is Alder and it’s available in
three different colors. This is neon green, my favorite. And it’s also available in black and vintage correct
crimson red transparent. So, on the pick ups for the Lead II, we have two slanted player
series single-coil pick ups. Now these are Alnico 5, they sound amazing and they’re super loud. Here they are clean. I’ll just cycle through the
three different positions. (guitar music) Control wise, we have a
master volume, master tone, there’s your three way
toggle for the two pick ups, and then this switch here
is a 2 position phase switch so you can go in and out of phase when you’re in the middle position. So, lets hear what that sounds like. (guitar music) – And then, on the bridge,
we have a six straddle string-through body hardtail
bridge with black saddles which just adds to the big,
full sound of the guitar. And if I flip this over you
can see that in the back where the strings feed through. And then over to the neck
we have either a maple or Pau Ferro fret board depending
on which color you choose. We have a satin finish
on the back of the neck, which is really nice so
your hands won’t stick. And then a nine and a half
inch fingerboard radius with 22 medium jumbo frets. And then the F-Logo machine
heads up at the head stock. All right, there’s a quick rundown of some of the key features. Now a lot of those features,
actually most of those features are shared across the
Lead II and the Lead III. Now we’ll switch over to
the Lead III in a second and we’ll talk about some
of the additional features. But, before we do that
I want to kick on the Pugilist Distortion Pedal
and then have some fun with the distorted tone with the Lead II. Let’s check that out. (guitar music) All right, as you can see I’ve
switched over to the Lead III with the double humbucker
and, why yes, this is purple. In fact, this is metallic purple. It’s also available in sienna sunburst as well as olympic white. And tone wise, well, let me
kick it on this overdrive, have some fun. (guitar music) All right, so the specs on the Lead III, all the same great features as the Lead II except for a couple of differences. Now, on the pick ups,
instead of two single-coils we have two humbuckers. These are player series
humbuckers, Alnico 2 magnets. Really nice warm, creamy tone. Different than the brighter
attach of the single-coils. And then we have a different
function on the second switch. So, instead of the in and out of phase when we’re the middle position
of the pick up selector, this switch will split the humbuckers. So, in position one of the selector we can go to the down position
and that will split the coil or the humbucker, in the bridge. Middle position is off – that
is normal for humbucker tones. When we’re in the neck position,
this pick up selected only, we can go to the up
position of this switch and then that will split
the neck humbucker. So, full on humbucker tones
as well as single coil tones all in one guitar. Pretty cool. All right, let’s hear what
the guitar sounds like in all three positions: bridge,
bridge and neck and then neck. And then we’ll hear what it sounds like when I split the coils. And we’ll run through all those
three sounds one more time. (guitar music) Here’s the middle position- bridge humbucker and neck humbucker. (guitar music) And then the neck humbucker. (guitar music) Okay, and then while we
are on the neck pickup if I go to the split position here. So we go from (guitar music) to (guitar music). All right, so if we go
to the middle position on the pick up selector, and
now we have both pick ups on. And remember because I have
the neck humbucker split it’s a slightly different tone. So we’ll hear that. (guitar music) If I go back into the full humbucker mode- (guitar music) All right, so now we go
back to the bridge position, that’s full humbucker. (guitar music) And we go down position on the split. (guitar music) So lots of different tonal
options for you there with these two switches
– and it sounds great. All right so a couple of
things before we wrap up. One, these guitars, as I mentioned up top, are just way too much fun to play. So, you really need to go
find one at a local dealer. Check ’em out, try both models, see which works best for you. And then, two, these instruments can work in a lot of different scenarios. So, a great first guitar for the beginner. For the experienced player
its just a fun guitar, something different to
add to your collection. Lead tones, rhythm tones
for recording, on stage, just to have fun at home
jamming with your friends there’s a lot going on with these guitars both look-wise and tone-wise,
so please go check them out. For more information on
the Player Lead Series, head on over to fender.com
to read all about it and then stay tuned here for more videos. And, as always, thanks for watching. We’ll see you. (guitar music)

100 Comments on "The Lead II & III | Player Series | Fender"


  1. Prolly gonna get the black lead ii to see if it stacks up to a similar black with maple 1980 lead ii I had a few years ago!

    Reply

  2. Way to go fender! Killing it these days. Im usually surfing the used market looks like we're buying a new guitar soon 😂

    Reply

  3. FENDER
    Excelente JOHN MAYER es el INDICADO PARA DEMOS DE FENDER SIGAN ASI Y VENDERÁN MUCHO
    NO QUIERO VER NEGROS TATUADOS EN LAS DEMOS DE FENDER NUNCA MAS
    NUNCA MAS NEGROS NI TATUADOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    Reply

  4. Still have my 1981 Lead III…I prefer the original neck and Seth Lover humbuckers but it's cool to see reissues…very under-rated guitars. Extremely warm to searing highs, it covers it all.

    Reply

  5. i’d love to have a player series esquire at this price point. i’d buy it immediately! esquire love anyone?

    Reply

  6. Thanks for sending these to youtubers it was nice to see them be happy about somthing random.
    May have to pick up both now hard to decide which one to buy first.

    Reply

  7. This reminds me of the first electric guitar I played my early years, which was very very similar to the Lead 3, but from a different brand. I really liked that guitar. It wasn't mine unfortunately and I still miss playing it to this day.

    Reply

  8. is the bridge routed for an humbucker like the original? If so, I might get one and put an humbucker in the bridge for chunky rhythm playing.

    Reply

  9. At first glance they looked super simple, but that second selection switch means that both of these guitars have a lot more goin on under the hood!

    Reply

  10. I think will be a good idea . To copy the Rotary Scwith of 5 positions of prs .. is more modern .but prs stop with this because some people stupid dont like that .. .

    Reply

  11. The purple one reminds me of something very very desirable….now forgotten ….deep deep in the unconscious ….far away into my childhood.

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  12. Switch that wiring on the second switch on the lead 2 to go from parallel to in series and we have winner. Cool guitar regardless.

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  13. It reminds me of a certain New York singer playing a washed up ex-star on a TV show when that was exactly what she was. These models were Fender when Fender had lost its way. They were not terrible but they weren’t anything new or better. They still aren’t.

    Reply

  14. Roger Miller of Mission of Burma still uses one. They were cheaper models a few years before Squier

    Reply

  15. Why, Fender, why is there no Lead III in Neon green??? 😭 but, besides that these are really, really, really nice guitars! 😉

    Reply

  16. Can they make a strat with phase switches and coil splitters?? Also in that purple with a matching headstock? Pretty please?

    Reply

  17. Roasted maple version tho? Sounds great looks great but after owning a roasted maple neck I kinda hate everything else lol.

    Reply

  18. My Fender Lead II from 1980, which I bought in 1999 as a college student with my first summer job salary, is my go-to guitar. It's been lacquered in white following a lacquer incident and upgraded with DiMarzio pickups but it's always been a wonderful guitar. I've played everything from metal to folk-rock and back with it and it never failed me. In recent years, I've seen Parquet Courts and St. Vincent play with it. I'm glad it's finally getting some recognition.

    Reply

  19. Lead II sounds interesting – rather like a full scale Mustang on steroids. Lead III sounds wooly and then thin when split. Apparently Fender still can't do humbuckers.

    Reply

  20. I wasn't aware people were demanding this Lead Series back. Why create a smaller body – less wood equals less body to the tone and you can hear in in every demo of these – some of which the guitar is actually tuned. Why not just have a permanent 2 HB Strat w/Hardtail bridge and coil-splitter switch in the lineup?

    Reply

  21. I love small bodied guitars like the mustang and duo-sonic, so this appeals. Only sore point is the two identical looking toggle switches side by side.Think I prefer a simple two way sliding switch further up towards the headstock for the phase setting staying away from my pickup toggle.

    Reply

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