Fender recently unveiled its new Lead II and Lead III guitars that bring back memories of the classic Lead series the company created in 1979. Both of the models look like a strat but comes in a bit compact size. Fender Lead II incorporates two Player Series Stratocaster Single-Coil pickups whereas the Lead III features two Player Series humbucking pickups. Except for pickups, there are other minor differences that separate the Lead II from Lead III guitar.
Fender Lead II
Just like the classic late 70’s models, Fender Lead II offers a bright sound that can easily cut through the mix. Thanks to the dual-slanted Player Series Alnico 5 Strat Single-Coil pickups. These pickups are quite loud and do not squeeze the dynamics of the sound.
Up to three pickup selection options are possible with the 3-way switch:
- Bridge Pickup
- Bridge And Neck Pickups
- Neck Pickup
With the special 2-way bottom switch available on Lead II, you can flip the polarity/phase of the selected pickup. As a benefit, you get up to 6 different sound possibilities to experiment with.
Lead II comes in 3 different color options, Neon Green, Black, and Crimson Red Transparent. Only the Black model uses a Pau Ferro fingerboard material while the other two options make use of a Maple fingerboard.
- Check out the current price and availability for Fender Lead II.
Fender Lead III
Fender Lead III is reminiscent of the original 1982 model that features a warm sound using humbucking pickups. Just like Lead II, Lead III features the same compact body, modern C neck, 70-s style F logo tuners, as well as hard-tail bridges that provide more sustain.
The main difference between Fender Lead III and Lead II lies in the types of pickups they use and the behavior of the special toggle switch. While Fender Lead II uses Player Series Alnico 5 Strat Single-Coil pickups, Lead III comes with a pair of Alnico 2 Player Series Humbucking pickups.
Now let’s talk about the behavior of the special toggle switch. Unlike the 2-way phase reverse switch on Fender Lead II, Lead III features a 3-way Coil-Split Toggle Switch. Basically, the 3-way switch in Lead III splits the humbucking pickups in the selected position. For example, if you have selected the neck pickup, and you toggle the bottom switch to the same pickup, it will only split the neck pickup.
3 available options for Lead III include Purple Metallic, Olympic White, and Sienna Sunburst. In this case, only the Sienna Sunburst comes with a Maple fingerboard while the other two options utilize Pau Ferro.
- Check out the current price and availability for Fender Lead III.
Fender Lead II vs Lead III Comparison
|Lead II||Lead III|
|Pickups||Player Series Alnico 5 Strat Single-Coil||Player Series Alnico 2 Humbucking|
|Pickup Selection Options||3||3|
|Bottom Switch Function||Changes Phase||Splits the Coil|
|Bridge||6-Saddle String-Through-Body Hardtail With Block Saddles||6-Saddle String-Through-Body Hardtail With Block Saddles|
|Neck Shape||Modern “C”||Modern “C”|
|Fingerboard||Pau Ferro, Maple|
(Depends on Model)
|Pau Ferro, Maple|
(Depends on Model)
-Crimson Red Trans
|Scale Length||25.5″ (648 mm)||25.5″ (648 mm)|
|Fingerboard Radius||9.5″ (241 mm)||9.5″ (241 mm)|
|Price||Check Price & Availability||Check Price & Availability|
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