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Fiesta Red is a weird guitar color

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I have never owned a guitar in this color because I'm almost afraid to.

Yes, I'm talking about Fender and Squier guitar colors because some of them can really mess with your head. Gibson really doesn't have any regular production color options that cause confusion, but Fender absolutely does.

Some Fender (and by association, Squier) guitar colors are "safe".

For example, the Daphne Blue Jazzmaster I just acquired recently is, without question, a light blue. You totally know what you're getting with that color. If you didn't know the name of that color, you'd probably call it a sky blue, and everybody knows what that looks like.

Candy Apple Red is another where you know exactly what to expect. This is typically a darker red with metallic flake, hence "candy" since it has sparkle to it. This is one of the few colors where you could buy without seeing the guitar in person and still be pleased with what you receive.

And of course there is the safest electric guitar color of all, gloss black. What's interesting is what's around it that makes or breaks this color. Neck color is actually a big deal, especially if the fingerboard is maple. Some Strat players like a very light color neck with no tint for added contrast against the body color, while others prefer a deeper almost-orange tint for the maple neck color.

BUT THEN... there's Fiesta Red.

This is a dangerous color because hardly any two guitars in this color look the same, even if made by the same company.

Fiesta Red can look like - and I'm not kidding here - either red, pink, orange, brown, purple or even blue. Don't believe me? Go through a few pages of listings for guitars in this color and then you will.

And if you think that's weird, sometimes Fiesta Red looks clay-ish while other times it resembles a bubble gum color.

You may think, "Well, the color changes because different cameras and lighting were used depending on photo". You are WRONG. And you will understand why you're wrong once you see enough Fiesta Red guitars in person. No two look the same. This color will mess with your head to the point where you think you'll need your eyes checked...

...which you don't need to do. Your eyes are fine. It's the color.

And no, whether the guitar is finished in nitro or poly isn't the only factor to take into consideration.

Fiesta Red in new condition is supposed to be a bright, light red. And if you looked at it in a color swatch book, you'd say, "Yes, definitely red. No question."

Apply it to a guitar, and the color changes. Even if you meticulously applied the paint yourself to a guitar body so it matched the swatch precisely, somehow it doesn't look the same even after a full curing.

Like I said, Fiesta Red is a dangerous color. It's just plain weird...

...sort of like Fender Midnight Blue. Some see blue with that color. Others see purple. Others see an almost-black.

Midnight Blue doesn't shift in color as much as Fiesta Red does (probably because there was never a nitro version of it as far as I know), but it's another one that will mess with your head the longer you look at it.

Published 2023 Dec 12

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