Fender Sonic Blue Vs Daphne Blue: Which Is Better? (2023 Edition)

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If you’re curious about Fender Sonic Blue vs Daphne Blue finishes, you’ve come to the right post!

Fender Finishes

No matter what some guitar players may say, aesthetics matter. Well, maybe not for your tone, unless you ask Billy Corgan. But it’s an important part of the whole visual identity thing.

And, for many years now, Fender was one of the brands to dictate the trends here. Although usually simple, their finishes are pretty great. There’s something for everyone’s taste. And, additionally, there are some slightly unusual shades. These manage to keep things interesting without making an instrument look too weird.

In particular, we’ve seen different shades and twists of blue. Daphne Blue, Sonic Blue, Lake Placid Blue, Candy Apple Blue, Ice Blue, and many others. What we’re interested in for this article are Sonic blue and Daphne blue finishes and how they compare.

There are some differences, although the final judgment is in the potential player. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And you can’t ever argue about what’s prettier or not.

In short:

Fender’s sonic blue coloring is a bit more of a lighter baby blue compared to Fender’s Daphne blue which has a bit more green in it.

Fender Sonic Blue Vs Daphne Blue

Fender sonic blue vs daphne blue

Sonic Blue

Fender Custom Shop Relic 62 Stratocaster, Sonic Blue | Gear4music demo
Check out this video to see a Sonic Blue Fender in action!

The Sonic Blue finish is a pastel blue color with a noticeable pale twist. Some have argued that there’s just a slight hint of green in there but daphne blue seems more green to me.

I’d rather compare the color to clear skies as seen through a mild morning mist. I know that this is very specific, but the finish in question is also very specific. There also might be a slight hint of a purple-ish shade. But that’s just my observation.

From all of Fender’s blue finishes, this is the palest one. In some way, you could say it has this vibe of an old vintage toy.

However, since it’s really pale, the color may seem different under different light settings. For instance, under strong lights, it can easily seem like a white guitar.

Daphne Blue

Fender Classic Series '50s Stratocaster MN, Daphne Blue | Gear4music demo
And here’s a Daphne Blue Fender demo for comparison.

The so-called Daphne Blue finish takes us back all the way to the 1950s. In some ways, it’s that traditional surf rock color. It’s certainly not that deep blue color.

However, it’s noticeably darker than Sonic Blue. Or, to put it more precisely, it’s far less pale. A great way to describe this difference is that Daphne Blue is more saturated. But it’s still fairly light compared to what you expect from a regular blue color.

At the same time, it gravitates towards cyan. I really love how it looks on Strat-style guitars. The color is closer to those old vintage sports cars. You could also find this same shade of blue on some of the old items from the 1950s. So it’s the classic surf-rock shade of blue if you ask me.

Which One Should You Choose?

Technically, both of these are pastel blue finishes. What you should know is that there are a lot of nuances here. What’s especially difficult is to convincingly replicate these shades on images and videos. You’ll see a lot of different pics, videos, and sources telling you different things.

Sonic Blue is so pale and light. In my opinion, it makes it a great option for anyone who’s really into pastel colors. I can easily imagine a Sonic Blue Strat in hands of an indie rock player. The same goes for pop music, R&B, or anything similar.

Daphne Blue, as I mentioned, is more saturated. It’s still light, it’s still pale, but not as much as Sonic Blue. It’s the classic 1950s shade of blue. And, of course, this makes it a great option for those looking for surf rock aesthetics. But I’d also love to see one in the hands of a blues or a funk guitar player.

What I’d also add is that I think that Daphne Blue looks much better with a maple fingerboard. Of course, darker fretboards look okay with it. But I like this specific contrast.

Meanwhile, the Sonic Blue finish pairs up nicely with rosewood or other darker fretboards. In this sense, it also may be a bit more versatile. I personally liked how it worked with both maple and rosewood fretboards.

As far as marks and smudges go, both of these finishes can easily get noticeably dirty. If you like to have everything sparkling clean, you’ll likely need to clean these guitars frequently.

Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder

What you need to bear in mind is that this is a very subjective issue. What one player might like, the other one might not. In this case, I’m not exactly a person for pastel-colored guitars. I’d like a more saturated and deeper shade of blue.

If you want to make a decision, photoshop these two guitar colors on one of your pics. It may seem weird. But it’s actually a pretty great way to see what looks better on you.  

Fender Sonic Blue Vs Daphne Blue: Conclusion

I hope this article has helped you think through this finish choice.

And if you want to read more about finish choices on this blog, check out the Fender Olympic vs Arctic White finish comparison!

Lastly, feel free to leave a message in the comments below if you have questions about this or another guitar-related topic!

One Response

  1. But which combination of blue and fretboard looks best with a mint green pickguard?

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