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Old 02-11-2019, 09:56 AM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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Default Fender American Stratocasters

I had the chance to visit my local GC yesterday and got to play the three series of American made stratocasters I have been reading about.
I was very interested in the Am. Performer series(previously the Am. Specials)-not expensive, entry level into the domestic line of strats. For me the real draw is that great big CBS style headstock. I feel that's the right size for a strat body and just so, so cool. Beautiful guitar with nice sounding Yosemite pick ups and that treble roll off Greasebucket design on the tone knob that takes out the shrill and leaves the volume. It works really well. I was running thru a VoxAC15(all three guitars were tried with this amp clean and gritty). Where it lost me was the new neck(modern C they call it) is much to fat front to back for me. I just couldn't get a good grip around the neck. Shame for me but someone with bigger hands and longer fingers will like this.
The Am. Professional line has upgraded pick ups with Greasebucket tone knob, a very comfortable to me slimmer neck profile(which is confusing because it's called a DEEP C shape but is nowhere as fat as the Performer's neck) with a nice color line but still no hard case. I'm not knocking the built quality of this series at all because it is truly a well built and executed design of a modern strat, but no hard case was a deal breaker for me at that price point.***
Which leaves the Elite series of stratocasters. I know, you get what you pay for and I have to say this guitar was just wonderful all the way around.
Slim compound radius neck from 10" to 14" that felt heavenly all over. Great sounding noiseless pick ups with clarity and chime like a real single coil should sound. S1 pick up switching and this "Passing Lane" button that just throws the electronics into clean overdrive nirvana. How cool. My only reservation is the small headstock. I'm so stuck in my ways. But honestly the Elite felt as good if not better than any stratocaster I have ever played and the electronic advancements just push it over the top. If you like strats you must try this one.

***CORRECTION-I have been informed that the Professional series strats do in fact come with a hard shell case. Please excuse my shoddy fact finding. Thank you nkatsonis for the true and factual information!
frankie
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Last edited by Chickee; 02-11-2019 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:26 AM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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Great info, thanks so much! The American Professional without a hard shell case included would be a deal breaker for me too.

Also, I’m firmly in your camp. A Stratocaster *must* have the larger ‘68 headstock. Many entry level Squiers have it, and I wish Fender would offer more but they’re few and far between.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:42 AM
nkatsonis nkatsonis is offline
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The Professional series Stratocaster normally includes an Elite series hardshell case.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:53 AM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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Originally Posted by nkatsonis View Post
The Professional series Stratocaster normally includes an Elite series hardshell case.
You are absolutely right. My bad for taking the salesman at face value. I should have researched that. Thank you for the correction.
Now if we can just get a big headstock on the Professional series me and Jaden are in!!!
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Last edited by Chickee; 02-11-2019 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:19 PM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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Originally Posted by Chickee View Post
You are absolutely right. My bad for taking the salesman at face value. I should have researched that. Thank you for the correction.
Now if we can just get a big headstock on the Professional series me and Jaden are in!!!
Yes the large headstock is essential. White on white w/ maple board and a proper home in a hard shell case. Even black with white pickguard (think Hendrix/ Isle of Wight) would seal the deal. And again, case included is important.

The Performer line is matte finish rather than gloss? The beefy neck profile works for me, but non specific case purchased separately isn’t quite the same.

I came very close to bringing a white on white Roadhouse home but it has extra electronics and being somewhat old fashioned would be beyond my interest.

Thanks again Chickee, and nkatsonis

Last edited by Jaden; 02-11-2019 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:19 PM
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BoneDigger BoneDigger is online now
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I have an American Special strat, which has the Texas Special pickups, larger headstock, maple board, etc. I freaking love it! It's just an awesome guitar. I don't gig, so the soft gig bag it came with was quite fine for my needs.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:54 AM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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Originally Posted by BoneDigger View Post
I have an American Special strat, which has the Texas Special pickups, larger headstock, maple board, etc. I freaking love it! It's just an awesome guitar. I don't gig, so the soft gig bag it came with was quite fine for my needs.
I too really like my AmSpecial strat but it's almost 23 years old now. I'm just not getting thrilled by the Performer series. The Professional series didn't knock me out and its relatively expensive.
I'm seriously considering ordering a Squire ClassicVibe strat, and a neck from Warmoth(CBS headstock, maple, maybe even a lefty) and a loaded pickguard with noiseless single coils from Seymour Duncan and call it a day.
It would come in a few hundred less than the Professional series even after buying a fender hard case.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickee View Post
I too really like my AmSpecial strat but it's almost 23 years old now. I'm just not getting thrilled by the Performer series. The Professional series didn't knock me out and its relatively expensive.
I'm seriously considering ordering a Squire ClassicVibe strat, and a neck from Warmoth(CBS headstock, maple, maybe even a lefty) and a loaded pickguard with noiseless single coils from Seymour Duncan and call it a day.
It would come in a few hundred less than the Professional series even after buying a fender hard case.
I would definitely try before you buy. I like the Squires too, but I don't think the one CV strat I bought holds a candle to my American Special. If you like the tone of the CV there is no reason not to buy one, but definitely see if you can find a local one to try out first.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:10 AM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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I would definitely try before you buy. I like the Squires too, but I don't think the one CV strat I bought holds a candle to my American Special. If you like the tone of the CV there is no reason not to buy one, but definitely see if you can find a local one to try out first.
I just need the ClassicVibe body for a platform to build on. I'm not interested in what it sounds like. The neck and electronics will be specific to me and what I like.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Chickee View Post
I just need the ClassicVibe body for a platform to build on. I'm not interested in what it sounds like. The neck and electronics will be specific to me and what I like.
Makes sense to me!
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:42 AM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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I'm looking forward to trying out the newer Strat series. I have a couple of American Strats (2001, 2005) and I'd like to see if I can feel a difference with the neck.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:00 PM
nkatsonis nkatsonis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickee View Post
I just need the ClassicVibe body for a platform to build on. I'm not interested in what it sounds like. The neck and electronics will be specific to me and what I like.
I agree. In my opinion, the body is the best part of the CV Strat. The body from my CV '50s Strat is now attached to a Warmoth '50s neck, with a compound radius and 1 3/4 inch nut. Bridge, pots, switch, cap, and pickups have all been replaced. Some might question the economics of utilizing a CV body for a partscaster build. (Then again, the economics of any partscaster build using upscale parts are not favorable.) But I now have a Strat that is tailored to me.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:16 PM
perttime perttime is offline
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There's way too much wood in those huge headstocks
I much prefer the slimmer style, like on my hardtail Stratocaster
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:24 PM
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I really like the American Elite Strat in fact it was what I had thought I was going to get as my first electric.
But ultimately I ended up with a PRS CE 24, which I realize is completely different.


Having lived with it for over two years I have decided it is a keeper..

So now if I decide I still want a 3 single coil guitar, I will try to be able to audition a Fender Elite Strat and a PRS Silver Sky at the same time
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:25 PM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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Originally Posted by nkatsonis View Post
I agree. In my opinion, the body is the best part of the CV Strat. The body from my CV '50s Strat is now attached to a Warmoth '50s neck, with a compound radius and 1 3/4 inch nut. Bridge, pots, switch, cap, and pickups have all been replaced. Some might question the economics of utilizing a CV body for a partscaster build. (Then again, the economics of any partscaster build using upscale parts are not favorable.) But I now have a Strat that is tailored to me.
For a few hundred bucks i can get a perfectly prepped and painted body to work with by purchasing a CV strat. And with the ease of ordering loaded pickguards the electronics become a no brainer. Even if i keep the orignal neck and have it tweaked and dressed for a while, it feels like a plan to me. And if the sound is good, then invest in a custom neck.
Put up a picture of you frankenstrat please, nkatsonis?
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