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New American Series Strats?


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10/18/2000 8:41 PM
Gil Ayan New American Series Strats?
Hi all,  
 
Wondering if anyone has played these new AS Strats. Comments?  
 
Cheers,  
 
Gil
 
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10/18/2000 8:50 PM
Justin Thomas

The "rolled fingerboards" and more detailed fretwork are a cheesy excuse to charge more money for something that should be done in the first place on a guitar with such a hefty pricetag. I mean, I really love Fenders, and don't have anything against the new ones, but I think some of their marketing ploys are questionable. Considering the price difference between the regular American Standards and the new American Series, I think it would be cheaper to buy the regular, and if you really WANT more detailed fret and nut work, take it to a good luthier and have them do it for you. Probably be about $75 bucks, instead of about 100-150 for the "upgrade." Another thing, and this goes for the American Standards as well, those strap lock buttons don't come with the other hardware you need to make them work. They only give you the buttons and not the locks, so you have to go out and buy a whole new set so you get two useless buttons. But they use it in their ads! And, if you play regularly for a few years, the "rolled fingerboard" will come on it's own, and will be distinctly yours. It's kind of like charging people a whole lot more for a guitar that looks beat up (the "Relics.") Hear the noiseless pickups are decent, though, but I wouldn't say they're all that. Justin
 
10/18/2000 9:33 PM
Gil Ayan
Justin, thanks for the reply. More specifically, I guess I was wondering if anyone had played one, but it was unclear to me whether you have or not.  
 
quote:
"The "rolled fingerboards" and more detailed fretwork are a cheesy excuse to charge more money for something that should be done in the first place on a guitar with such a hefty pricetag. "
 
 
Maybe, but I still believe Fender makes some of the cheapest guitars around (a LP Standard will cost you three times as much)...  
 
quote:
"and if you really WANT more detailed fret and nut work, take it to a good luthier and have them do it for you. Probably be about $75 bucks, instead of about 100-150 for the "upgrade." "
 
 
The difference in price you mention is retail, so you'd figure about 60% of that, realistically, to determine how much more you would end up paying for the thing.  
 
quote:
"Another thing, and this goes for the American Standards as well, those strap lock buttons don't come with the other hardware you need to make them work. They only give you the buttons and not the locks, so you have to go out and buy a whole new set so you get two useless buttons. But they use it in their ads! "
 
 
That used to be the case. I do have an American Std which came with the shaller pins but not the part that goes on the strap. That was a long time ago... and I hate those Shaller pins. Unless you use the part that goes with them, they are not that good.  
 
However, Fender did get their "shit together" on this one and now every now American Series guitar ships with an accessory kit that includes the dreaded Shaller strap gismos. Now watch out, places like Guitar Center break the rules right off the bat: they will separate the guitar from the case, price the guitar without it and that's when things go to hell. You may get the case, and of course they will charge you for it, but the little  
doggy bag" with the strap buttons, strap, and cord may be missing...  
 
quote:
"Hear the noiseless pickups are decent, though, but I wouldn't say they're all that."
 
 
The American Series doesn't use the noiseless pickups, that would be the Deluxe version. Interestingly enough, I have some Fender noiseless in a Tele and to me they sound great. For what it  
s worth, I use 250K pots with the Tele, as opposed to the "Fender recommended" 1Meg for those pickups. I can see they would probably sound way too bright that way.  
 
Cheers,  
 
Gil
 
10/19/2000 3:41 PM
John

Steve;  
I've got a '99 Tele deluxe that came with the noiseless pickups. It has a 500K and a 250k pot if I remember correctly. I really like the noiseless neck pickup, but just couldn't vibe with the bridge.  
From what I've read & heard, the new series have the same kind of necks that came with last year's deluxes. I can attest that it's a sweet neck. The neck joint isn't all that, but the guitar has the nicest unplugged tone I've heard. Almost phaser-like.  
But the detailed fret work I just haven't seen. If they mean they did it correct, well then yes, but I wouldn't call it highly detailed.  
Incidentally, I bought it from GC (gotta love interest-free for a year deals) and had to go back the next day to get the case & accesories Frontline said comes with it. The salesman there rarely know what's going on; you need to be a knowledgeable consumer if you shop there.
 
10/21/2000 3:03 PM
Tim C.
Gil,I Have Played One...
Gil,  
 
I played one of the new Strats when the Fender rep brought it in. I liked it. The rolled edges on the neck made it feel played in already. The neck was very smooth and had a decent radius for bending strings although I don't know if it was the standard 9.5" or something new.  
 
The guitar has a new body contour which is supposed to be more like the older ones with the larger relief on the front and back.  
 
The pickups sounded fine to me. Very quacky in the in between positions.  
 
All in all I would like to have one. I liked it better than my Custom Shop Fender guitar. The neck has a much better shape than the custom. My custom seems like the neck is too thin from front to back.  
 
Keep in mind the guitar I played was the one the rep shows his customers.  
 
Now with that said. I had the opportunity to play one that was shipped to the dealer later. I liked the guitar but the set up was not that good. The guitar buzzed right out of the box. Everything else was okay though. I think it would be great if Fender would do a better job of finish set up on their guitars. When I got my custom shop that i ordered the set up was awful. It took me a long time to finally get it decent.  
 
The rep indicated that the cost of retooling is expensive. I would imagine that is why the cost is up on them.  
 
This is only my humble opinion.  
 
Have a great day :)  
Tim C.
 
10/21/2000 7:19 PM
Carl Z
Re: New American Series Strats?
quote:
"Maybe, but I still believe Fender makes some of the cheapest guitars around (a LP Standard will cost you three times as much)..."
 
 
Who in their right minds would buy a LP these days? The prices are through the roof and you can get a really sweet PRS for much less, and their quality is head and shoulders above Gibson's.  
 
Just my two cents.  
 
Carl Z
 

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