Comparing the Fender American Stratocaster

Fender American Stratocaster – Which one suits you?

Generation after generation, the Fender American Stratocaster continues to evolve since its introduction in 1954. It has become a staple instrument in homes, studios, and on countless stages – big or small. It’s obvious that the Stratocaster will live on as a classic, but Fender continuously sets out to dig deeper into the needs of players in every wheelhouse. Although the Stratocaster was designed to be versatile, Fender believes there should be something in it for everybody.

So what exactly are the differences between the American Special, Professional, and Elite? While they are all made in the U.S., each bear unique features of their own.

Perhaps the most acknowledged feature on the American Special Stratocaster is its price tag. They start under $1,000, which is a rare find for an American-made instrument. They are loaded with Texas Special single-coils, as well as a special Greasebucket tone circuit for rolling off highs without adding bass.

The American Professional boasts V-Mod single-coils, as well as a Treble Bleed circuit for maintaining highs when reducing your volume. They also sport a comfortable modern deep “C” neck profile.

If you want something with all the “bells and whistles,” you’ll want to go with the American Elite. These feature a compound neck shape and fingerboard radius, locking tuners, and 4th Generation Noiseless single-coils. They are also equipped with special S-1 switching, allowing you to expand your tone palette above and beyond what you ever thought imaginable.

See the table below for more differences between these American-made classics.

FeaturesAmerican SpecialAmerican ProfessionalAmerican Elite
PriceStarting at $999Starting at $1399Starting at $1799
Neck ShapeModern "C"Modern Deep "C"Modern "C" to "D" Compound Neck Shape
Frets22 Jumbo22 Medium Jumbo22 Medium Jumbo
NutSynthetic BoneBoneBone
Fingerboard Radius9.5" 9.5" 9.5" to 14" Compound Radius
PickupsTexas Special Single-CoilsV-Mod Single-Coils4th Generation Noiseless Single-Coils
Special ElectronicsGreasebucket Tone CircuitTreble Bleed CircuitS-1 Switching
Bridge6-Saddle Vintage Synchronized Tremolo2-Point Tremolo with Pop-In Arm2-Point Tremolo with Pop-In Arm
Tuning MachinesStandard Cast/SealedStandard Cast/Sealed StaggeredDeluxe Cast/Sealed Locking
CaseGig Bag Elite Molded HardshellElite Molded Hardshell

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