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.
|Features||American Special||American Professional||American Elite|
|Price||Starting at $999||Starting at $1399||Starting at $1799|
|Neck Shape||Modern "C"||Modern Deep "C"||Modern "C" to "D" Compound Neck Shape|
|Frets||22 Jumbo||22 Medium Jumbo||22 Medium Jumbo|
|Fingerboard Radius||9.5"||9.5"||9.5" to 14" Compound Radius|
|Pickups||Texas Special Single-Coils||V-Mod Single-Coils||4th Generation Noiseless Single-Coils|
|Special Electronics||Greasebucket Tone Circuit||Treble Bleed Circuit||S-1 Switching|
|Bridge||6-Saddle Vintage Synchronized Tremolo||2-Point Tremolo with Pop-In Arm||2-Point Tremolo with Pop-In Arm|
|Tuning Machines||Standard Cast/Sealed||Standard Cast/Sealed Staggered||Deluxe Cast/Sealed Locking|
|Case||Gig Bag||Elite Molded Hardshell||Elite Molded Hardshell|