Manufacturer: Fender Musical Instruments Corp.
Date Purchased: 09/2011
Purchased At: L.A. Music
List Price: $2000.00
Price Paid: $1499.99
A compound allows exhilaratingly effortless string bending anywhere along the neck.
N3 noiseless pickups supercharge your sound with improved Stratocaster tones for sparkling bell-like chime with no hum.
Reconfigured S-1 switching delivers more versatile tonal options. New "passing lane "switch routes the signal straight to the bridge position with the tone circuit bypassed, heightening volume and overtones.
Hi Tech Molded SKB Case, Cable, Strap, and Strap locks included.
Tone. Tradition. Innovation. Fender's new American Deluxe Stratocaster® has all the modern features today's guitars demand. A Compound radius fretboard allows exhilaratingly effortless string bending anywhere along the neck, and new N3 noiseless pickups supercharge your sound with improved Stratocaster tones for sparkling bell-like chime with no hum. Reconfigured S-1 switching offers even more knockout tonal options; other features include staggered locking tuners, two-point synchronized America
What I Liked:
I love everything about this guitar. The finish is apparently not that common which will draw attention. I love the N3 Noiseless pickups. They sound like a single coil should but are dead silent... even when the distortion/overdrive/fuzz is cranked.
I also love the diversity of the S1 Switching System and the additional tones it offers.
The Rosewood Fretboard was also a major factor for me. While this model's maple fretboard is satin finished unlike the traditional glossy fretboard, and my fingers didn't stick to it like they do to the glossy ones, the rosewood had a much warmer tone.
I also love the locking tuners. No other production model apart from some of the Artist Series signature models has these.
Strap Locks are a standard feature and the guitar came with a set of Schaller strap locks with the strap buttons pre-installed at the factory. No modding the guitar by using screws that don't fit the holes properly.
Any examples I saw with a finish that showed the wood grain were 2 piece bodies with the seam straight down the center. While it's impossible to know with a solid colour like the Sunset Metallic finish; I'd assume it's the same but they could be using solid colors to cover up using more than 2 pieces of wood or instances where the seam is not centered.
What I Disliked:
The model I got was a 2010 model or produced in early 2011 before the "passing lane switch" was introduced. I would have liked to have this since it adds more tonal options by bypassing the tone controls; but this guitar was better sounding to my ears than all the other American Deluxe Strats in stock. I assume this had to do with the wood used - one of the few variables in a high end Fender instrument is the wood since no 2 trees are identical.
What I Would Change:
as I mentioned above, I wish I had the Bypass switch for the tone controls as is offered on the 2011 version of the American Deluxe.
I'm considering getting another pick guard and having it wired up with the same pickups and S1 Switching System but with the addition of the Passing Lane Switch.
Also, since one of my other considerations which I could not find in stock was the Artist Series Clapton model; I would also swap the tone controls for the active mid boost and TBX Tone control.
Another change I would consider is the addition of an LSR Roller Nut, but since I don't believe this mod is reversible, I'd wait until the day I can justify a custom shop model or get an Artist Series Beck model and make the same mods to the pick-guard.
Excellent sounding guitar and very versatile. These guitars are as close as a production model can get to custom shop quality, with the exception of the few Artist Series models that are slightly more expensive.
If you want more options than the American Standard or a reissue model offers give this one serious consideration. It's one of the best guitars I've ever played on.
A few people who reviewed this guitar said that N3 Noiseless pickups are not as good as the ones used in previous years; but I find they sound like a strat should sound and the one thing that held me back from buying one for nearly 2 decades was the fact I hated the hum that is typical of single coils. The N3 pickups are actually stacked humbuckers.
Try it, and if you can afford it, buy it. :)