I would advise to play both before making your decision.
I have owned an American Special and I own an American Standard. Hands down, I love my American Standard a lot better, but that is just my opinion.
Texas Specials Vs. Fat 50's (2012 models)
Big Headstock Vs. Small Headstock
6 point tremolo Vs. 2 point tremolo
Jumbo frets Vs. Medium-jumbo frets
Tone controls on just neck and bridge Vs. Tone controls on all three pickups
Greasebucket Circuitry Vs. Standard Circuitry
One single truss rod Vs. Bi-Flex truss rod
In my opinion both models are made beautifully. I just prefer the tone on my American Standard HSS (2011 with Diamondback Humbucker and Tex-Mex Middle and Neck) over my old American Special SSS (2010).
Hello and thanks for the reply and experienced opinion. I do prefer the smaller headstock, but I don't understand the tremolo difference. For that matter what greasebucket circuitry is. The concept of tone on all three pickups makes sense. Possibly you could go into a bit more detail if you have the time. What is your thoughts on getting a 2011 American Standard vs the 2012?
I have tried to reply to this 2 times now…Third time is the charm I hope.
This is a 2 point tremolo:
This is a 6 point tremolo:
The difference is the number of screws that the tremolo plate pivots on.
As far as the 2011 vs. 2012 American Standard goes. They are essentially the same guitar except the pickups. The 2011 has Tex-Mex pickups and the 2012 has Fat 50’s. I would have rather had the Fat 50’s, but did not know they were changing them. I am, however, re-converting my Highway 1 (HSS above) from a HSS back to SSS with Fat 50’s.
Greasebucket technology is the ability to roll off the highs with adding bass to the tone. The American Specials and Highway 1’s are known for this technology. When I convert my Highway 1 with the Fat 50’s, I will be removing the Greasebucket technology. I like my Stratocasters better without it.