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 Post subject: American Stratocaster - Standard or Special
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 3:28 pm 
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Hello to all,
I have decided that I am seriously considering the purchase of an American Made Stratocaster. I was surprised that the 2012s seem to have gone up in price and then I came across a model previously unknown, the American Special for significantly less.
I read about some of the differences but would appreciate any further opinions on the differences vs the value as well as knowledgeable advice.
I am concerned over a thinner finish, either guitar will be a lifelong keeper and I am used to the regular finish on the Strats, high gloss and substantial. I know that the colors are limited and that the pickups are different. IIRC the nut width is also different, please correct me if I am wrong. Over the phone I was advised that the Standard is made better and with better components. I know the Special it has the larger style headstock and the old style thicker finish. Now I don't recall if they are both 22 frets.....
Also would the HSS version be doing myself a disservice? I am an amateur and will be playing through a Fender Blues Jr. for mostly myself.
Thanks for any assistance
Glenn


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 Post subject: Re: American Stratocaster - Standard or Special
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 3:44 pm 
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i would go with the standard, the special to me is just a mexi with differnt pickups. and jumbo frets. there less drtail in the workmanship than the standard.
look around on the fender site and read the discription of the componates. the new 2012 just has fenders fat 50 pickups in them. there good but you can get a 2011 model for around 900.00 the same as a american speacial. and you get the hard case with the standard. also there a shop that has some 2011 still in stock for 899.00 and free shipping. and the sunburst for 50 buck more. they are a very good dealer.
its http://www.nstuffmusic.com/. also they will set it up for you for free. just tell them what you want. lowered action ect. they do a pro setup to it before it leaves

also if its not on clearance enter fender35 in the cupon section to get a good discount.
good luck

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My setups

Gibson les paul trad pro 60's neck
Gibson sg standard 60's neck
Fender mim 1993 strat
Fender 2007 american strat sienna sunburst
Epi humming bird
Peavey calssic 30 and 50
Fender 212
Pignose
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 Post subject: Re: American Stratocaster - Standard or Special
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 4:11 pm 
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anaconda44 wrote:
i would go with the standard, the special to me is just a mexi with differnt pickups. and jumbo frets. there less drtail in the workmanship than the standard.
look around on the fender site and read the discription of the componates. the new 2012 just has fenders fat 50 pickups in them. there good but you can get a 2011 model for around 900.00 the same as a american speacial. and you get the hard case with the standard. also there a shop that has some 2011 still in stock for 899.00 and free shipping. and the sunburst for 50 buck more. they are a very good dealer.
its http://www.nstuffmusic.com/. also they will set it up for you for free. just tell them what you want. lowered action ect. they do a pro setup to it before it leaves

also if its not on clearance enter fender35 in the cupon section to get a good discount.
good luck


Howdy Ananconda44,
That sounds like it would do it. Thanks, have to look around for an American Standard in the right color, if I am lucky.
Cheers
Glenn


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 Post subject: Re: American Stratocaster - Standard or Special
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 6:37 pm 
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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).

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RK

2007 Fender Highway 1
2012 Gibson Les Paul Studio
2013 Fender American Standard
2010 Fender Blacktop FR
2013 Modern Player
1987 Fender Avalon Acoustic
2011 Mustang V head and cab
2012 Marshall DSL 15 watt head


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 Post subject: Re: American Stratocaster - Standard or Special
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 8:03 pm 
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rkreisher wrote:
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?
Glenn


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 Post subject: Re: American Stratocaster - Standard or Special
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 9:09 pm 
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glennc717 wrote:
rkreisher wrote:
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?
Glenn



I have tried to reply to this 2 times now…Third time is the charm I hope.
This is a 2 point tremolo:
Image


This is a 6 point tremolo:
Image


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.

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RK

2007 Fender Highway 1
2012 Gibson Les Paul Studio
2013 Fender American Standard
2010 Fender Blacktop FR
2013 Modern Player
1987 Fender Avalon Acoustic
2011 Mustang V head and cab
2012 Marshall DSL 15 watt head


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 Post subject: Re: American Stratocaster - Standard or Special
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 3:53 am 
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Hello RK,
Ah, I understand. Thanks for the explanation. I am narrowing it down to the American Standard. I guess my last real concern is the finish. I for gut reasons would prefer the original, it would seem, more durable finish of the pre 2012s. Do you know the benefit of the 2 point versus the 6? As to the types of pickups, well the choices are many and I wouldn't have a clue as to what is the ones that are right for me..... I like Clapton, SRV, David Gilmour, Robert Cray, I mainly like the blues sound though. I had, I believe first generation fender noiseless pickups that IIRC sounded pretty good. Getting a lot of hum with this Affinity Strat.
Thanks you again!
Glenn


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 Post subject: Re: American Stratocaster - Standard or Special
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 5:12 pm 
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glennc717 wrote:
Hello RK,
Ah, I understand. Thanks for the explanation. I am narrowing it down to the American Standard. I guess my last real concern is the finish. I for gut reasons would prefer the original, it would seem, more durable finish of the pre 2012s. Do you know the benefit of the 2 point versus the 6? As to the types of pickups, well the choices are many and I wouldn't have a clue as to what is the ones that are right for me..... I like Clapton, SRV, David Gilmour, Robert Cray, I mainly like the blues sound though. I had, I believe first generation fender noiseless pickups that IIRC sounded pretty good. Getting a lot of hum with this Affinity Strat.
Thanks you again!
Glenn

2 point tremolos have 2 pivot points and allows for less binding as you use the vibrato system. The 6 point has more of a chance to bind up. Honestly both are good systems, however I do prefer 2 point tremolos.

As mentioned before, play as many models in your price range. Also play some below your price range as well. Let your hands and ears guide you.

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RK

2007 Fender Highway 1
2012 Gibson Les Paul Studio
2013 Fender American Standard
2010 Fender Blacktop FR
2013 Modern Player
1987 Fender Avalon Acoustic
2011 Mustang V head and cab
2012 Marshall DSL 15 watt head


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 Post subject: Re: American Stratocaster - Standard or Special
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 5:46 pm 
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That's pretty good advise rkreisher

i have the opportunity to play a American special when ever i want. my playing buddy has one. the sss model red with maple fretboard. there ok but he plays his mexi strat more he just likes the mexi better. maybe because he has custom shop 69's in it.

Its only my opion that i would rather buy a mim built classic or classic player series strat than a American special. i believe the classic players have the 2 point trem system. just more options in that series for a non American series strat

but heck even a mexi standard with a pickup upgrade are not bad at all either

_________________
My setups

Gibson les paul trad pro 60's neck
Gibson sg standard 60's neck
Fender mim 1993 strat
Fender 2007 american strat sienna sunburst
Epi humming bird
Peavey calssic 30 and 50
Fender 212
Pignose
Digitec rp500


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 Post subject: Re: American Stratocaster - Standard or Special
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 7:58 pm 
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IMHO, the American Standard represents the better value between the two. Granted that there are a few differences such as fret-size and the grease bucket circuit, the American Standard is hard to beat. And even more so now that they come with Fat 50's (and a pretty nice case too).


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 Post subject: Re: American Stratocaster - Standard or Special
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 8:10 pm 
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rkreisher wrote:
glennc717 wrote:
Hello RK,
Ah, I understand. Thanks for the explanation. I am narrowing it down to the American Standard. I guess my last real concern is the finish. I for gut reasons would prefer the original, it would seem, more durable finish of the pre 2012s. Do you know the benefit of the 2 point versus the 6? As to the types of pickups, well the choices are many and I wouldn't have a clue as to what is the ones that are right for me..... I like Clapton, SRV, David Gilmour, Robert Cray, I mainly like the blues sound though. I had, I believe first generation fender noiseless pickups that IIRC sounded pretty good. Getting a lot of hum with this Affinity Strat.
Thanks you again!
Glenn

2 point tremolos have 2 pivot points and allows for less binding as you use the vibrato system. The 6 point has more of a chance to bind up. Honestly both are good systems, however I do prefer 2 point tremolos.

As mentioned before, play as many models in your price range. Also play some below your price range as well. Let your hands and ears guide you.


Thank you for the explanation and the advice. I did handle and play the 2012 today and through a Peavy Delta Blues amp, it felt and sounded fantastic. I may have inadvertently subconsciously already have made the decision........ Now being a Gibson fan, I have to consider it against a new SG. But it is truly a marvelous piece of workmanship!!
Glenn


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 Post subject: Re: American Stratocaster - Standard or Special
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 8:13 pm 
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anaconda44 wrote:
.

That's pretty good advise rkreisher

i have the opportunity to play a American special when ever i want. my playing buddy has one. the sss model red with maple fretboard. there ok but he plays his mexi strat more he just likes the mexi better. maybe because he has custom shop 69's in it.

Its only my opion that i would rather buy a mim built classic or classic player series strat than a American special. i believe the classic players have the 2 point trem system. just more options in that series for a non American series strat

but heck even a mexi standard with a pickup upgrade are not bad at all either


I agree about the advice. I appreciate your opinions and experience also, thanks. I am definitely certain that I would like it to be American made. As I related, the new standard is fabulous IMHO!
Glenn


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 Post subject: Re: American Stratocaster - Standard or Special
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 8:14 pm 
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93greenstrat wrote:
IMHO, the American Standard represents the better value between the two. Granted that there are a few differences such as fret-size and the grease bucket circuit, the American Standard is hard to beat. And even more so now that they come with Fat 50's (and a pretty nice case too).


Thank you for your response and opinion. Although I do like the old tweed cases, I too think I am leaning toward the Standard.
Glenn


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 Post subject: Re: American Stratocaster - Standard or Special
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 9:56 pm 
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I have both- and I love them both to death.

I got the Special about 7 months ago, and I'm not gonna lie, I had to sink about $300 in it to sound exactly the way I wanted. The Atomic humbucker is a piece of junk- so I replaced it with a Seymour Duncan JB. It was worth the extra amoung of cash into it because it's such a beautiful guitar- and there is no discernable differences to me between this one and the Standard quality wise, even though it's multiple pieces of alder. I'm a big fan of the big headstock look as well as the Greasebucket tone circuits on it- they really work as advertised. I got one from GC during a Black Friday deal at $699 and overall, I spent about $900 to get it exactly where I wanted it, which is still a little bit less than a Standard.

With the Standard, you know exactly what you're getting. You know you're getting the quality and the classic tones. I've got em both, and I love em both equally. I just use them differently for different styles of music.


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 Post subject: Re: American Stratocaster - Standard or Special
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 3:58 am 
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BerlinerCat09 wrote:
I have both- and I love them both to death.

I got the Special about 7 months ago, and I'm not gonna lie, I had to sink about $300 in it to sound exactly the way I wanted. The Atomic humbucker is a piece of junk- so I replaced it with a Seymour Duncan JB. It was worth the extra amoung of cash into it because it's such a beautiful guitar- and there is no discernable differences to me between this one and the Standard quality wise, even though it's multiple pieces of alder. I'm a big fan of the big headstock look as well as the Greasebucket tone circuits on it- they really work as advertised. I got one from GC during a Black Friday deal at $699 and overall, I spent about $900 to get it exactly where I wanted it, which is still a little bit less than a Standard.

With the Standard, you know exactly what you're getting. You know you're getting the quality and the classic tones. I've got em both, and I love em both equally. I just use them differently for different styles of music.


Wow,
Quite a deal on the Special. Congratulations and glad you got it to sound like what you want. One of the problems I have is that I don't really know which single coil I like. I know I like the Fat59's. How do you like the HSS setup. Never tried one of those yet. It is a consideration. I really have no experience with Strats although I've owned several. Now a real mistake was letting go of a Tele Deluxe. Ah if we knew then what we know now. That was a stunning guitar.
Glenn


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