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Old 12-08-2016, 02:59 AM   #1
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Fender Professional — yay or nay?

So, now Fender replaced American Standard with American Professional, which also come with some feature changes. Also, this time, the American Pro series include Jazzmaster and Jaguar, not only strats and telecasters.I think you can read about all kinds of feature changes from this blog from Reverb.com (https://reverb.com/news/fender-ameri...eries-revealed)

what do you guys think of this? I thought addition of JM and Jag was great, but the simplification of features for these guitars don't really appeal to me; I get that mod they did to Jag is kinda like Johnny Marr sig., which is better for players in a sense. Also, not having jazz circuits probably is a plus for lots of people. But..... i wanted these to be somewhat more authentic to the original design than what they will offer. Also, Strats and Teles saw some improvements, which is, i guess, great; pickups are probably better (and made specifically for these guitars? possibly?) and neck shape is apparently more "modern" feeling. which is nice.

What do you guys think of this? Also, do you guys see Edge using these to promote his company? I personally don't think it's likely because he didnt do so in last IE tour (no American Elite/their prototypes or anything) and he hasn't used that many things from Fender aside from his signature/their prototypes, but we'll see, i guess.
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:15 AM   #2
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So they're back to small headstock again for their Strats? Count me out then. Edge ruined me for anything but big headstock in regards to Strats.

As for the simplification, methinks that's a good thing. Simpler circuits tend to be less confusing to a user and most of those features were just never used anyway. I mean they could just eliminate the tone controls of all Fender Strats and Teles and most players wouldn't even notice it. And considering these are sort of entry level cheapest Fender guitars methinks these are just those kinds of players who wouldn't notice it, as purists would gravitate to a more expensive range of Fender instruments.
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Old 12-08-2016, 10:51 AM   #3
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I happen to love using tone knob (for neck pup) on my cheap Squier strat, weirdly. could be because I want the wooly sounds out of my guitar, could be because I want the jazz tone like Jim Hall's or John Scofield's, though it probably isn't possible to do so. But i get that most people don't even use them and think that they're annoying.

Hey, people think large headstock is the indicative of bad quality because of the horrible CBS era guitars and they're ugly. I don't think so, and Edge probably doesn't, either.
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Old 12-08-2016, 01:07 PM   #4
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also, it's interesting that new Professional Jag has similar control to Johnny Marr sig. Jaguar.
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I happen to love using tone knob (for neck pup) on my cheap Squier strat, weirdly. could be because I want the wooly sounds out of my guitar, could be because I want the jazz tone like Jim Hall's or John Scofield's, though it probably isn't possible to do so. But i get that most people don't even use them and think that they're annoying.
Anything that takes highs and definition out of my guitar tone is just..... bad in my book. I wouldn't even bother to include them on my guitar builds if it weren't for the Pink Floyd Echoes seagull screams trick.

Quote:
Hey, people think large headstock is the indicative of bad quality because of the horrible CBS era guitars and they're ugly. I don't think so, and Edge probably doesn't, either.
Ugly? Small headstocks are fugly. Big headstocks are beautiful. That means there's just more on the guitar to love. It doesn't hurt that the extra wood adds more tone to the guitar. A tiny bit but everything helps, right? Besides, how can a big headstock be bad and ugly? Jimi Hendrix had them on his and everybody thinks he is the greatest guitarist to have ever lived. Boy, Edge really has ruined me on this issue.

Come to think of it, do the people who buy entry level guitars, starting guitarists, even know about the CBS era? Isn't it just a matter of aesthetics to most guitarists?
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Old 12-09-2016, 03:02 AM   #6
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Large or Small Headstock? | Fender Stratocaster Guitar Forum


well some people say large headstock is a nono. Not me, though. not me.

but it is true that many greats like Jimi and Richie Blackmore used strats with bigger headstock (because they used CBS era strat made in the 60s and 70s). and Edge did, of course.

about the tone knob, I know I shouldn't really need one but sometimes single coil pups can be too ear piercing and I'm often too lazy adjusting EQs on amps and pedals. it's quick and more readily available.
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Old 12-09-2016, 03:59 PM   #7
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Those purists are entitled to their wrong opinion. I have 6 Strats with big headstocks and 1 with the puny tiny headstock. I only got it because it was cheap and I couldn't afford a Strat with a proper headstock. The only reason I have not swapped that neck for one with a bigger headstock is that it really, really plays nice. A V-shaped neck that has really surprised me. So it earned its right to keep it. Even though it does look tiny and wimpy.
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Old 12-10-2016, 01:30 PM   #8
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welp, I found this: BIG HEAD HISTORY | Amsterdam Guitar Company
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Old 12-10-2016, 02:53 PM   #9
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I think US Professional is still considered "expensive" so some people buying these guitars may care about these details, like size of headstocks. Or even finishes. I naturally know about these things about vintage fenders/thier lingo because I have watched plenty of FrettedAmericana vids on Youtube. they're quite entertaining, frankly
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Old 12-10-2016, 09:31 PM   #10
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I fully endorse that message!

As for this new line being expensive, the American Standard was only one step above the most expensive Squier line. They were the cheapest made in USA Fender guitars. Similar to the Gibson Studio Les Paul. If this series replaces the American Standard then people who think they are expensive must be cheap ass Squier Affinity series buyers or something.
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Old 12-11-2016, 03:08 AM   #11
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Isn't it kinda hard to compare Gibson USA and US Fender? Because Fender has Mexico division which is kinda serving as "cheap but still with good quality" niche just like Gibson LP studios do? I still get your point, though.

I'm kinda puzzled that Fender didn't choose to do Professional version of Mustang, though. I mean, they made pro. Jag and JM, then why not modernized Mustang?
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Old 12-11-2016, 06:54 AM   #12
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Maybe it will still come? The American Standard series also went through different versions. After all, the initital American Standard Strat started out with a puny wimpy headstock. They might do it if they hear there's enough demand for one.

I don't think its hard to compare Fender and Gibson as these guitars are not made in Mexico, so that branch is kinda out of the picture. So this series seems to serve those customers who want the step up from not having an Asian made Squier but still the bragging rights of owning a MIA Fender. Even though for the same money you could probably get a higher tier MIM Fender.
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Old 12-11-2016, 08:54 AM   #13
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Probably Fender's logic is that they wouldn't need professional Mustang because they just released bunch of "offset" series which are basically modified Mustang/Duosonic. Fender finally noticed that offset guitars are cool, I guess. well too bad so many people/companies already knew they are cool.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:55 PM   #14
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I actually like those semi-big headstocks like JM or Jag have. not as big as 70s Strat but bigger than pre-CBS strats that we, purists, all desire.
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Old 12-16-2016, 02:07 AM   #15
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Slight thread hijack here but kinda on topic. I'd love some advice and opinion re 'proper' strats.
I own an American Tradition strat. When I bought it in the 90s I thought it was a standard. I was young and in love with guitars, but naive and uneducated. Once google arrived and i educated myself I was horrified. My guitar was a pile of cheap parts and cheap wood.
But i still have it and I kinda like it. But I'm always left wondering how much better it could sound if it was, well, better.
You gurus, do you reckon a pup change could bring an American Tradition up to scratch or am I better off cutting my losses and getting a new professional? Or something else?

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Old 12-16-2016, 08:49 AM   #16
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For all the hype about wood being a key ingredient in electric guitars all the blind tests seem to prove that it doesn't. The difference between most woods are negligible at best. Even in regards to what fretboard is on your guitar neck. It only matters in acoustic guitars. This means that in electric guitars the single most important element of your tone is the pickups. Followed by the electronics and thickness of the strings. So a good set of pickups will transform a cheap guitar into a tone monster. The only caveat being that if the guitar feels and plays like crap it will still feel and play like crap, but at least it will sound good. But even a crap neck can be replaced by a decent neck. David Gilmour switched necks on his black Strat countless times.

Now electronics, they matter because you obviously need good reliable pots and switches, but other then that only the pot values matter. As a 250K pot will shave off a little more of your highs then a 500K pot. Which is why the first is usually found in single coil equipped guitars and the latter in humbucker equipped guitars. A treble bleed mod helps to compensate for the loss of highs as you turn down a volume pot, so that could be useful. Sustainer kits or Sustainiac kits are obviously fun. As are preamps like the Clapton midboost circuit. But pay no heed to all the nonsense of using all sorts of bullshit capacitors for the tone knob. There is no discernible difference between using a cheap standard capacitor for the tone knob, or any sort of ridiculously expensive mojo new old stock unobtainium oil in paper snake oil capacitor. No blind test has ever proved that.

As for what kind of pups you should install, that depends on your tastes and requirement. And also a little on how your Strat is routed underneath the pick guard. If its routed for single coils only, then you cannot install a humbucker sized pickup. Not unless you're willing to use a router and make some space for it. You'd also need a new pick guard by the way. But many Strats these days seem to be routed for HSH configuration, or have complete bath tubs underneath the pick guard. That's the beauty of the Strat and Fender's design. It's so damn easy to mod. The pickups in Edge's signature Strat are Custom Shop Fat 50's for the neck and middle pickups and a hot Dimarzio FS-1 bridge pickup. The Fat 50's that Edge has have flattened pole pieces, while the ones that are available commercially have them staggered. But if you really feel daring you can push them flat by pressing them against something firm. Slight chance that you end up ruining them but you could practice first on your old pickups. It's not so hard and foreboding as it sounds.

If you want to change pickups and have no idea how to do the soldering, the Seymour Duncan website has literally tons of PDF's with wiring schematics for more different pickup combinations then you can ever need or think off. And most other pickup manufacturers have similar collections too.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:02 AM   #17
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Probably the only thing that makes certain wood species more suited to the guitar body than anything (in electric) is the weight and feel. Probably people think light wood sucks in terms of tone but that's probably because the softness of the wood really can't allow the vibration of the strings to sustain. Not so much because there's innate property of wood that determines the tone. I think you can counter these problems with using high mass bridge.
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Old 12-16-2016, 02:51 PM   #18
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Muad'zin, that's got to be a contender for best response to an online forum post ever. Thanks!
I did look into grabbing 3 fat 50s a few months back but chickened out over the soldering. I can solder, but I'm no expert.
The bridge on the American Tradition is pretty crap too, I would probably end up replacing that, as well as the pots and 3 pickups. I doubt I'd bother flattening the pup poles - no need to go full Edge imitation and flattening them intimidates me!
I virtually never use the trem arm on my strat as it destroys the tuning - I wonder if the locking tuners on the Edge strat would fix that...
Thanks again for the stunning reply.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:51 PM   #19
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Soldering pickups is easy. Usually with single coils the whites go to the selector switch and the blacks get soldered to the bottom of the volume pot. If it doesn't sound right (usually noticed when you lose volume or sound on the in between settings) you can reverse the wires, no harm done.

With the bridge the most done upgrades are to replace the block with either a solid metal or brass block to increase the sustain. But if you're not a trem arm user you could tighten the tremelo until it sits flat against the body, in which case the added contact with the body will provide just as much sustain, if not more so. Or install a trem stopper. Another upgrade is to replaces the string saddles. I've only had that done once on a guitar that kept going out of tune. Example of a trem stopper below.



The advantage of having a bridge that is tightened enough to be flat against the guitar body, or a trem stopper, is that you can still use the tremelo to do dive bombs, but not lose much tuning in case of string breakage as your bridge is no longer floating. And you can do a quick drop D detuning as well.

If you have problems with your guitar going out of tune after tremelo use locking tuners will probably not fix that. Locking tuners are great for quickly replacing strings, as you don't need to do a gazillion windings , one or two is enough as you can now lock the string in place with the tuner instead of applying a gazillion windings. Considering that Dallas has to change strings on Edge's guitars for EVERY show it makes sense that he had them installed on his signature Strat. But they don't keep strings in tune any more then regular tuners do. I still like them though and install them on all my guitar builds.

Strings that go out of tune from tremelo use, that usually happens because of the string not sliding properly through the nut, string tree or bridge saddle. Friction appears along the way that causes the string to not properly return to its original position. I had that happen to a couple of Strats. Especially the G- string. Not so much from tremelo abuse but from bending that string. I had a luthier fix those guitars and both of them he replaced the nuts and string trees with graphtec nuts and stringtrees, and on one he even replaced the bridge saddles with graphtec ones. After that the problem was fixed. Another possible solution is to use a fine file to slightly enlarge the canals in the nut and then apply some oil in them and underneath the string trees. But if its heavy duty detuning I don't think that will really work. Nowadays I install graphtec nuts on all my guitars. For string trees roller string trees are also a possible solution.

Of course the ultimate solution in preventing strings from going out of tune and still being able to use the tremelo is a locking nut Floyd Rose system. I think Edge used one on one of his Strats for Bullet the Blue Sky on the Rattle and Hum vid. They're a lot of work installing them and in use. But they can be worth the effort as they tend to stay in tune far far longer. I have two guitars equipped with them and I don't regret installing them. I do prefer the Ibanez version of the Floyd Rose
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Old 12-17-2016, 03:51 AM   #20
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Well I think people feel like locking tuner is better in terms of tuning stability because they require no winding of the strings; often times, the unwinding of strings cause guitar to go out of tune. Unwinding can happen when you use whammy bar or bend strings.

I haven't done anything in particular to prevent my guitar to go out of tune. I tend to use whammy bar quite a lot because lots of players I admire use whammy bar pretty frequently. Though my guitar is just a cheap Squier strat, it is pretty solid when it comes to playability and tuning. Key is to apply whammy bar softly and all that. Try not to go insane with it. Also tightrning the springs also contribute to that, though. I haven't modify that aspect of my guitar.


Also, good posts, Muad'zin.
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