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Old August 3rd, 2011, 03:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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American Special vs American Standard

I am confused. I currently own a Telecaster and am thinking of buying a Strat. I have been looking at both the American Specials and the American Standards. The Specials are about $400 cheaper where I live. They have almost the same finish except for the fingerboard, and have Texas Special pickups. The Standards are more expensive, but IMO look nicer. They do not have Texas Special pickups. Everyone is telling me to get the American Standard guitar and then install Texas Special pickups. My question is why would I pay $400 more for the guitar and then pay even more to get Texas Specials installed when I can buy the cheaper guitar with the Texas Specials already installed? Both guitars are made in the USA.
Can someone tell me if there is a reason to spend more on the American Standard? Also, why did Fender put Texas Specials in a cheaper guitar and not in the more expensive guitar?
Thanks for any input.

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Old August 3rd, 2011, 04:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear04 View Post
My question is why would I pay $400 more for the guitar and then pay even more to get Texas Specials installed when I can buy the cheaper guitar with the Texas Specials already installed? Both guitars are made in the USA.
Can someone tell me if there is a reason to spend more on the American Standard?
No reason to in my book.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 04:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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There's something wrong with your price comparison.

The American Standard (alder) lists for US$1400, retails for US$1000, including hard case.
At Axemusic.com (a Canadian company), the retail price for an alder AmStd appears to be Cdn$1030.

The American Special (alder) lists for US$1150, retails for US$850, including gig bag.
At Axemusic.com, the retail price appears to be Cdn$875.

(It turns out there's a price premium for an ash body. The American Standard with an ash body lists for US$1570 and retails for US$1150.)

So the retail difference between alder AmStds and AmSpcls in the US is US$150. Based on Axemusic.com, the difference in Canada is Cdn$155. That's not $400.

One possibility is that you're comparing prices of an ash AmStd and an alder AmSpecial.

So what do you get for your extra Cdn$155? Probably a fussier treatment of the finishing, mostly, along with a hard case (instead of a gig bag), and different pickups.

As for which pickups you prefer, it seems that everybody is swapping pickups on Teles every time the clock ticks. No big deal.

So what I'd suggest is to buy the one whose feel you like the best (can't change that) and then swap out pickups to your heart's content.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 04:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That and a hard case costs more than a gig bag...
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 04:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, you are right it is not $400. I am going by the price at 2 guitar stores I checked out in town. I was also comparing the 2 tone sunburst American Special to a Sienna sunburst American Standard. They wanted $860 for the Special and $1195 for the Standard. That is a difference of $335. All I wanted to know was if it was worth getting the American Standard for the extra money and then changing the pickups, or just buying the cheaper one. Anyway, someone pointed out that the special doesn't come with a case, so that is probably the biggest difference in price. Thanks for the comments.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 05:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The special has Jumbo frets, the Am. Std. has medium jumbos. Not sure if that matters to you but, for some it does. If your Tele is a Hwy One, they are jumbos.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 05:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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$1195 is the going rate here in Canada for the Sienna Sunburst finish. A standard burst should run around $1050, anything else should be $999.99.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 05:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Play them both. I don't consider the Texas Specials to be an upgrade over the Am Std pickups. Standard is finished a little better and you do get the hard case.
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