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Old February 6th, 2013, 03:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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2011 Custom Deluxe or 2013 Deluxe with V neck???

Greetings, I don't post here very often, even though I am a lover of the Strat, so I apologize in advance

I've been having grumblings about the neck and the PUs on my 2009 Strat Deluxe so I have been poking around. Today, I popped into a local shop and they had two somewhat similar, though also quite different Strats. The first one that I tried was a new, 2013 Deluxe with a V shaped neck (in three colour burst). While it still has the N3 PUs, the V shaped neck was incredible, it made the guitar feel completely different from the Deluxe that I have, giving it more sustain and body. I was really quite surprised at how different it sounded and felt from the one that currently have, even though they both have SNC Pus (mine have N2s).

The other one I checked out was a 2011 Custom (Shop) Deluxe with a two point tremelo (same as the regular Deluxe), locking tuners, a 9.5 radius, medium jumbo frets, premium ash body and the real kicker was the premium C shaped birds' eye maple neck with birds eye fret board and abolone fret markers. The neck and fret board feels as though it has no finish on it. It is as slick as oil. The PUs are also Custom Shop and were reportedly made by one of the master builders, and are slightly hot. It was difficult to gauge the tone from them with all of the other ambient noise in the shop.

I guess what I'm looking for is if there are any players here who have had the chance to play either of these, and also, being that I am use to the noiseless PUs, I am wondering if I would be able to get use to the custom shop single, which are not noiseless?? As it stands, the biggest difference with both of them was the necks, one V, one C, though both were quite substantial over the standard Deluxe neck. Cheers.


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Old February 6th, 2013, 10:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The Custom Shop guitar sounds great but I know they are expensive. If they are using the 10/56 neck, that is a pretty big one.

My most recent guitar acquisition is an Eric Johnson strat, and that has a KILLER neck on it and otherwise is specced out wonderfully for what I like in a strat. I know a lot of players who say it is their favorite factory Fender strat these days.

I think I remember either an Am Standard or maybe an Am Deluxe with a V neck on it from a few years ago and it felt OK, but the V was a bit exaggerated. Although the neck on the EJ is called "V becoming a C" it is a very gentle V, and really nice and beefy but noticeably smaller than some of the CS boltnecks. I can't help you with your direct question, but if you can get your hands on an EJ, check it out.

I had no intention of buying mine, but after playing it for an hour or more in the store, it just *had* to come home with me and I have no buyer's remorse. The pickups are a single coil, handpicked set, and I love the setup. With the thick neck and really think lacquer finish, as well as the lack of string trees (setback headstock with staggered tuners), the sustain is remarkable. Check it out if you are looking for a great factory strat...

Good luck,
George
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Old February 6th, 2013, 10:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by YoGeorge View Post
The Custom Shop guitar sounds great but I know they are expensive. If they are using the 10/56 neck, that is a pretty big one.

My most recent guitar acquisition is an Eric Johnson strat, and that has a KILLER neck on it and otherwise is specced out wonderfully for what I like in a strat. I know a lot of players who say it is their favorite factory Fender strat these days.

I think I remember either an Am Standard or maybe an Am Deluxe with a V neck on it from a few years ago and it felt OK, but the V was a bit exaggerated. Although the neck on the EJ is called "V becoming a C" it is a very gentle V, and really nice and beefy but noticeably smaller than some of the CS boltnecks. I can't help you with your direct question, but if you can get your hands on an EJ, check it out.

I had no intention of buying mine, but after playing it for an hour or more in the store, it just *had* to come home with me and I have no buyer's remorse. The pickups are a single coil, handpicked set, and I love the setup. With the thick neck and really think lacquer finish, as well as the lack of string trees (setback headstock with staggered tuners), the sustain is remarkable. Check it out if you are looking for a great factory strat...

Good luck,
George
Thanks for the feedback George, I will give it a go. I wouldn't normally be looking right now as I have 2009 Deluxe. But I bought it without knowing very much about them (based on a friends advice), and I have come to realize that I just don't like the thin neck and nor have I really warmed up to the SNC PUs, so I started thinking that maybe I'd sell it and replace it with something more to my liking. I have 2011 52 Hot Rod Tele which has an incredible neck, I believe it would be classified as a C shape, and it is definately much more substatial than that on the Deluxe, and the same goes for my LP traditional. I have come to realize that I prefer the bigger necks (I'm fairly new to electrics, having played acoustics most of my playing life).

The 2011 Custom Deluxe that I am eyeing is $2400 retail (and the 2013 regular Deluxe is $1650). Iti is in a typical, but very nice three colour sunburst (same as the Deluxe that I have right now). However, the neck is truely phenomenal. I'll have to compare it to that Eric Johnson that you speak of. I've seen them, but never picked one up.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 11:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Your '09 has samarium cobalt pickups. The N3s didn't come out until '10, along with the compound radius neck. That's probably the difference you heard. I really like the N3s. That said you may be able to improve yours by simply adjusting the pickups.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 11:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Your '09 has samarium cobalt pickups. The N3s didn't come out until '10, along with the compound radius neck. That's probably the difference you heard. I really like the N3s. That said you may be able to improve yours by simply adjusting the pickups.
Do you know what the difference is between the SNC N2s and SNC N3s? The neck on my 2009 is compound radius, and the neck on the 2013 Deluxe V neck is also compound radius. Not sure if the 2011 Custom Deluxe is compound as it does not say on the web site that I was able to locate it on (not the regular Fender site.)

http://65.110.72.19/customshop/index..._Stratocaster/
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Old February 6th, 2013, 11:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I still say you should spend some time with the EJ strat...for what it's worth, the neck has a straight 12" radius and they make them with both rosewood and maple boards. Street price is ~1900, but it really is built and finished like a Custom Shop guitar. The lacquer on the body is so thin that you can see the wood grain telegraphing thru. And just sitting and playing the guitar, not plugged in, is what sold me on it. Amazingly alive.

And apparently EJ went thru 19 sets of pickups before settling on the ones that ended up in this signature model. Wonderful combination...sorry but I can't get into the "feel" of noiseless pickups on teles or strats.

George
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Old February 7th, 2013, 12:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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To be honest, I've never heard the samarium cobalts being called N2s. One difference is the samarium cobalts use colbalt magnets and the N3s use alnico magnets. I don't believe the N3s have a SNC prefix.

Here's a copy/paste of Fenders description from 2010. I found it in a quick google search.


"Here's what Fender has to say about the N3:
Begin Quote:

FRANKFURT MUSIKMESSE 2010: Fender's all-new 2010 American Deluxe series looks set to be one of the major announcements of the show. ...

... the most significant upgrade across the range comes in the shape of Fender's new N3 Noiseless pickups.
...
"Using an improved stacked-coil design, N3 Noiseless pickups are specially tailored for each Stratocaster and Telecaster pickup position... The insulated metal core of each pickup position type differs in thickness and composition for enhanced tone, and Fender has fine-tuned the size, shape and wire gauge of the coils to balance the magnetic responsiveness essential to great tone.

"Further, N3 Noiseless pickups represent a welcome return to the warmth and clarity of alnico magnets. Again, the type of alnico magnets used is tailored to pickup position Alnico V for the power and warmth of the Stratocaster N3 bridge pickup and the signature snap and spank of both Telecaster pickups; Alnico II for the sweetness and sparkle of the Stratocaster N3 middle pickup; Alnico III for the fullness of the Stratocaster N3 neck pickup without undue magnetic string pull."
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Old February 7th, 2013, 01:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm tired and struggling to figure out which neck you like the best. I reread it a couple times.

Personally, I would go with the Custom Deluxe. I would think the pups may be a little better, and if you should decide to replace the pups and sell the CS pups, you may get more out of them (making the swap cost less).

Resale will be better. You seem to be getting it at a pretty fair price. Sunburst will always be a popular color. Recently I was trying to make a trade to a dealer, but the finish on mine was CAR, he would have done it if it was sunburst (he says they move faster, appeal to a wider group of folks). Anyway, just saying if you had to sell, you probably wouldn't lose much.

I've tried the AmerDeluxe V neck, but found it to be smaller than I like. I loosely used the Custom Deluxe as a guide for what I wanted in a custom guitar.

Just my .02. I vote Custom Shop.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 08:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jmontgomery View Post
To be honest, I've never heard the samarium cobalts being called N2s. One difference is the samarium cobalts use colbalt magnets and the N3s use alnico magnets. I don't believe the N3s have a SNC prefix.

Here's a copy/paste of Fenders description from 2010. I found it in a quick google search.


"Here's what Fender has to say about the N3:
Begin Quote:

FRANKFURT MUSIKMESSE 2010: Fender's all-new 2010 American Deluxe series looks set to be one of the major announcements of the show. ...

... the most significant upgrade across the range comes in the shape of Fender's new N3 Noiseless pickups.
...
"Using an improved stacked-coil design, N3 Noiseless pickups are specially tailored for each Stratocaster and Telecaster pickup position... The insulated metal core of each pickup position type differs in thickness and composition for enhanced tone, and Fender has fine-tuned the size, shape and wire gauge of the coils to balance the magnetic responsiveness essential to great tone.

"Further, N3 Noiseless pickups represent a welcome return to the warmth and clarity of alnico magnets. Again, the type of alnico magnets used is tailored to pickup position Alnico V for the power and warmth of the Stratocaster N3 bridge pickup and the signature snap and spank of both Telecaster pickups; Alnico II for the sweetness and sparkle of the Stratocaster N3 middle pickup; Alnico III for the fullness of the Stratocaster N3 neck pickup without undue magnetic string pull."

Thanks jm. I'lll have to give the Deluxe V another go (to realy listen to those PUs), though I am leaning towards the Custom Deluxe, the neck is just so amazing - mind you, bith necks are an immense improvement over the neck on the regular Deluxe IMHO.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 02:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote-I am leaning towards the Custom Deluxe, the neck is just so amazing.

I think you just answered your question. I'd go with a great neck over anything else, pickups can be changed.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 05:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote-I am leaning towards the Custom Deluxe, the neck is just so amazing.

I think you just answered your question. I'd go with a great neck over anything else, pickups can be changed.
NGD: 2011 Custom Shop Strat (Deluxe) in 3 colour sunburst with premium ash body and premium birds eye maple neck and fret board.

I decdied to go back to the store today and bring my stock 75 SFPR as I have played a lot of guitars through it and know exactly how it sounds. I honestly walked in with an objective mind. My biggest concern was regarding the PUs on the CS as I have to say that I have grown weary of single coil (and double coil) hum.

The neck on the CS over the V neck on the Deluxe won hands down. It just feels so incredible. I have fairly large hands (I wear a large glove) and the standard neck always felt like it was too thin for me.

As for the PUs on the CS, they have a tone that the 2013 Deluxe can't begin to touch, and what really amazed me was the lack of hum - in all positions from the CS. I have to say that I was really surprised as when I played through a Bassman yesterday there was fairly noticeable hum in the positions that you would expect.

It's simply a beauiful guitar in every way, shape and form. I guess I got lucky as it sat in the store for almost two years, such that they knocked $400 off the retail price (regular was $2825).

I will make an effort to take some new pics tomorrow and start a new thread with the title NGD!
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Old February 7th, 2013, 05:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Congrats, Jered. I still think you might really have liked the EJ Strat, but I would never have anyhing bad to say about the CS guitars. If you can afford a guitar like that without missing a rent payment or taking food out of your kids' mouths, go for it and enjoy.

There is a Custom Classic CS tele at my local store and it keeps taunting me. I could have it at a great price, but I already have too many teles, and this one has the Am Standard footprint bridge instead of an ashtray--which is why I believe it hasn't sold. People want "vintage" when they spend big bucks on a tele or strat.

And as much as I hate hum, there is nothing that sounds like good old single coils...

Play in good health,
George
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Old February 7th, 2013, 06:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Good choice. I can't wait to see it.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 06:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Congrats, Jered. I still think you might really have liked the EJ Strat, but I would never have anyhing bad to say about the CS guitars. If you can afford a guitar like that without missing a rent payment or taking food out of your kids' mouths, go for it and enjoy.

There is a Custom Classic CS tele at my local store and it keeps taunting me. I could have it at a great price, but I already have too many teles, and this one has the Am Standard footprint bridge instead of an ashtray--which is why I believe it hasn't sold. People want "vintage" when they spend big bucks on a tele or strat.

And as much as I hate hum, there is nothing that sounds like good old single coils...

Play in good health,
George
Hey George, They did not have the Eric Johnson, and while there are other stores in Toronto that might have had one, I have a particularly good relationship with the store that I bought it at (it's my third guitar from them), and their warranty and return policy is totally iron clad, and no hastle.

As I mentioned in my previous post, there is (practically) zero hum throughout out the range. Position 2 and 4 are naturally dead quiet, but 1, 3 and 5 exhibit such minor hum that it is really nothing at all (far better than I anticipated in my 100 year old house). I'm a happy camper, and I think that I have truely come to understand the glory of authentic single coils, at least in a Strat. Still, I wouldn't trade my 52 Hot Rod Tele for anything, at least not for the AVRI

Yes, I would not buy a tele with the new bridge arrangement that they have, unless it was so cheap that you could justify buying it and then turn around and replace it with something more authentic.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 09:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Congrats! Sounds like you made the right choice.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 10:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks. As an aside, amongst the various case candy, were two extra springs for the tremelo. What would be the reason for installing these? Pros, cons (if there are any)?
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Old February 7th, 2013, 11:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Some guys (including me) do not use the trem, so 5 springs will hold it down to the body (at least with a vintage trem) solidly. I have blocked strat trems since the first one I had in 1968--so does Clapton (and the Clapton strat comes blocked). The EJ strat won me over because it not only has a perfect neck, but comes with 5 springs on a vintage trem cranked down onto the body and omits the back cover entirely (another thing I've done is remove the covers).

If you want to use the trem, 3 springs is about right with 10's, and I don't think the 2-screw trems sit flat on the body if you run more springs/tighten the screws on the trapeze--so you may need a little block of wood. (I recall the 2 screw trems being level with a little gap to the body face.)

edit---note that the strat trem can be blocked, full floating, or down only, with the latter option having the trem on the body but with lighter spring tension than blocked. Full floating makes me crazy when I bend one string and need to play another string non-bent at the same time. And obviously when you break a string on full floating, the guitar will be out bigtime...

George
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Old February 8th, 2013, 07:42 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Some guys (including me) do not use the trem, so 5 springs will hold it down to the body (at least with a vintage trem) solidly. I have blocked strat trems since the first one I had in 1968--so does Clapton (and the Clapton strat comes blocked). The EJ strat won me over because it not only has a perfect neck, but comes with 5 springs on a vintage trem cranked down onto the body and omits the back cover entirely (another thing I've done is remove the covers).

If you want to use the trem, 3 springs is about right with 10's, and I don't think the 2-screw trems sit flat on the body if you run more springs/tighten the screws on the trapeze--so you may need a little block of wood. (I recall the 2 screw trems being level with a little gap to the body face.)

edit---note that the strat trem can be blocked, full floating, or down only, with the latter option having the trem on the body but with lighter spring tension than blocked. Full floating makes me crazy when I bend one string and need to play another string non-bent at the same time. And obviously when you break a string on full floating, the guitar will be out bigtime...

George
Hi George, thanks for that. I am familiar with some of the info that you have provided, but I was not aware that the other two springs were for that purpose. I figured they'd just make it a bit stiffer. I use the trem on mine (and did so on the provious), which is one of the reason I got the Strat, as I have a Tele and a LP, neither of which, obviously, have trems! I don't use it that often, but like an effects pedal, it gets used when necessary. Well, they sure put a lot of nice case candy in that case (not to mention a really nice case!): leather strap, nice, nigh quality cable (much better than the one that comes with the regular deluxe), a pack of really nice medium gauge picks, strap locks, full set of allen keys, springs, CS certificate and the usual assortment of PR materials and instructions.....Will be playing today after work. Oh, and I'll post photos, though I was hoping for a nice sunny day as I like to shoot in available light, and we are totally covered in clouds and snow up here, so not sure how bright it wil be in the den.

Edit: Due to extreme snow fall today, college is closed!! Woot woot! Looks like I'll be pick'n a little sooner!

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Old February 8th, 2013, 12:17 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hey George, They did not have the Eric Johnson, and while there are other stores in Toronto that might have had one, I have a particularly good relationship with the store that I bought it at (it's my third guitar from them), and their warranty and return policy is totally iron clad, and no hastle.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 06:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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To be honest, I've never heard the samarium cobalts being called N2s. One difference is the samarium cobalts use colbalt magnets and the N3s use alnico magnets. I don't believe the N3s have a SNC prefix.

Here's a copy/paste of Fenders description from 2010. I found it in a quick google search.


"Here's what Fender has to say about the N3:
Begin Quote:

FRANKFURT MUSIKMESSE 2010: Fender's all-new 2010 American Deluxe series looks set to be one of the major announcements of the show. ...

... the most significant upgrade across the range comes in the shape of Fender's new N3 Noiseless pickups.
...
"Using an improved stacked-coil design, N3 Noiseless pickups are specially tailored for each Stratocaster and Telecaster pickup position... The insulated metal core of each pickup position type differs in thickness and composition for enhanced tone, and Fender has fine-tuned the size, shape and wire gauge of the coils to balance the magnetic responsiveness essential to great tone.

"Further, N3 Noiseless pickups represent a welcome return to the warmth and clarity of alnico magnets. Again, the type of alnico magnets used is tailored to pickup position Alnico V for the power and warmth of the Stratocaster N3 bridge pickup and the signature snap and spank of both Telecaster pickups; Alnico II for the sweetness and sparkle of the Stratocaster N3 middle pickup; Alnico III for the fullness of the Stratocaster N3 neck pickup without undue magnetic string pull."
Thanks for that jm. I think that it is just me referring to them as N2 and N3.
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