90s/00s American Standards

WilliamWilson21

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Hi everyone, new to the forum. Based in the UK and been a Telecaster player for around 25 years.

Something I've noticed about my 1996 American Standard and a friend's 2005 American Standard is the bridge pickup on both seem much louder and meatier than any other Teles. Played the 05 one against a 2012 American Standard earlier and there's no comparison in terms of tone.

Wondered if this is something that's well known? Assuming it's down to the pickup or does anyone know if there are any other differences in build with these guitars?
 

ZenGuitarist

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Jul 25, 2016
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I have a 2002 Tele and I've always thought that the bridge pickup on that guitar had a higher output than my other Teles. It's part of the Delta-Tone system that was used on the American Series Teles sold at that time. I'm not sure exactly what model years had it but someone else should know. Here's an explanation from an old TDPRI post about the system:

To quote the Fender Support FAQ: "The Delta-Tone system is a circuit consisting of a new higher output bridge pickup in conjunction with a new "no-load" tone pot. The new pot has a detent at the 10 position, which bypasses completely any filtration through capacitors."

I love the bridge pickup on my 2002 model. It's my number 1 guitar.
 

Cadillac_Mike

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Seems like Fender up the "hotness" in the later 2000's... I looked up the specs on my 2010 American Standard Strat and the bridge is rated at 7.2k! Definitely ice pick without dialing back the tone at least 25% lol.
 

Nick Fanis

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Am stds up to 2012 when the bridge pickups were changed to REAL bridge telecaster pickups had mediocre bridge pickups (personally I find them horrible) that weren't even real Tele pickups since they lacked the essential BASE PLATE that makes a bridge Tele pickup a real Tele pickup.
Did I mention how much I dislike these pickups because they aren't REAL Tele pickups?

:) :)
 

Jowes_84

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Well
I am playing a 2009 as my main guitar and it’s a great guitar. Does it have the magic twang on the bridge? I don’t know, but I can get all sounds I want out of this, and if the bridge alone is too shrill - either dial back the tone slightly (just a little touch on the no load pot), go to the middle or neck PU.
The neck pickup is not Classic Tele neither, it’s more a mix of Strat and tele.
It feels good in my hands too, and I tried many others.

Edit to avoid confusion
 

sulaco

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Chiming in. I got a 2001 American Series brand new in 01. Agree on all fronts. Something about the single coils in that period. My bridge is super hot but not ice picky. My neck is very full and round. I've swapped to 2 different sets of custom shop pickups and gone back to stock pickups both tines. And the no load tone control thing is a very neat trick I end up doing on all my guitars bridge pickup. You can buy a FMIC no load pot for like $12 on amazon.
 

Telecaster88

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My '88 Am Std has been my number one since I bought it new. The pickups in general seem much hotter certainly than your typical vintage style set. In fact, by now I'm so used to them that on my Tele with Nocasters I end up missing the "hair" those old AS pickups give me. They may be nontraditional, but I especially love the middle position on my '88, a true thing of beauty.
 

labrys67

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Sep 15, 2013
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Hi everyone, new to the forum. Based in the UK and been a Telecaster player for around 25 years.

Something I've noticed about my 1996 American Standard and a friend's 2005 American Standard is the bridge pickup on both seem much louder and meatier than any other Teles. Played the 05 one against a 2012 American Standard earlier and there's no comparison in terms of tone.

Wondered if this is something that's well known? Assuming it's down to the pickup or does anyone know if there are any other differences in build with these guitars?
I don’t know what the difference is. But I’ve had 4 Teles over the years trying to hunt down that special sound. I’m not sure on the years now I believe around 2011, 2013 and 2017 for the first 3 and all of them seemed to be lacking that Tele sound I was looking for.
Finally last year I found THE one and it’s the 2021 75th anniversary edition. LOVE the sound on this. It is on the heavy side (well over 8lbs) but those tones wow.
It came with the twisted Tele pickups so I’m presuming that’s a big part of that beautiful sound.
 

Big in Japan

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Feb 15, 2018
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Michigan
My #1 is a '99 American Standard (alder/rosewood) that I bought (new) because I was in love with the NECK pickup sound. I like the bridge pickup too, and I use the middle position a lot. I know these bridge pickups are not traditional Tele pickups, and that they don't have that Tele twang. But it is a nice hot bridge pickup that stays clear, and sounds good with overdrive and distortion, especially when you roll back the tone knob just enough to engage the "no-load" pot.

But those neck pickups are special. That's where the real tone is in these very non-traditional Teles. The feel of the neck is wonderful too. It's my desert island guitar.
 

JBurton

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Aug 16, 2009
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Me ‘n my ‘06 60th Anniversary American Series Tele thank y’all for this conversation. Bought it new and it took me some time getting used to its tones compared to the old ‘70’s model I played back in the day, but I’ve since come to love it’s versatility.
 

PCollen

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Am stds up to 2012 when the bridge pickups were changed to REAL bridge telecaster pickups had mediocre bridge pickups (personally I find them horrible) that weren't even real Tele pickups since they lacked the essential BASE PLATE that makes a bridge Tele pickup a real Tele pickup.
Did I mention how much I dislike these pickups because they aren't REAL Tele pickups?

:) :)
Yes, twice. But you can mention it again, if you want....
 

rogerio_prazere

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Feb 13, 2009
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Brazil
In the 80's and 90's guitarists want hot pickups, noiseless, stainless steel saddles, TBX tone control, active pickups, HSH routing and digital effects.
Now they want vintage pickups, tube amps and no shielded guitars.
Should not be easy to work on the Fender marketing department...
To me, if they are not ceramics, I can find my way with them.
 

Stedgett

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Nov 20, 2011
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Florida
Am stds up to 2012 when the bridge pickups were changed to REAL bridge telecaster pickups had mediocre bridge pickups (personally I find them horrible) that weren't even real Tele pickups since they lacked the essential BASE PLATE that makes a bridge Tele pickup a real Tele pickup.
Did I mention how much I dislike these pickups because they aren't REAL Tele pickups?

:) :)
Got a 92 Am Std and I must have an odd ball. Bridge pup has the base plate and all one piece. Who knows?😎
 

Churchjack

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Oct 22, 2017
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I think 2012 was the year FMIC switched to an entirely different set of pickups.

As for the Standards/Series teles before 2008, I adore the neck pickup on those. When I want a telecaster bridge pickup sound, I almost always reach for one of my other Telecasters (or an Esquire).
My ‘07 neck pickup is the best in the house. I hold onto that guitar just for that sound, lol.

But, when I hot-rodded my FSR, I deliberately shopped for a bridge pickup with a similar flat eq, just hotter. Is eq the right word? Frequency profile? Something that didn’t accentuate the treble frequencies by a lot.
 

stonetone7

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Jan 1, 2020
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Harrisburg, Pa.
An ‘01 American Series is still my number one. It’s not traditional (don’t forget the saddles!) but I like it that way.

I also have an ‘07 (by serial) Strat that somehow has the ‘08 spec, in Blizzard Pearl. It also has the Delta Tone, and that bridge pickup also sounds great with no-load.

The Strat sounds best with the DRRI, but the Tele seems to prefer the Orange.
 




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