Fender is building some fine stuff these days.

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Paul G., Jan 23, 2020.

  1. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    Lately, this Tele/Gibson player has been getting the itch for a Stratocaster. Went on a trying binge, testing out a lot of current Fender models, including a Custom Shop and even a Nash.

    1. The Fender Custom Shop wasn't my cup of tea. It played nice, and the color was gorgeous. I'm just not a "Relic" kind of guy. Also, the pickups didn't knock my socks off. Also, I thought I could get something nice without paying that much money.
    2. The Nash was great. The Lollar pickups were glorious. See my comments above about Relics and money.
    3. Player Strat -- budget model felt and sounded like a budget model. Especially bothered me because they're not really cheap.
    3. Vintera Strat -- I liked it. Didn't give me thrills, but the feel and tone was pretty good. Fretwork better than ok, but not stellar. I could see myself with one.
    4. Performer Strat -- I liked it a lot. Didn't like the pickups, they lacked sparkle. It's a Strat for people who don't like Strats. Fretwork good, but I would probably spend a few bucks for a pro setup.
    5. Elite -- Wow!! True custom shop quality, excellent fretwork, comfy neck, hardware first rate. The noiseless pickups did sound good, better than I expected. Didn't care for the flat fingerboard, and the price.

    Last model is last because I liked it so much, I bought one. American Performer. Neck so very comfy. Frets crowned, polished and rounded edges felt luxe. Rolled fingerboard was nice. Trem smooth and quiet in operation. It just played so well. I like the pickups. The criticism I've seen of them is that they are too "generic", but to me they sound like a Stratocaster. I threw some 10s on there, and setting relief, action, trem and intonation took no time at all. I might get a 5th spring and put some 11s on it next string change, it plays so light and easy.

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    awasson, JL_LI, bo and 7 others like this.
  2. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Comfort for sure. Took me a while to get used to strats but man, it's hard for me to play anything else (for very long) now for the last 20 years.
     
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  3. pondcaster

    pondcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Congrats and thanks for quick review.

    I realize it happened but nevertheless would love to see more pics, if possible.
     
  4. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    As I've said before, I know very little about particular models. (or "sub-groups") When evaluating a guitar, I judge ALMOST solely on feel and comfort. I can always change hardware or pickups......or have frets dressed and leveled.....but if the NECK doesn't feel good or the guitar weight isn't acceptable, I won't get along with it. Glad you found one you like!
     
  5. Route67

    Route67 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for sharing your reviews and impressions - on the tele side I haven’t been impressed with the Player either - doesn’t sound or feel anywhere near the price. Still looking forward to checking out the Vintera series. My only beef with Fender is they change up the lines too quickly - it seems the Am Pros came and went too quickly.
     
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  6. OldDude2

    OldDude2 Tele-Holic

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    Paul,

    Did you get a chance to test drive an Ultra I've been curious, but right now you've sold me on the AP:D

    Thx, OD2
     
  7. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    The one I called the Elite, might have been the Ultra. It was the current top-of-the-line with noiseless pickups and a compound radius board. I'm sure they're similar.
     
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  8. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I recently played 2 brand new mim standard strats in a shop here and was very impressed. they were both excellent! I owned several American standard strats and I don't think they were as good as those 2 were. those both were as good a strat as you could ever need.

    also, Paul G. mentioned the good fret work on the vintera strat. I bought a vintera tele back in july and I am also impressed with the frets. polished and smooth and sweet.

    so, yes, I agree fender is making some good stuff these days!
     
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