Fender launches American Performer Series

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by warrent, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. OldGuy6873

    OldGuy6873 Tele-Holic

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    He just released a bluesy EP with one of his bands. Maybe that's why. I dunno.
     
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  2. black_doug

    black_doug Friend of Leo's

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    I was out tonight checking out the American Performer Telecaster Hum.

    I was planning to go anyway so it's not like I made a special trip. When I asked about it at the counter the salesman told me, yes, it's in but they have to bring it out from the warehouse. It wasn't even on display yet.

    This is NOT a review because as soon as I saw the jumbo frets I gave it right back.
     
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  3. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Afflicted

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    Love some colours, but it feels like remarketing... minor changes, name change, price raise....

    Nothing wrong with it, but I feel like Fender really needs to rethink its marketing. Too many similar models, no real features to make the difference, and except for the American Elite, not enough innovation IMHO.
     
  4. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    Agreed - Fender's putting too much into renaming (I won't go so far as to say "rebranding" ) their model lines when they bring a new one out. There wasn't anything wrong with the old names; these certainly could have still been called "American Specials". I suppose someone on their team is saying "we have to have a price increase anyway; it would be more palatable if we give them a new name to go along with the incremental improvements".

    I'm okay with the price increase - people who work at Fender have to eat, too. In the current economic climate subcomponents from overseas sources have had continual price increases; the companies I work for (I'm an independent consultant) are all feeling the pressure from higher priced products. Plus the price on the American Specials has been steady since 2013.
     
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  5. TheRoman

    TheRoman TDPRI Member

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    no the american original tele series is probably pound for pound the best tele out there...
     
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  6. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    Looking at the Strat specs at SW I see that the neck pickup is 7.8k the middle one is 8.5k, and the bridge is 8.9k. That's awful high to achieve a sparkly vintage Strat tone, IMO. Even Texas Specials are only in the 6k range. CS69s and 57/62s are under 6k. So, I imagine that these probably sound more like the overwound ceramics on the Mexican Standard, or the DD ones on the Squier VM Strats.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  7. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Holic

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    Ahhh. So is that why many of the new Fenders have ''made in Corona'?
    .
     
  8. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    Yes; actually they just say "Corona, California". For them to say "Made in Corona, California" they would have to have 90% (or maybe even 95%) of the wholesale price be from California - even stricter than their regulations about labeling something "Made in USA".
     
  9. Northwards

    Northwards Tele-Meister

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    It’s kinda puzzling with that tremolo choice.. As conservative as Fender are (and all the other big guitar makers for that matter), one should think they saw that particular vibrato system as an iconic Fender design. However flawed.. haha. Something Mastery have built a successful business of.

    Personally I like that long vibrato arm for more dwelling vibratos.

    But with that Strat trem on the new Performer Jazzmaster, why do they still fit the Mustang with a vintage-style tremolo..? Is that system a good enough «Performer» as it is in this class of Fenders.

    There are quite a few small factors that make this look like a rebranding with small component changes and of course colours. Who doesn’t like to see that.

    Curious about that SH Tele though, but will it justify it’s price tag..hmm
     
  10. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    Fender can and will do what they want. Like they don't want to improve the design of the Jazzmaster bridge, so they cut up a lot of wood and plop in a Strat tremolo. I get it. I just don't want it.
     
  11. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    I neglected to mention probably Fender's most important reason for doing the American Performer this way - the $300 more expensive American Professional does have the traditional Jazzmaster tremolo; don't want to cannibalize the American Professional sales.
     
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  12. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    So, if they would have chosen to use a conventional JM bridge and tremolo it would be priced $300 more?
     
  13. Northwards

    Northwards Tele-Meister

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    I'm not so sure that is the case though. Let's look closer at the fairly new, beforementioned G&L Doheny Jazzmaster -with Leo Fenders final vibrato design. The Performer Series Jazzmaster could be seen as rather admitting the truth about their own flawed design.. That really isn't up to snuff for a proffesional performing musician, gigging for a living. I mean have any of you seen a Dinosaur Jr. concert... J Mascis is tuning up after e v e r y song :D it's both funny and annoying at the same time cause he couldn't care less about muting and it's done loud over the PA. Of course he's playing custom set up instruments with top components. But still that vibrato system keeps falling out of tune again and again.. (I'm a big fan of his songs and playing BTW.).
    Still a Strat trem doesn't look as cool the original though, that's just a fact. I beleive The American Professional Jazzmaster could never be anything other than a well made model of the orignal iconic design.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
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  14. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Fender regularly switches things up pretty much every year or two, color changes, tweaks here and there. It's all good, I suppose. I like the buttercream and penny colors. And aubergine looks like it might be pretty cool too.

    Fender knows that most of its customers already have enough guitars, so they need to keep coming up with attractive variations to tempt us with. They're smart. And they're going to remain in business for some time. The current CEO is a life-long Fender guitar player, which I think helps them a lot.

    If I wasn't already so well supplied with Fenders, I'd be in for one or two of those Performers. But I agree with others here... I find most of the MIM models every bit as nice as the USA models. I alternate playing between MIM and USA models all day long and just as happy with the MIMs as the USAs. Of course, I have installed my preferred pickups and electronics in pretty much all of them - I was never a big fan of the older MIM pickups, but I think they have better pickups on the MIM models starting last year or so.
     
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  15. harleytech

    harleytech TDPRI Member

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    I agree... I have a MIM lacquer 60's Strat and a FSR special Deluxe Butterscotch Blond Telecaster and both are flawless as far as fit and finish go.. Action and intonation are spot on and modding them with different pickups and controls makes them even more playable and fun without breaking the bank. I'm happy with the ones I have and I don't think buying any new models are going to make me play any better than I do now... Fender is just trying to stay in the game with new models and it's just good business to do so.. Hat's off to them... But I'll stick to what I have. I'm getting all the tone's I need right now.. JMHO...
     
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  16. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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  17. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree with what they should do, but IMHO they are not coming up with attractive variations... They are coming up with the wheel over and over again.... ocean blue becomes sky blue, olive green becomes grass green, they change pickup specs. It all looks fantastic, but the variation itself is pretty limited.

    I think the Cabronita was one of the best innovations of the last decade, but unless I'm wrong, it's nowhere in sight for regular players that cannot afford custom shop guitars. I love the concept of their "alternate universe" guitars, and some might be nice, but the price point for what is - in essence - some experimentation is a bit on the high side.
     
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  18. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    No; I doubt that it would cost them $300 more to use the JM bridge and tremolo. I was being cynical and saying that a Jazzmaster with the conventional bridge and tremolo that was priced $300 less would take sales away from from the higher-priced American Professional Jazzmaster. Which happens to be $300 more (well, actually $350 more with the rosewood fingerboard; there are no maple fingerboard American Performer Jazzmasters) even though it also has the simplified electronics.

    I imagine Fender cares less about sales cannibalization of Strats and Teles across the series because they make on hell of a lot more of them than they do Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Mustangs, etc.
     
  19. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    What you are describing is something Fender did without the consumer in mind. They did it to preserve sales of a more expensive model.

    Do consumers really want a JM cut up like a Strat with a Strat tremolo, or a JM with a properly designed bridge and tremolo? I have a Mastery tremolo and Staytrem bridge on my JM partscaster. Fender should have taken clues from those products to redesign the JM trem and bridge rather than just scrap it for a tremolo and bridge that was meant for an entirely different guitar IMHO. Also, neither JM nor Teles were ever meant to have rear routes. There is something to be said about not cutting into the backs of those guitars and slapping on a plastic cover. My 2 cents anyway.
     
  20. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Yep... no guitarist actually "NEEDS" more than one or two electric guitars. And having more does not, in and of itself, make one a better player.

    That said, I really enjoy having and playing a diverse variety of guitars. And the ones that aren't being played at any given time are beautiful works of art gracing the walls.

    I've got eight Teles at present and working on creating the ninth. Every one of them sounds, plays, and looks a fair bit different from all the others. The variety of necks, fretboard materials, pickup variations, wiring variations, bridges, etc. is pretty cool - a major feature of Fender guitars is the almost endless variety of variations that one can explore. Ain't life grand! :)
     
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