NGD - My first real Strat

Skyhook

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Posts
2,702
Location
Turku, Finland
Ok... this was a bit unexpected but here we are.
I've long since planned that I'd "need" a "real" Strat to bookend my collection / herd / spatial catastrophe,
since my first guitar was a Strat knockoff I needed a "real" Strat to bookend it all at some point.

I've talked about my first guitar before and if you're interested you can check it out here:

So... I go to my local guitar store to try out some American Performer Strats as that seemed to be the cheapest
option to get a MIA Strat nowadays. Not a stellar track record for me here as I've gone into this place before,
determined to come out carrying a suitable Strat only to come out carrying a Les Paul.
Anyway... Pre-owned was not an option as I'm way too scared of being bamboozled
into buying some fake thing as I'm not that much skilled at spotting fake Strats. This combined with the fact
that the Strat is one of the most knocked off guitars in the world turned the pre-owned idea into a very iffy
concept for me at this point. So... American Performer, new, it is then. So be it.
I go to the store, aiming for a LPB. They don't have it atm but can order it from a nearby city with like a
couple of days delivery time. Fair enough... I start trying out a white American Performer they have.
It feels ok... neck a bit thin IMO but not terrible, satin finish, can't quite get past the 70's-sized headstock as
I like the smaller ones better, but at least the logo is filled and not all black. Could be worse.

That's when I notice the signs. There's a deal! All Fenders and Squiers -20% off!

Ok... that's a game changer! With that deal I can get an American Performer for just about 1k... or...
I can get an American Professional II for just about the same price I was already prepared to pay for
the Performer! I start looking at the AmPro II line they have. There's two of them. One white-ish thing
with rosewood fretboard(I need maple!) and a neck that feels coarse and grimy and one with a
maple board and a neck that's almost as perfect as a classic 50's neck(my personal ideal).
The headstock is even the smaller variant I like. I also got informed that the shop manager is
seriously considering buying that very guitar. Ok... I whip out the calculator app and check out how much
I would have to cough up for this thing. I get a number that turns out to be smaller than what the guy
behind the counter presented me with. I bring this up, of course, since I double checked that I had
done the math correctly. He goes... "oh yeah... the price just went up for the whole (shop)chain and
we haven't quite gotten around to putting on the new stickers yet". However, he said I could still have
it for the old price -20% if I bought the thing then and there. Then, to underline this, he did the suavest
sales move I've ever seen: While we talked he printed out the new, corrected, price tag and laid it on
the counter in front of me and confirmed that as soon as I walk out that door, this sticker goes on
the guitar. Plus, as stated, the store manager is seriously considering snapping this thing up.
So... while I'm hemming and hawing and cursing under my breath, the store manager comes in,
is informed of the special deal I've been offered and says that not even he could get it for that price
as it would become sold pretty much at a loss due to the new price tag. So... I bought the thing.

Here's my Fender American Professional II Stratocaster MN 3TSB:
20220825_115018.jpg

So... how is it, you ask?
Well... sorry for the non-informative description, but it sounds like a Strat! Boy howdy... it really, really sounds
like a Strat! All the quacks and chimes you could ever want from a Strat, this thing delivers.
It packs some very decent skrangs and twangs as well.
As an added bonus, the AmPro II wiring has one of the tone pots wired for the bridge pickup and the other
one wired for both mid and neck. The lowest tone pot is also push/push for some extended pickup selections
that I haven't quite internalized yet, but there's a distinct change in tone when activated, as there should be.
I've been banging on this thing for a couple of weeks now and most of that time I've been running it through
the Agro -model on the POD xt. I tend to use position 4(between neck and mid ) mostly for this.
That results in a really hairy but still distinctly Strat-like tone. I'm very happy with this thing even though
my bank account isn't. At first I wasn't 100% sold on the color scheme... this thing looks like somebody
slapped a maple neck on SRV's Number One. That looks like... nothing! Nobody has a Strat like that!
Then it dawned on me... I have a Strat like that!!! After that I was much more ok with the colors.

So... that's one thing off the ol' bucket list. I can already say that it won't be the last guitar I acquire.
I've been GAS:ing way too much for a Squier Bass VI, for instance, to just stop.
However, I do think there will be a slow down on acquisitions for a while as the times will be getting
steadily more crazy and it's gonna be a while until everything is in the clear.
There's a couple of guitars I'm gonna buy when I win the lottery of course.

So here I am walking off with my Strat in slow-mo while the price of AmPro II Strats explodes behind me at
a raised and unmodified sticker price of just a hair under 2k€.
 
Last edited:

bgmacaw

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Posts
11,082
Location
Near Athens GA USA
Congrats on the new guitar.

The "boss really wants to buy this" and "the price is going up as soon as you leave" tricks are oldie but goodies. I had these two pulled on me when I bought a guitar back in the 80's. A few weeks later I went to the same store with a friend who was looking to buy but who wasn't as GAS prone as me. They tried to pull the same tricks with him but he wasn't biting.
 

somebodyelseuk

Tele-Holic
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Posts
736
Age
55
Location
Birmingham UK
Nice.
I got an Ultra Strat about a month ago. I like the neck on your's more, it's just I liked the 'everything else' more on mine... I can live with the neck, though.
Turku? I've heard of there. My other passion is rallying. I'm old enough to remember when the Finns (and Swedes) ruled the World - Hannu Mikkola, Marku Alen, Ari Vatanen, Henri Toivonen etc. I'm sure I messed up the surname spellings there.
 

Skyhook

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Posts
2,702
Location
Turku, Finland
Congrats on the new guitar.

The "boss really wants to buy this" and "the price is going up as soon as you leave" tricks are oldie but goodies. I had these two pulled on me when I bought a guitar back in the 80's. A few weeks later I went to the same store with a friend who was looking to buy but who wasn't as GAS prone as me. They tried to pull the same tricks with him but he wasn't biting.
Thanks!

Yes, I believe those tricks are pulled all the time.
However... with the "boss really wants to buy this" thing it's at least plausible here as I know for a fact that the manager is a guitar enthusiast and a player and I've heard snippets of his band's stuff before this when we discussed ERG:s and he wantted to demonstrate the tone of a baritone guitar through a 5150. So, trick or not, it's at least 50/50 plausible here. If it was an act then he kept it up the next time I went into the store also as he then begged me to tell him at least something bad about the guitar.

Then, regarding the "the price is going up as soon as you leave" -thing: The actual case was that the price was already up. I know this because I didn't present my numbers at all at first. It was the guy behind the counter who, after we discussed the sale for a bit took it upon himself to calculate the price so he looked up the guitar from their database, counted off -20% and gave me a number which was higher than what I had calculated myself. The new price was pretty much the same as those things go for on Thomann also. If anything here is a trick it was the way the counter guy printed out the new tag and put it before me. It wasn't a fake card he played, but a real card played at the exact right moment. It would have been really easy to double check the price from the chain's website had I doubted its veracity for one second, but the new tag was not something scribbled. It came from their printer with the company logo, bar coded and all. While we still talked about the thing(after the manager got back) the manager went as far as to take the new sticker and put it on the guitar. And as I said their (new)price was said first. I do not believe that a nationally established multi-store chain would be concocting prices to make sales. I guess I could go back there to check if they re-tagged the other Am Pro II yet, but the whole thing feels very far fetched for this shop.
 

Skyhook

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Posts
2,702
Location
Turku, Finland
Nice.
I got an Ultra Strat about a month ago. I like the neck on your's more, it's just I liked the 'everything else' more on mine... I can live with the neck, though.
Turku? I've heard of there. My other passion is rallying. I'm old enough to remember when the Finns (and Swedes) ruled the World - Hannu Mikkola, Marku Alen, Ari Vatanen, Henri Toivonen etc. I'm sure I messed up the surname spellings there.
Conveniently, here's a post I made earlier about Turku.


Regarding the names: The spellings looked correct to me. :)
 

Blackmore Fan

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Nov 22, 2013
Posts
1,653
Location
USA
Ok... this was a bit unexpected but here we are.
I've long since planned that I'd "need" a "real" Strat to bookend my collection / herd / spatial catastrophe,
since my first guitar was a Strat knockoff I needed a "real" Strat to bookend it all at some point.

I've talked about my first guitar before and if you're interested you can check it out here:

So... I go to my local guitar store to try out some American Performer Strats as that seemed to be the cheapest
option to get a MIA Strat nowadays. Not a stellar track record for me here as I've gone into this place before
determined to come out carrying a suitable Strat only to come out carrying a Les Paul.
Anyway... Pre-owned was not an option as I'm way too scared of being bamboozled
into buying some fake thing as I'm not that much skilled at spotting fake Strats. This combined with the fact
that the Strat is one of the most knocked off guitars in the world turned the pre-owned idea into a very iffy
concept for me at this point. So... American Performer, new, it is then. So be it.
I go to the store, aiming for a LPB. They don't have it atm but can order it from a nearby city with like a
couple of days delivery time. Fair enough... I start trying out a white American Performer they have.
It feels ok... neck a bit thin IMO but not terrible, satin finish, can't quite get past the 70's-sized headstock as
I like the smaller ones better, but at least the logo is filled and not all black. Could be worse.

That's when I notice the signs. There's a deal! All Fenders and Squiers -20% off!

Ok... that's a game changer! With that deal I can get an American Performer for just about 1k... or...
I can get an American Professional II for just about the same price I was already prepared to pay for
the Performer! I start looking at the AmPro II line they have. There's two of them. One white-ish thing
with rosewood fretboard(I need maple!) and a neck that feels coarse and grimy and one with a
maple board and a neck that's almost as perfect as a classic 50's neck(my personal ideal).
The headstock is even the smaller variant I like. I also got informed that the shop manager is
seriously considering buying that very guitar. Ok... I whip out the calculator app and check out how much
I would have to cough up for this thing. I get a number that turns out to be smaller than what the guy
behind the counter presented me with. I bring this up, of course, since I double checked that I had
done the math correctly. He goes... "oh yeah... the price just went up for the whole (shop)chain and
we haven't quite gotten around to putting on the new stickers yet". However, he said I could still have
it for the old price -20% if I bought the thing then and there. Then, to underline this, he did the suavest
sales move I've ever seen: While we talked he printed out the new, corrected, price tag and laid it on
the counter in front of me and confirmed that as soon as I walk out that door, this sticker goes on
the guitar. Plus, as stated, the store manager is seriously considering snapping this thing up.
So... while I'm hemming and hawing and cursing under my breath, the store manager comes in,
is informed of the special deal I've been offered and says that not even he could get it for that price
as it would become sold pretty much at a loss due to the new price tag. So... I bought the thing.

Here's my Fender American Professional II Stratocaster MN 3TSB:

So... how is it, you ask?
Well... sorry for the non-informative description, but it sounds like a Strat! Boy howdy... it really, really sounds
like a Strat! All the quacks and chimes you could ever want from a Strat, this thing delivers.
It packs some very decent skrangs and twangs as well.
As an added bonus, the AmPro II wiring has one of the tone pots wired for the bridge pickup and the other
one wired for both mid and neck. The lowest tone pot is also push/push for some extended pickup selections
that I haven't quite internalized yet, but there's a distinct change in tone when activated, as there should be.
I've been banging on this thing for a couple of weeks now and most of that time I've been running it through
the Agro -model on the POD xt. I tend to use position 4(between neck and mid ) mostly for this.
That results in a really hairy but still distinctly Strat-like tone. I'm very happy with this thing even though
my bank account isn't. At first I wasn't 100% sold on the color scheme... this thing looks like somebody
slapped a maple neck on SRV's Number One. That looks like... nothing! Nobody has a Strat like that!
Then it dawned on me... I have a Strat like that!!! After that I was much more ok with the colors.

So... that's one thing off the ol' bucket list. I can already say that it won't be the last guitar I acquire.
I've been GAS:ing way too much for a Squier Bass VI, for instance, to just stop.
However, I do think there will be a slow down on acquisitions for a while as the times will be getting
steadily more crazy and it's gonna be a while until everything is in the clear.
There's a couple of guitars I'm gonna buy when I win the lottery of course.

So here I am walking off with my Strat in slow-mo while the price of AmPro II Strats explodes behind me at
a raised and unmodified sticker price of just a hair under 2k€.

That's a beautiful Strat, and a great color combination!
 

FortyEight

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Posts
2,195
Age
50
Location
Southeastern Wisconsin
So am I seeing this correctly? Vintage bridge saddles but normal tuners? (I'm a fan of both, I don't like Vintage tuners, but I think vintage saddles sound better)
 

Skyhook

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Posts
2,702
Location
Turku, Finland
So am I seeing this correctly? Vintage bridge saddles but normal tuners? (I'm a fan of both, I don't like Vintage tuners, but I think vintage saddles sound better)
Hah! I actually have no idea! :lol:

However, below are the Am Pro II specs copied from Fender's website.
They might know more than me.

BODY​

  • Body Material
    Alder
  • Body Finish
    Gloss Urethane
  • Body Shape
    Stratocaster®

NECK​

  • Neck Material
    Maple
  • Neck Construction
    4-Bolt
  • Neck Finish
    “Super-Natural” Satin Urethane Finish on Back of Neck with Gloss Urethane Headstock Face
  • Neck Shape
    Deep "C"
  • Scale Length
    25.5" (64.77 cm)
  • Fingerboard Material
    Rosewood
  • Fingerboard Radius
    9.5" (241 mm)
  • Number of Frets
    22
  • Fret Size
    Narrow Tall
  • Nut Material
    Bone
  • Nut Width
    1.685" (42.8 mm)
  • Position Inlays
    White Dot
  • Side Dots
    White

ELECTRONICS​

  • Bridge Pickup
    V-Mod II Single-Coil Strat®
  • Middle Pickup
    V-Mod II Single-Coil Strat®
  • Neck Pickup
    V-Mod II Single-Coil Strat®
  • Controls
    Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck/Middle Pickups), Tone 2. (Bridge Pickup)
  • Switching
    5-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup, Position 3. Middle Pickup, Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickup, Position 5. Neck Pickup
  • Configuration
    SSS
  • Auxillary Switching
    Push-Push Tone Control Adds Neck Pickup

HARDWARE​

  • Bridge
    2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with Bent Steel Saddles, Pop-In Tremolo Arm and Cold-Rolled Steel Block
  • Hardware Finish
    Nickel/Chrome
  • Tuning Machines
    Fender® Standard Cast/Sealed Staggered
  • Pickguard
    3-Ply Black
  • Control Knobs
    Aged White Plastic
  • Switch Tip
    Aged White
  • Neck Plate
    4-Bolt

MISCELLANEOUS​

  • Strings
    Fender® USA 250L Nickel Plated Steel (.009-.042 Gauges), PN 0730250403

ACCESSORIES​

  • Case/Gig Bag
    Deluxe Molded Case (Included)
 

FortyEight

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Posts
2,195
Age
50
Location
Southeastern Wisconsin
Yep, vintage saddles, standard tuners. THUMBS UP for me. :)

Vmod pups. I can't keep em all straight. I don't normally look at american specs though cuz I don't want to spend that kind of money.

Adding the neck pup is nice cuz I think the bridge and neck is a really good sound.
 

Tele-friend

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Posts
1,245
Location
EU
Ok... this was a bit unexpected but here we are.
I've long since planned that I'd "need" a "real" Strat to bookend my collection / herd / spatial catastrophe,
since my first guitar was a Strat knockoff I needed a "real" Strat to bookend it all at some point.

I've talked about my first guitar before and if you're interested you can check it out here:

So... I go to my local guitar store to try out some American Performer Strats as that seemed to be the cheapest
option to get a MIA Strat nowadays. Not a stellar track record for me here as I've gone into this place before,
determined to come out carrying a suitable Strat only to come out carrying a Les Paul.
Anyway... Pre-owned was not an option as I'm way too scared of being bamboozled
into buying some fake thing as I'm not that much skilled at spotting fake Strats. This combined with the fact
that the Strat is one of the most knocked off guitars in the world turned the pre-owned idea into a very iffy
concept for me at this point. So... American Performer, new, it is then. So be it.
I go to the store, aiming for a LPB. They don't have it atm but can order it from a nearby city with like a
couple of days delivery time. Fair enough... I start trying out a white American Performer they have.
It feels ok... neck a bit thin IMO but not terrible, satin finish, can't quite get past the 70's-sized headstock as
I like the smaller ones better, but at least the logo is filled and not all black. Could be worse.

That's when I notice the signs. There's a deal! All Fenders and Squiers -20% off!

Ok... that's a game changer! With that deal I can get an American Performer for just about 1k... or...
I can get an American Professional II for just about the same price I was already prepared to pay for
the Performer! I start looking at the AmPro II line they have. There's two of them. One white-ish thing
with rosewood fretboard(I need maple!) and a neck that feels coarse and grimy and one with a
maple board and a neck that's almost as perfect as a classic 50's neck(my personal ideal).
The headstock is even the smaller variant I like. I also got informed that the shop manager is
seriously considering buying that very guitar. Ok... I whip out the calculator app and check out how much
I would have to cough up for this thing. I get a number that turns out to be smaller than what the guy
behind the counter presented me with. I bring this up, of course, since I double checked that I had
done the math correctly. He goes... "oh yeah... the price just went up for the whole (shop)chain and
we haven't quite gotten around to putting on the new stickers yet". However, he said I could still have
it for the old price -20% if I bought the thing then and there. Then, to underline this, he did the suavest
sales move I've ever seen: While we talked he printed out the new, corrected, price tag and laid it on
the counter in front of me and confirmed that as soon as I walk out that door, this sticker goes on
the guitar. Plus, as stated, the store manager is seriously considering snapping this thing up.
So... while I'm hemming and hawing and cursing under my breath, the store manager comes in,
is informed of the special deal I've been offered and says that not even he could get it for that price
as it would become sold pretty much at a loss due to the new price tag. So... I bought the thing.

Here's my Fender American Professional II Stratocaster MN 3TSB:

So... how is it, you ask?
Well... sorry for the non-informative description, but it sounds like a Strat! Boy howdy... it really, really sounds
like a Strat! All the quacks and chimes you could ever want from a Strat, this thing delivers.
It packs some very decent skrangs and twangs as well.
As an added bonus, the AmPro II wiring has one of the tone pots wired for the bridge pickup and the other
one wired for both mid and neck. The lowest tone pot is also push/push for some extended pickup selections
that I haven't quite internalized yet, but there's a distinct change in tone when activated, as there should be.
I've been banging on this thing for a couple of weeks now and most of that time I've been running it through
the Agro -model on the POD xt. I tend to use position 4(between neck and mid ) mostly for this.
That results in a really hairy but still distinctly Strat-like tone. I'm very happy with this thing even though
my bank account isn't. At first I wasn't 100% sold on the color scheme... this thing looks like somebody
slapped a maple neck on SRV's Number One. That looks like... nothing! Nobody has a Strat like that!
Then it dawned on me... I have a Strat like that!!! After that I was much more ok with the colors.

So... that's one thing off the ol' bucket list. I can already say that it won't be the last guitar I acquire.
I've been GAS:ing way too much for a Squier Bass VI, for instance, to just stop.
However, I do think there will be a slow down on acquisitions for a while as the times will be getting
steadily more crazy and it's gonna be a while until everything is in the clear.
There's a couple of guitars I'm gonna buy when I win the lottery of course.

So here I am walking off with my Strat in slow-mo while the price of AmPro II Strats explodes behind me at
a raised and unmodified sticker price of just a hair under 2k€.
Seems like you got a great deal, congrats!
Since you were wondering about a Performer series, I have a Tele Performer and it does everything I want it to do. It is a great guitar. Scrathes all the Tele itches for me :)
 

Toast

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jun 12, 2019
Posts
1,902
Location
Scootchin' Over
Thanks!

Yes, I believe those tricks are pulled all the time.
However... with the "boss really wants to buy this" thing it's at least plausible here as I know for a fact that the manager is a guitar enthusiast and a player and I've heard snippets of his band's stuff before this when we discussed ERG:s and he wantted to demonstrate the tone of a baritone guitar through a 5150. So, trick or not, it's at least 50/50 plausible here. If it was an act then he kept it up the next time I went into the store also as he then begged me to tell him at least something bad about the guitar.

Then, regarding the "the price is going up as soon as you leave" -thing: The actual case was that the price was already up. I know this because I didn't present my numbers at all at first. It was the guy behind the counter who, after we discussed the sale for a bit took it upon himself to calculate the price so he looked up the guitar from their database, counted off -20% and gave me a number which was higher than what I had calculated myself. The new price was pretty much the same as those things go for on Thomann also. If anything here is a trick it was the way the counter guy printed out the new tag and put it before me. It wasn't a fake card he played, but a real card played at the exact right moment. It would have been really easy to double check the price from the chain's website had I doubted its veracity for one second, but the new tag was not something scribbled. It came from their printer with the company logo, bar coded and all. While we still talked about the thing(after the manager got back) the manager went as far as to take the new sticker and put it on the guitar. And as I said their (new)price was said first. I do not believe that a nationally established multi-store chain would be concocting prices to make sales. I guess I could go back there to check if they re-tagged the other Am Pro II yet, but the whole thing feels very far fetched for this shop.
Congrats, nice guitar. I suspect most guitar shop managers don't have a problem acquiring a new guitar they like at a good price. I know if I were a shop manager and came across a guitar I really wanted, I might store it in a broom closet until I had the funds to cover the purchase or the time to buy it on a blowout sale day.
 




Top