#1
Hello good people! Has anybody tried the American Special Strat before?

I was just browsing the fender site and found it. 2 tone sunburst, 70s headstock and Texas special. It is almost the perfect strat for me.

But how is the quality? Ive owned the 2012 standard strat and loved it, but sold it because i wasent sure about continue playing or stop. I decided to continue.

And here in Norway There is a huge difference in price between the special and standard.
#2
I can only speak about my own one, and I think it kicks ass actually.
However, more recent American Specials always feel cheaper to me, but maybe that's just bias.

There's no general rule actually, as guitars are rather inconsistent things up to the point where you are paying a whole lot so they are all amazing and even then some might slightly feel or sound even better than the others.

Let me put it like this: At various times at guitar shops I've played a whole range of Fender guitars and more expensive doesn't always mean it will feel or sound better (at least acoustically, pickups are a whole different story and after all they can be changed). My recent favourite was the Mexican Standard Plus Top with maple fretboard and a Floyd BTW.

Now let's compare the Special to the Standard:

Pickups: Texas Specials vs Fat 50s
Bridge: vintage-style 6-point tremolo vs modern 2-point tremolo
Neck: very similar actually, the headstock surely is a difference though
Frets: pretty huge jumbo frets vs medium jumbos
Overall quality: as I said inconsistent, however, the Standards overall have more attention to detail
BTW: case with the Standard, only a gigbag with the Special

I personally see it as the Special being the more vintage rock n' roll Strat and the Standard more of a modern Strat that might be (arguably) better suited to clean and low gain playing.

Decide yourself.
Fender American Special HSS Stratocaster
Ibanez 1987 Roadstar II Deluxe
Yamaha THR10X
Marshall JCM900 SL-X
Ibanez WD-7 Weeping Demon Wah
TC Electronic Polytune
Seymour Duncan Tweakfuzz
#3
I don't know if you've heard of or seen the Andertons/ RobChappers youtube reviews of the American special. They do a comparison as well. If I'm not mistaken they likened the American special as a Made in Mexico strat, just built in America. As far as components and such were concerned. I can't quote the review and it's been a while since I've seen it but may be worth you checking out on Youtube.
Guitars and Motorcycles
#4
^ IDK, they've used some American Specials on some of their latest reviews AFAIK and they seemed to kinda dig it. However, it wasn't part of the shootout you're talking about.

And overall I wouldn't take everything those guys say in the reviews too seriously.
I remember the "sound like Metallica for under 1000 bucks" where Rob is absolutely convinced using the EMG 60 in the neck position on a distorted setting sounds like an authentic Kill Em All tone. Or how they seem to love every piece of gear they review.

Buying a guitar based on clips/reviews alone is still buying without trying.
Fender American Special HSS Stratocaster
Ibanez 1987 Roadstar II Deluxe
Yamaha THR10X
Marshall JCM900 SL-X
Ibanez WD-7 Weeping Demon Wah
TC Electronic Polytune
Seymour Duncan Tweakfuzz
#5
I know what you mean Jesus about the feeling of some fenders

A couple of years ago i had a custom shop strat( dont remember what model) but it didnt feel as good as the 2012 standard strat i had. Or sounded as good.


I like that it has jumbo frets. the medium frets on the 2012 was a little to small.

Maybe if i go on a strat hunt i find a good feeling one
#6
Absolutely agree with hunting down a good one. The best playing Strat I ever owned was a MiM Standard. I think I like the thought of owning a fancy custom shop Strat one day but with guitars I think you just luck up with one that feels good to ya. Do you have any local that you can try out? I know you said you were looking online.

Quote by JesusCrisp
^ IDK, they've used some American Specials on some of their latest reviews AFAIK and they seemed to kinda dig it. However, it wasn't part of the shootout you're talking about.

And overall I wouldn't take everything those guys say in the reviews too seriously.
I remember the "sound like Metallica for under 1000 bucks" where Rob is absolutely convinced using the EMG 60 in the neck position on a distorted setting sounds like an authentic Kill Em All tone. Or how they seem to love every piece of gear they review.

Buying a guitar based on clips/reviews alone is still buying without trying.


Also agree there, Those guys are trying to sell stuff you can tell, I don't think I've seen a bad review of anything and have since moved on to other reviewers, they are entertaining though. I'm lucky and have many music stores here local to go get some hands on time. I keep wanting to order some gear online but always back out cause I can't try it. Some guys on this forum have gotten really lucky with online stores though.
Guitars and Motorcycles
#7
I've played a lot of the 2013 models, and generally I like the feel of the Specials better. Don't know why, they just have a certain feel to them.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#8
doesn't the Special also have the vintage truss rod in the neck ??.... I was thinking it did , not sure how much difference between the two ??
#9
Well, you don't have to take the neck off the Special to adjust the truss rod if you mean that.
Fender American Special HSS Stratocaster
Ibanez 1987 Roadstar II Deluxe
Yamaha THR10X
Marshall JCM900 SL-X
Ibanez WD-7 Weeping Demon Wah
TC Electronic Polytune
Seymour Duncan Tweakfuzz
#10
Quote by cdhowell
Absolutely agree with hunting down a good one. The best playing Strat I ever owned was a MiM Standard. I think I like the thought of owning a fancy custom shop Strat one day but with guitars I think you just luck up with one that feels good to ya. Do you have any local that you can try out? I know you said you were looking online.


Yeah i was just browsing the fender site, but i think the guitar shop in our neighbour town has a couple of them.
#11
I played one a few years ago and hated it, weak pickups and the neck was way too fat.
Probably a nice guitar but didn't really have the 'Fender' selling points.

My $0.02.
Gear:

Gibson 2005 Les Paul Standard
Fender Road Worn Strat w/ Noiseless pickups
Marshall JCM 2000 401C
Marshall Vintage Modern 2266
Marshall 1960A cab (Dave Hill from Slade's old cab)
Ibanez TS9DX
EHX Little Big Muff
Freshman Acoustic
#12
Quote by ProphetToJables
I played one a few years ago and hated it, weak pickups and the neck was way too fat.
Probably a nice guitar but didn't really have the 'Fender' selling points.

My $0.02.

Probably a bad one. I once played a PRS Custom 22 that havent been set up properly, it was completley dead.
#13
Quote by ProphetToJables
I played one a few years ago and hated it, weak pickups and the neck was way too fat.
Probably a nice guitar but didn't really have the 'Fender' selling points.

My $0.02.

If Texas Specials sound weak to you it was either an absolutely faulty model or you need an ear check.

BTW high output pickups and paper thin necks aren't exactly Fender selling points.
Fender American Special HSS Stratocaster
Ibanez 1987 Roadstar II Deluxe
Yamaha THR10X
Marshall JCM900 SL-X
Ibanez WD-7 Weeping Demon Wah
TC Electronic Polytune
Seymour Duncan Tweakfuzz
#14
I meant harsh too much treble.
Gear:

Gibson 2005 Les Paul Standard
Fender Road Worn Strat w/ Noiseless pickups
Marshall JCM 2000 401C
Marshall Vintage Modern 2266
Marshall 1960A cab (Dave Hill from Slade's old cab)
Ibanez TS9DX
EHX Little Big Muff
Freshman Acoustic