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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / am dlx new or old?



One guitar Otis (but it has 10 settings)
May 14th, 2012 11:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

the newer compound radius, fender/ping locking tuners N3 pickups with different S-1 switching or the older SCN (Fender/bill lawrence) pickup ones with abalone inlays, ScHaller locking tuners and the older style S-1 switching system and standard 9.5" neck radius?

which do you prefer and why?...myself i like the 9.5" radius...it's very Stratty to me...and while i wasn't initally sold on the abalone inlays...as my maple neck darkens/ages...i must admit they look pretty cool and "deluxe"...the schaller tuners are top notch german tuners people stay pay a bundle for...and i personally like the darker tone of the SCN bill lawrence pickups (i don't mean they sound dark but they certainly don't sound like custom shop '69's!)...Also to me the original s-1 switching was less confusing and more in synch with the original Strat 5 way switch...and from all reports i have read the out of phase option on the newer dlx's isn't the best soudning option, lol.

i know both are great guitars...but what say you who have either owned or tried both...?

one of the things i love about my 2005...is that with the pickups adjusted just so...in the bridge position...by engaging the s-1 it doesn't roll off tone so much as thicken it up...it still has that bridge pickup bite (no load tone control works well with the S-1)...what i ended up doing is cranking my bridge SCN pup really high and lowering the middle...so when they are inseries the bridge really stands out...much more like a regular bridge humbucker.

On my strat the middle is slightly lower than even the neck pickup...which is great for the s-1...but also without it the in between quack sounds are very prominent...and i rarely use the middle pickup alone anyways.

Contributing Member

QLD Australia

May 15th, 2012 03:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think you have summed it up again and satisfied yourself that the old SCN's are the pup for you and that the old S1 format is better than the newer arrangement for your purposes.
You have answered your own question.

Contributing Member


Axe Victim
May 15th, 2012 10:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I own all 3 versions on the Am Dlx HSS Strat and my favorite is my 2006 model. I'm not sure why, but this is my go-to guitar for live work.

Part of it is superstition because my band has played some of our best shows when I used this Strat.



May 15th, 2012 12:40 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Older because that's what I have :-). I like the idea of the newer neck radius, but don't think I like the pick ups as much.

I actually just stripped my V-neck Deluxe last week to bare wood and oiled it, the neck is amazing feeling now, though it was great before too :-)

Great guitars, lots of tonal options, no noise issues like I often have with my CS69 equipped Strat, just no muss no fuss professional stuff.

It's all good!


(This message was last edited by dmoulton at 03:03 PM, May 15th, 2012)

Modal Magic
Contributing Member

MBJ, Highway Hound.

You Can't Bend It Aussie!
May 15th, 2012 09:00 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have zero experience with the SCN model but to me anyway, the S1 switching on the new model is logical and makes sense. I don't think there are any capacitors that switch in and out like the SCN version (need to verify this with the paperwork that came with the guitar), but just different combos of parallel and series. There is only one position that could be considered not useful (two pups in parallel and one in series, something like that). Not bad considering it has ten combinations.

Also, it has a lot to do with what you are familiar with.

Rick Plays The Blues


May I try that again?
May 16th, 2012 01:50 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Since the late 80ies, when Fender introduced the then called "Plus" model, followed by the "Plus Deluxe" and "Ultra" and evolving into the American Deluxe Series, these guitars have imho been absolutely desirable Stratocasters for anyone who likes Strats but is not completely sold to total vintage accuracy.

So your question Otis is like, do you prefer a 2003 Ferrari or a 2012 Ferrari?. Well, both are great.

Me, while I never could call one of these guitars my own, I played all of them and liked them all.

But I have some personal preferences:
I never liked the S1-switching (simple 5-way is all I need, maybe add a humbucker-split in case of HSS)
I think the compound radius is a great idea and perfectly adds to the "Deluxe" idea, yet I can very well live with a 9,5" radius as well (and I do live with it)
I never had any issue with any of the pickups, from the early Lace Sensors to the latest N3
It bothers me however, that since more than 10 years, the SSS-versions have to get along without a LSR ... why that? I love the LSR and it adds at least as much to the "Deluxe" idea as the compound radius does.
Aside from the LSR, it appears to me as if this series is a continuously improved series - getting better with each update. But that does not mean you need the latest and greatest all the time. Think Ferrari again ... of course, a 2012 model is actually better than a 2003 model - but that does not make the 2003 model any worse ...

(BTW: me, I play a 2001 JB model - quite close to the AmDlx series; this is the 2001 Lamborghini somehow ;-)))

K Tone


May 17th, 2012 07:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have an 08 Deluxe V-neck and it is the nicest guitar that I own. Right out of the box it played beautifully.

(This message was last edited by K Tone at 07:34 AM, May 17th, 2012)



One guitar Otis (but it has 10 settings)
May 17th, 2012 02:00 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Alderandash...i didn't answer my own question!? i was asking what others who either own or have tried both think...i havn't posted here that much in a while so wanted to see...as for your statement...yes i know what I like...and i expanded on the reasons why...but my point was to ask folks if overall...now that more time has passed and i assume more new dlx's have been sold...people prefer them and why...it's very common theme as you know...the whole poll type question.

my post was not meant to come across as that of a self satisfied jerk...Believe me, if i had more money i would def. have more guitars and they certainly wouldn't be all deluxe's, lol...personally i'd like a t.v. yellow les paul jr., a hotrod tele, an elite casino, a gibson 335, a dual humbucker strat, and a 61 reissue sg and a thinline tele with dual buckers.

maybe one day...LOL...maybe one day....

Contributing Member


Picks?, I use them bread wrapper thingys
May 18th, 2012 02:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a new series V-neck and far prefer it to the older ones I've had from a playability standpoint. I am considering a drop in loaded pickguard. Just don't use the S1 system much and
the N3's seem a little more compressed and sterile than I like to hear. Still lots good good tones as it is.
I did swap in a Callaham upgrade bridge just because I like a shorter vintage style arm.
Pretty expensive fix that really did not need fixing but i had some extra $ hanging around.

Contributing Member

QLD Australia

May 18th, 2012 10:17 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Otis, I didn't mean to offend.
For the record I've owned 3 Am Deluxe strats: 2 with SCN and 1 with the current N3's. All have been SSS.
They are beautiful instruments in IMO but for some reason I never seem to keep them.
I prefer the N3's and really find the compound radius of no particular value for what I do.
I prefer the 9.5" radius if push comes to shove.
Having said all that I needed cash to grab a really nice Les Paul Traditional last week so my Deluxe has gone again.
I have 2 other strats with CS Texas Specials and Lace Hot Golds and between them they provide all the strat tones I need.
Next time I am tempted to buy a Deluxe I'll probably buy another Les Paul.

Modal Magic
Contributing Member

MBJ, Highway Hound.

You Can't Bend It Aussie!
May 18th, 2012 10:45 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Alderandash, it is sad to see that you offloaded your AmDlx . They really are an awesome Strat in every respect. The necks are awesomely playable, but I don't even notice the compound radius probably due to being accustomed to playing many necks of different specifications.

I offloaded some Strats to offset the payment of an LP Traditional, including one Strat fitted with Hot Golds. I'll never offload the AmDlx though. I consider myself fortunate to be in a position where I can own such a high quality instrument.

Contributing Member

QLD Australia

May 19th, 2012 12:53 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

To be honest I am still a big fan.
Just that they are always the easiest to sell and I am always reluctant to mod them because they are such a nice package. And, I'm not able to justify the deluxe and the Traditional at this time.
I had to up grade my PA as well - It will come 'round again.

(This message was last edited by Alderandash at 12:57 AM, May 19th, 2012)

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / am dlx new or old?

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