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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / American Standard vs. American Series



Nov 20th, 2016 04:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

Anyone know what the changes are between the newer standard after 2012 compared to the older features of the American Series 2002. I know they share a lot of the same features but don't know all the differences to do a comparison. Is one better than the other, if so why?

Modal Magic

MBJ, Highway Hound.

You Can't Bend It Aussie!
Nov 20th, 2016 05:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have two examples of AmSers and three examples of the post 2002 AmStds.

One of my AmStds is the initial 2008 run with the same pups as the AmSers run. I also have a 2012 updated AmStd with Fat '50s and one with OEM Lipstick Tube pups.

One AmSers is the 2004 50th anniversary model with replica '54 pups, the other is a 2005 HSS with custom Texas Specials and a Diamondback bridge humbucker.

The major differences between the end of AmSers and the beginning of the new AmStd Strats (during 2002) is:

- Copper infused bridge block (AmSers had whatever AmStds had previously).

- Stamped saddles (AmSers has the previous model AmStd sintered steel cast saddles).

- Thinner finish (AmSers had whatever AmStds had previously).

- Rolled neck edges (not sure if AmSers had this feature and really can't tell the difference between the two models).

There are other changes but I can't recall what they were. The ONLY upgrade to the initial 2002 AmStds was Fat '50 pups for the 2012 AmStd.

So... the difference between 2002 AmSers and 2012 AmStds is listed above plus the addition of Fat '50s which is the only change with the AmStd since they replaced AmSers Strats.

As far as difference goes there is very little between AmSers, 2008 and 2012 AmStds. My examples have very similar resonance, sustain and feel. My 2008 has a fairly fat neck but I think this is a result of normal variation and not deliberate. The 2008 and on AmStds were touted as having superior sustain in comparison to AmSers Strats because the copper infused block and thinner paint. In practice I don't find this is the case. There is also nothing I can attribute to the AmStd bent saddles that provides superior performance over the AmSers.

I don't have an AmSers with the standard model OEM pups so am not able to compare to the '08 or '12 AmStds but anticipate it would be similar to the '08 AmStd.

So in summary and in answer to your question I find little difference between the playability, resonance and sustain of the AmSers compared to the 2012 AmStd. The physical features may differ but the biggest difference is between the tone of the pups.

Confused? hope this makes sense?

(This message was last edited by Modal Magic at 07:19 PM, Nov 20th, 2016)



Nov 20th, 2016 10:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

IYO which pickups do you think sound the best? How do the 54 pickups compare to the American Series?

Contributing Member

Santee CA

Poser extraordinaire
Nov 21st, 2016 08:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

Nice post Modal Magic. FWIW the AmSeries did have rolled fretboard edges.

I too have a 50th Anni AmSeries Strat. The "54" pups are outstanding clean to heavily overdriven. It also has great sustain. I can't really add anything else to MM's post.

Contributing Member


After 25 years, I should play better.
Nov 21st, 2016 08:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

Modal's post pretty much sums up the differences with the main one being the difference in bridge saddles. Indeed the American series does have rolled edges on the fretboard, which was touted at an improvement over the previous (circa up to 1999/2000) American Standard series.

I feel that the 2000-2008 American series is a high water point for the model, and find it interesting that the deluxe and custom shop models still use the cast block saddles despite claiming the bent ones as an "improvement" for the post 2008 Standard series.



Nov 21st, 2016 10:30 AM   Edit   Profile  

Anyone have a clue why the American Series had saddles with offset screws to start with? I see they changed them later on to a center screw. Does this mean that the center screw is an improvement, if so how?

(This message was last edited by roadhog96 at 01:58 PM, Nov 21st, 2016)



Nov 21st, 2016 01:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

Do the 50th Ann. 54 pickups hum anymore than any other American Series or Standard pickups? It was mentioned in a YouTube video that they hummed a lot and made me wonder if they were any worse or not.



Nov 21st, 2016 03:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a real interest in the 50th Ann. American Series Strat..

Do the 54 pickups hum anymore than any other American Series or Standard pickup?

Why do the 54 pickups in the 50th Ann. Strat have plastic coated wires instead of the waxed cloth covered wires on the 54 pickups that Fender sells as an accessory pickup.

Do the two sound different?

(This message was last edited by roadhog96 at 10:01 PM, Nov 21st, 2016)

Contributing Member

Santee CA

Poser extraordinaire
Nov 21st, 2016 03:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

The pups in the 50th anni are unique to that guitar. I've heard that they sound very similar to the CS54s but I haven't played a Strat with those pups. They hum like typical Strat single coils, but I can't hear them while playing.

Purple Valley
Contributing Member


Nov 21st, 2016 08:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

I thought it was strange when they started putting vintage (Fat 50's) pups in the AmStandard. Only because the whole identity of the AS was, to me, the flagship version of the 'Modern' Strat. Putting 'vintage' pups in it kind of killed that whole notion.

(This message was last edited by Purple Valley at 10:42 PM, Nov 21st, 2016)



Nov 21st, 2016 08:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

I was checking Fender accessories and came across this bridge assembly for the 08' later American Standard.and American Series. They don't make American Series anymore after 08'.

It says (also fits most American series models with a two-point synchronized tremolo), and combines modern two-point synchronized tremolo design with classic Fender looks.)

Am I reading this right? Im a little confused, will it fit a 02-08 American Series also?

American Standard Bridge assembly fits American Series?

(This message was last edited by roadhog96 at 11:26 PM, Nov 21st, 2016)


USA/Taos, NM

Nov 21st, 2016 09:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

Frankly, if it's a bridge plate with the 2-post design, it should fit just about any Strat that is made that way. I've got a late '98 build American Strat (2-post bridge) and I'm sure this new bridge will fit on it.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / American Standard vs. American Series

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