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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / American Professional Strat Thoughts


United States

Jan 17th, 2017 03:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

I had the chance to play a couple of these guitars over the past week or two, took one home and thought I'd share my thoughts. I also compared it to other strats to see what the differences were tonally speaking. Guitars I compared the professional to were the SRV strat, Eric Johnson strat, American standard, and American Special.

The Professional strat to me, has a more airy tone, less bass, and more high end than any of the strats listed. I found myself liking and disliking this quality. The problem to me was I felt like there was just not enough meat to the sound, it came across somewhat thin by comparison to any of the above strats, and they all had 9's.

The standard had a more meaty tone I liked, but also sounded someone flat, as did the professional but the added high end compensated to some degree.

The EJ strat sounded flat acoustically, but pretty good plugged in. I don't know if I'd say it's better than the standard or professional strat though, and it certainly doesn't feel comfortable in my hands as it had a really fat neck, and very flat radius.

The special strat was my favorite oddly enough of all the above. Great feel, big fat sound and very nice sustain.

SRV strat is similar to the special, but darker sounding with a more prominent low mid emphasis. The vintage style frets make the guitar difficult to play as the guitar is prone to the strings falling of the fretboard. Likewise I neither cared for the huge neck or the reverse tremolo.

All in all, I liked all the strats, the professional, standard and special more than the signature models. The professional, as this is titled as my thoughts on the model, seemed like it was best suited for rhythm playing. It had a nice spank to it, but overall didn't impress me enough to want to keep it.

Anywho, I don't see any reviews on this guitar at all so I thought I'd share my thoughts. Maybe the guitar would be better equipped with larger strings, but at first glance I decided to head in a different direction. It was a good sounding guitar so don't get me wrong, but I don't see a big difference between it and the standard. One thing the guitar does do better imo than the standard is sustain better, but the thin mid-range turns me off and just makes me cringe when compared to other strats.

(This message was last edited by NHILL1 at 05:48 PM, Jan 17th, 2017)

reverend mikey
Contributing Member

N of I-90, E of I-29

"Everywhere I look, I see guitars..."
Jan 17th, 2017 04:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

Were you able to play several Professionals in the shop to see if what you were hearing was consistent, or an anomaly?

Appreciate your detailed review though - it's good to get feedback on Fender's latest "mainstream" USA Strat.



Jan 17th, 2017 06:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

I haven't played one yet but I'm very interested in trying one. I like some of the changes such as the bone nut, pop in trem arm and treble bleed cap and what seems to be a nice case.

Not sure about the tall narrow frets or bigger neck until I actually play one myself.


United States

Jan 18th, 2017 03:37 AM   Edit   Profile  

Mikey, I played 2 seperate rosewood fretboard SSS style, as well as HSS Professional strats. The SSS sounded the same, I didn't like the HSS at all.

These are just my thoughts, and again this is very knit picky and personal. If I were to highlight the good things, I like the airy-ness of the pickups, I like the detailed fretjob, and I think the attention to detail is very high. The sound itself is totally subjective.

I think this could be said to all the american strats, I think they all have high attention to detail and high quality components. The input I gave was purely my opinion of which sounded best to me, which happend to be the special at the time.

I've played standards that sounded considerably better than the one I played in the store though, and I've played specials that were worse. So theres definitely some margarine for error. That said, I'm in the market for a strat right now and need an in production guitar, and to me I though the special sounded and felt good to play.

Also Telegib, I think Fender f*cked up with that treble bleed mod. It would be fine if the guitar was naturally bass heavy, but its REALLY treble oriented, and that treble bleed doesn't help when it comes to tone shaping. It's nice that with low volume your guitar sounds the same....but it also sounds the same. Without the treble bleed your guitar will naturally get more bass-y and sweet depending on your guitar. The treble bleed means your guitar is always trebly, I didn't like that feature.

Contributing Member


Axe Victim
Jan 18th, 2017 07:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

I don't need one, but I'd like to try one out of curiosity.

I doubt anything will top the American Deluxe Strats I own.

Also, isn't the Professional series designed to replace the American Standard?

L. Nedmundo


Jan 18th, 2017 08:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

I played an American Professional SSS at GC recently. I didn't plug in, so I can only comment on feel, and to my surprise I loved the new neck. It felt a little chunky, similar to pre-2015 G&L Legacy/Comanche necks, but played very naturally IMO. Fender does a great job with the rolled fretboard edges, which I think contributes to this.

I'm not in the market for another guitar, but would like an HSS S-type at some point, so I'm looking forward to testing one of those when I get the chance.

Contributing Member

USA/Taos, NM

Jan 18th, 2017 11:55 AM   Edit   Profile  

"So theres definitely some margarine for error."

I was hoping you'd tell us they "played like buttah!"



United States

Jan 18th, 2017 12:14 PM   Edit   Profile  

Stratcowboy, they really do play "like butta" though. The frets on both I played were immaculate, and they're quality guitars don't get me wrong. I was just pointing out sonically that they are thinner than the previous standard strats, with the benefit of being clearer.

Also the "big c" shape feels no different than a modern C to me, likewise the radius change doesn't feel any different imo. I think the guitar would be better suited without the treble bleed, that would help with the high end. That said the sustain on these guitars are fing phenomenal, they really sustain for days, I'm not sure why that is. I like the guitar, I just preferred the meatier characteristics of the special and standard.

I didn't have my SRV with me when I was at guitar center, but I will be taking it there over the weekend for a final comparison before I make my decision. The SRV is great, but it came with a messed up nut and bad fret job so I'm having to exchange it. I'm doing a final analysis to pick which I want, at the moment it's a battle between the SRV and Special strat, unless I conclude otherwise.



Jan 18th, 2017 05:32 PM   Edit   Profile  

The new alnico mixed pickups seem to me to be there version of the Seymour Duncan Five/Two pickups.

Whether that is the reason for the thinner tone I don't know. The treble bleed is a great idea but obviously you would want the pickup of your choice to get the advantage of the no treble loss feature.

I have treble bleed caps on 2 Strats and I love the feature. One Strat was custom made for me and feature Sliders SRV 59's pickups and the other Strat has custom pickups as well and no issues.

Contributing Member


Home of the Goodyear blimp
Jan 18th, 2017 07:13 PM   Edit   Profile  

If I could have any one guitar back that I sold I would have to say it would be my SRV. I loved the neck on it and the TS pickups. If I recall it didn't have vintage frets , but had Dunlop 6105s and took a different technique than my other strat . A much lighter touch . Once set up properly it played like butter.

I eventually bought a avri 59 thin skin with 6105s and sold the SRV. The 59 thinskin is a great guitar , but damn that neck on the SRV was great. Hated the reverse trem though, but I'm not much of a trem user anyways.



Apr 5th, 2017 05:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

Mini-Review on one I played today in GC for the first time through the paces for an hour. Great finish on the body (typical beautiful Corona plant two-tone burst) and the neck was ok/typical; fretwork was flawless and as noted on here (maybe because of the light strings), it did play like butter.

On the pups, another variation on the Fender pups and I played 30 minutes clean through a Fender Superchamp and 30 minutes through a Bugera on the dirty channel.

I was not blown away by the pups in clean mode; very, and typically straty, but a little thin sounding to my ears on all three individal pups. The bridge was a little harsh, the middle pup was not defined enough for me, and the neck pup sounded a little weak-lower volume than the other two; nothing tweaks and balancing cannot fix. My favorite tones were in quack position 2; it was actually a little muddy for me in quack 4.

The biggest surprise for me was on the dirty channel; same response issues for me as clean except for the driven neck pup. It sounded great driven and very Robin Trower like in the tones (and much more so than the mid-pup).

My personal bottom line from this short outing is a very beautiful and excellent high quality American strat but I would change out the pups for something more flavorable (and possible leave in the neck pup)



Apr 5th, 2017 05:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

It would have been on the top of my list if I was in the market for a new strat in terms of playability and feel.......What I forgot to mention was the new/light color on the neck (and it was a rosewood board). My 3 strats are older and the necks have tinted darker in a very nice way.

I hate the look of brand new "white" maple necks on any new strat (unless already tinted from the factory for some models).................... :)

Contributing Member

Troy, IL

Apr 5th, 2017 10:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

One of the better ones I have ever played is an '06 EJ Strat

Everyone feels and bonds with different Strats

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / American Professional Strat Thoughts

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