Fender American Special Stratocaster [2010-2018]
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Fender American Special Stratocaster [2010-2018]

American Special Stratocaster [2010-2018], STC-Shaped Guitar from Fender in the American Special Stratocaster series.

Pedrhozen 09/15/2016

Fender American Special Stratocaster [2010-2018] : Pedrhozen's user review

« Surf Green is love, Surf Green is life »
5

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Value For Money : Excellent Audience: Anyone
Intro/Context:
Fender American Special Stratocaster SSS in surf green with mapple fingerboard.

I'm a Strat guy, this is my 4th strat and by far my favorite to date. I went to the shop wanting to buy my new main axe with a large enough budget to come out of the shop with a deluxe american Strat if that's what suited me.After testing Standard, Deluxe, AS Strats for a few hours (yes I'm that annoying kind of customer) I decided to buy the American Special for 2 reasons:

-Surf Green is life and a paint job is more expensive than changing the tremolo and the pots (if you, as I, don't like greasebuckets)

-The sheer sound of the instrument, the pickups play a role, for sure, but I had an immediate crush on the sound of that particular guitar and at the end of the day this made the choice obvious for me.

Keep in mind while reading that I had that "near perfect match" feel and that, as I try to keep it objective I'm talking about a guitar I really love and can't go by it without saying "what a beauty" even more than one year after the purchase.

I mainly play it on a Fender Blues Jr with a RC Booster into an English Muff'n wich is almost all the time activated and sometimes on a Ashdown Fallen Angel on the saturated channel

I play mostly bluesy stuff from Hendrix to SRV but I also like to shred a little and play hard rock stuff.

workmanship, electronics, and finish

The finish is really good, well assembled with a seemingly fragile but "lovely to touch" varnish. The fingerboard satin finish is quite nice but in my case the wood could have been chosen better as you can see not so sexy darker wood veins.

The trem, well, is a vintage trem. I tried it for a few months and while it works decently it affects the tuning too much to my liking so I locked it.

The electronic part of the guitar is what you'd expect from a US Fender, you can turn the volume all the way while keeping a bright sound.

Sound

That's where this baby shines. Texas Specials can divide but on the bonus side you immediatly know if you like 'em or not, they have a sharp attack wich I love and a quite high output for single coils. They make the guitar sing with an OD and are reactive to any variation of picking, nuance, very satisfying.

the bridge pickup has a very sharp attack without beeing too harsh an is great for saturated chords.

the middle pickup has a "telecasterish" sound, I love it, very in you face

The neck pick up adds warmth while keeping the middle-heavy signature sound of the Texas Specials

The 4th and 2nd positions are in the spirit of the SRV sound on "Mary had a little lamb", I just adore it.

The guitar seems at ease with any kind of clean and saturated sound both for solos and chords.

Pros and cons

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Available in surf green
Build quality
Available in surf green
Sound
Available in surf green
Price
Available in surf green

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Vintage 6points trem
Varnish looks fragile
Gig bag