Fender American Standard Stratocaster [2012-Current]

Fender American Standard Stratocaster [2012-Current]

American Standard Stratocaster [2012-Current], STC-Shaped Guitar from Fender belonging to the American Standard 2012 Stratocaster model.

16 user reviews

Fender American Standard Stratocaster [2012-Current] tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer:Fender
  • Model:American Standard 2012 Stratocaster
  • Category:STC-Shaped Guitars
  • Added in our database on:03/22/2012

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User Reviews Fender American Standard Stratocaster [2012-Current]

Average Score:4.4( 4.4/5 based on 16 reviews )
 11 reviews69 %
 4 reviews25 %
 1 user review6 %
Target:Value For Money:

Mythrandir1's review"A classic that will live on forever"

Fender American Standard Stratocaster [2012-Current]
I received this guitar as a gift and it feels like a holding a piece of music’s history in my hands. The Fender Strat has been an iconic guitar for over half a century now, making its presence known in all music genres and there certainly is a reason for that. This is a highly versatile guitar used anywhere from blues to punk rock and it lives up to its reputation when it comes to good quality and tone.
While the Strat certainly is an amazing guitar, I modified mine quite a bit and I shall also discuss my modifications on top of how the stock guitar performs. I have changed the potentiometers, even eliminated one of them entirely, somewhat changed their designated locations and I also modified the body itself in order to have a humbucker pickup in the bridge position, instead of the stock single coil. Some may say that I have desecrated a “perfect” guitar, but to me it is a tool that needed to be shaped to suit all me desires and requirements. Part of my modifications were made in order to add even more versatility and more beefiness to the sound, but a few mods I chose to make because of a couple of issues I had and I just couldn’t get around them.


This is the most iconic guitar known today with its alder body and bolt-on maple neck giving you the renowned Fender Stratocaster tone while also keeping the instrument fairly light and maneuverable when compared to many other guitar types. Its low weight is indeed a big plus for me, giving me the ability to play for extended periods of time without a problem. I usually switch to this guitar if my shoulders and back get tired from my Les Paul and then I can continue practicing without enduring more pain and fatigue.

The guitar comes standardly equipped with 3 single coil pickups, the neck one giving you a warm, rich, bluesy sound that made the Strat famous and the bridge pickup offering you a trebly tone, richer in mids and highs but severely lacking in the beefiness and depth that comes from a humbucker. The middle pickup I did not like on day 1 and I haven’t used it since. I simply can’t find any use for that pickup when the neck and bridge pickups give you absolutely everything you need.

The Strat has a 5 way switch allowing you to use all 3 pickups individually, as well as in combination, while also giving you 2 tone knobs and a volume control. To my knowledge the potentiometers used for tone and volume controls are of 250k and for me they didn’t quite offer all the control I wanted over the tone. I am not a tech and I can’t be sure whether it was because of the quality of the pots of because of their value. I simply replaced them with Fender 500k potentiometers and now it feels as if I have far more control over volume and tone. Now I can make subtle changes with a gentle turn of the knob and I will certainly feel the difference.

While changing these potentiometers I also took care of the main problem that bothered me since I grabbed this guitar. The volume pot is extremely close to the strings and this bothered me for two reasons. Firstly, when strumming hard and simply having fun, I started hitting that knob by accident and slowly changing my sound until completely muting the guitar. Secondly, that volume knob was very much in my way when palm muting power chords. Some say you can get used to that aspect and work around it, but I just couldn’t… the knob was simply in my hand’s way and it made me lose dexterity when I had to down stroke palm-muted power chords rapidly. To solve that problem, I simply eliminated one of the tone knobs which I didn’t really need and I moved the volume pot where the middle tone knob used to be. Having it there I can still quickly have control over the volume knob in the middle of a song, while also having my hand free to palm-mute with no obstructions in the way and now I am also no longer hitting the knob when strumming too aggressively. Now my guitar has 1 tone knob and the volume knob, both out of my way, while also being in reach when needed, and they both can shape my tone and sound profoundly with slight adjustments.

Modifying and rewiring this guitar is extremely simple and everyone can do it without worrying too much. In the end the guitar is a tool and it should be shaped precisely for your hand and that is exactly what I did. I play a high variety of rock and metal sub-genres and I needed a deeper, thicker sound from my guitar. The stock single coil pickup didn’t give me that so I took my guitar to a luthier to modify the body of the guitar so I can fit in a regular humbucker pickup. I was afraid to work on the wood myself and using a professional’s help was a great idea. Now my guitar has all the features that I can possibly want and I can play comfortably without any kind of annoyance. Nothing else needed changing, the tuning pegs and the bridge system are working perfectly, and the guitar stays perfectly in tune. I only needed to file the nut a bit more because I use a slightly thicker string gauge meant for Eb tuning or Drop D.


I play a wide range of music, but I mainly focus on hard rock, punk/ pop punk and progressive metal. The Strat certainly handles them well, it is perfect for hard rock and punk but its stock setup didn’t offer me the right sound for any kind of metal where I need my tone to be chunky and full. The stock pickups work wonderfully with an overdriven amp and with distortion as well, however, the bridge pickup simply lacks the high output and beefy tone of a real humbucker. They will give you an amazingly rich, clean sound and even a high quality hard rock tone, rich in middle and high frequencies, but they kind of lack in the low end of the sound. I solved my problem with a Seymour Duncan SH5, which makes the guitar truly stand out and even improving and boosting its natural treble, making it easier for you to adjust your tone precisely and get even more sustain out of the guitar.

I didn’t have much trouble with static sounds, sympathetic vibrations or any weird humming sounds, especially after replacing the bridge single coil pickup with the humbucker. The bridge single coil caused a slight humming sound for me, which became even more obvious when using distortion but this is quite a natural occurrence with this type of pickup. After replacing it with the humbucker, the hum vanished completely.

The Strat with its standard setup did offer wonderful tones but to me it was somewhat still lacking because it didn’t have that humbucker. You can still get nice sounding natural and pinched harmonics as well as dead notes but they aren’t quite as full and expressive as with my Les Paul. After getting rid of the single coil and adding the SH5 in its place however, everything changed. All the sounds became more pronounced and richer in frequency. The harmonics felt more powerful and alive, while the rhythmic dead power chords truly began to shine and add to the overall beat with their thick, chunky sound.

When it comes to having a clean sound, the neck pickup is simply perfect. The well-known Fender tone certainly does its job and it will give you the warmest, fullest clean sounds for all those blues riffs and more. I use this pickup rarely, but when I need to play a clean song I certainly go to this guitar. My main guitar, the Les Paul just can’t quite match the Stratocaster’s warm and rich sound when it comes to playing clean on the neck pickup. Every note is pure and rings out clearly without any kind of interference, making it a joy to relax a bit after all those powerful and aggressive riffs.

Guitar Setup and finish

My Strat needed to be setup because the intonation was a bit off and the action was setup way too high. The truss rod however, was in perfect place, there was no need for an adjustment and I never experienced any kind of buzz caused by an uneven frets or the truss rod. Setting the guitar up was easy and painless and didn’t take much any kind of work or professional help.

The finish on this guitar seems to be of high quality because I banged it several times against furniture mainly and the paint did not chip away and there are still no scratches on it. The guitar is easy to clean and you can maintain it’s lovely shine without being worried of damaging it.

Reliability and Durability

This Stratocaster is highly reliable and you can perform live without any kind of concern. This guitar is good for beginners as well as for live gigs, guaranteed not to fail you and its light weight will keep you going for hours. It seems to be solid, it has no neck dive issues and if you take good care of it, it should play well for decades to come. Like with any guitar, you should make sure to invest in decent strap locks because the stock ones can easily slip out when playing, this is its only “vulnerability”, which actually goes for any kind of guitar.

Overall Impression

I received this wonderful instrument as a gift, loved it instantly and with a few personal modifications I tailored this guitar to fit my tastes precisely. It is easy to maintain and to modify, with many high quality options and upgrades out there for all of you who enjoy truly making a guitar your own. I would recommend this Stratocaster to absolutely anyone looking for a versatile guitar and it should be noted that it plays perfectly well with its standard components. The modifications I made were purely because of taste and personal desire to improve it based on how I like to play. While this guitar is truly a gem, I wouldn’t recommend it to people focusing more on the Metal side, especially when it comes to death metal and other such heavy sub-genres because its stock bridge pickup isn’t quite designed for that sound.

S2D's review"Enduring Iconic Guitar"

Fender American Standard Stratocaster [2012-Current]
Hendrix, Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Edge, Mark Knopfler, Hank Marvin, Buddy Holly, David Gilmour, Ritchie Blackmore and every guitarist who's been in Iron Maiden. So what do they all have in common? The Fender Stratocaster. Originally built in the 1950's the Stratocaster has seen and done it all, the most popular and best selling guitar of all time apparently and one which has been copied by thousands of companies around the globe looking to cash in on it's legendary status and widespread appeal, but the Daddy of them all is still the American Standard Strat.

It comes equipped with 22 frets, 3 single coil pickups, a pickup selector switch with a choice of 5 pickup positions, 1 volume knob and 2 tone knobs. The neck is made from maple wood and also comes with a tremolo bar or whammy bar as i prefer to call it. The bridge is a stock Stratocaster bridge but from what i hear it can be upgraded to a floyd rose or similar locking bridge system (sold seperately) if you feel like doing a bit of Van Halen-esque divebombs and still want to stay in tune afterwards.


The top frets are easy enough to access, although the bigger your hands are the better... and it has a classic design that back in the 50's must have looked futuristic and ground breaking but these days it's just part of life and history, the shape can only be described now as 'shaped like a strat'. With regards to the shape and design - if it's not broke then don't fix it, and with credit to Fender they haven't. They only modify it slightly every now and then to have a certain optional model with humbucker pickups or a new colour for the body, or in their custom relic series where they purposely wear out the wood and the paint to make a new guitar look as if it's been used out on the road for 40 years, but with the American Fender Stratocaster standard - you know exactly what you're getting.


And moving onto the tone of the Strat. It's trademark sounds are found in it's solid, bluesy neck pickup and it's stinging bridge pickup. Match a strat up with a good Marshall amp and you'll get instant chemistry, you will have the sound of late 60's heavy rock at your fingertips. For example the master of them all, Jimi Hendrix, dial in a healthy amount of gain on your amp and select the neck pickup and you will get a sound close to the lead in 'The 3rd stone from the sun'. Dial back on the volume control on the guitar till it gets clean, select the middle pickup and you will have the 'Little Wing' intro sound. Go full on with the overdrive and master on your amp, select the bridge pickup with the tone and volume all the way up on the guitar and you will have the Voodoo Child (slight return) hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck-standing lead sound. The Strat can cut through the mix like a knife through butter and demand attention, or it can sit in the background and hold the fort as a rhythm guitar while bringing tears to a glass eye as heard in the Eric Clapton ballad 'Wonderful Tonight'. The Fender Strat is always open to new ideas, and when paired with effects pedals it can bring new and exciting sounds to mainstream rock and pop music. As shown by Hendrix in the late 60's with the Wah wah and Uni-vibe pedals mixed with wailing feedback and whammy bar abuse, and Bon Jovi's Ritchie Sambora for the super-catchy Talk Box riff on Livin' on a Prayer, or with U2's main axeman The Edge with his never ending stadium-sized delay pedal sounds as demonstrated on 'Where the streets have no name' from the Joshua Tree album. The Strat also featured heavily in the 1970's funk/disco era, with it's light but dancy clean, compressed sound paired with a Fender twin amp (as well as many other types of amp) chopped it's way through many a hit song and delivered every time live and in the studio. It even made an appearance in the Grunge area, basically whatever the decade and whatever the style of music that's been forefront since the 1950's - the Strat has been used to great effect. It is a reliable, work horse guitar that is perfect for out on the road live gigging, or in a recording studio being put to the test in session work 365 days a year.
There is no least favourite sound with a Strat, unless the input jack is faulty which can happen from time to time, maybe once every year or 2, or when trying to play a clean chord after a 15 minute straight Hendrix-at-Woodstock inspired feedback-fuelled lead with whammy bar torture session (only in the rehearsal room of course) and realising it's about 5 miles out of tune. Great times.


My favourite thing about a Strat is the fact it's a Strat. It sounds simple and cliche but when you've been playing guitar for a long time and are maybe a bit jaded by guitar music or music in general you just need to clear your mind, and just realise how honest and magical a real American Fender Stratocaster sounds. Even with a copy by Squire or Yamaha or some Chinese brand you've never heard of, even if you haven't got that great sound of an American model you can still pretend you are at Woodstock in front of hundreds of thousands of people playing a half hour long version of Purple Haze. For new and casual guitar players that might be all they want, and that's perfectly ok. With me when it comes to drumming i am honestly the worlds worst drummer but whenever i get a shot of a drum kit i pretend i'm John Bonham or Dave Lombardo trying crazy double bass pedal runs (then seizing up with leg cramp after 30 seconds) but enough about that. I actually got given my Strat as a present years ago but i would buy a Strat time and time again, along with the Les Paul it is one of the most iconic guitars money can buy and if you can afford the $700-800 price tag for an American Strat, then it will be well worth it as it will never lose it's value and sounds like a guitar should. It does have limitations (use for drop tuned Slipknot-esque metal is not recommended with a Strat) but it's possibilities far outweigh them.

So all in all, if it's good enough for Nile Rodgers and the 3 guitar players from Iron Maiden (yes all 3 of them) then it's good enough for me and you. Give a Strat a home and buy one now.
MGR/david somebody03/30/2005

MGR/david somebody's review"Fender American Series Standard Stratocaster"

Fender American Standard Stratocaster [2012-Current]
I got this guitar as a birthday present at guitar center about 3 months ago. I've done alot of searching all over the internet and all over different stores and this guitar seemed to be the best out of the rest. I payed around 800$ and it is sure worth the money

Almost everything. The neck is very smooth and easy to playh on. Also the tuners are well locked and rarely goes off tune. Also its a very good looking guitar.

The factory setup is not too good so i suggest that you get it setup once you get the guitar.

This guitar was pretty weel built. Just like any other Fender, the quality is great.

If you are looking for a Classic Fender Strat tone, this is the guitar for you... now go buy it!

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com

MGR/Geoff's review"Fender American Series Standard Stratocaster"

Fender American Standard Stratocaster [2012-Current]
I got this guitar from a SamAsh Music Store in Westminster, California for $800 plus some extra accesories Fender and SamAsh threw in. Some of the accesories that Fender included was a set of Schaller straplocks, a Fender logo strap, a cleaning cloth, a plastic hardshell case, and a warranty. It has a metallic blue finish (Fender calls it "Chrome Blue") and a rosewood fretboard. Mine has the two-point tremolo system.

The finish is beautiful, the neck is fast and easy to play on. The frets are rolled on the edges instead of just filing at an angle which many companies do. The tuners keep the guitar in tune, so I don't have to tune it often. The pickups are great, they get all the classic strat sounds you'd want out of this styled guitar. The tremolo system suits my needs (If you really crank on it the guitar needs to be retuned). The pickguard and white knobs, etc. are just barely off-white, setting it apart from lesser strats, but don't look too yellow. The straplocks by Schaller are a nice add-on, the guitar won't fall off of you if the strap gets twisted. The wood has a smoother tone than the wood used on lesser Strats. The overall look of the guitar is beautiful. The case it comes in is a really nice plastic hardshell, molded on one side but straight on the other so you can set it on its side. Unlike most plastic cases, this one doesn't crack or break easily.

The strap that came with the guitar is cheap, so I'd recommend getting a nicer strap. The tremolo system is not suited for hard rock or metal use. Other than that I have no other rants.

This guitar is great quality. Everything about this package is great. The only item that I would replace is the strap.

This is a great guitar!!! I would take it over almost every other guitar I've played. It is great quality equiptment. I'd definitely recommend saving up for this guitar instead of getting a mexican strat. It may seem like a lot of money but it is worth every penny.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com

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Published on 03/24/12
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