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Old March 23rd, 2012, 07:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The new 2012 vs older Am Std Strats comparision

I had the chance to play the new American standard Strat for 2012 vs the older version today at Guitar center.I was always a fan of the recent Am Stds made since 2008 and was curious to see what difference the fat 50s pickups now available in the new models would make.The 2 guitars themselves are the same...the pickups are the only real difference.I played both through a deluxe reverb reissue on the normal channel with the EQ set flat(bass and treble halfway at 5)with the volume at 4 which was still clean to reveal exactly what the pickups are doing without being colored by distortion or other effects.The fat 50s pickups seem to have more clarity in the highs and mids...more of the classic bell tone we think of in old vintage Strats.The older Am Std pickups sound great but are a little flatter and smoother in comparision...a little more sterile compared to the rawer fat 50s pickups.I think sonically it was a good move on Fender's part although the price for the 2012 model is $100 more now which is not going to help boost sales.

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Old March 23rd, 2012, 08:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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the price for the 2012 model is $100 more now which is not going to help boost sales.
I would guess that someone at Fender took a hard look at actual costs to make an American guitar and forced the price hike. Adding the Chinese lineup also brings more price points into the lineup, making the MIA start to look like a premium line (good thing from a marketing perspective). Fender is also pretty notorious for increasing prices and then panicking and doing hefty rebates to customers. Expect that anything Fender does now is to set the company up for the IPO, so it looks good on paper. Back to the guitars themselves.....making a change for the better in pickups gives the guitar more value, so can be used to justify the higher price.....even if it costs no more to manufacture.
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 08:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the review Sonny, very interesting, I was actually wondering how they would compare.
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 09:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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For me, that change it not very appealing. I'm glad I got mine in 2010. The "smooth" aspect versus "vintage" is what sold it to me. If I had wanted Vintage, I would've chosen one of the many other options (CV, Classic series, AVRI etc.).
However, I do think that 90% of Strat buyers do want Vintage and Vintage only, so the strategy makes sense.
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 10:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I guess Fender still doesn't like us lefty's....was looking on their sight and they offer us black, white, and sunburst!!!!! How very original.

Thanks for the review and I will definitely need to check them out.
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 11:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Everything and everybody is going up in price these days. They probably would have gone up with or without the change, IMO.

I'm still not sure I like the idea of the Standard giving nod to vintage. There are so many other series that do that, it's all starting to blend together. They should have went the other way and added more "latest and greatest."
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 11:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the review Sonny. I'm probably not going to buy too many more new guitars, but I like trying to keep track of what they're doing. I have a '90 Am Std which is really a nice guitar but the neck is a little too thin to my liking, especially after I lucked onto a '62 Hot Rod. As far as the pickups, with all the aftermarket options and factory Strat models with different pickups I can't keep track of them anymore. A local Best Buy was clearing out Billy Corgan Strats for $750.00 which was unbelievable, but those high gain pickups were just too much for me. I think there's something in Fender's line for just about everyone if you can wade through all the models and options.
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 12:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think the actual transaction price on the 2012 guitars will end up the same as they were 12 months ago. The "increase" is to give the dealers more leverage, so they don't have to discount the 2011 (and possibly 2010) Am. Standards in stock so deeply. This is an old marketing tool - nothing to lose sleep over.
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 02:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I guess Fender still doesn't like us lefty's....was looking on their sight and they offer us black, white, and sunburst!!!!! How very original.

Thanks for the review and I will definitely need to check them out.
Play a righty backwards, like God did for example
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 02:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by crawdaddy
I guess Fender still doesn't like us lefty's....was looking on their sight and they offer us black, white, and sunburst!!!!! How very original.

Thanks for the review and I will definitely need to check them out.
Funny, when I was at the fender factory tour the tour guide said what's great about fender is that we make almost every guitar for left handed players as well. I looked up at him and said no you don't. He didn't find what I said very funny.
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 03:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Starting to see some nice discounts on new 2011 guitars in the uk now.
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 03:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I had the chance to play the new American standard Strat for 2012 vs the older version today at Guitar center.I was always a fan of the recent Am Stds made since 2008 and was curious to see what difference the fat 50s pickups now available in the new models would make.The 2 guitars themselves are the same...the pickups are the only real difference.I played both through a deluxe reverb reissue on the normal channel with the EQ set flat(bass and treble halfway at 5)with the volume at 4 which was still clean to reveal exactly what the pickups are doing without being colored by distortion or other effects.The fat 50s pickups seem to have more clarity in the highs and mids...more of the classic bell tone we think of in old vintage Strats.The older Am Std pickups sound great but are a little flatter and smoother in comparision...a little more sterile compared to the rawer fat 50s pickups.I think sonically it was a good move on Fender's part although the price for the 2012 model is $100 more now which is not going to help boost sales.
Thanks for that quicky review Sonny. I just bought a 2010 last year and have been immensely pleased with it. I'm glad they didn't change much but the pups but it sounds like a good direction to go in.
I'll have to try one myself in the near future. Don't know what to say about the price but that's a sign of the times. Inflation will always be with us.
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 05:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Fat 50's have been available as upgrades for a good few years. I have an '08 Am Std, but I think I'll stick with the DiMarzio Noiseless I have in it for now!
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 09:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I think I'll stick with the DiMarzio Noiseless I have in it for now!
What do you think I am going to say to that
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Old March 24th, 2012, 08:47 AM   #15 (permalink)
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What do you think I am going to say to that
You prefer D.Allens or GFS? You have limited experience with Noiseless pups though Strato. If you start playing 'round Bars and Clubs, you may some day be glad of them.
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Old March 24th, 2012, 08:53 AM   #16 (permalink)
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You prefer D.Allens or GFS? You have limited experience with Noiseless pups though Strato. If you start playing 'round Bars and Clubs, you may some day be glad of them.
I play around, I have played a bunch of bars and clubs. There has only been 1 night where I wished I had noiseless pickups. At a club, when we went into Red House this one night, the amount of hum from neck pickup was just short of unbearable, as supposedly, there was a radio broadcast nearby. I was playing GFS 59 Pro Series pickups, it was June of last year. It sounded great, better than any noiseless pickup IMO, but the amount of noise that night was awful. FWIW I started playing D. Allens in January of this year.
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Old March 24th, 2012, 08:55 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I guess Fender still doesn't like us lefty's....was looking on their sight and they offer us black, white, and sunburst!!!!! How very original.

Thanks for the review and I will definitely need to check them out.

Is it true that Fender still puts right handed control knobs on their left handed guitars? I had a leftie friend who complained bitterly about that, considering the left handed Am Std was $50 more money than the right handed version.

This was several years ago & in Canada.
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Old March 24th, 2012, 10:40 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Is it true that Fender still puts right handed control knobs on their left handed guitars? I had a leftie friend who complained bitterly about that, considering the left handed Am Std was $50 more money than the right handed version.

This was several years ago & in Canada.
Right-handed control knobs? As in the letters are upside-down or? I've never thought about this, very curious...
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Old March 24th, 2012, 01:20 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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I play around, I have played a bunch of bars and clubs. There has only been 1 night where I wished I had noiseless pickups. At a club, when we went into Red House this one night, the amount of hum from neck pickup was just short of unbearable, as supposedly, there was a radio broadcast nearby. I was playing GFS 59 Pro Series pickups, it was June of last year. It sounded great, better than any noiseless pickup IMO, but the amount of noise that night was awful. FWIW I started playing D. Allens in January of this year.
Well there ya go! There's no way D. Allen pickups would have been that noisy.

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Old March 24th, 2012, 02:00 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Well there ya go! There's no way D. Allen pickups would have been that noisy.

Haha, I do hear less noise with the D. Allens though. In the scenario I mentioned, the D. Allens still would have been noisy as hell though.
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