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NGD - American Professional

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by rlogue1, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. nopicknick

    nopicknick Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    54
    12
    Dec 25, 2016
    Alabama
    I have a Am Pro SSS and really like it a lot. Yours is beautiful too. I like the neck pickup just fine, but thought the bridge was too glassy. So I put an Eric Johnson bridge pickup in there, and so far like it better. Changed the pickguard and saddles too.

    [​IMG]
     

  2. Chasy

    Chasy Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    452
    Jun 7, 2018
    Danbury CT
    Congrats, they have one just like it in my guitar center. Stunning but I have no problem resisting the temptation. Narrow talks ugh. Ok if your Mavis Beacon but not me. The finish is amazing. Like liquid wood.
     

  3. bluesman1956

    bluesman1956 Strat-O-Master

    833
    Dec 3, 2012
    Upstate NY
    I’m going to get one, just been waiting patiently for the right one to be listed
     

  4. rlogue1

    rlogue1 Strat-Talk Member

    14
    Jul 8, 2014
    St Louis
    Give me a couple days for that. Out of the box, my American Standard with Fat 50’s sounds nicer clean. I strongly believe the pickups are too high. I’m going to play with them over the next few days and will report back.
     

  5. Yaralag

    Yaralag Senior Stratmaster

    Gorgeous! I really like those Am Pros.
     

  6. Kdawg1966

    Kdawg1966 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    52
    117
    Jan 10, 2018
    Minnesota
    I've got a HSS Am. Pro. as well. Fender really did these well. Congrats on yours!
     

  7. Murphcaster

    Murphcaster Strat-O-Master

    721
    Oct 17, 2013
    West Virginia
    Nice! I like the Antique Olive and black guard combo but after seeing yours, I think it looks better.
     
    nopicknick likes this.

  8. Hudman_1

    Hudman_1 Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    49
    363
    May 12, 2018
    Gibraltar Michigan
    I agree! I bought, modified and sold many different USA and Mexico Strats over the years.

    I didn’t know anything about the AmPro model when I bought mine in Feb of 2017. The wife and I went into Guitar Center to kill some time on a date night between our dinner and a movie.

    I played several Strats that day. The last one I played was a sonic gray SSS Strat with rosewood. The color caught my eye. The salesman handed it to me and I played it with no expectations. I remember My first thought was the bridge was interesting: Modern 2 point tremolo with vintage bent saddles.

    The neck profile felt great from the second I picked it up. The rolled fret edges and tall/thin frets made it play like butter. I plugged it in and was impressed with the pickups as well. The sales guy came over and filled me in about the AmPro model.

    My wife could tell I loved it. She bought it for me as an early birthday gift. I walked out of there with it 20 minutes after playing it.

    The only modification I made was Fender locking tuners. I did it to make string changes a little easier.

    I plan to keep it forever.
     
    PF Twanger likes this.

  9. Count Glockula®

    Count Glockula® Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    107
    561
    Aug 16, 2009
    Fenderland, CA

  10. Wrighty

    Wrighty Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 7, 2013
    Harlow, Essex, UK
    What be says
     

  11. rlogue1

    rlogue1 Strat-Talk Member

    14
    Jul 8, 2014
    St Louis
    The Pickups: I said I’d follow up after I had some time to play with it. There’s some good and bad in my opinion.

    1. It sounded so much better after I changed the strings and did a setup. I thought it was good before, but now after fresh strings and some tweaking, it’s a lot better.

    2. I thought I would be able to replace my American Standard w/ Fat 50’s with this guitar. I’m not convinced yet. Although the 50’s are a little week, the clarity and over tone to me is much more appealing on the 50’s for clean work or very light over drive. The V Mods are a little harsh and less “pretty” sounding. That doesn’t make them bad, just means for my own taste, looks like I’ll have to keep two guitars.

    3. I spent a lot of time playing with the pickup heights. To dial each one where I thought they sounded best (in each case I lowered them), the volumes are definitely out of balance. So I still have more experimenting to do to find the sweet spots. What I have not done, and what will probably solve my problem is to EQ pedal it.

    4. The Shawbucker: Seems like it’s strongest and at it’s best with either very little over drive or heavy over drive. I would think for country or blues it would do well at the low over drive. For some medium to hard rock (think Van Halen), the Shawbucker is really nice. It handles the dirt well and remains very articulate. At medium gain (think ZZ Top 70’s), I prefer the American Fat 50’s single coil to the Shawbucker.

    5. The V-mods, I haven’t figured out what to do with them yet. They sound fine. If I didn’t have the American Standard, I’d probably think they were great. But as stated above, they don’t sound as sweet as the Fat 50’s to me.

    6. I play mostly Classic Rock, from light to heavier and I’m playing through a Fender HotRod Deville, which probably isn’t the best amp for this guitar. I’ve been looking at a Marshall combo or Mesa combo, my opinion of the sounds my completely change through a different amp.

    7. To me, this guitar is for rocking out. For the lighter stuff, I think the American Standard is better suited.

    8. I’m way too OCD, you might plug it in and toss all your other guitars out the window.... so don’t read too much into my opinions.
     
    PF Twanger likes this.

  12. ChukkerNation

    ChukkerNation Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    49
    Apr 9, 2015
    Magrathea
    Man there are some nice Am Pro's in this thread.
     
    rlogue1 likes this.

  13. PF Twanger

    PF Twanger Strat-Talk Member

    67
    Jun 4, 2018
    Nashville
    rlogue1: I really appreciate the effort you put into testing and writing this up. Your point #2 is exactly at the heart of my concern with the AmPro. Like you, I do the vast majority of my playing in relatively clean or lightly overdriven tones. Every clean demo of the Vmods that I've heard seems to have some mild breakup in it--even at low volume. It sounds brittle to my ears.

    I was hoping that someone would try the kinds of things you did--setup, lowering the pickup height, and so forth, and report back with the magic formula for "clean Vmods." I like every other improvement, but so far for me the pickups are the dealbreaker.
     
    rlogue1 likes this.

  14. rlogue1

    rlogue1 Strat-Talk Member

    14
    Jul 8, 2014
    St Louis
    My thoughts right now is that the guitar does fill a need a have, which is a heavier but articulate sound in the bridge. My thinking is if I had it to do over again, I would buy an HH version. Then I’d have an HH and a SSS. I think eventually I’ll put a bucket in the neck to even put the volume and tone, to me that would make it a more useful guitar.
     
    PF Twanger likes this.

  15. PF Twanger

    PF Twanger Strat-Talk Member

    67
    Jun 4, 2018
    Nashville
    If I'm reading you right, the SSS would be your fat 50's AmStandard, and the HH would be a pair of Shawbuckers, meaning that you're skipping the Vmods entirely?
     

  16. rlogue1

    rlogue1 Strat-Talk Member

    14
    Jul 8, 2014
    St Louis
    Eventually, yes... maybe. I’ll definitely play around for a couple months before i do that, but that’s how I feel today.

    After our “conversation” I went in and played purely through the clean channel with the v mods, they are okay... I prefer the 50’s but they don’t sound bad. Where i start to have heartache is when I’m trying to play in the overdrive channel and use volume to roll off to a clean sound... I do not like them at all in that scenario.
     
    PF Twanger likes this.

  17. PF Twanger

    PF Twanger Strat-Talk Member

    67
    Jun 4, 2018
    Nashville
    It limits your options for sure. I usually go the other way around--play primarily clean, and dig in a bit when I want a little hair on it. It doesn't look good for me: if your prefer the 50's in that scenario, I'll bet I would, too.

    I'm fortunate to have an Am Std with the fat 50's, and another ash Am Std that came stock with Custom Shop 54's that were only made in 2004. Looks like I'll be standing pat for awhile. Again, thanks for taking he trouble to try this out and report on it so articulately!
     

  18. rlogue1

    rlogue1 Strat-Talk Member

    14
    Jul 8, 2014
    St Louis
    My pleasure. I learned a lot about my own personal preferences in the process.
     
    PF Twanger likes this.

  19. TubeStack

    TubeStack Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    44
    22
    Dec 2, 2017
    Canada
    I just put Lollars Blackfaces in my Am Pro and they’d amazing. Like them a lot more than the V-Mods.
     

  20. gjohnson441496

    gjohnson441496 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    61
    286
    Jun 6, 2017
    TN
    Great review.