American Standard

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by espyhop, Jun 12, 2020.

  1. jtoomuch

    jtoomuch Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I had an American Standard and I loved it, but I am honestly just as happy with my American Performer.
     
  2. bob l

    bob l Strat-Talk Member

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    I bought an American Standard when they were introduced in 1987. Along the way I have changed pickups and tremolo block, and added and removed a Tremsetter. The neck profile is a little thin for my preference, but I have hung on to it.
     
  3. Lost In Autumn

    Lost In Autumn New Member!

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    I'm currently building one- I've got the pickguard assembled with a set of pickups from '00-01, complete with the TBX- I began assembling it last night, Gotoh tuners and a Wilkinson Tremolo and went to take some relief out of the neck, only to have the nut snap off the truss rod. Luckily, it was a cheap Mighty Mite neck that came with a Warmouth Jazzmaster body I'd bought, so it's no big loss, apart from the time spent refinishing the neck and $10 for a decal. I'll go back to the drawing board and do it right with an AllParts neck or something decent.
     
  4. Wayfinder

    Wayfinder Strat-Talker

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    It is a fact of Murphy's Law that the best will always be eliminated. This applies not only to guitars but television shows, flavors of ice cream, medicines-that-work-well-but-aren't-uber-profitable, and car models. In the case of guitars I would guess some new VIP of Marketing felt he had to prove worth his increased wage... and decided to replace the American with some newer, fancier, "better" model.

    "If it ain't broke don't fix it." It would seem that over thousands of years, humankind in general has still failed to learn that lesson.

    THE NEWER, BETTER, HOLLOW-BODY STRAT...

    Holey Guitar.jpg
     
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  5. roccster

    roccster Strat-Talk Member

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    So glad I got hold of a OL-white 2011, just an amazing guitar in every way.
    I almost didn´t buy it since it had some dead tones (and super old strings), so it wasn´t a dream to play on, but the price was really good so I bought it. Took it home and gave it some TLC, and man I don´t regret that for a second. Just one of the best guitars I have ever owned. Only mod I have done is that I replaced the switch with a super-switch.
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  6. Josh_t24

    Josh_t24 Strat-Talk Member

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    I have one 2014 USA standard and one 2015 USA standard. They're amazing guitars. Comparable to any custom shop guitar I've played. I wish they still made them exactly the same way. The Pros are solid but not quite as good IMO. The neck profile, pickups, and fret changes make a difference in a bad way.
     
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  7. afireinside

    afireinside Strat-Talker

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    Love my recently snagged sienna burst 2011 everything about it. I wish i had snagged a brand new Oly White one in 2012ish when Best Buy was closing their music locations for $575....... wasent into Oly White THEN.......
     
  8. gofmusic

    gofmusic Senior Stratmaster

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    I rarely buy new, so theres nothing to miss for me.

    Also, I have an Am Pro strat and I dont think theres anything wrong with it. Love some standards too, hate some too. You know how it goes with guitars... each one is diff blah blah blah

    What I think its better on the pro is the neck profile and the pop in tremolo arm. Pickups are a personal thing, and an easy fix, I think I like the fat50s better than the pro pickups.

    [EDIT] And... block saddles feel better but look worse IMO so... at the end of the day its almost the same f... guitar with minor changes... and we tend to get whiny over details.
     
  9. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    Enlighten me. I have a Pro that I really like, and reading the comments I went looking and couldn't find any real difference in the saddles. So that leaves the feel, i.e., frets and pickups ad the primary differences? Leave aside the feel, from what I can find the Standard had Custom fat 50's?

    Reason I ask is that I'm thinking that buying a loaded pickguard with the right pickups that I can swap out should give me the option of having the best of both worlds?
     
  10. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Dr. Stratster

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    I love the neck carve, but with the tall skinny frets, I couldn’t put my fingers in the same place on the board without pulling the strings sharp. But that’s just me. It would make a lovely guitar with different pickups to me.
     
  11. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Dr. Stratster

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    For awhile, the American standard had block saddles @Baelzebub
     
  12. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    That's what made me curious...I couldn't see any difference in the instance I found that looked any different from the saddles on my Pro...
     
  13. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    I see. I was trying to confirm that the pickups everyone who prefers them seem to like better are the Custom Fat 50's? Or did the pickup configurations vary over the years of production as well?
     
  14. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Dr. Stratster

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    As far as I know, the Am STD got Fat 50’s when they went to the rolled saddles.
     
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  15. yoreel

    yoreel Strat-Talk Member

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    I have an 87 American Standard, its probably one of the best strats I have played, for tone, comfort & playability, I recently set up & sold an 88 for a friend, the trem set up was easy & it stays in tune unlike some others, not a fan of the TBX, but thats the only negative, I very nearly kept it for myself, but resisted the temptation.

    I own several Dan Smith era strats, they are all good & in the same league imho, although they have the 6 point trem, which also stays in tune, but is a bit more fiddly to set up, I do think the American Standard with the 2 point trem is a no nonsense great guitar.

    I have a lot of strats , but the 4 outstanding for tone & playability in this order are the 87 Am St, an 82 Walnut "Strat", a Smith era 82 Gold on Gold & a Smith era 82 Sienna sunburst, the rest are good, I can't quite put my finger on why the 4 are better, its just minor details & how they feel & sound in the hand.

    Here is the 87.

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  16. achar073

    achar073 Strat-Talk Member

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    I much prefer the modern C neck profile on my 2004 American series Strat over the deep C now on the American professional.

    Probably why I preferred the American performer strat over the American Pro when I tried out (but not a fan of the large headstock).
     
  17. turfdoc

    turfdoc Strat-Talk Member

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    I've never grown tired of my 88 Fullerton Am Std. Does pretty much any sound I want, and plays like a dream.
     
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  18. Iceboxshredder

    Iceboxshredder Strat-Talk Member

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    I just picked up a 97 strat standard. My first triple singles. Wow! Love the tone possibilities in it. A great find off GC used site. Looks almost new. People think it is. My preference is older guitars over new. More seasoning in them. I’ve an HH Strat Squier, different animal though.



    My 1983 American Tele Standard.
    A1D4590A-466E-4E5C-81EC-08C543EA3CF3.jpeg

    My 2011 Squire Strat HH Metallic Forest Green.
    180C7A8C-A894-435B-8F0C-EE85727C49FC.jpeg



    My newly acquired 1997 American Strat Standard.
    73607CEE-9886-4F03-AF84-5ADCD685AAA0.jpeg
     
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  19. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    That is correct - there have been several generations of American Standards, and there were updates along the way. The things that have stayed constant are the 2-post tremolo, the "modernized" wider nut width (essentially 1 11/16"). But here's kind of a quick rundown of the evolution:
    • American Standard v1: released in January 1987. Has the 2-post tremolo, solid cast saddles with a satin finish, 1 11/16" nut width satin finish neck with 22 medium jumbo frets and sealed tuners and 2 string trees, alnico V pickups with flat polepieces (all 3 pickups wound to the same output), master volume, tone for the neck pickup, and the Fender TBX tone pot wired to the middle and bridge pickups. The TBX tone pot is basically 2 pots with a single shaft and acts like a normal Fender 250k pot from 1-5 on the knob; you feel a detent, then it acts like a 1mg pot from 6-10. While the very first of them have fairly contoured bodies by the end of 1987 they are using a less contoured body with less "rounding" of the edges, more like the bodies you find on superstrats from Charvel/Jackson, ESP or Ibanez.
    • American Standard v1.5: circa late 1996/early 1997 the model is updated with the "Delta Tone" circuit - the bridge pickup is now slightly overwound compared to the other 2 pickups. The tone pot wired to the middle & bridge pickups changes from the TBX to a "no load" pot - it has a detent at "10" that takes the tone pot out of the circuit.
    • American Series: In July 2000 Fender does a series of updates - the body returns to vintage-style contours (and the "Original Contour Body" decal is restored), the necks have rolled fingerboard edges, the tuners are now staggered-height (2 tall posts and 4 short posts) and now with 1 string tree, alnico V pickups now have staggered-height polepieces, electronics stay the same (slightly overwound bridge pickup, no-load pot wired to the middle & bridge pickups), still with the cast saddles on the tremolo.
    • American Standard v2: In January 2008 Fender does some more updates and restores the "American Standard" name. The neck is now 1.685" wide instead of 1.6875" wide, tremolo now has the bent steel saddles. Pickups are still alnico V with the slightly overwound bridge pickup, still with the no-load pot for the middle & bridge pickup.
    • American Standard v2.5: In March 2012 the pickups change to the Custom Shop Fat 50s - the Fat 50s are all wound to the same output level
    • American Professional: In December 2016 the American Professionals replace the American Standards; there is a new neck shape that is a little fuller/fatter, the frets are now tall/narrow, the pickups are now the V-mod pickups (V-mods are individually done for each position - neck is half alnico 2 and half alnico 3 magnets; middle is half alnico 2 and half alnico V magnets, bridge is all alnico V magnets), tone for the middle & bridge is now a regular tone pot and they add a treble bleed circuit. Tremolo now has a snap-in trem arm.
    Hope this helps.
     
  20. FrieAsABird

    FrieAsABird Strat-O-Master

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    The only American Standard I ever had was a 96 or 97 in Daphne? Sonic? Well definitely some kind of light blue, and I personally never warmed up to it- guess im a sucker for 21 frets lol. Was a beauty tho, had sat in a case for 15 or so years and was pretty gunky- had a blast cleaning it, but had to sell it ultimatively due to a bad case of GAS for something else... Sometimes I miss it, but mostly...

    I miss it.

    EDIT: It was Sonic Blue with a RW fretboard, looked great...
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020