Join Strat-Talk Today

Buying my first Stratocaster, in need of advice

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by jonatanfredholm, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. jonatanfredholm

    jonatanfredholm Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Location:
    Sweden
    Hello everybody, my name is Jonatan, I live in Sweden and I just turned 18 and I am about to buy my first Stratocaster, finally!

    I have been around my local guitar shops but I have found nothing that has been of interest for me unfortunately, so I talked to one of my friends who ordered his guitar from thomann.de so I checked and found two guitar who were both in my price range and that I thought looked cool.

    Now, I am fairly new to Stratocasters, I have done some reading but I bet I am way behind from you guys so I could use some advice either on what to think about, websites that are good, specs on the guitars etc.

    The two guitars I have been thinking about are below:
    Fender AM Special Strat VIB FSR - Thomann UK
    Fender 60th Anni Classic Player Strat - Thomann UK
    (The links and prices are from the UK because I asume most of you are from the US and know English.)

    I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on these guitars, some pros and cons on them or what else I can look at kinda in the same price range. I also was wondering what the difference was between the American Special Strat and the American Standard, the prices are quite far from each other so I asume there is a difference, maybe someone can fill in on that.

    Thanks in advance,
    Jonatan
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  2. normj

    normj Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    900
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Location:
    Indiana
    Hello there,

    A few points of difference include:
    1) frets. The American Special has jumbo frets and the Classic Player has medium jumbo frets.
    2) bridge. The American Special has a 6 screw mount (vintage) tremolo bridge and the Classic Player has a 2 point (modern) tremolo bridge. The 2 point tremolo bridge is the bridge used on the American Standard Stratocaster.
    3) pickups. The American Special the pickups that used to be used on the American Standard. The American Standard no longer has those; it now has Fender Custom Shop Fat 50s. The Classic Player has vintage voiced pickups. That means they are lower output (not as hot), but will have sort of a 50s Fender sound.
    4) neck profile. The American Special has a C profile neck. The Classic Player has a V profile neck.
    5) finish. (This is big in my opinion). The American Special has a urethane finish. The Classic Player has a nitro lacquer finish. I prefer lacquer finish. Not as durable as urethane. The lacquer will show age (naturally relic) with time and use. But I think lacquer sounds better.

    Those guitars will sound quite different. If you want a modern sound, the American Special would be the better fit. If you prefer the classic vintage Fender sound, the Classic Player would be a better fit.

    The guitars will feel different to play. The C profile is more common these days on Strats. The V profile is a profile found on 50s era Strats. Not everyone likes the feel of the V profile. But some great Strat players do prefer it, including Gilmour and Clapton. I find the V profile more comfortable to play. But as I said, not everyone will share that opinion. That is why the C profile is more common on modern Strats.

    Talk to you later,
    Norm
     
  3. MadMatt986

    MadMatt986 New Member!

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Location:
    Germany
    I am a bassist just getting into guitar and recently had the same question. ! also looked at some of the same strats you are considering. I think you really need to find a local store that has an American Special and Standard so you can compare.

    I found the American Standard to be better quality wise and it felt a little better (hard for me to judge as I am a beginner). I had the sales guy play both and I simply liked the sound of the American Standard a little better.

    I pulled the trigger on the American standard... The one I was looking at was actually an older model (2011, but fresh out of the box) and they gave me a good deal on it. Its was not quite as cheep as the American Special but within the range I could afford. Give you local shop a try... they probably will not be able to beat the "big T" price but often you can still find great deals... and usually they will set it up for free while you wait. I don't believe Thomann does a set up before they ship. The guy at the shop even asked me if I intended to use the vibrato, since I am a beginner he recommended blocking the Tremelo... They even added an extra spring free of charge. :)

    I hope that helps.
     
  4. revmike

    revmike Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Never played either one, but the 60th Anniversary one looks gorgeous.
     
  5. stratocarlster

    stratocarlster Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    7,896
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Location:
    Telephone Road
    This may have been confirmation bias - you expected the cheaper model to feel cheaper, so it did. I have found the Am Special to be built to the same standard as the Am Standard. However I'm not a fan of the Special's jumbo frets. Then again I don't much like the CP50s' soft V neck either!

    Jonatan -- do you have any fret size/neck profile preferences, based on previous guitars you've played?
     
  6. jonatanfredholm

    jonatanfredholm Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Location:
    Sweden
    Well I have played both C shaped necks and V shaped necks and I feel comfortable with both, possibly because I have quite big hands, the V shape does not bother me too much, as for the frets I don't really know, the electrics I have played I have not paid attention to the frets too much, other than that I have mostly played acoustic.
     
  7. jonatanfredholm

    jonatanfredholm Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Location:
    Sweden
    Thanks for all the information, a lot of stuff you said I did not know or pay attention to, this will help me make my decision. :)
     
  8. jonatanfredholm

    jonatanfredholm Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Location:
    Sweden
    I know, I completly feel in love with the neck on the 60th Anniversary one, but maybe the studio lightning has something to do with that, still looks very good.
     
  9. jonatanfredholm

    jonatanfredholm Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Location:
    Sweden
    I was just at one of my local guitar shops and played one of their American Specials simular to the one I linked, I think I will go for one of those, I feelt the C shaped neck was better for me than the V shaped one.

    Thanks for all the advice guys, I will make sure to get some pictures and a video out once I get the guitar home.
     
  10. Mandrax

    Mandrax Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,208
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    Personally I would get the American Special, I love the big frets, plus I love the finish on that one! Don't rule out the CP though, but I wouldn't pay £750.00 for one. There are other models available for over £100.00 less which would be much better value for money.
     
  11. Duceditor

    Duceditor Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    496
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Location:
    Peterborough NH
    You have here limited your selection to two very fine, somewhat different, models. The forum members have discussed some of their differences and pointed out a few things that they think might help you choiose between them.

    The variety of thoughts -- all sound and put forth as what they are: subjective judgements (three cheers for that!) -- should, IMO, allow you to now feel confident in your ability to choose wisely what is best for you.

    I've been playing for over 45 years, have owned several Strats in that time, yet did not find my own voice on any of them until I picked up a Classic Series `50s model. Its looked blew me away -- likely in part because it has such joyous vibes for a person of my generation. But two other aspects made it work especially well for me (and I mention these to again stress how subjective all this is), one was the 7.25 inch radius, soft V neck, the other is the vintage sound of the pickups -- bright, sparkly, with relatively little gain.

    Now these very things might make it a poor choice for many other players, and yet none could reasonably say it that makes it a less wonderful guitar.

    So... go to your dealer, plug each guitar into an amp that has the sound you foresee playing using, and then take your time.

    Try rhythm playing on all the PU positions. Does it have the heft and chunk you desire? Try leads in all registers upper and lower strings, up and down the neck. Try string bends and adding finger vibrato of you use that in your personal style of playing.

    Which guitar is more responsive to your touch? Which has a voice (or voices) that speaks to you? And then picture yourself in a venue you play at (or dream of one day playing at) and see which guitar you see there in yur mind's eye when your forehead and fingers are sweating and your totally lost in your groove.

    You'll know! You'll know! :D

    -don
     
  12. jonatanfredholm

    jonatanfredholm Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Location:
    Sweden
    Yeah the Classic Player I linked is quite expensive, I think that has to do with the tweed case you get with it, but I will probably go with the American Special one and save the money that is left for a new AMP.
     
  13. jonatanfredholm

    jonatanfredholm Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Location:
    Sweden
    Thanks for the post Don!

    I will definitely not rush this decision as I plan to keep the guitar I buy for as long as I live, these two guitars really caught my eye and the help from all you kind people on this forum will make the decision much easier.
     
  14. datstrat

    datstrat Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    267
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Location:
    Canada

    I don't know how people manage to buy new fresh American Fenders as if it's no big deal. Even used ones on Craigslist are pretty pricey for me..

    MIMs it is for me.
     
  15. slowesthand

    slowesthand Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,979
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    Location:
    NY
    Of the two guitars the OP is considering the MIM is more expensive.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.