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Fender Deluxe vs Fender American Special

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by RevBillyG, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. RevBillyG

    RevBillyG Strat-Talker

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    I'm thinking about buying another guitar but I'm not seeing exactly what I want. These two guitars have most everything.

    I like the '70s headstock. I like vintage style split tuners. I like Vintage tremelo. I prefer 21 frets (don't really care for that fretboard overhang thing).

    Both of these guitars have 22 frets... Neither guitar has the split tuners, but the Deluxe have the little tuner buttons, so that's close. The American has the six point tremelo... but isn't the two point "better"?

    There's a $200 difference between these guitars. I'm trying not to let that factor into the decision, I'm trying to keep it based soley on the instrument.

    Fender Deluxe


    Fender American Special


    What do you think?
     
  2. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

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    At that price point, I'd look into a used American Standard, or for a few dollars more, a used American Deluxe. But thats not what you asked, so ...

    Id almost always choose a MiA over a MiM. Even though the Special is considered by some to be the "entry level" MiA Strat, they are still very good guitars.

    The two point trem is better, in my opinion. That said, the six point, if set up correctly, is fine. Just dont expect to be doing any Van Halen dive bombs with it.

    Something to seriously consider is the pick ups. The Special has Texas Specials, the Deluxe has Vintage Noiseless.

    I really like Fender noiseless pups, and have the N3 version in my MiA Deluxe, but some people have a strong dislike for them. its a purely personal thing, and pups can be changed, but its something to consider.

    Also consider the neck radius. The Special has a 9.5" radius, the MiM Deluxe has a 12".
    So yea, they are very different beasts.

    Which one would I choose? Hard to say.
    I love MiA Strats, but the Vintage Noiseless pups and 12" radius neck are hard to pass up.
     
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  3. RevBillyG

    RevBillyG Strat-Talker

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    Are you suggesting I could do Van Halen dive bombs with a well set up two point?
     
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  4. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

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    Sure, you can do them. Just dont expect to be in tune after :D

    In truth, my Dlx has a two point with locking tuners, and I can get pretty aggressive with the bar. Its no Floyd Rose, but its very stable. All things considered.

    But no, going all out 80s Metal insanity dive bombing will knock it out of tune.
     
  5. Blue Beagle

    Blue Beagle Strat-Talker

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    American Special cannot be beaten for value
     
  6. TimJ

    TimJ Strat-Talker

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    I own both, and couldn't decide between them if I had to choose.

    As far as trem stability goes, I wouldn't say one is better than the other, I put locking tuners on all my Strats and I think that helps (though others have said locking tuners are snake oil, they work for me).
     
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  7. RevBillyG

    RevBillyG Strat-Talker

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    I was actually leaning towards the American Special at first. I've got one of those Hand Stained Nitro Honeybursts from a few years back & I love the guitar.

    However, I know there'd be a pickup swap. I never cared for Texas Specials. & since theDuck mentioned the 12" radius, I started to lean towards the Deluxe. I don't know that I'd like the Vintage Noiseless (N2), I've played through them before, way back when, don't remember anything special/not special about them though.

    But you speak of "value." Do you mind expounding on what that means?

    Back when I bought my Nitro Stained American Special I got it for less than $700 out the door. Now, a similar guitar is going for $300 more. I don't want this to be about the money, but if we're talking "value" the standard Deluxe seems to be checking all the boxes.
     
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  8. newplayeroldguy

    newplayeroldguy in the wind

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    Rev, I'm curious- you mentioned the nitro satin- have one as well. They have a 9.5" radius. do you prefer a 12"?
     
  9. aviamsi

    aviamsi Senior Stratmaster

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    If you have the chance, play them both.
    You might have the answer afterwards.
     
  10. Ezekiel_S

    Ezekiel_S Strat-Talker

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    For tuning stability get a trem system (Floyd or not) with a locking nut. That'll return your strings to tune.
     
  11. RevBillyG

    RevBillyG Strat-Talker

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    It's one of the things in the back of my mind that intrigues me. Fender has started doing the 12" radius, compound radius, compound neck shapes recently & when I hear about it I'm always like, "That sounds cool, I'd like to try one of those."

    But so far I haven't bought anything with any of those "features" from Fender.

    I've got other guitars with 10" & 12" radiuses... I think I even have a 16"

    Honestly, I never even think about or notice the difference unless I'm putting one down & move on to something with a 7.5" like my Teles & FotoFlame.

    Good point. 12" radius should not be an issue.
     
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  12. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Tough one. Both? Ok, just one? I like the mini switch. Having all three pickups at once. I had a 2013 American Deluxe in my hands a few weeks ago. The n3 pickups were fine to my ear. Both tremolo systems work fine. Looks like I'd take the deluxe.
     
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  13. RevBillyG

    RevBillyG Strat-Talker

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    Good idea.

    For whatever reason, I'm not seeing the Fender Deluxe in any of the stores I've been to lately. & I've gone as far as 125 miles.

    The American Specials are everywhere. Including my man cave if I count my US Nitro
     
  14. RevBillyG

    RevBillyG Strat-Talker

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    Just to be clear, the Deluxe I'm looking at is the standard Deluxe. Not the American Deluxe.
     
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  15. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yep. Just commenting on the noiseless pickups in general. Even thought these noiseless are different from the ones just tried. They have a love/hate reputation here. Some love em, some hate em. I liked em.
     
  16. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Can you find these models local and give em a spin through the same amp? That would be the thing.
     
  17. WaymoreBlue

    WaymoreBlue Strat-Talker

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    Special, great guitars!
     
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  18. TimJ

    TimJ Strat-Talker

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    Or a third option...the Deluxe Roadhouse has similar specs to the Deluxe, but with a midboost, which is quite cool if you like rockier styles.
     
  19. RevBillyG

    RevBillyG Strat-Talker

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    I actually started at the deluxe roadhouse. But I didn't want the boost & battery box & whatnot, which lead me to the Deluxe.
     
  20. john lavelle

    john lavelle Senior Stratmaster

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    The deluxe checks a lot of boxes, but the deal killer for me is the 12" radius. I've had that neck on a tele and a Carvin strat. - it took me a while to figure out that it was the radius that i couldn't mind with. The tale was a Nashville deluxe I think. I also tried the same deluxe you are looking at at GC. Just can't do the neck. I say get the special!
     
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