Help me decide on an American Ultra

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by MTguitar, Jul 31, 2021.

  1. MTguitar

    MTguitar Strat-Talker

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    Living in central Montana, I don’t get the chance to visit good guitar stores often. A couple weeks ago I was down in Billings (Montana’s largest city) and went to a guitar store down there.

    I played a bunch of guitars that I’ve never seen in person, including several LP’s, a vintage spec’d Tele of some sort, a Clapton Strat, Eric Johnson Strat, and a few others.

    But the one I keep thinking about was a HSS American Ultra. Not sure if it was really THAT nice or if it’s just because it’s the last guitar I tried before I left the store and so it’s the freshest on my mind.

    So what’s the general consensus on those?

    It made such an impact on me, I’ve been thinking about calling the store and having them ship it to me.

    But I don’t want to have it arrive and then be disappointed because it’s not as nice as I’m remembering.
     
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  2. Stratafied

    Stratafied Most Honored Senior Member

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    The Ultra is calling to you , grab it . What color and finger board combo are you looking at? As far as LPs go , I’m not a fan .
     
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  3. systolsys

    systolsys Strat-O-Master

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    I personally love the modern compound radius boards and the cutaway. I don't have an Ultra, but got 80% of the way there for 50% of the price by mating Jim Root and Elite necks with MIM deluxe bodies. I'm not on stage surrounded by gigawatts of lights, so I'm not attached to noiseless pickups.

    The Ultra neck carve is slightly different - Root neck is a standard C shape while the Elite is a C-D transition that is awesome. The Ultra's D is slightly different, but given you've had your hands on it, you know what it's like... and if it works for you, and you love the noiseless pickups in the Ultra, it's a no brainer. Pull the trigger. The joy of playing the instrument will continue well after the price premium is long forgotten

    If you think you are going to want to change the pickups, then maybe there's a most cost-effective way to get where you want to be.
     
  4. BuffaloHound

    BuffaloHound Strat-O-Master

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    What’s the store’s return policy?
     
  5. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I liked the Ultra, though not as much as my Elite. Still, the Ultra is a great guitar, and if it fits your hands, I'd say go for it.
     
  6. arct

    arct Strat-O-Master

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    Not a fan of the necks on them, but man, Texas Tea is just a sexy color. i almost bought a Tele just for that color.

    rct
     
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  7. MTguitar

    MTguitar Strat-Talker

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    Texas Tea/Maple

    Honestly, I’m not too picky on pickups. Not sure why. I think my ears just can’t hear that much difference in them.

    Not sure.
     
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  8. Stratafied

    Stratafied Most Honored Senior Member

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    Beautiful color combo!
     
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  9. CattleDog73

    CattleDog73 Strat-Talker

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    I’ve had my Texas Tea HSS for about a year and a half now, I still really like it. The neck is super comfy, one of my favorites. I was on the fence with the neck and middle pickups for a while but I think that was because I was trying to force them into the same settings as my other strats. Once I twisted a few knobs in my amp they came to life for me. The humbucker was aces from day one and splits real well.

    Overall a great guitar - just disappears and lets you do what you want with no fuss.
     
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  10. Ruscio

    Ruscio Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member Silver Member

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    I just got an ultra strat body recently, and it's the most comfortable strat body I've had. That's saying a lot given how nice all the rest have been, but the new contours and shaping around the neck heel are terrific. Of course, if you don't play up there much, it's no matter.
     
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  11. Lewbypls

    Lewbypls Strat-O-Master

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    I think the CME exclusive quicksilver color looks dope as hell
     
  12. BuffaloHound

    BuffaloHound Strat-O-Master

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    The specs of whatever guitar you play every day—within reason—will become what you prefer. But it doesn’t take much playing-time with a shiny new guitar for that to change.

    So buy what your heart desires and let your fingers adjust. All the guitars you’re looking at are top notch.
    I think you’ve already done a lot of research and you may be over-analyzing this decision.
    But I will again state that you should check out the store’s return policy.
    So buy the one you played last and liked the most. Exchange it for the other if y’all aren’t getting along after a week of playing every day.
     
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  13. fos1

    fos1 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I have had this Ultra since January. It is THAT nice.

    Texas_Tea.jpg
     
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  14. joesatch

    joesatch Strat-Talker

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    call the store and have them ship "THE ONE" you played. If you don't you'll always regret it
     
  15. Karol

    Karol Strat-Talk Member

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    I have white Tele Ultra for few weeks now. I didn't try it - ordered online and waited nervous wondering what will I receive and whether I will like it... Didn't post pics here yet, but will at some point...

    I think the biggest problem purists have with Ultra series are noiseless pickups. Personally I like them. Although I haven't played all the Teles in the world to be able to compare the sound, but I do think it sounds very well, and Tele-like. So this is something you need to figure out for yourself.

    Playability out of the box was spot on - I'm not a pro, but guitar plays really well and is very stable tuning wise. The finish, hardware, case and everything is top quality. You won't be disappointed with this. But at this price point you shouldn't really be...

    Also specs for Tele and reviewers didn't mention strap locks... so I didn't know the guitar will come with it. But it did... Nice surprise and wonder if it's the same in case of Strat :D
     
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  16. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    I have an Elite which shares #1 work with my EC. The EC neck is slimmer and faster, but the Elite works better in hot/sweaty venues. The back of the EC neck is stickier when the temperature goes up.
     
  17. fos1

    fos1 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    The Strat Ultra included strap locks.
     
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  18. TobyW

    TobyW Strat-Talk Member

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    I think specs-wise they are great, especially for live playing. I just can't bond with the neck shape.
     
  19. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Most Honored Senior Member

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    Is living in Montana as great as I think it is?
    I was there many years ago, and I was so impressed by it's open expansiveness, that it left me in awe.
    I always wanted to return. Maybe some day.

    Sorry, I have no opinion on the ultra.
    It's probably great tho.
     
  20. Eastwood

    Eastwood Strat-Talk Member

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    Especially the neck shape on the Ultra is great. For me, the profile is so much better than say, an Am. Pro II neck is. I have the HSS version but usually play with the humbucker in single coil mode. It sounds like a Strat and plays like butter. Recommended.