NGD - 2022 American Pro II Strat

John C

Most Honored Senior Member
Silver Member
Jul 17, 2012
8,320
Kansas City
I've been seeking a Strat to replace the Schecter Nick Johnston that I've had since last September - the NJs a great guitar, super value, but it also has a thinner neck with a flatter radius than what works best for me. The NJ was sold a few weeks ago, but I've been "auditioning" since June.

The closest was a Fender JV Modfied 60s Strat - a great guitar, but ultimately I decided that "big very soft V" shape didn't work for me either - but I gave it over 30 days trial before returning it because it was such a nice guitar.

I took a shot ordering an American Performer Strat that while it was one of the nicest looking ones I've come across (the white/rosewood board/black pickguard combo) it (a) had a defective switch and (b) was one of the worst sounding examples of the American Performer Strat I've tried out. I would have just had the switch fixed if had sounded good.

So while returning the American Performer I said "what the hell" and tried out every American Pro II Strat that the local GC had in stock and this one in Miami Blue with the maple fingerboard came home with me. I decided that I'm keep this one and see where the chips fall over the next few months. So far so good - I will admit to not liking the original American Professionals so I never really tried the Pro IIs, but this particular one just grabbed me with the neck feel, sound and overall feel. So it's a keeper (for the moment). This is a very hard color to photo - plus the paint scheme in our house tends to suck a bit of the color out - it's kind of in-between the case shot and the other 2 shots:

1aarQ6ql.jpg


OA6hLDFl.jpg


X13NYRFl.jpg
 

AFenderBender

Strat-Talk Member
Sep 28, 2021
37
Washington
Happy NGD! I have the very same one (2021). You're right about the color. You can take 5 different pictures of it and get 5 different shades. Definitely one that needs to be seen with your own eyes to really appreciate it.
 

Baelzebub

Dr. Stratster
Nov 1, 2019
16,040
State of Disbelief
I've been seeking a Strat to replace the Schecter Nick Johnston that I've had since last September - the NJs a great guitar, super value, but it also has a thinner neck with a flatter radius than what works best for me. The NJ was sold a few weeks ago, but I've been "auditioning" since June.

The closest was a Fender JV Modfied 60s Strat - a great guitar, but ultimately I decided that "big very soft V" shape didn't work for me either - but I gave it over 30 days trial before returning it because it was such a nice guitar.

I took a shot ordering an American Performer Strat that while it was one of the nicest looking ones I've come across (the white/rosewood board/black pickguard combo) it (a) had a defective switch and (b) was one of the worst sounding examples of the American Performer Strat I've tried out. I would have just had the switch fixed if had sounded good.

So while returning the American Performer I said "what the hell" and tried out every American Pro II Strat that the local GC had in stock and this one in Miami Blue with the maple fingerboard came home with me. I decided that I'm keep this one and see where the chips fall over the next few months. So far so good - I will admit to not liking the original American Professionals so I never really tried the Pro IIs, but this particular one just grabbed me with the neck feel, sound and overall feel. So it's a keeper (for the moment). This is a very hard color to photo - plus the paint scheme in our house tends to suck a bit of the color out - it's kind of in-between the case shot and the other 2 shots:

1aarQ6ql.jpg


OA6hLDFl.jpg


X13NYRFl.jpg
I'll be interested to hear your take on these John. I also didn't much care for the I's, although they were nice enough and no complaints about the fit and finish, I just never really bonded with the two that passed through my hands.

I snagged a deal on a roasted pine II a little over a week ago. And while it was missing case candy, trem bar and a COA, (most of which I replaced..still waiting on the COA), it's a whole different feel.

I didn't even notice the narrow tall frets but the neck overall feels superb. Even the second iteration of the V-mods seem a little less harsh. I've seen some complaints about the push/push sticking up higher but that don't confoin me none....it's not something I'll use a lot but I don't mind having it.

Wouldn't have bought it but it was too good a deal to pass up. I presume you paid close to retail or so, so I'm interested in how you feel it measures up value-wise.
 

wyldelife

Strat-Talker
Sep 30, 2011
249
Norway
Congrats John! I’m really eager to hear how it compares to the guitars you sold when you thought your playing days were over. I think you, with your knowledge, is the closest thing we have to a celebrity here 😂 Very eager to hear what you think! I am satisfied with my Am Std Strat from 2011, but enjoy reading NGD posts on these new strats! Enjoy it in good health!
 

John C

Most Honored Senior Member
Silver Member
Jul 17, 2012
8,320
Kansas City
Thanks for all the kind words guys! I'm enjoying it so far; over the weekend I did some adjustments (decked the trem by tightening up the claw), swapped it to Fender locking tuners (for convenience; it held tune fine but I just hate trying to get good winds on the Fender short post tuners - I thought about putting on the Classicgear tuners but eventually opted for the locking tuners) when I changed the strings and took all the film and stickers off.

I'll be interested to hear your take on these John. I also didn't much care for the I's, although they were nice enough and no complaints about the fit and finish, I just never really bonded with the two that passed through my hands.

I snagged a deal on a roasted pine II a little over a week ago. And while it was missing case candy, trem bar and a COA, (most of which I replaced..still waiting on the COA), it's a whole different feel.

I didn't even notice the narrow tall frets but the neck overall feels superb. Even the second iteration of the V-mods seem a little less harsh. I've seen some complaints about the push/push sticking up higher but that don't confoin me none....it's not something I'll use a lot but I don't mind having it.

Wouldn't have bought it but it was too good a deal to pass up. I presume you paid close to retail or so, so I'm interested in how you feel it measures up value-wise.

Perfect description of the V-mod IIs; I always thought the V-mod originals were too harsh and lacking the sweetness of the Fat 50s or the old AVRI 57/62s. And the frets seemed to tall and too narrow; the Pro II's frets aren't too different from the "jumbo" frets on my American Performer Tele, which has been my #1 guitar since I got it at the beginning of December 2021.

Congrats John! I’m really eager to hear how it compares to the guitars you sold when you thought your playing days were over. I think you, with your knowledge, is the closest thing we have to a celebrity here 😂 Very eager to hear what you think! I am satisfied with my Am Std Strat from 2011, but enjoy reading NGD posts on these new strats! Enjoy it in good health!

I had a 2013 American Standard Strat and a 2013 American Standard Tele (along with my "sentimental first guitar" a 1979 Lead II) when I "retired". I still think I prefer the old Modern C with medium jumbo frets as it was done on the 2013 American Standards, and I still think I liked the Fat 50s a bit better than the V-mod IIs on the Strat (and the CS Twisted Tele/Broadcaster set on the 2013 Tele was a bit nicer than the Yosemite pickups on the American Performer Tele). But the V-mod IIs are close enough for my ears - I think that specifically I like the neck/middle Fat 50s a bit better but I like the added output of the V-mod II bridge pickup.
 

havensk

Strat-Talk Member
Jul 23, 2022
79
Columbus OH
Happy NGD!! I was also very close to pulling the trigger on that 60s JV Modified strat. I actually loved the V shape on the neck but I kinda just wanted an alder MIA strat for my first, maybe something basswood down the road. You chose very well and I love the C neck on the professionals.
 

SIngles Forever

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 14, 2019
1,435
Montreal
Thanks for all the kind words guys! I'm enjoying it so far; over the weekend I did some adjustments (decked the trem by tightening up the claw), swapped it to Fender locking tuners (for convenience; it held tune fine but I just hate trying to get good winds on the Fender short post tuners - I thought about putting on the Classicgear tuners but eventually opted for the locking tuners) when I changed the strings and took all the film and stickers off.



Perfect description of the V-mod IIs; I always thought the V-mod originals were too harsh and lacking the sweetness of the Fat 50s or the old AVRI 57/62s. And the frets seemed to tall and too narrow; the Pro II's frets aren't too different from the "jumbo" frets on my American Performer Tele, which has been my #1 guitar since I got it at the beginning of December 2021.



I had a 2013 American Standard Strat and a 2013 American Standard Tele (along with my "sentimental first guitar" a 1979 Lead II) when I "retired". I still think I prefer the old Modern C with medium jumbo frets as it was done on the 2013 American Standards, and I still think I liked the Fat 50s a bit better than the V-mod IIs on the Strat (and the CS Twisted Tele/Broadcaster set on the 2013 Tele was a bit nicer than the Yosemite pickups on the American Performer Tele). But the V-mod IIs are close enough for my ears - I think that specifically I like the neck/middle Fat 50s a bit better but I like the added output of the V-mod II bridge pickup.


A beautiful guitar like that deserves amazing pickups. The Vs are good but still just ok. If you want top level vintage Fender pickups, theres an older gentleman in Canada who has been hand winding very fine strat pickups for decades. He uses vintage spec and they sound better than anything I've heard. Every strat I own has them installed. He goes by Pickup Wizard. Hasn't updated his site in 178 years so don't go by that. Not overly bank busting. Guaranteed you'll love em.

Don't sell the Vmods.
 


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