Player plus strat vs American performer

Silverman

Strat-Talker
Feb 28, 2016
415
Chicago
Let’s pretend someone didn’t care about certain features like 2-point trem, s1 switching, noiseless pu, locking tuners, etc.

All things being equal In terms of features and sound, which guitar will be of better quality and simply “play” better?
 

Ebidis

Providing the world with flat bends since 1985
Nov 14, 2013
27,222
Alabama
That very much depends on the individual guitar. I have a MIM Standard Strat that is very much on par with any American Standard I have ever had, and absolutely kills one American Standard that I had.

I also have a Baja Tele that leaves every other Tele I have ever had (MIA, MIJ, MIM) in the dust.

You cannot generalize by country of origin.

YMMV.
 

yettoblaster

Guitar player
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 31, 2010
768
Redding, CA
I prefer my Am Performer to the MIM guitars I’ve had, briefly.
Mostly the fret ends. The MIM’s I’ve had needed them touched up.

The AmPro II feels even better to me, but I love the sound on my Performer: ruder.
 

John C

Most Honored Senior Member
Silver Member
Jul 17, 2012
7,816
Kansas City
That very much depends on the individual guitar. I have a MIM Standard Strat that is very much on par with any American Standard I have ever had, and absolutely kills one American Standard that I had.

I also have a Baja Tele that leaves every other Tele I have ever had (MIA, MIJ, MIM) in the dust.

You cannot generalize by country of origin.

YMMV.

Agree with @Ebidis - these are closely matched series so it's up to the individual guitar - which one grabs you the best and which neck you like the best; the "bones" are going to be very close. But @Silverman you can't say "all things being equal" in this case - because the "bones" are so close to each other those differences (2-post vs. 6-screw trem, noiseless vs. standard pickups) are going to make a difference and could be the deciding factor as they make the guitar sound and feel different beyond the individual body and neck.

I went through this on the Tele side back around Thanksgiving/Black Friday and for me it was by far the American Performer over the Player Plus Teles - the neck felt a little better to me, the guitar was more resonant and I liked the standard pickups better - and I'm sure part of that was the vintage bridge vs. the modern bridge. I didn't get to play a Vintera Modified 60s Tele during my search, so who knows if that one might have been a winner vs. the American Performer Tele.
 

Guy Incognito

Senior Stratmaster
May 14, 2019
3,336
Here
Let’s pretend someone didn’t care about certain features like 2-point trem, s1 switching, noiseless pu, locking tuners, etc.

All things being equal In terms of features and sound, which guitar will be of better quality and simply “play” better?
What plays better is subjective.

My favorite Fender neck of all time is the American Special neck. The American Performer neck is nearly the same with the smallest of profile changes.

The Player Series is a quality made guitar though.
 

Baelzebub

Dr. Stratster
Nov 1, 2019
13,972
State of Disbelief
Agree with @Ebidis - these are closely matched series so it's up to the individual guitar - which one grabs you the best and which neck you like the best; the "bones" are going to be very close. But @Silverman you can't say "all things being equal" in this case - because the "bones" are so close to each other those differences (2-post vs. 6-screw trem, noiseless vs. standard pickups) are going to make a difference and could be the deciding factor as they make the guitar sound and feel different beyond the individual body and neck.

I went through this on the Tele side back around Thanksgiving/Black Friday and for me it was by far the American Performer over the Player Plus Teles - the neck felt a little better to me, the guitar was more resonant and I liked the standard pickups better - and I'm sure part of that was the vintage bridge vs. the modern bridge. I didn't get to play a Vintera Modified 60s Tele during my search, so who knows if that one might have been a winner vs. the American Performer Tele.


THIS +1

And unless I read the specs wrong, the Vintera modifieds looked an awful lot like the Bajas by a different name. If so, the 60's may very well have been.
 

Boneman68

Strat-Talker
Platinum Supporting Member
Apr 12, 2021
451
CA
For me I think the bold black lettering of Stratocaster splattered across the neck on the performer is garish, and would go AM Pro
 

John C

Most Honored Senior Member
Silver Member
Jul 17, 2012
7,816
Kansas City
THIS +1

And unless I read the specs wrong, the Vintera modifieds looked an awful lot like the Bajas by a different name. If so, the 60's may very well have been.

That's correct; the Vintera Modifieds replaced the "Classic Player" series which included the Baja Teles. I just never turned up one of the Modified 60s to try out during my searches; only the 50s model and I don't care for the large soft V neck on that one.
 

crankmeister

Most Honored Senior Member
Jul 9, 2020
5,380
USA
That's correct; the Vintera Modifieds replaced the "Classic Player" series which included the Baja Teles. I just never turned up one of the Modified 60s to try out during my searches; only the 50s model and I don't care for the large soft V neck on that one.
Why do people call it “Classic Player”? It’s just “Classic”.

There’s Classic and Player, but not Classic Player. It’s confusing.
 

SIngles Forever

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 14, 2019
1,226
Montreal
People talk about 'fret ends' alot. Never once has this be an issue and it's such an easy fix anyway. Also, if you have a maple neck you're going to get fret sprout in winter whether your guitar is made in Ensenada, Corona or Wuhan.

The neck itself is more likely to feel better on an American guitar. Special/Performer necks are superb necks, some say the best.
 

yettoblaster

Guitar player
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 31, 2010
768
Redding, CA

…The neck itself is more likely to feel better on an American guitar. Special/Performer necks are superb necks, some say the best.

Performer is “modern C.”
AmPro II is deeper C and rolled edges.
Both are a cut above any MIM or Squire neck I ever experienced, although sometimes MIM or Squire necks remind me very much of “vintage” Fender necks (before rolled edges, and nicer frets became the rage).
 

SIngles Forever

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 14, 2019
1,226
Montreal
Performer is “modern C.”
AmPro II is deeper C and rolled edges.
Both are a cut above any MIM or Squire neck I ever experienced, although sometimes MIM or Squire necks remind me very much of “vintage” Fender necks (before rolled edges, and nicer frets became the rage).

I've heard this rolled edges thing alot too. Can't say I've ever picked up an American guitar without it. My specials are rolled to the same degree as my standard. You're saying MIMs have sharp knife edges?
 

yettoblaster

Guitar player
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 31, 2010
768
Redding, CA

…You're saying MIMs have sharp knife edges?

I did not say that.
Some are noticeably needing attention comfort wise. They won’t cut you!

Easy fix.

Rolled edges spoil everybody now.
Vintage Fenders didn’t feel that way.

SOME MIM’s I’ve tried were VERY noticeable.
 

nadzab

Play Don't Worry
Silver Member
May 15, 2009
5,946
New England
Why do people call it “Classic Player”? It’s just “Classic”.

There’s Classic and Player, but not Classic Player. It’s confusing.

Not correct. There was a pretty highly regarded MIM Classic Player that tweaked the Classic Series with some modern appointments.
 

John C

Most Honored Senior Member
Silver Member
Jul 17, 2012
7,816
Kansas City
Why do people call it “Classic Player”? It’s just “Classic”.

There’s Classic and Player, but not Classic Player. It’s confusing.

Not correct. There was a pretty highly regarded MIM Classic Player that tweaked the Classic Series with some modern appointments.

@nadzab is correct - there was a "Classic Series" that was vintage-spec that starts around 1999; during the 2000s they added the "Classic Player" series.

Fender also had a made-in-China series called the "Modern Player" series for a while; those eventually went away.

Finally when Fender updated the MIM Standard series in mid-2018 they renamed them the "Player Series". And of course the MIM Deluxe series just went away a few months ago replaced by the "Player Plus" series.
 

crankmeister

Most Honored Senior Member
Jul 9, 2020
5,380
USA
@nadzab is correct - there was a "Classic Series" that was vintage-spec that starts around 1999; during the 2000s they added the "Classic Player" series.

Fender also had a made-in-China series called the "Modern Player" series for a while; those eventually went away.

Finally when Fender updated the MIM Standard series in mid-2018 they renamed them the "Player Series". And of course the MIM Deluxe series just went away a few months ago replaced by the "Player Plus" series.
Ah, so Fender added the confusion?

I’ve never seen a “Classic Player” in the wild or for sale. Only Classics and Players.
 

SIngles Forever

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 14, 2019
1,226
Montreal
I do find that MIM Fenders do a very good job at nailing that vintage look with the headstock lacquer, colour schemes and all around finish. Performers tend to look more stock and i don't find they look good with a Rosewood board, cause the contrast with the bland headstock is too much.
 


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