Rumors: American Original discontinued?

Antonio77

Strat-Talker
Jan 19, 2014
309
Italy
According to Fender Europe the American Original Series is discontinued. I still see the guitar on Fender site, but a friend of mine asked a replacement neck for his American Original Stratocaster (still under warranty) and Customer Service answered that there are no more American Original neck because the Series is discontinued.
Does anybody know if it is true?
 

Mac92

New Member!
Jan 13, 2018
6
Ontario, Canada
I've got a funny feeling that they could be discontinuing the factory line nitro finish guitars, leaving special runs or custom shop as the only way to get a new nitro finished fender.
 

Morlock

Strat-Talker
Dec 5, 2021
207
Oz
That might explain why I keep seeing them discounted by $1000 or more down here. I understand the reason this series has 21 frets instead of 22 but I think they kind of shot themselves in the foot with it. Why would you spend more on an Original when you can get another American series cheaper with 22 frets and from what I have heard they all seem to have similar tones anyway or just change out the pick ups.
 

CB91710

No GAS shortage here
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Feb 24, 2019
10,455
SoCal
That is a good possibiility.
While they are still listed on the site, NONE are showing in-stock... every model shows "Notify when available"
This is not unusual, but when it happens across the entire product line, it usually means it's being replaced, like when the American Professional was replaced by the Pro-II
 

Stratoskater

Fuzz Meister General
Feb 8, 2011
11,090
Naked in NC
I've got a funny feeling that they could be discontinuing the factory line nitro finish guitars, leaving special runs or custom shop as the only way to get a new nitro finished fender.

Why would they do that? Gibson and PRS both offer nitro guitars in their USA non Custom Shop line. If anything they need to go the other way and make the AM Pro II nitro. Even the $999 studio Les Paul is nitro, you have to get to around $2,000 in Fender US line to get nitro.
 

Blue Beagle

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 10, 2016
1,729
Liverpool, England
That might explain why I keep seeing them discounted by $1000 or more down here. I understand the reason this series has 21 frets instead of 22 but I think they kind of shot themselves in the foot with it. Why would you spend more on an Original when you can get another American series cheaper with 22 frets and from what I have heard they all seem to have similar tones anyway or just change out the pick ups.
Not everyone considers 22 frets to be necessary or a plus point.

The reason that the AO Series makes absolutely no sense is that it’s supposedly vintage spec but has a modern 9.5” radius. Totally pointless.
 

CB91710

No GAS shortage here
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Feb 24, 2019
10,455
SoCal
Why would they do that? Gibson and PRS both offer nitro guitars in their USA non Custom Shop line. If anything they need to go the other way and make the AM Pro II nitro. Even the $999 studio Les Paul is nitro, you have to get to around $2,000 in Fender US line to get nitro.
Gibson ain't based in California.
Gibson production is 100% nitro... all US models. They don't do poly domestically.
But Gibson doesn't have to deal with the California CARB (their own EPA), which has severe restrictions on how much nitro can be sprayed.
Fender is in Corona... 40 miles outside of LA, and with a clear view through the Santa Ana Canyon of downtown LA.
 

Hanson

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 3, 2016
1,623
Mesquite, Texas
Gibson ain't based in California.
Gibson production is 100% nitro... all US models. They don't do poly domestically.
But Gibson doesn't have to deal with the California CARB (their own EPA), which has severe restrictions on how much nitro can be sprayed.
Fender is in Corona... 40 miles outside of LA, and with a clear view through the Santa Ana Canyon of downtown LA.

I think Fender should move the plant here to Texas, we’d love y to I have them here.
 

Black59

Strat-O-Master
Sep 25, 2020
872
Canada
Not everyone considers 22 frets to be necessary or a plus point.

The reason that the AO Series makes absolutely no sense is that it’s supposedly vintage spec but has a modern 9.5” radius. Totally pointless.

Totally agree... If you're going to make a product specifically for a customer segment who wants vintage re-issues, don't half ass it

This is coming from someone who loves their AO 60s neck. But I would love it more if it was a 7.25" radius
 

CB91710

No GAS shortage here
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Feb 24, 2019
10,455
SoCal
I think Fender should move the plant here to Texas, we’d love y to I have them here.
They moved their HQ to Scottsdale.
I honestly have no idea why they didn't move the factory before they did their big expansion a while back... but California was a bit more business-friendly in those years.
 

Stratoskater

Fuzz Meister General
Feb 8, 2011
11,090
Naked in NC
Gibson ain't based in California.
Gibson production is 100% nitro... all US models. They don't do poly domestically.
But Gibson doesn't have to deal with the California CARB (their own EPA), which has severe restrictions on how much nitro can be sprayed.
Fender is in Corona... 40 miles outside of LA, and with a clear view through the Santa Ana Canyon of downtown LA.

I know all of that but still do not see Fender stopping production of nitro models except FSR and CS as the poster I replied to said.
 

CB91710

No GAS shortage here
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Feb 24, 2019
10,455
SoCal
I know all of that but still do not see Fender stopping production of nitro models except FSR and CS as the poster I replied to said.
I don't really see it going away... again, it's not prohibited, just limited.
It hasn't been a problem for the Custom Shop or the AO series.
I'm sure the AO series is just being refreshed with a new name, same as when the AO was introduced in 2018.
 

Blue Beagle

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 10, 2016
1,729
Liverpool, England
Totally agree... If you're going to make a product specifically for a customer segment who wants vintage re-issues, don't half ass it

This is coming from someone who loves their AO 60s neck. But I would love it more if it was a 7.25" radius
I came so close to buying a Shell Pink 60s but didn’t purely because I wanted it “the way it was way back when”.

Hopefully they’ll address it!
 

AxemanVR

I appreciate, therefore I am...
Silver Member
Feb 8, 2014
5,856
Minnesota USA

I’m just glad I got my AO 60s neck when I had the chance (assuming they are being discontinued).

I do get why some people are sticklers for accuracy when it comes to vintage specs (and calling something an “American Original” doesn’t help), but that doesn’t change the fact that the one I got is one of the best feeling and playing necks I’ve ever owned...


C3E38DFC-B0C5-44DF-82E7-53D33DFC22FE.jpeg


 

John C

Most Honored Senior Member
Silver Member
Jul 17, 2012
7,927
Kansas City
Yep; Fender's on this 4-year life cycle and most the AO models that came out at the beginning of 2018 are due for a refresh for 2022. They did add the 70s Tele Custom and 60s Tele Thinline tin 2020 so I don't know if they'll continue on for 2 more years, get the updates, or just get dropped.

The rumors I've heard are back to the vintage radius and frets, but I haven't heard anything about dropping the nitro finish other than no more Thin Skins (so they would have the AO's nitro over poly finish).
 


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