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Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Gas4Strats, Aug 2, 2017.
Is it an Artist, Custom Shop, or maybe something else???
I thought they quit making the Am Deluxe? Isn't that the Elite now? It varies. Many Artist models are above it in price but some are below it. AVRI's are more expensive.
The Deluxe line is now called the Elite line. The next step up from that (in terms of price point) is a custom shop.
The artist series is a different thing entirely. For example, the Eric Johnson strat typically is a little cheaper than a Fender Elite these days. But it might also be exactly what you want, and it is not a lower quality instrument, just different. Both are going to be at or near the top of the line for non-custom.
It really comes down to what features you want. Elites have compound radius fingerboards, different neck heels, and noiseless pickups. Signatures have specs varying wildly by the artist (quartersawn necks, scalloped fingerboards, humbuckers and sustainer systems, you name it). Most off the shelf custom shops are going to be in the more vintage spec'd variety. An actual custom built guitar will have whatever you ask for within reason - but that is almost the most expensive option (weird short run heavy relics aside).
Fender Elite is selling for $1,799 Eric Johnson is selling for $1,899. The EJ is one of the most expensive Sig models (I bought one in April.) The Clapton is less than the Elite.
A PRS CE
You guys are forgetting about the American Vintage range. Strictly speaking from price point, the AV range would be the next step up from the Elite series. The Artist series has so many different guitars at different price points that you would have to narrow that down to the specific artist guitar.
There is no upgrade for the "strat deluxe" It is the best a man can get.
AVRI then Custom Shop. I prefer the old deluxe to the elite and AVRI
I have a custom shop Strat and an EJ. I actually prefer the EJ, but the neck on the CS is pretty awesome. I prefer med jumbos to the thin tall frets. My next acquisition will probably be an EJ with RW board.
If you handed me my EJ and told me it came from the CS, I wouldn't doubt it. It's that good.
EJ and Clapton strats are 2 of the finest regular production guitars made imo. Very consistent.
The select series when they made it.
My two Strats are a 2009 Fender American Deluxe HSS and a 1995 Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster Plus. I have looked at some CS models but most are vintage spec with some modern features and are expensive. I wonder if if I would be comfortable using a CS Stratocaster as a regular gigging guitar in a bar. The artist series look interesting. I am not sure if i would like the 7.25" radius on the AVRI series. Elites are like what I have and would need a pickup swap to replace noiseless pups.
I know AVRI's are pricier but I don't really see them as an upgrade from a standard. They are just different. The elite/deluxe is a higher spec with locking tuners etc but overall I'd rather still have an AV. If I wanted a higher spec strat than an elite and I was buying new I'd probably look at getting something made by Mr Kirn or a suhr...
I was looking at Nash, and Xotic. The Xotic Strats are vintage style but with 22 frets.
Difficult to say really. Price range doesn't necessarily mean upgrade. For instance the American Vintage range might cost more, but in some eyes they would be a downgrade from the Elite range or the American Standard in terms of features as they are Vintage spec and thus lack all modern uprades.
I'd say the American Vintage are the upgrade to the Classic Series which is itself an upgrade from the Classic Vibe. Outside of that vintage spec line the idea of upgrades doesn't really apply. Similarly the Elite is an upgrade upon the Pro range, next up in that modern spec type of strat would be something like a CS Postmodern or some other CS line.
Well after reading this thread I'm pretty glad I'm happy with my old Std and Tokai. They still sound great to me. No upgrades needed..
I really want to like Nash guitars, the old ones were great but the current production are just no where near as well put together and cost a heap more to boot...
To answer the OP... the vintage reissues sit above the American Deluxe (now the American Elite) price-wise, but really if you're looking for something in the same vein as a Deluxe/Elite but one more step up, Fender doesn't really do that right now. The CS teambuilt lines -- Postmodern or Artisan -- would probably be the closest thing, but they're somewhat different guitars.
On the other hand, if you can articulate exactly what you're looking for, the CS can certainly build it for you.
Having the CS build something for me is an option but it can be expensive and there is no guarantee I'll get a great guitar.
I had looked around a bit and thought these look interesting:
- 2016/2017 Fender Custom Shop Journeyman Postmodern Strat RW in Sunburst (21 frets),
- 2017 Fender Custom Shop Lush Closet Classic Postmodern Strat (22 frets)
- 2009 Fender Custom Shop Custom Deluxe Stratocaster (22 frets),
- Fender EJ Stratocaster (21 frets),
- Fender EC Stratocaster (22 frets),
- Fender Wildwood 59 thin skin Stratocaster (21 frets),
- Nash Stratocaster (21 frets),
- Xotic Stratocaster (22 frets)
And just a gigging man's guitar (not a step above a Deluxe)
- 2017 Fender American Professional Stratocaster (22 frets)
Of all of the above a used CS Custom Deluxe or Artist might be worth checking out.
That is debatable, but I agree with all of your other observations.