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Fender American Special question

SmashingTuna

Member
Messages
23
Recently i have been playing a lot of Fender at the local GC. I've been really enjoying the American models I've been playing and was looking into getting an American Special.

Before i dive in, is there a reason why the American Special models are cheaper than the standards? Is it the wood?

Thanks.
 

Strat87

Member
Messages
1,134
I have an american special tele that I actually prefer to standards due to its three brass saddle ashtray bridge and texas special pickups.
 

SmashingTuna

Member
Messages
23
I have an american special tele that I actually prefer to standards due to its three brass saddle ashtray bridge and texas special pickups.
That is actually the one i was thinking of getting, how bright are the pickups compared to the standard pickups? I'm not so knowledgeable when it comes to teles
 

rummy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,570
And different pickups and circuits. No case, either.
I love my Special.
 

Strat87

Member
Messages
1,134
I haven't played a standard in quite a while, but the special isn't overly bright or harsh. The neck pickup is almost strat-ish and the bridge pickup just sounds huge.
 

snow and steel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,112
The big reason the special is cheaper is because they generally only offer three finishes and give you a gig bag instead of a case.

There are some other differences though.

in a Special vs Standard its;

jumbo frets vs medium frets
Large headstock vs small headstock
Texas Special pickups vs CS Fat 50's
Greasebucket circuit vs 50's wiring
Standard truss rod vs biflex truss rod
standard neck plate vs microtilt neck plate
Vintage Tremolo vs 2 point tremolo
gig bag vs TSA case

I actually prefer the specials and got rid of my standard, FWIW. I prefer the vintage style appointments and don't like either stock pickups, and I'm incredibly weird in that I think the big head stock I kind of cool.

Hope that helps.
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,280
You don't get the rolled fretboard edges with the special either. I've had an American Special Strat and now have an American Standard. The special was nice. The Standard is a noticeable step up. Sounds better, feels better, plays better.
 

snow and steel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,112
You don't get the rolled fretboard edges with the special either. I've had an American Special Strat and now have an American Standard. The special was nice. The Standard is a noticeable step up. Sounds better, feels better, plays better.
I wouldn't say that's absolutely true.

I'm not sure my camera will get pictures to show it properly, but I can tell you I have a Special that came with the rolled edges. Also, the play/feel/sound will be different for every guitar, so I'd say that's more "in the eye of the beholder"... or maybe I should say in the ear of the beholder.

I prefer the specials, others prefers the standards - and no one is wrong! If it feels good in your hand and makes you want to play more - that's a win!
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,280
I wouldn't say that's absolutely true.

I'm not sure my camera will get pictures to show it properly, but I can tell you I have a Special that came with the rolled edges. Also, the play/feel/sound will be different for every guitar, so I'd say that's more "in the eye of the beholder"... or maybe I should say in the ear of the beholder.

I prefer the specials, others prefers the standards - and no one is wrong! If it feels good in your hand and makes you want to play more - that's a win!
Rolled edges aren't listed as a feature on the special. No doubt they're a nice guitar, but at least with the two I have/had, the Standard is a better instrument.
 

pete12string

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,900
I have a 2012 American Special. I think if you add in the price of a hard shell case, they come pretty close to a Standard. I'm not a fan of the body "contours" of the Standard and I love the blonde finish on the American Special. Neck and frets are also great in my opinion. Fabulous Tele.
 

snow and steel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,112
Rolled edges aren't listed as a feature on the special. No doubt they're a nice guitar, but at least with the two I have/had, the Standard is a better instrument.
That's true on the website they aren't, but I swear I have two specials - one has rolled edges and the other does not. I'll try to get a picture of it tomorrow in the light but I can't make any promises - I'm honestly not sure my camera is that good.
 

OilsFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,927
I have the Tele and I did not like the pickups. I thought they were very harsh. They are not the same Texas Special pickups as the custom shop ones. They are clearly different. I changed my pickups to a set of Kleins and got rid of the Greasebucket setup. It's awesome now. It's totally worth getting though as the neck is killer. So smooth and feels great to play.
 

snow and steel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,112
Here's one of my specials with rolled edges. First shot shows the headstock so you can see its the BFH from the specials, the other two are on other spots of the neck, closer up. The second you can still see the headstock, so you can tell its the same guitar, the third is way further down the neck. That is the best I could get with my camera I'm afraid but I think you can see it.





 

kontiki64

Member
Messages
10
OilsFan, what is your info source to confirm that the texas special that comes in the Special are not the same as the custom shop sold separately? Or is some myth that you heard/read somewhere and repeat here? :sarcasm
 

terrapin

Member
Messages
4,066
OilsFan, what is your info source to confirm that the texas special that comes in the Special are not the same as the custom shop sold separately? Or is some myth that you heard/read somewhere and repeat here? :sarcasm
They are NOT Custom Shop Texas Specials.
 






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