Introducing The American Ultra Series | Fender

handyman

Member
Messages
1,470
Meh. D shaped neck and no stainless frets, I'm not interested.
The lack of stainless frets is pretty strange. The updates from the Elite to the Ultra are obvious attempts at going after the Suhr sort of modern Strat thing - then they go with plain old nickle silver frets. Note they even copied the Suhr 10-14" compound radius.

As far as the neck goes, I'm actually a fan of D necks, so sue me!

But given this thing's price and features I just ordered myself a Kiesel Delos to satisfy my HSS modern Strat thing itch. Cost a whopping $1300 shipped complete with the fancy SS frets and the neck profile of my choosing.
 

uab9253

Member
Messages
2,344
I’ll be a good consumer and give the Jazzmaster an honest try, but from what (admittedly very little) I’ve seen and heard so far, a used American Pro/Std JM is much more likely.

The Deluxe/Elite line were very good guitars, but the extra bells and whistles have always been unnecessary or felt tacked on. I can’t imagine that not being the case here. It’s kind of a curse — at some point of sleek sportiness, they just don’t feel like “Fender” to me anymore. Like a ‘68 Ford Mustang trying to be a BMW M8 or something: too nice for their own good, if that makes any sense.
This totally makes sense to me. I got an Ash Deluxe MiM Strat with V3 noiseless, s1 switch and a rosewood board with a 12" radius. I thought it would address everything I didn't like about a Strat, and it did. Plus it was gorgeous. But it no longer really felt like or played like a Strat. So I just sold it. Funny how that goes.
There's not much here with this series that floats my boat. There are a million retailer, First Look, vids out on this series already and I'm underwhelmed.

Here's a pic of the one I sold.
 
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10,113
Part of me wishes they'd just commit and go whole hog into a modern Strat/Tele/Bass/whatever. They are close, but could go the extra mile with hotter pickups, SS frets, ebony boards, etc.

But I see now that the Stiletto amp is no longer on their website, so maybe the SuperStrat/br00talZ crowd just doesn't take their bait.
 

uab9253

Member
Messages
2,344
Not for nothing but I think the renaming at least has a little social science behind it, at the extreme ends of the lineup.
I think Standard sounds just sort of basic and unappealing and changing it to player sort of removes the stigma, if there is one, of the word "Standard".
On the other end, "Elite" has never been overly admired as a word but takes a particular beating lately. We are all supposed to resent the Elites and the Elites don't necessarily enjoy being called that, I can imagine. So "Ultra" just sort takes any stigma out of that equation as well.
I may be overthinking it.
 

Pongo

Member
Messages
1,087
I think Standard sounds just sort of basic and unappealing and changing it to player sort of removes the stigma, if there is one, of the word "Standard".
On the other end, "Elite" has never been overly admired as a word but takes a particular beating lately. We are all supposed to resent the Elites and the Elites don't necessarily enjoy being called that, I can imagine. So "Ultra" just sort takes any stigma out of that equation as well.
I may be overthinking it.
This is genuinely very relevant to me as a consumer.

I owned a Deluxe, and aside from the N3 pickups, it was an absolutely fantastic guitar. But the line's name itself never sat right with me. The elite was even worse. I doubt anybody who saw me play gave a rat's ass, and it's probably a silly thing to get hung up on, but dammit, sometimes I felt like I needed to be wearing a tophat and monocle to properly play that thing.

Currently own three Suhr Classics (S: HSS, S: SSS, and T), which do everything the Deluxe and Elite (and Ultra) tries to do, but better, and which are, in truth, far more "rarefied air" types of guitars, but I have no such compunctions about playing a "Classic" vs. an "Elite" lol...
 

dito

Member
Messages
146
Any news about the strat "new" body contours?

Curious to know if the changes were made just to the inside or also to the outside.

Always felt the arm contour could be improved to "standing up" players.
 
Messages
1,537
Well I'd say from my experience that you're an outlier. But still your guitars will get sold at some point in time - by your survivors.
Right, they are now going in my will to folk who will play them. My kids get my library and property, but the guitars and kit goes to folk who would want it, and want to use it. Some chums have expressed interest in my guitars from time to time. But they are all for playing, not for collecting or exchanging.

When I get or spec a guitar that works for me I’m a happy bunny. I tend to want another one just like it in case I break a string, but you never actually get one exactly the same, no matter how much you fettle and file and tweak. But a number one Strat, a number two Strat, and an acoustic will do me just fine. (I do have a Tele for slide. And a 12 string acoustic, but I hope those are an allowable extravagance... oh and a big-bodied jazzer, oops. Nevertheless I hope the point still stands, sort of.)
 

JeffK

Member
Messages
2,911
Any news about the strat "new" body contours?

Curious to know if the changes were made just to the inside or also to the outside.

Always felt the arm contour could be improved to "standing up" players.
I don't think they changed the body contours? The only things I saw were the neck heel and the scooping of the backside of the cutaway.
 

Husky

Member
Messages
11,734
Stainless are a royal PITA compared to NS. It’s one thing if you are doing a hand full of necks a day but make that 1,000 a day and things get crazy.

The lack of stainless frets is pretty strange. The updates from the Elite to the Ultra are obvious attempts at going after the Suhr sort of modern Strat thing - then they go with plain old nickle silver frets. Note they even copied the Suhr 10-14" compound radius.

As far as the neck goes, I'm actually a fan of D necks, so sue me!

But given this thing's price and features I just ordered myself a Kiesel Delos to satisfy my HSS modern Strat thing itch. Cost a whopping $1300 shipped complete with the fancy SS frets and the neck profile of my choosing.
 

Husky

Member
Messages
11,734
But nickel silver wears out too fast.
We offer both, the question was why didn’t they? My friends over there have been asking me about my methods and the juice might not be worth the squeeze for them, they don’t do a whole lot of crowning and with stainless it’s more work and when you multiple that extra work times their numbers.......
 

Visual Guy

Supporting Member
Messages
1,413
Feels like a political campaign ad. Vague blanket comments about different topics.

"The neck is very comfy, it is easier to go". - "Better Jobs"
"The neck pickup is glassy like it should be at times" - "Take care of our vets"
"HSS strats... They sound insane" - "Social Security!"

How riveting!
 

jwguitar

Member
Messages
5,869
I consider that progress. They saw reasons people weren't buying Fenders and addressed that.



Sorry for the photo bucket jail blur. I once ordered a T Style with an inlaid walnut pick guard. A year later, there was a limited run of Strats and Teles with figured tops and inlaid pick guards. I don't know it if was a coincidence or if they copied my guitar. I'd consider buying one of those Strats if the price tag were reasonable.



Fender's version.
That is a spectacular looking telecaster! Wow!
 

John C

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,984
I wonder if Cory Wong was the inspiration for the new "Cobra Blue" color
If they did, then they nailed that color. I like it but it's not my style.
I personally think the Texas tea on both the strat and tele (with their respective pickguards) look gorgeous!
Never heard of Cory Wong before this; I'll check out his material.

However, my first thought was that "Cobra Blue" came from this:

 




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