Review of my 2008 NEW American Standard Stratocaster I just purchased a brand new 2008 American Standard Stratocaster. I play mainly texas blues and classic rock. My rig is a Genz Benz Black Pearl 30 and a Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue. I have only had it for 3 days but here are my initial impressions: Features: Mine is a brand new 2008 American Standard Stratocaster with 3-Color Sunburst finish and Rosewood neck. Fender's website for the new 2008 American standard's highlights the following changes for the new model "new bridge with improved bent-steel saddles and a copper-infused high-mass block for increased resonance and sustain, A new neck treatment—tinted for a richer presentation, with the maple or rosewood fingerboard buffed to a high gloss. The back of the neck still has that silky satin finish. A thinner finish undercoat that lets the body breathe and improves resonance. A new Fender-exclusive SKB molded case. Sound: THIS IS THE MAIN REASON I PURCHASED THIS GUITAR!!! I went to the store with the intent of purchasing a 62' Hot Rod, 62' Reissue or a Custom Shop Custom Classic. I have never been blown away by the previous American Series Stratocaster. They were not bad guitars, I'm just very picky. I was very impressed with the 62 Reissue and about to lay down some cash when my buddy who is a salesman at the store convinced me to TRY a new American Standard. I tried one just to appease him and I WAS BLOWN AWAY! I was plugged into a Fender Blues Deluxe through a TS808 Reissue and I was in blues heaven! To me the stock pickups are in between the Fender 57/62 single coils and the Custom Shop 69's. VERY clear with nick quack in the in between positions. More output than the previous models but still a Vintage "plus" not overwound. It has a PERFECT SOUND for any kind of blues, and will work well for classic rock, surf, etc. I wouldn't go to it first for hard rock or metal but thats just me. Action, Fit, & Finish: My first impression was the overall quality of the guitar. Weight, balance and neck feel are all improved over previous American Series. The neck joint is tight. The body contours seem more pronounced and unplugged it is VERY resonant. The upgraded bridge block, saddles, and lighter finish must work because this thing rings like a bell. The new 08's have a different neck profile. It is much more comfortable than the neck on my 06 American Deluxe Tele and I like the satin finish on the back. Nice setup from the factory (But I always get a Pro-Setup on any new guitar!). Frets are medium sized. Not Vintage and not jumbo's. The neck is comfortable and fast and great for blues bends and thick enough for easy chording. Overall Impressions: I have been playing now for 19 years. Fender has really stepped up their game with these new American Standards. I consider myself a boutique guitar snob. My other guitars are a 2007 Gretsch 6131TVP Power Jet Firebird and a 2006 Fender American Deluxe Telecaster. The new American Standard gave me a better first impression than either of those and its less than half the price of the Gretsch. Previous higher end guitars I have owned include a Gibson Les Paul Standard, Gibson ES-135, many lesser models. These new American standards are a tremendous value and compare very favorably to some of the more upscale Strat models. Its every bit as nice as the 62 Reissue I A/B'd against. Through a TS808 Reissue into a Fender BLues Deluxe I get a perfect Chris Duarte, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, SRV texas blues singing growl. I am 100% satisfied with my purchase.