My New 2008 American Standard Stratocaster - REVIEW

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Southerntwang, Feb 1, 2008.


  1. Southerntwang

    Southerntwang Member

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    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.
     
  2. Curly

    Curly Member

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    fatter or thinner? .. 'cause I think the specs still say 'Modern C'
     
  3. Southerntwang

    Southerntwang Member

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    I think the neck may have a more gentle 'C' shape than the previous American Series. Not necessarily thinner overall but more of a gentle radius with less of a shoulder near the edge of the fretboard. Its a very comfortable profile. I have big hands and I hand fatigue with really thin necks. My Gisbon LesPaul had a "thin" 60's style neck and when I played for extended periods my hands would cramp. The neck on my new guitar is very comfortable, and very fast.

    Here are a few pictures...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. fjs1962

    fjs1962 Silver Supporting Member

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    I got to try a RW neck 08 AM Strat recently in Guitar Center (I was trying out an amp and grabbed the Strat) and was very impressed. The guitar was nice and resonant, and I liked the pickups too. Like Southerntwang said the neck was more of a rounded C, not as much shoulder as the previous AM Strat profile. It was a little on the thin side for me, but then I like 10/56, Nocaster and Gibson 50's necks so that comes as no surprise ;) All in all I thought Fender did a good job with the upgrades. I especially liked the new bridge.
     
  5. C.SCAN3

    C.SCAN3 Member

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    What are they retailing for these days?
     
  6. Southerntwang

    Southerntwang Member

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    Street price is around $950-1000 with a hardshell SKG case incuded.
     
  7. grapeshot

    grapeshot Supporting Member

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    The new cases are sweet, too. They look like they hold military hardware!
     
  8. Dylan61

    Dylan61 Member

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    :moon
    :moon

    This is called advertising...6 poster
     
  9. Speed_Racer71

    Speed_Racer71 Member

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    $999.99 so GC/Musicans Feind says
     
  10. rdnzl

    rdnzl Member

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    Just cuz he's got 6 posts doesn't make it advertising.

    What he says is true. I've had mine for a week and a half, and it's great. A great value, IMHO.
     
  11. Mike Duncan

    Mike Duncan Silver Supporting Member

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    I like the review - thanks!
     
  12. spikeRI

    spikeRI Member

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    give the dude a break............I didn't see him asking anyone to buy one

    I also appreciate the review..
     
  13. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    I appreciate the review as well. I mostly ignore the modern Fenders of all types. But I might be more inclined to even pull one down, now. I think the only modern Fender I have even touched so far was a USA Deluxe Tele, which I thought was a really nice guitar.
     
  14. Southerntwang

    Southerntwang Member

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    For whatever its worth I sold my 2006 American Deluxe Telecaster to get a new 62' Reissue or Custom Classic. Instead I bought my 08 American Standard. The new American Standard Strat was REALLY that impressive!

    FOLLOW UP: I played it today "AT VOLUME" and I can't get over the quality and tone...

    My "SIMPLIFIED" Rig today:

    08 AM. STD. STRAT > TS808 RI > FENDER BLUES DELUXE RI

    It's the simplest rig I've used in years and the tone was so pure I just couldn't stop playing. This my first guitar in YEARS that I'm not even considering modifying.
     
  15. mike@switchback

    mike@switchback Member

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    No it's not - simmer down.
     
  16. MetalHeadd

    MetalHeadd Member

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    Thanks for the review, I'm very interested in these. I'll have to go try one out soon.
     
  17. KazJY

    KazJY Member

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    Played one today (unplugged) - very nice feel. The neck is great - it slims down a bit up at the 12th fret, but not toooo much - it makes leads up high easy to play. Going to wait til they have a RW model in stock, and might even take the plunge.
     
  18. rdnzl

    rdnzl Member

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    kinda like this one?

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Southerntwang

    Southerntwang Member

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    Thats a sister guitar to mine!! AWESOME!
    :BEER
     
  20. jcmark611

    jcmark611 Member

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    This has me torn. I have been looking at getting a Classic Series 50's, mostly for the V-Neck but, it looks like I might be better off getting this and upgrading to a V-Neck in a few years. What to do, what to do?
     

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