New Fender Elite Models

cwgatti

Member
Messages
106
Anyone have a chance to try these out yet?
I tried the Elite Telecaster and I was....meh.
I couldn't tell the difference between the Elite and the Deluxe EXCEPT the body felt thinner in size/depth.
Has anyone tried them?
Can anyone fill me in on the difference from previous models?
Thanks,
cw
 

John C

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,256
Anyone have a chance to try these out yet?
I tried the Elite Telecaster and I was....meh.
I couldn't tell the difference between the Elite and the Deluxe EXCEPT the body felt thinner in size/depth.
Has anyone tried them?
Can anyone fill me in on the difference from previous models?
Thanks,
cw
The American Elites are the "next generation" American Deluxes - Fender has pretty much done a major update to that series every 6 years, so it was due for updating this year.

Main changes from the last generation American Deluxe (which was the 3rd generation of them):

1. New pickups - now called "N4" noiseless; the old ones were "N3" noiseless (so different logos on the pickup covers as well)

2. New neck shape - back shape is called a "C-to-D", so it gets more D-shaped as you move down the neck (I've tried out 3 of them, one was obvious the other 2 were pretty subtle compared to the old "modern C" shape).

3. New neck construction - new truss rod adjuster wheel at the heel end of the neck; all necks now have separate fingerboards with the truss rod mechanism installed from the front (i.e. maple board models are a maple cap, not one-piece; no skunk stripe on these).

4. Neck heel area - it's now fully rounded on the body, and the heel on the neck itself is contoured as well

5. Tuners are now all short posts; previously they were 3 regular posts and 3 short posts.

6. New colors/pickguards/knobs on the Strats.

7. New case.

The Tele Thinline model also got an odd new bridge - it is friction fit into a slot in the top of the body, and has 3 brass compensated saddles. The bridge pickup is mounted on a separate plate as well.

I've played 3 Strats (one HSS, two SSS) but haven't gotten to play a Tele yet - although the local GC does have a Tele in stock now, but it's on the top rack and I haven't had them get it down to check it out yet.

I agree with your assessment - nicely made; pickups didn't grab me at all. But then again, I've had previous American Deluxes over the years (a Gen 1 in 1998, and a Gen 2 in 2004) and the noiseless pickups just have never done it for me in the past.
 

koa

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,242
I played a strat and a tele at my local GC. While I thought they were pretty nice I think at that price you'd be much better off with a used Suhr or similar.
 

karma1

Member
Messages
1,121
I was just in my local music store and they had a number of Elite models in stock. The one that caught my eye was a Tele that was black with white binding, black pickguard, and maple neck. It was gorgeous. The binding really adds a lot to the look.
 

JPIndustrie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,362
They're not bad guitars but something like a Suhr would beat them , but they do cost more.

MSRP @ GC/MF etc is just the asking price, I would put the cost of roughly a used Suhr at the price of what I've seen these new FMIC instruments trade for...
 

John C

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,256
UOTE="JPIndustrie, post: 21605351, member: 25813"]They're not bad guitars but something like a Suhr would beat them , but they do cost more.

MSRP @ GC/MF etc is just the asking price, I would put the cost of roughly a used Suhr at the price of what I've seen these new FMIC instruments trade for...[/QUOTE]

Actually Fender posts their MAP price, but you can typically use GC's 15% or 20% off coupons on Fenders.

The night I played 2 Elites at Guitar Center I also played the 2 new EBMM models - the Cutlass and the StingRay. I really liked the Cutlass a lot better than the Elite, and the MAP on them is $1,500. Of course it's not quite a Strat shape (it's Leo's old Sabre guitar shape from the 1970s), and it has an active silent circuit combined with a buffered output so it requires a battery to operate (the new circuit is different than the old one in that respect - the old ones if the battery went out you just lost the noise reduction; since the new one has the buffer if the battery goes out the guitar is dead, much like the Clapton Strat). It sounds in-between a Fender AV '65 and an American Standard tone-wise, and the neck is a V-to-C shape with stainless steel frets.
 

el cosaco

Member
Messages
41
A black tele with white binding and maple neck appeals to me aesthetically!

I quite liked the feel of an Elite Strat I quickly tried unplugged in a local store. It felt like a good guitar, but then perhaps that is to be expected from an instrument of that cost. In fact, I am quite surprised that EBMM are able to offer a similar pack of features (with SS frets even!) for a smaller price. Definitely would love to try one.
 

John C

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,256
A black tele with white binding and maple neck appeals to me aesthetically!
I agree - that is my favorite color combo of all the Elite models.

In fact, I am quite surprised that EBMM are able to offer a similar pack of features (with SS frets even!) for a smaller price. Definitely would love to try one.
EBMM has positioned the Cutlass and the StingRay as their "entry level" models; to keep costs down they have basically eliminated options. For example, on the Cutlass if you want a maple board you can only get it in white or black, and if you want a rosewood board you can only get it in ocean turquoise metallic or 3-color sunburst (the sunburst is a bit of an upcharge to $1,570). The StingRay also has limited color options - white or bright red with the maple board, black and tobacco burst (also an upcharge, like the Cutlass) with a rosewood board. The StingRay, since it has 2 humbuckers, does not of course have the active circuitry.
 




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