Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Barnzy, Jan 2, 2018.
The EBMM on aesthetics, but it is a very close call between all of them, so I would be researching pickup specs. - No fibre endplate types for me.
My dual cents is that I've owned several Fender strats and they have been all over the place as far as specialness. One was great and the other two were nothing special even tho they were much more expensive models. They were all from the 2000s so things may be different now. Anyway, with Fender I'd never buy one without playing it for a while first.
The one G&L I briefly owned was very well built, solid, and heavy, but oddly wasn't strat-like to me. Don't get me wrong, it was a great guitar, just had a different character.
Every EBMM guitar I've played, including the Silhouette I now own, has been stellar. I'd not hesitate to buy any other EBMM model. They are consistently great instruments and their necks are amazing feeling to me.
The only other guitars I've kept are ones I assembled to specs that I like. About once a year I do get a craving for a white Fender Strat for some reason. I haven't acted on it yet but someday I likely will.
The Fender Am. Pros are a solid choice - they're really well made guitars that sound great, IMO. However, as another poster mentioned they have 6105ish frets, so if that's not ideal then the G&Ls might be to your liking. G&L isn't as popular (for whatever reason), so you can get a great deal. I would look for a lighter weight example - they sound and feel amazing, they have Jescar 57110 (larger, taller) frets AND they are PLEK'ed from factory which will generally allow for greater setup tolerances (i.e. insanely low, buzz-free action, if that's your thing)... honestly at the price point, that's really tough to beat. The more recent ones especially are tremendous quality that's on par with a much higher-tier guitar.
That said, if you want to step into the boutique realm and are able to score a used Grosh, as someone else pointed out, in my experience I've yet to find an equal in terms of playability, workmanship, electronics, and VALUE! No seriously, you can get a used one for an absolute steal.
A used Music Man Silhouette in good condition is in my opinion a more Strat-like guitar, than the Cutlass. I think they made both SSS and HSS versions.
I'm very tempted to buy a used lefty Silhouette myself, but so far I've had to put my money elsewhere.
Just vouching that the Fender Am Pros are amazing guitars. Bought one a couple weeks ago and LOVE it. Feels fantastic, absolutely flawless build quality, and the V Mod pickups sound really great. Fits in nicely with my R9 and 339. Nice case, too.
Strat by TubeStack posted Jan 3, 2018 at 5:55 PM
The Fender or the G&L. If I had to choose without playing them first, I'd go with the G&L. The Fenders I've tried recently were all over the place (some were wonderful). G&L's are consistently good and sometimes great.
...I was wondering about the jump into Tom Anderson Guitarworks and Suhr territory....that is definitely a plan I was contemplating.
Fender American Professional Series Strat. Easy to find replacement parts for.
Long time Strat owner, current EBMM Cutlass owner and had a G&L Legacy in the early 90's.
The Legacy was indeed a heavy guitar. Was well built but just didn't speak to me so I let it go after just a few months of wanting to love it.
I wrapped my hands around the neck of the Cutlass and I was smitten. It reminded me of a PRS pattern regular and I just love it. It makes my DGT seem downright clunky even though the PRS is strung with 10's. Kind of like comparing driving an SUV to a luxury sedan. People remark on how narrow the neck is but at 1 5/8" places is clearly like a vintage Fender (or at least reissue spec). The neck on mine is on the chunky side compared to the Fender modern C shape. The Cutlass also has several modern appointments that I really like. It has stainless steel frets, locking tuners, ultra stable trem, noiseless buffered output and only two knobs. That places the volume control in a place where I don't constantly hit it. The pickups are voiced brighter and work very well for clean tones and also do well for overdriven. I prefer them more for the cleaner leaner tones. All that gushing must be tempered with the following, it sounds kinda Stratish but is not a replacement for one. Love the Cutlass though!
I know you asked about the American Pro Strat and I've played a few of them and Ive owned an American Standard Strat for a couple of decades. The Strat will get you the Strat tones if that's what you are looking for. The neck is wider at the nut and the neck is slightly beefier on the Pro compared to the modern C so that will come down to personal preference. The new V Mod pickups sound pretty good and I really like the treble bleed that comes standard too. Great guitar but it seems that for some reason there a bunch of used ones for sale for some reason. That may be a good lower priced option if that's the guitar you are looking for.
Lots of votes for the Fender Pro Am Strat. Glad to know that. It is the only one that is easy to find and in multiples, so I can play a bunch and pick up the one I want. I like the necks on EBMM instruments that I have tried. Not yet seen a Cutlass in person. G&L are hard to find for me. I will likely end up with a Fender because of the availability and because I can play it first. Haven't bought a new guitar for a long time and this is my year to do so... watch me walk out with a telecaster or jazzmaster. You never know!
This what I liked, too.
I was considering used AVRI and Custom Shops, but there were only a few in my area I could try in person. (They were also 50-100% more in price, even used.).
Whereas there were several brand new Am Pros in every store near me. I was able to try out a bunch and pick the best feeling/sounding one. It was remarkable how different some of the necks felt, even among the same model and year.
(And part of what I like about Strats is you don’t need to go super high in price to get a great one.)
Current Cutlass SSS owner here. I've been playing fender strats off and on now for 30 years but I'm content with the cutlass and have no desire to own another strat. I love the necks and playability with EBMM guitars (I currently own 3) and after using strictly music man for a little over a year now, I just don't miss the fatter fender or Gibson necks I used to prefer.
I can confirm that the battery in the cutlass is needed for sound...but Ernie Ball says users should expect around 500 hours of use per battery.
My favorite cutlass specs:
Stainless steel frets with premium fret work
Knobs sit away from strings
Neck is fast with excellent playability
Schaller locking tuners
Extremely stable trem with push-in trem bar (snug fit with no loose play)
EB Compensated nut
Excellent overall tuning stability and setup right out of the box
Low profile input jack
Fast access trus rod adjustment
EB Vintage voiced SSS pickups capable of chime, spank, grit, twang, and bell tones
Tremendous amounts of Sustain (really incredible)
Premium materials & construction with great attention to detail (some of the best I've ever seen, and very consistent across all their models)
Fitted HSC which allows for the trem bar to stay in bridge in the case.
Quick load battery door
500 hour average use per 9v battery
Side note: I'm 6'1" tall and have large hands with long fingers and though the skinny necks were strange at first, I'm now 100% comfortable and prefer these EBMM neck profiles. No regrets. I think I've actually improved as a player because of the playability of their necks.
Here is what I consider the BEST Demo of the MM Cutlass on the net. After the initial quick minute jam, Johnny Hiland (playing white Cutlass and is already a legendary player who's so diverse it's a blast to watch him) goes through all pickup positions for clean and dirty. Blues, rock, chick'n pick'n, tapping you name it he nails it in this video. The cutlass is a very versatile instrument.
Best of luck in your ventures and I hope you find what your looking for!
I was in the same boat a couple months back - deciding between the EBMM Cutlas and the American pro strat...
I A/B'd a cutlass and about 7 different strats and narrowed it down to the Cutlass and one strat.
I played them both for about an hour, but ended up taking the strat home
The cutlass was great, like a super strat, but at the end of the day, I wanted the strat tone and feel and I felt like if I had got the cutlass I would have always wished for the strat... I got the strat and don't miss the cutlass at all - even tho it was a great guitar.
The pro series strats have some nice upgrades - the pups, wiring, frets (I like them), bone nut, string trees, 2 point trem... I have had zero tuning stability issues.
I will say that the cutlass was better then 6 other strats, but this one just beat it out.
Out of those three I don't think you can make a bad choice. I have a Fender American Standard (just love it), had a G&L Legacy that I shouldn't have sold (outstanding trem), and also had an EBMM that I also loved and shouldn't have sold (outstanding neck).
The last time I went Strat shopping a few years ago at my local Fender, Suhr, Anderson, etc. dealer I had about $5k in my GAS account and I came home with a MIM Fender. Best Strat in the shop that day even if it wasn't the prettiest. But the exact same guitar hanging next to it was a dog...so you have to forget about the labels and judge each Strat as an individual on its own merits. Might be Fender next time, might not.
That was my first thought upon seeing the title of this thread (but, also needs to have a coil tap/split). And it MUST have neck heel sculpt.
If we're talking SSS config then I would always go for the Fender Strat, there are so timeless and classic but if wer're talking HSS then maybe wait for the new Ibanez AZ range. They look very playable with great specs and decent prices on the Premium models.
What’s the best strat bridge pickup? Anything besides a strat bridge pickup!