Tone Report Weekly 179 - Page 54

GEAR SPOTLIGHT FENDER AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL STRATOCASTER REVIEW BY YOEL KREISLER STREET PRICE $1499.00 With every single minute change in the design of the Stratocaster, there are players who will love the new version or hate it. With such a legendary guitar, there are many purists (myself included) who have an idea of what the perfect Strat is in their heads. I personally enjoy the ‘50s style Strats with the skinny frets, soft-“V” neck, and 7.25-inch radius, while I know many others who prefer the medium jumbo, 9.5-inch radius and C-profile neck of the more modern Strats. For the longest time, the American Standard series (which is now being replaced by the Professional Series) catered more towards the modern crowd. With the 54 GEAR SPOTLIGHT // American Professional, Fender has tried to synthesize some unique, vintage “flavored” design choices with the classic modern Fender specs. The new colors, as well as the new spec offerings piqued my own personal interest, coming from playing a vintage-style Strat almost exclusively for the past few years. Let’s dive in and see what this new Strat can really do. Fender clearly made some critical design choices here to sway those who were on the fence with the American Standard series. One of those design choices is the use of “narrow tall” frets as oppose to the medium jumbos used on American Standards for Fender American Professional Stratocaster years. These frets are closer to the medium jumbo then their vintage “skinny” relatives, and feel a little different from both of those. They are a little rounder feeling in the fingers than the flatter medium jumbos, but not as skinny as the vintage Fender frets. Think of a medium jumbo but just puffed up, with a smidge taken off the sides. Whether you’re coming from vintage-style frets or medium jumbos, you should have no problem acclimating to these, which was a brilliant move by Fender to sway both camps of Strat lovers into the American Professional camp. The rest of the neck is beautifully finished in a satin urethane, which is the halfway