Ask just about anybody on the street to draw a picture of an electric guitar, and we’ll bet they’ll draw something that resembles the Fender American Professional Stratocaster. Yep – it’s that iconic – and it has been a benchmark for the entire industry since its introduction back in 1954.
For a guitar model to be embraced by so many for so long, it had to have been pretty great right from the start! But that doesn’t mean that Fender hasn’t made improvements and upgrades over the years. Case in point – the Fender American Professional Stratocaster. The American Professional embodies all that has made the Strat the guitar of choice for countless guitarists. Note: photos featured here are of the gorgeous sienna sunburst finish.
For a guitar model to be embraced by so many for so long, it had to have been pretty great right from the start! But that doesn’t mean that Fender hasn’t made improvements and upgrades over the years. Case in point – the Fender American Professional Stratocaster. The American Professional embodies all that has made the Strat the guitar of choice for countless guitarists.
Body and neck
Right from the first glance, you know you’re dealing with a force to be reckoned with. There’s no doubting the classic Strat shape, and the body is constructed from a solid piece of alder to help achieve that sacred Strat sound. A carefully applied gloss polyurethane finish adds to the visual appeal as well. The maple neck is home to either a maple or a rosewood fingerboard, and it comes loaded with 22 ‘narrow-tall’ style frets. Additionally, a Bi-Flex truss rod gives you the strength and stability needed to keep your setup stable.
What about the pickups
The electronics package is definitely top shelf on the American Professional Strat. Single coil pickups can be had for a dime a dozen these days, but Fender has installed a high end set of Tim Shaw designed V-Mod pickups, all controlled by the standard 5-position pickup selector switch along with a single volume and two-tone knobs for good measure. One great feature is the treble bleed circuit, which helps fight the muddiness that can come out in a guitar tone when the volume knob is turned down.
How’s the hardware?
Compared to older Strat models, the hardware is among the best you will come across as well. One sticking point for many Strat players over the years is the real functionality of the tremolo bridge. On the American Professional, you’ll find a two-point fulcrum system that – when coupled with the Fender-branded staggered (and sealed) tuning machines – can give enhanced tuning stability.
A nice touch is the tremolo arm itself – instead of having to thread it in, it simply pops into place, while also having a tension adjustment so it can either fall out of the way or stay right in place (depending on your preference).
You’ll also find a real bone nut instead of any sort of synthetic material.
Topping all of this off is an Elite molded hard-shell case – just the right accessory for protecting your investment.
What about its sound and playability
All of these features add up to a guitar that really delivers where it matters the most – how well it sounds and plays. The premium pickup selection and circuit design give that great vintage Fender tone all night long, and with the 5 position switch, you can replicate just about any classic Strat tone that you can think of.
It also feels silky smooth, as the combination of the Modern “Deep C” neck profile and the fret wire design results in a guitar that could be considered the very definition of ‘playability.’
The American Professional Stratocaster certainly isn’t among the cheapest Strat models that Fender offers, but it really is hard to argue that it isn’t worth every penny.
Considering the combination of the exceptional build quality, its versatile electronics setup, and a playing contour that should satisfy even the most discerning guitarist.
The Fender American Professional has rightly earned its reputation as one of the most commanding Strat models currently in production.
Jerry is an advanced guitar player who began his playing journey at the age of 11. His passion for the guitar has never wained. His ability to not only play the guitar but convey his love and knowledge about the instrument with others is what he enjoys doing. He has a deep passion for music and guitar styles from fingerstyle to classic rock. Guitar Players online is very proud to have him as part of the team.