Fender American Standard Vs American Professional
We put the new 2017 American Professional Series to the test by putting it head to head against the superseded American Standard range.
All good things come to an end and its now time to say goodbye to the legendary American Standard range from Fender. However, do not fear, at NAMM 2017 Fender announced that a new 'American Professional' range would be taking the place of the American Standard series and was to feature a vast amount of upgraded specs, finishes and revamped designs!
So after all the pre NAMM excitement these new guitars and basses are finally here! So what can we expect from the new range and what are the key differences between the equivalent replacement models to the old 'American Standards'? What all new models are available? This mini-blog should answer all these questions as we put the old and the new head to head.
Fender have deepened the neck profile to a deep "C" shape which sits somewhere in between the orginal "Modern C" on the 2016 American Standards and the "U" shaped profile of a vintage 70s Strat. Also effecting the playability is the switch from medium jumbo frets on the old Standard to narrow tall frets on the new Pro, giving it that more vintage feel.
Other changes include a few minor upgrades such as the all new bone nut, a pop in tremolo arm rather than the commonly used screw in and the hard case that these American Pros come with are the revamped Elite Hardshell cases so you get top notch modern protection.
Electronically Fender have also added an innovative Treble Bleed Circuit and switched out the Standards Custom shop 50's single coils for the all new V-Mod Single Coils that have been especially designed by pickup master Tim Shaw.
The key change for the humble Tele however is the decision that Fender have made to go back to the old school Compensated Brass Barrells style bridge, an appoinment that takes a classic design and revamps it using extremely high quality materials to stand the rigors of modern player demands. Spec changes for the Trusty Telecaster are much the same as the American Pro Strat. With this revised model you also get a more vintage inspired Deep "C" shape neck, fast narrow tall frets, Fenders new innovative treble bleed circuit for enhanced tonal response and the new Tim Shaw engineered V-Mod Telecaster Single Coil or Shawbucker Pickups (Depending on model).
New colours available for this years American Pro Telecasters are two unique shades called Mystic Seafoam and Sonic Grey that add a touch of class to this timeless design.
Fender Precision Bass
With the iconic P Bass Fender have delivered some great specifications with this Pro model. For starters they have opted for Narrow Tall Frets over the larger Medium Jumbo frets adopted by the previous Standard model. Other major tweaks include the installation of Fluted Shaft machine heads, a Bone nut and an improved Posiflex Graphite Truss Rod.
Also changed up with the new Pro P Bass is the neck profile which has been crafted into a 63 P Bass Profile for that familiar classic feel while the Custom shop 60's pickups of the American Standard P Bass have also been switched out for some shiney new V-Mod Split Coil P Bass Pickups designed by Michael Bump.
Fender Jazz Bass
So what's new with the Jazz Bass? This 2017 American Pro range inject a new lease of life into this classic, versatile instrument thanks toits new Sonic grey colour option and many crucial specification tweaks that effect both performance and playability.
The biggest changes for the American Pro Jazz Bass Model are its fluted shaft machine heads, authentic bone nut, Narrow Tall frets and its all new V-Mod Single Coil Jazz bass pickups.
Fender Jaguar and Jazzmaster
So new to the American Pro Series party are the much loved Fender 'surf' guitar models, the Jazzmaster and Jaguar! With the Jaguar you have the choice of both Sonic Grey and Antique Olive which come with a Maple fingerboard. Also offered is a classic 3 Tone Sunburst or Olympic White finish but with a Rosewood Fingerboard.
Although not straying far from the original Jaguar design Fender have given this new American Pro version a few features that many Jag fans have been dying for over the years. Firstly you get a Johnny Marr style four way pickup switch/phases switch which is an alternative, more simple take on the classic jaguar circuitry and sliders. The Jazzmaster layout remains much the same aside from the pickup selector switch being moved to a more convenient location parallel to the neck on the inside cutaway.
Both the Jazzmaster and Jaguar models benefit from a Mustang style bridge which will please many Fender fans as it has always been a highly popular aftermarket replacement for old, traditional style Fender bridges for improved intonation, sustain and reducing any kind of buzzing.
In terms of circuitry, this pair are unlike any models before them. Both the Jag and Jazzmaster feature Fenders new inovative Treble-bleed tone circuit and the Tim Shaw designed V-Mod pickups.