Fender American Elite Strat

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StevepageStevepage Frets: 887
It'll be 20 years this July 22nd that I got my first guitar (squier Strat). As it's my birthday I'm considering getting a Strat, specifically the one I mentioned in the title. 

Does any one here have one? if so, what do you think of them? 

All the specs seem to tick everything I like in a guitar, just wanted some feedback before I go off next weekend and try to get one.

Cheers!
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  • MattFGBIMattFGBI Frets: 1463
    I really like the knobs. Sounds silly, but the little rubberised bit on the edge makes such a difference when you're fumbling about on stage .
    This is not an official response. 

    ukqueries@fender.com 


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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3415
    Only had the briefest of goes on the current Elite Stratocaster. I have spent more time with the old Deluxe American.

    I love the woodwork, loathe the noise-cancelling pickups and eventually become bored with the compound radius fingerboards and big frets.

    To me, skinny frets and a 7.25" radius are normal. Anything more modern feels too easy. I play better when I have to fight the guitar a bit.

    That's just me. My notion of how a Stratocaster ought to be date back decades. YMMV.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 3888
    In that price range, I'd go for the American Original.

    I know Fender are claiming these latest noiseless pickups sound good, but I've never yet heard noiseless ones that are as good as a really good set of proper single coils.

    It's also a nitro finish, which will age better, and the 6 screw bridge will sound better.



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  • bacchanalianbacchanalian Frets: 265
    I had an Elite for a very short time. My impression was that it would be great for someone who is gigging a lot and needs something very reliable and consistently easy to play. It was quite heavy for a strat but a good all round package - except for the pickups. The best way I can describe the tone is that it was as if there was a noise gate cutting in at certain frequencies. All sounded a bit artificial if you are sitting in front of your small valve amp (with NOS valves) but could be brilliant for a working musician.
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  • StevepageStevepage Frets: 887
    crunchman said:
    In that price range, I'd go for the American Original.

    I know Fender are claiming these latest noiseless pickups sound good, but I've never yet heard noiseless ones that are as good as a really good set of proper single coils.

    It's also a nitro finish, which will age better, and the 6 screw bridge will sound better.



    I was interested in those originally but the only thing is I like a flatter fretboard. 

    Is the wiring pretty complicated with the Elite? As changing the single coils wouldn't be much of a problem
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  • SchnozzSchnozz Frets: 652
    edited July 14
    Try a G&L - You won't find a bad review and I haven't found anything better in that £1.5k price range. They're going up in price a bit now, but you should still be able to find mint condition around £950.

    https://images.reverb.com/image/upload/s--OTSs0_oe--/a_exif,c_limit,e_unsharp_mask:80,f_auto,fl_progressive,g_south,h_1600,q_80,w_1600/v1526226545/qh42hednjnghe33lhha6.jpg
    Pre-production Charvel-esque necks too and Paul Gagon is ex-Jackson Charvel.
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  • vincechu89vincechu89 Frets: 25
    edited July 14
    I had an Elite for a very short time. My impression was that it would be great for someone who is gigging a lot and needs something very reliable and consistently easy to play. It was quite heavy for a strat but a good all round package - except for the pickups. The best way I can describe the tone is that it was as if there was a noise gate cutting in at certain frequencies. All sounded a bit artificial if you are sitting in front of your small valve amp (with NOS valves) but could be brilliant for a working musician.

    Agree with this.

    I have tried a 2 Elites and to be honest I wasn’t very impressed. They are well built guitars and give you typical stratty sounds but they were heavy (probably 8-9lbs) and felt a bit cold, hard to put it in words but a lack of character in my opinion and i just couldn’t bond with them.

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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 3888
    Stevepage said:
    crunchman said:
    In that price range, I'd go for the American Original.

    I know Fender are claiming these latest noiseless pickups sound good, but I've never yet heard noiseless ones that are as good as a really good set of proper single coils.

    It's also a nitro finish, which will age better, and the 6 screw bridge will sound better.



    I was interested in those originally but the only thing is I like a flatter fretboard. 

    Is the wiring pretty complicated with the Elite? As changing the single coils wouldn't be much of a problem
    The American Original is 9.5", not the vintage 7.25".

    Personally I like 7.25".  I can cope with 9.5" but anything over that on a Strat wouldn't seem right.
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  • StevepageStevepage Frets: 887
    See my Strat has a 12" radius which I find perfect for a Strat. I like my action pretty low which is why I go for flatter radius'
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  • dindudedindude Frets: 5555
    Stevepage said:
    See my Strat has a 12" radius which I find perfect for a Strat. I like my action pretty low which is why I go for flatter radius'
    Maybe have a look at the Eric Johnson Strat, move vintage informed but 12” board. Has quite a large neck though.
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  • menamestommenamestom Frets: 2333

    My strat has a classic player neck on, so 12” I think.  Feels fine.   I like 9.5” also, as long as the guitar can be set up well I just adjust to whatever it is.  If you ant a bit of ‘fight’ back in it it can be achieved with string guage and action.
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  • StevepageStevepage Frets: 887
    Just had a cheeky visit to a shop that had one in stock.

    Overall I think they're good guitars but I didn't pick it up and think "yeah this is amazing". 

    Maybe with a set up something closer to what I like may help but I'll certainly be trying out more before I decide. 
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  • I’d go for an older American standard in great condition. Seen them go for £550-700. Bargain guitars 

    My old 1999 USA Big Apple Strat is one of my favourites. 
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  • jeztone2jeztone2 Frets: 992
    edited July 14
    I dunno. I see a lot of people gigging American Deluxe and modified Standards that sound great.  I don’t see that many CS reissues at gigs. Also what about pickups like Kinman AVN’s? 

    Personally my favourite Strat cleans have come from Fender gold Lace Sensors. So what about a used old Clapton Strat then get it refretted? 
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  • If you’re not too stressed about the name on the headstock, have you considered the Suhr Classic Pro? It’s a bit more money but worth it IMHO. Best Strat I’ve ever had.
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  • StevepageStevepage Frets: 887
    I'd love a Suhr, every one I've played has been amazing but they're just a bit too out of my budget
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15956
    Stevepage said:
    I'd love a Suhr, every one I've played has been amazing but they're just a bit too out of my budget
    Used?
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 19114
    Stevepage said:
    I'd love a Suhr, every one I've played has been amazing but they're just a bit too out of my budget
    Used?
    Absolutely - used Suhrs, Andersons et al are usually ridiculously cheap for the quality on offer - and usually in mint condition.

    Though I’m not personally a fan of ‘posh’ Strats - Andersons are top of the boutique pile, in my experience.
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  • I was never a fan of posh Strats either to be honest but mine was a minter, it was local too so I could try it first. It looks and sounds amazing, it’s a joy to play and stays in tune. Best £1400 I’ve ever spent.
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  • niceguyhomerniceguyhomer Frets: 4
    edited July 14
    Stevepage said:
    I'd love a Suhr, every one I've played has been amazing but they're just a bit too out of my budget
    Used?
    Absolutely - used Suhrs, Andersons et al are usually ridiculously cheap for the quality on offer - and usually in mint condition.

    Though I’m not personally a fan of ‘posh’ Strats - Andersons are top of the boutique pile, in my experience.
    Sorry not sure what I did here
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