Welcome to the latest addition to the Fender USA line…the American Elite HSS Stratocaster. Replacing the amazing American Deluxe line the Elite brings back a bunch of features we all know and love as well as some new ones. This is the most innovative Stratocaster that they have made since they first introduced the model in 1954.
Not too much has actually changed with the body. The curves are slightly more exaggerated and the comfort cuts are a bit deeper. Apart from that this is still the same Alder body that has been used on strats for years.
Fender have made a lot of changes here. The most visible one is that they have moved the truss rod adjustment to the bottom of the neck. Previously it was at the headstock and was a real pain to adjust once strung. With this new position at the body however you can easily set up the neck absolutely anywhere.
It does not end there however is they have also constructed a new compound shape neck to match the compound radius fingerboard. Now the neck carves from their Modern ‘C’ shape to a very modern ‘D’ carve so you get great control over both ends of the neck. This matches up perfectly with their compound radius fretboard that goes between a vintage 9.5” radius and the low end to a shredtastic 14” at the high end.
The idea here is that these changes will make it easier to play solid rhythms and insane leads on the same guitar. There’s not much you can’t do with this guitar out of the box.
Fresh New Hardware
The tremolo and tuners are close to what we had before with the American Deluxe but with minor changes. The rest of the hardware including the pickups and truss rod are fresh and new for the American Elite line.
The pickups for this guitar are a more modern HSS style setup. With a Fender Shawbucker pickup in the bridge position that goes from 50’s warm smooth tones to modern hard rock leads you have a lot of modern tones covered right there. Need something a bit more vintage? Flick over to either the middle or neck pickup to experience the 4th generation of noiseless single coil pickups.
Generation 4 of the Noiseless pickups fixes all of the complaints pushed at the N3 and delivers the authentic single coil tone everyone was hunting for. Best of all it does that without losing the noiseless nature of the sound. No annoying coil hum or whine just the sound of some great pickups running through your dream rig.
- Series: American Elite
- Body Material: Alder
- Body Finish: Gloss Polyurethane
- Neck: Maple, Compound Back Shape, Modern “C” to “D”
- Neck Finish: Satin Urethane with Gloss Urethane Headstock Face
- Frets: 22, Medium Jumbo
- Tuning Machines: Deluxe Cast/Sealed Locking (all short posts)
- Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)
- Bridge: 2-Point Deluxe Synchronized Tremolo with Pop-In Arm
- Pickguard: 3-Ply Mint Green (700,710,796), 4-Ply Tortoiseshell (723)
- Pickups: Shawbucker™(Bridge), New 4th Generation Noiseless(Neck+Middle)
- Pickup Switching: S-1 Switch Up: Position 1. Bridge Pickup. Position 2. Bridge/Middle
- Pickup. Position 3. Middle Pickup. Position 4. Middle and Neck
- Pickup. Position 5. Neck Pickup
- Control Knobs: Aged White Soft Touch Knobs
- Hardware Finish: Chrome
- Case/Gig Bag: New Elite Molded Case
- Fingerboard: Ebony, 9.5”-14” Compound Radius (241 mm-355.6 mm)
- Position Inlays: Large White Pearloid Dots (Ebony), Large Black Pearloid Dots (Maple)
- Nut (Material/Width): Synthetic Bone, 1.685” (42.8 mm)
- Special Electronics: Push-Push Passing Lane Switch to Engage Bridge Pickup and
- Bypass Tone Controls
- Controls: Master Volume (with S-1™ Switch), Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 2 (Middle and Bridge Pickups)