Joe has written several thousand articles about music and musicians and has contributed to many musical products, including Apple’s Logic and GarageBand programs. The pick guard is black with SRV inscribed on the surface, and the hardware dark gold. Is it any worse than a U.S. made Strat? The Fender Elite Stratocaster is an electric solid body guitar that was manufactured by Fender in 1983 and 1984. The neck felt really nice (it seemed to sit better to me on the Tele than on any of the 3 Elite Strats I've tried out) but the pickups on the American Standard Tele really sounded better to me (same experience I had with the Elite Strats). Considering the Elite’s quality materials, ingenious design details, excellent build quality, and U.S. manufacture, the $1,799 price is reasonable. All Rights Reserved Both of these guitar offer an incredible tone that is simply different in its nature. If you are looking for a Fender Stratocaster, we prepared four awesome models for you, so stay tuned.
It’s the base model that sets the standard for the whole series. Exclusive to the American Elite Series, Sky Burst Metallic and Autumn Blaze Metallic have just the right amount of sparkle, offering bold new looks for the trailblazing guitarist. The medium jumbo frets are immaculately installed, with no rough edges whatsoever. Clean notes last and last. The tuners come in form of locking short-post units that hold the tuning well and offer a great deal of precision. They really sound incredible.”.

The neck comes either with maple gloss or rosewood fretboards. I was playing through one of those silverface Deluxe Reverb "modified reissue" amps. You can definitely play heavy riff rock with this guitar. In terms of new Stratocasters, American Elite is the new gold standard.

Pickups are basic model Fender Strat single coils that are pretty neutral by nature, and produce a bit more hum than all the other models we’ve listed. Pickups Fender chose for the American Standard are three Custom Shop Fat 50 single coils that offer the most authentic Stratocaster sound. Texas Special single coils have a really defined tone that is different in many ways from the standard pickups that come on other Strats. The pickups are the all new 4th generation noiseless single coils all around, just like we are used to seeing on a Stratocaster. The neck is made of maple, and sports the standard Fender’s compound back shape, modern “C” to “D” design, with 22 medium jumbo frets.

But the instant you strap on the Elite, you know you’re not in Vintageland anymore. There’s a lot of tonal fidelity to enjoy, especially if you are into classic blues or classic rock. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. The product team A/B tested them against vintage pickups, hitting the nail on the head by maintaining an authentic vintage sound without the hum. (You can definitely play country on the Elite, but the result will probably be more 21st-century Nashville than mid-century retro tones.) Fender American Standard Stratocaster offers what can be described as the closest thing to the vintage Stratocaster sound.

The Elite is built for comfort and speed. However, the bridge pickup’s tone is markedly modernized. Not Your Father’s Twang The pickups are the all new 4th generation noiseless single coils all around, just like we are used to seeing on a Stratocaster. Coupled with the body contours on the Elite Stratocaster, Stratocaster HSS Shawbucker and Telecaster, these instruments certainly feel snug against the body. Gen 4 Noiseless™ pickups for the Stratocaster, Telecaster, and Jazz Bass are still available from Fender. Privacy Policy |

There are numerous features to choose from, like the type of pickups and more. It’s not about which one is better. Hooked: Kenny Wayne Shepherd on Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)", 2. Its neck and fingerboard are maple, though the model is available with a rosewood fingerboard and in multiple finishes. Ironically, players who have come to rely on series mods may require it less here than on most Teles. Trying to find the best Fender Stratocaster is not that hard. First and foremost you have the Texas Special single coil pickups that are chosen by Stevie Ray Vaughan, and will give you the closest sound to his. Excellent build. It’s soft, fast and accurate. Learn more about cookies (Read More button). Another nice detail: the heel-mounted, wheel-style truss rod nut for fast neck-relief adjustments. You can definitely play heavy riff-rock with this guitar. The redesigned pickups are notably less noisy than traditional single-coils. When combined with a tasty overdrive, this guitar steps into another dimension. Our review model benefited from an expert setup.

The American Elite and SRV signature model are really neck and neck for that best Fender Stratocaster title. If you just want a Fender Stratocaster that gives you the core experience, a Fender Standard, made in Mexico Stratocaster will serve you just fine. (It felt like that, anyway.) There’s the comfy body bevel, and the modern neck-body joint with its asymmetric plate. For overdriven tones, tack on several more “lasts.” Check out the final crunchy chord in the demo clip that accompanies the online version of this review.
The Elite sounds terrific, though not quite in an antique Tele way. They lock, and they employ short posts for a sharper string-break at the nut. In his spare time Joe produces the Joe Gore line of guitar effects and edits a geeky guitar blog ( What sets this model apart from more expensive Strats is the choice of pickups you get, and the fact that it was made in Mexico.