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FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / 2013 American Deluxe Strat V Neck (in Fiesta Red) - review

Viera
Contributing Member
*********

Santee CA

Aug 3rd, 2013 04:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Disclaimer: This review is based on owning the guitar for 2 days and it has only been played at home.

I’ve been waiting for years for Fender to offer some new colors for the American Deluxe Strat. Well, they did and my favorite local guitar shop (Buffalo Bros) just happened to get one. Of course, I couldn’t resist checking it out. It didn’t hurt that Buffalo Bros gave me a very generous trade in price for a guitar that I bought from them about a year ago. They’re very good about that.

LOOKS:
While playability and sound are first and foremost with any guitar purchase (for me), this one is a real looker. The Fiesta Red body, the tinted maple neck, the 3-ply mint green pickguard together with the aged white knobs and pup covers are a very nice combo. The black dot inlays are an improvement over the pearl dot inlays from previous years American Deluxe Strats.

The “Fiesta Red” color does not have as much of an orange tint as the photo on the Fender website, but it is still very nice. I would have preferred the neck to be a slightly lighter tint, but that’s just a very minor complaint.

I like the looks of the bridge and Pop in Tremolo Arm (more on that later), but I’m not crazy about the looks of the Tuning Machines. Vintage style locking tuners would have been a better choice for this particular guitar.

SET UP, PLAYABILITY, FEEL:
The guitar is set up very well. I like the action, not too high not too low. I haven’t checked the intonation but it sounds very close to perfect (perhaps more on that in a follow up review). There is no fret buzz nor dead spots anywhere on the fretboard.

I thought that I would need to adjust the float of the tremolo to my liking, but once I swapped the strings from .009-.042 to .010-.046 the tremolo was just about where I like it. The downside of going to the heavier gauge strings is that the nut appears to be cut just a tad tight for “10s”. It is staying in tune, but there is a little bit of pop when tuning the 1st & 2nd strings.

The neck is just about perfect, including the frets. I’m a sucker for Fender soft V necks. This one feels very much like my JV Strat. The Compound Radius Fretboard is a nice touch, but honestly, I can’t feel much of a difference from my other 9.5 radius Strats.

I’m of the opinion that the American Deluxe Bridge with the 2-Point Deluxe Synchronized Tremolo is the best that Fender makes. I also prefer the Pop in Tremolo Arm over the “vintage style” arms.


SOUNDS:
Unplugged this Strat has a very solid sound. Each string rings out, but there isn’t too much going on harmonically. This IMO translates to its excellent sustain when plugged in.

To my ears, this Strat with its N3 pups, is slightly smoother sounding than Strats with vintage style single coil pups. It does still sound very much like a Strat. It does overdriven/distorted stuff very well while cleaning up nicely. All of the traditional Strat sounds are there without the S-1 switch engaged.

The S-1 switching really turns this into a super versatile Strat. The bridge/middle pup combo in series comes close to a full size bridge humbucker sound, while the neck/middle pup combo in series comes close to a full size neck humbucker sound. The real gem to me is all 3 pups in series. You get a big fat sound which really works for distorted stuff, but is also very nice with cleaner amp settings. The other 2 settings produce sounds that are nice at home, but may be a bit boomy to work well in a band situation.

The No-Load™ Tone control for the bridge and middle pups is an excellent feature.

OTHER THINGS:
The hard shell case is an improvement over that provided in previous years. One possible weakness is that the latches are plastic instead of some type of metal.

I don’t care for the Schaller Strap Locks. I’ll likely be replacing them with Dunlops.

A nice leather strap and a Fender cord were included.

This Strat is a keeper. I’ll try to follow up with some updates in a few months

(Mods, please move this to the Strat forum if that is a more appropriate place for this review – thanks)

It looks like this

(This message was last edited by Viera at 07:05 PM, Aug 3rd, 2013)

Pinetree
Contributing Member
**********
****

Calloused hands that

slap that bass, J.I.M.B.O!
Aug 3rd, 2013 06:42 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I took mine to a jam and got plenty of compliments...


on the case!


I'm lovin' mine.

(The Dunlop Straploks went on before the plastic came off.)



FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / 2013 American Deluxe Strat V Neck (in Fiesta Red) - review




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