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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / 2016 American Standard - Shawbucker + Fat 50s - Opinions?


USA / Pennsylvania

Nov 18th, 2016 09:52 AM   Edit   Profile  

Hey all,

I just purchased a '16 American Standard: HSS (Shawbucker + Fat 50's), ash body, and rosewood board. I'm rolling the dice on an online purchase (which I hate to do), but I got a great deal, and the return policy is good if the guitar has a problem.

I always wanted an ash body Strat, which is my primary motivation for this purchase. The guitar weighs 7lb 6oz...so, not and extremely light or heavy ash body.

My other Strats are alder/rosewood '88 American (SSS), and a 2001 American Roadhouse (SSS: Texas Specials).

I also have LP-style humbucker guitars (Gibson LP and Ibanez ARs), but I'm much more partial to Strat and Tele scale lengths/necks/bodies, hence the curiosity for the non-traditional Shawbucker Strat.

I've read the Shawbucker is a lower/vintage output humbucker, which I prefer. This Strat model has a concentric 250/500 volume pot. YouTubes I've seen/heard suggest the pups are well-balanced on this guitar, and the Shawbucker appears to have a clear, open tonal quality which should compliment the single-coils well. I'll be playing through tubes amps (Deluxe Reverb and BJ), and a TubeScreamer pedal. I mostly play classic rock and blues (Allmans, EC, SRV, ZZ Top, Skynyrd, Little Feat, BB King, Tommy Castro, etc.).

Does anyone have experience with this particular model guitar/configuration (Shawbuckers + Fat 50s)? I'd like to hear opinions about this pickup combo on a Strat.

Thanks all...

Contributing Member

United States

By Grabthar's Hammer, what a savings.
Nov 18th, 2016 11:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

When I played a Shawbucker model, I didn't listen to how the humbucker got along with the singles. I was mostly concerned with the bridge pickup and was not disappointed! I have two AS Strats with the Fat 50s and I love them. So there are positive feelings all around for me, but I can't say I paid attention to how they got along together.

Contributing Member


Nov 18th, 2016 07:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm hoping someone chimes in because I've been thinking of doing a complete pickguard/pup swap on one of my Strats and the Shawbucker HSS setup has been on my list of potentials.


USA / Pennsylvania

Nov 21st, 2016 02:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hey all...OP here.

Well my new '16 American Std Sienna Sunburst HSS model (ash body, rosewood board) arrived this weekend.

While I know the risk of ordering online, I rolled the dice hoping I would get a decent guitar. Unfortunately, I'll have to send this one back for a refund.

The issues:

1) The 'G' string has an unpleasant harmonic overtone. The cause may be the shallow break angle over the nut, and the lack of a string tree for the D and G strings. A little bit of finger pressure on the G string between the nut and tuner seemed to eliminate the overtone, however there is also a small chip in the nut in the G-string groove on the fretboard side. This may be in-part the cause of the overtone. Disappointing...

2) I have no love for the 'stamped' saddles at all! My 2000 American Roadhouse and 1988 American Strats both have 2-point trems and solid block saddles, and the bridge plates are considerably thicker than that of the 2016 American Std. I set up my Strats with the bridge plate 'decked' using 5 springs. I added 2 springs to the 2016 model to 'deck' the bridge for a fair comparison, and it still does not have the punch/resonance of my '88 and 2000. The body and neck woods do resonate well enough, but I feel there is some loss of transmission and resonance possibly due to the lighter saddle/bridge plate materials.

3) The neck is on the thin side...about .03" thinner than my 2000 Strat at Frets 1, 7, and 12...a perceptible difference in feel when playing. I could live with that if there weren't other issues, but just a little more depth in the neck at the centerline would be nice.

So the options are to upgrade to block saddles, add a string tree, and possibly replace the nut...or return it for refund. I know it may just be this particular guitar, after all it was purchased online, however I can't justify keeping it with the uncertainty that the upgrades would result in a good 'player', and be worth the overall investment.

The positives: A beautiful guitar overall. A nicely figured 3-piece ash body, and rosewood board, and very nice finish work. The neck joint is fitted well, and fretwork appears to be well done. Curious though that the 'medium jumbo' frets of the 2016 model, are noticeably smaller (width and height) than the 'medium jumbo' frets on my '88 and 2000. I wonder if Fender is getting frets from a different source (?)...or changed the fret specifications over the years. The Shawbucker and Fat '50s are a nice combination.

I think I'm done trying to buy guitars online. I had to return a LP Faded earlier this year for a single-string buzz...but otherwise a nice guitar.

Has anyone else who owns older Strats made similar observations when comparing to the newer American Standards? Curious to know...

Thanks all

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / 2016 American Standard - Shawbucker + Fat 50s - Opinions?

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