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  • The new American Performer series from Fender...

    They were just announced today.


    Click image for larger version  Name:	fenderamperformerfactorylifestyleguitars-e4a07f9a.jpg Views:	1 Size:	147.8 KB ID:	32409577


    https://www.harmonycentral.com/news/...es-from-fender

    I was on a conference call last week where they were introduced to the press and demoed... as a big fan of the shortscale offsets, I was really excited to hear that they're making a USA-built, non-custom shop Mustang for the first time since 1982...

    We have a couple of the new American Performer series guitars incoming, so stay tuned for the HC Reviews...

    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

  • #2
    I was just on the MF site, checking on the SDOTD, then took a moment to look at their promo and the models for this new "Performer Series". I remembered seeing you'd started a thread on this topic, so I circled back here.
    Like you, the Mustang was the first to catch my eye since I also could not recall a recent American made version of the Mustang. That said, I'd be a bit happier if they'd preserved the original phase switching config, but I'm sure this version has it's performance advantages.
    But while it's cool to see a more affordable offering of American Series offsets, I have to say that I'll also mourn the passing of the former "American Special" series of Strats and Telecasters. I own an American Special Telecaster and it's a favorite of mine; very resonant. I was able to get that guitar for $710 new (I think they were asking about $800 when they first came out) but I've been seeing the price increases So $1,100 isn't quite the affordable entry price they used to have, but in particular I thought that their inclusion of the Texas Special pickups (which are faves of mine) made the Specials quite the bargain. I'm naturally curious what the Performer "Yosemite" pickups will sound like. But if I were looking for a Strat or Tele in the entry price range, I think I'd be looking for a deal on an American Special before they're all gone.
    A '57 Classic, MIJ from USA parts.
    HCEG Existentialism: I buy guitars, therefore, I am.
    Well Dick, it's got a good beat, and I could dance to it, so I give it a 10!
    I have opinions of my own,strong opinions but I don't always agree with them.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by GAS Man View Post
      I was just on the MF site, checking on the SDOTD, then took a moment to look at their promo and the models for this new "Performer Series". I remembered seeing you'd started a thread on this topic, so I circled back here.
      Like you, the Mustang was the first to catch my eye since I also could not recall a recent American made version of the Mustang. That said, I'd be a bit happier if they'd preserved the original phase switching config, but I'm sure this version has it's performance advantages.
      We'll see. I still haven't played one yet, but supposedly they're going to send me a Mustang to review. I own an original '71, so it will be easy to do direct comparisons. Apparently they updated the bridge and vibrato on the new one, which was one of the weaker areas of the originals.

      As far as the original slide switches, I kind of like them too, but apparently a lot of people HATE them. There's really only one additional sound you can get from the switches (two different switch position combinations essentially result in the exact same sound - both pickups together, running out of phase), and not all that many people seem to like / use that sound. You can swap out the volume or tone control with one equipped with a push / pull DPDT switch and get that same both pickups / out of phase setting with the new Mustangs if it's really important. A lot of players mod old Mustangs and pull the old switches and replace them with a three-way toggle and new pickguard - it's a fairly common mod on those old guitars.

      But while it's cool to see a more affordable offering of American Series offsets, I have to say that I'll also mourn the passing of the former "American Special" series of Strats and Telecasters. I own an American Special Telecaster and it's a favorite of mine; very resonant. I was able to get that guitar for $710 new (I think they were asking about $800 when they first came out) but I've been seeing the price increases So $1,100 isn't quite the affordable entry price they used to have, but in particular I thought that their inclusion of the Texas Special pickups (which are faves of mine) made the Specials quite the bargain. I'm naturally curious what the Performer "Yosemite" pickups will sound like. But if I were looking for a Strat or Tele in the entry price range, I think I'd be looking for a deal on an American Special before they're all gone.
      The jury is still out on the new Yosemite pickups. They played demos on the press announcement conference call, but IMO the audio wasn't good enough to make any judgements. From what I was told, the new pickups use various different AlNiCo magnets (II's, IV's...) depending on the pickup and guitar, and they were designed by Tim Shaw, who has designed pickups for Gibson and Fender, and IMO, he knows his stuff...




      **********

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

      Comment


      • #4
        Besides the new pickups and the Mustang switch change, a couple of other things I'm curious about is how people are going to react to the satin finishes - not all of the colors are satin, but some of them are, such as the Sonic Blue on the Mustang in the picture in the OP. Also, the decision to use a Strat-style tremolo on the Jazzmaster is one that I think is going to be unpopular with some players - maybe not the folks who have never played a JM before, but the died-in-the-wool JM lovers are probably not going to be very happy about it. In Fender's defense, they do have a point - the traditional JM bridge / vibrato can be the source of a lot of player frustration...

        **********

        "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
        - George Carlin

        "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
        - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

        "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
        - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

        Comment


        • #5
          Ah, Tim Shaw makes some good stuff. I have a Longboard Strat that has his HB in the bridge. It's great sounding rock'n roll p'up that works well on a Strat. (I kinda wished I'd foregone the kitschy Longboard version and had simply got a Strat w a trem and split-able version of the Shawbucker.)

          Just remembered I have Shaw designed p'ups in my most recent Am Professional SSS Strat as well. It's an ash bodied Sienna Burst, so the ash makes it a little hard to A/B those pickups against my alder strats, but they certainly don't seem to be lacking in any means.

          Regarding the Mustangs, I've got a MIJ version from 2010 in Dakota Red, so I'm good to go. But just looking back at my list, I see I had to pay $810 for that MIJ Mustang back in 2010, so paying 11 Benjamins for a MIA in 2019 sounds like a pretty good deal; plus I agree, that a lot of players will prefer the updated features. I indeed find the "out-of-phase" mode to have limited functionality, BUT with a good measure of OD, that setting starts to get pretty cool.' IIRC, it creates a more spatial tone that seems a bit more 3-D.

          Regarding the JM, I hadn't noticed that Strat trem until you mention it. Yeah, I think the classic JM bridge is nice to have on a Jazzmaster. I find that although they seem a bit odd if one is familiar with a Strat trem, the JM's trem seems to make it a tad bit easier to use the trem in more subtle nuances.
          A '57 Classic, MIJ from USA parts.
          HCEG Existentialism: I buy guitars, therefore, I am.
          Well Dick, it's got a good beat, and I could dance to it, so I give it a 10!
          I have opinions of my own,strong opinions but I don't always agree with them.

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree that the original Jazzmaster vibrato is far easier to be subtle with... much more so than a Mustang or even Strat vibrato IMO. The downside of course is the original saddles and the relative lack of string down pressure at the bridge. Loose and rattling saddles and strings that pop out of the saddles with heavy strumming are very common complaints with the original design, which I suspect is why Fender decided to just avoid those issues entirely by going with a Strat style bridge.
            **********

            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
            - George Carlin

            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

            Comment


            • Malcolm Ramone
              Malcolm Ramone commented
              Editing a comment
              Like a Jagmaster, minus the Jag.

          • #7
            I don't know if this clip is "axe"mplary of anything but it sounds amazing.

            Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...








            Write Something, or Drag and Drop Images Here...

            Comment


            • #8
              I love the larger 70's style headstock on the Strat. For some reason, IMO, it looks more majestic than the smaller headstock.
              How many guitarists does it take to screw in a lightbulb ? Five , one to screw it in , hit the switch and four to sit around bragging how much better they could have done it !!!! 😱👹😲

              Comment


              • #9
                they look cool to me, ya, they do, very , very

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by AJ6stringsting View Post
                  I love the larger 70's style headstock on the Strat. For some reason, IMO, it looks more majestic than the smaller headstock.
                  When I was starting out in the ‘70s, large was all you could get new, so of course everyone loved the smaller ones that you could only get on the used / vintage instruments. Larger headstocks have grown on me a bit since then, but I still prefer the smaller ones on a Strat. On a Mustang, anything but a large one looks out of place IMO.
                  **********

                  "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                  - George Carlin

                  "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                  - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                  "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                  - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

                    When I was starting out in the ‘70s, large was all you could get new, so of course, everyone loved the smaller ones that you could only get on the used / vintage instruments. Larger headstocks have grown on me a bit since then, but I still prefer the smaller ones on a Strat. On a Mustang, anything but a large one looks out of place IMO.
                    #Me too

                    Here's my first strat purchased used in 1980 for 300 bucks. It's was made in 1976
                    I have 4 strats all together.

                    Blackie an Am Standard, I think it has the swimming pool cut out. That was my bar brawler.
                    57 RI I bought in 1984 in NYC.
                    A 62 RI I bought in the mid 80's I ruined the finish on the back by leaving a leather strap on the guitar.
                    and the 76 strat.

                    Turns out I'm more of a tele guy.



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                    _____________________________________
                    Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

                    Join Date: Aug 2001
                    Location: N. Adams, MA USA
                    Posts as of Jan 10th 2013: 82,617

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Nice Strats Mikeo!

                      Is the '62 RI American or Japanese?

                      I don't think your first Strat is a '76 though... the serial number dates to '74.

                      https://www.guitarinsite.nl/serienummers-fender_eng.php

                      https://www.guitardaterproject.org/fender.aspx
                      **********

                      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                      - George Carlin

                      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by GAS Man View Post
                        I was just on the MF site, checking on the SDOTD, then took a moment to look at their promo and the models for this new "Performer Series". I remembered seeing you'd started a thread on this topic, so I circled back here.
                        Like you, the Mustang was the first to catch my eye since I also could not recall a recent American made version of the Mustang. That said, I'd be a bit happier if they'd preserved the original phase switching config, but I'm sure this version has it's performance advantages.
                        But while it's cool to see a more affordable offering of American Series offsets, I have to say that I'll also mourn the passing of the former "American Special" series of Strats and Telecasters. I own an American Special Telecaster and it's a favorite of mine; very resonant. I was able to get that guitar for $710 new (I think they were asking about $800 when they first came out) but I've been seeing the price increases So $1,100 isn't quite the affordable entry price they used to have, but in particular I thought that their inclusion of the Texas Special pickups (which are faves of mine) made the Specials quite the bargain. I'm naturally curious what the Performer "Yosemite" pickups will sound like. But if I were looking for a Strat or Tele in the entry price range, I think I'd be looking for a deal on an American Special before they're all gone.
                        Yeah, the American Specials are great. I recently bought one and I love it. The Texas Specials still get that Tele thing, but they push everything a little harder than my old American Standard Tele did.

                        I'm going to get a '52 Reissue and have that as my traditional old school Tele, and then put a 4 way switch on the Special and have that as the rock/blues Tele.

                        It's all I really need. Well, and a Les Paul, gotta have one guitar with humbuckers.
                        Last edited by Daryl Flynn; 01-08-2019, 11:00 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
                          Nice Strats Mikeo!

                          Is the '62 RI American or Japanese?

                          I don't think your first Strat is a '76 though... the serial number dates to '74.

                          https://www.guitarinsite.nl/serienummers-fender_eng.php

                          https://www.guitardaterproject.org/fender.aspx
                          American on the 62 RI Strat

                          I have actually never looked up the serial number in the 3 tone sunburst, good to know.



                          The only MIJ Fender I have is a 62 RI tele. It's my fav grab and go, and has plenty of fret wear after 33 years. They say the Japanese Strats and Teles are even closer than the American ones to being the real thing. IDK

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                          Here's the 52 RI I got in NYC back in 83. There is no V on the serial number.

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                          _____________________________________
                          Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

                          Join Date: Aug 2001
                          Location: N. Adams, MA USA
                          Posts as of Jan 10th 2013: 82,617

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Very nice Teles! I've seen the MIJ before... didn't you post a pic of it in my bound Tele thread?

                            Is the neck really thin on the red AVRI Strat, with a C-shaped profile?

                            **********

                            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                            - George Carlin

                            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                            Comment

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