Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you…the Fender Stratocaster.
Enough said – end of review. Next page, please…
Considering the status of the Fender Stratocaster (or ‘Strat’) in the history of the electric guitar, giving a review really could be that easy. Fender continues to produce incredible Strat models to this day, and the Fender American Performer Stratocaster is a great example of how they keep a time tested guitar appealing and relevant in today’s modern age.
The American Performer is Fender’s mid-level Strat in its product line, but just because it isn’t the quote-unquote ‘best’ model in their lineup doesn’t mean that it isn’t a force to be reckoned with. It’s all Strat all the time, with the same traditional double cutaway alder body that has rocked many a player since 1954, in your choice of three attractive finishes.
The bolt-on neck found on the American Performer is constructed from maple, with a satin finish to help give a smooth and fast feel. Rosewood is the material of choice for the fingerboard, and it features 22 jumbo frets that help out a great deal with clean bending techniques.
Fender has certainly improved on the classic Strat in the electronics department. The American Performer has the same three single coil configuration that made the Strat legendary, but with some very useful additions. The new Yosemite pickups are optimized to get the best tone possible, and your sound can be even more enhanced with the Greasebucket tone system.
With the Greasebucket setup, treble frequencies are allowed to shine through without any noticeable gain loss or getting a ‘muddy’ sound. It simply is one of the most flexible and functional tone setups that Fender has ever produced.
Another impressive stock feature is the push-pull tone pot which activates the neck pickup to always be on.. Traditional Strats do not have a way to get a neck & bridge pickup combination (or all pickups on at once), and this improvement offers an easy way to get these two additional tone configurations.
Hardware on the American Performer is top notch as well, with a standout being the new Classicgear tuning machines. They offer an 18:1 gear ratio to allow incredibly precise fine tuning. On top of that, the vintage style Fender tremolo system is amazingly stable for a guitar with no locking nut.
All of this adds up to one incredible guitar! Playability is top shelf right out of the box, which is partially attributed to the Fender Modern “C” neck profile and a great factory setup. With the updated Yosemite pickups and Greasebucket tone system, the range of sounds you can get is nothing short of amazing, and it’s greatly improved over the traditional Strat setup.
Simply put, the Stratocaster is in a class by itself as one of the most imitated guitar designs of all time, and it’s easy to see why. The Fender American Performer Stratocaster is a cost effective, USA made model that takes that timeless classic to a whole new level of performance and value.