Fender's American Deluxe Stratocaster® guitar has all the modern features today's guitarists require. The compound radius fingerboard allows effortless string bending anywhere along the neck, and N3 Noiseless™ pickups provide improved Stratocaster tones for sparkling bell-like chime with no hum. Reconfigured S-1™ switching offers other distinctive tonal options; other features include staggered locking tuners, two-point synchronized American Deluxe tremolo bridge with pop-in arm, and beveled neck heel.
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I acquired a 3TS Rosewood American Deluxe Strat back in 2010 after this model had been out a few months. The features were much like what I had come to realize were my ideal guitar design features through building and refining my partscaster over the previous decade or so in terms of hardware, noiseless pickups and wiring options. To me the real joy of this Deluxe model is the compound radius neck, which isn't really noticeable when you're playing, but then switch to another guitar and you'll feel the difference. Things that are effortless on the 2010 Deluxe are just a little more difficult.
The N3s have gotten mixed reviews. In my opinion, if I'd wanted a fully vintage-style guitar I would've bought the beautiful AVRI '62 hanging next to this one. That was also a fantastic instrument with great vintage vibe and features. But I wanted something different, that pushed some boundaries. I think the N3s are great pickups; yes, I absolutely do hear a different presence to them than 57-62s and certainly if you are a fan of especially 50s Strat tones they are a little darker and hotter than that. But they are great clean and phenomenal with high gain. In my Dlx, the treble character is almost trumpet-y with a Marshall-style amp, which I really love, and sharp with a Fender-style amp.
The setup from the store was ok, but it did take me a little while to get it set up and settled in the way I like it, with a pretty lowish action and a very clear, sustaining 3rd fret G string harmonic (D). Vibrato is very stable and returns to zero very well although I did have to file a bit on the nut slots.
I appreciate the S-1 a lot for Brian May-type tones and Albert King-type tones (I actually use out-of-phase a lot). Position 4 is a good sound, but I think the Tele-esque tone you can get from a simple neck/bridge parallel combination is supremely useful and I would prefer that instead. I can't quite figure how to re-wire the S-1 myself so this will be a job for my tech.
mzmo owns this item
First off let me say that the one unique colour choice available is nice. For many years, all the many local music stores carry is red, black, sunburst, olympic white...perhaps arctic silver. So I appreciate the burgandy mist metallic.
Other good points: alder body..choice of maple or rosewood fretboard. Locking tuners and the two point bridge is superior in many ways to the inferior vintage style bridge of the original strat.
The stainless saddles have a nice little bit of mass to help your tone, plus the fact that they are stainless means your hand won't stain them. I like the looks of the stainless.
Now the bad points: Fender has gradually eliminated certain features which made the original deluxe plus of the eighties and nineties such a mindblowing guitar. No wilkinson roller nut? It was a fine feature to help keep the guitar in tune.
Now we reach the weakest point of the guitar. The noiseless pickups. The reason is because it's a stacked coil design. The top coil of the stack gets all the wonderful tone, then the bottom coil that's deeper is too far from the strings and sounds weak and muddy. I foolishly bought a guitar with this when they were new, and I also installed some on other guitars I have. They never sound good. I've tried different necks, different bridge materials, and different amps. They never sound good and if you manage to think they are O.K.... as soon as you A-B them with a guitar that has lace sensors or texas specials.. the noiseless come out on bottom. A dummy coil circuit is better.
In my opinion the Strat is the most versatile and well thought out electric guitar on the planet. Lightweight and contoured for comfort, easy playing neck, a simple yet ingenious tremolo and all the controls in one place away from where you play. The American Standard has all that and more. The neck is now even easier to play due to it's compound radius. The controls have even more options with the SW1 switching. Throw in noiseless pickups, locking tuners and strap locks.
I've had mine for about 4 months and couldn't be happier, I can do anything I want with this from punk to blues and it never lets me down. The craftsmanship is top notch and beautiful to boot. If you're looking to step to an American made start, then spend the extra money and get an American Deluxe you will be quite pleased.
fdk030 owns this item
I bought this guitar in 2005, sunburst with rosewood board, it's just a great guitar, looks fantastic and plays even better. I also have a 1986 Japanese Strat 62 Reissue fitted with Texas Specials, between these two guitars I can get all the Strat tones I need. The American Deluxe has the best neck of any guitar I've played, it is effortless and smooth, there are absolutely no dead spots anywhere, those notes keep ringing no matter how high up you're playing. I've recently played a Custom Shop Strat whilst trying an amp and it was off course a brilliant guitar, its tone was to die for, but I would not say that the playabillity was not much better than my Deluxe and I am not exagerating. When the Am Deluxe came out, it was being compared by Guitarist magazine to top line PRS's, but with a huge price difference. The guys at Fender really have done us all a favour by making this guitar the most affordable great guitar on the market. Tone-wise I would say the Japanese/Texas has a brighter, more SRV/Hendrix tone but I love the sounds of the Am Deluxe, you can control the brightness of the bridge pick-up, one major improvement on other Strats. You can also get get a good jazz sound using the neck pick-up with the S1 switched on and the tone rolled back a bit, the tonal palette of this guitar is just huge. It has also been a good investment, I could now sell my guitar for the same amount I paid back in 2005 - but it will never happen, perish the thought. I am not a huge Whammy bar user, I do prefer the screw-on type as you can set the angle it sits to suit your playing, this push on style bar tends to hang away from the hand and you cannot change that. I usually do not fit the bar but I do lean my wrist on the smooth-finish floating bridge and I can get some seriously good vibrato that way, even on very short passing notes. All you have to do is bend the note to just below pitch and then do the vibrato, as this way you can only alter the pitch upwards.Well done Fender.
paul67 owns this item
Short sweet and simple. the two finest musical instruments I have ever played are both American deluxe Stratocasters. My newest addition is an Aztec gold fsr. It all started when I put her on my lap. went to wipe my hands on my jeans and she started to sing to me. she hasn't stopped yet, and it just keeps getting better. everything about this guitar has been perfect. and I have owned her since last October. Whatever anyone tells you. go play all the American Deluxe strats you can. I will just bet you you will find your musical partner in no time. Last thought. 'I had to have this one so bad I sold two of my guns to get her home! peace love and stratocasters
bigkenbo owns this item
I love the tone of this Strat. Once the pickup height is dialed in, you get spot on vintage tone without the noise. When you press the S-1 switch it opens a world of tone from glassy/bright Telly to vintage SG. The floating bridge is smooth and when you get it so that you can pull it to G, it's stable. The tremolo bar needs a sharper angle to not hit the volume knob, but a vise, a rag, and a pair of pliers fixes that. The compound radius neck makes bending beyond the 12th fret free of buzz and dead spots. The tuners are awesome, and keep this guitar in tone even after the most aggressive tremolo use. I found the workmanship to be very good. My only problem with this guitar was that the middle pickup died after 2 years, and I had to spend $100 to get a new one installed. But, other than that, this is my main guitar now, and I keep my FrankenStrat with a Mexican body, 57/62 pickups and 57 neck as a reserve.
rob fortini owns this item
It all began with a Les Paul that refused to stay in tune no matter how hard I tried! New nut, fret work, tuners...nothing doing! A friend says,"Try my Strat Am Deluxe!" I smile sarcastically thinking that there is no way I will like this guitar. After all, I have been a diehard LP fan (still love em') for more than ten years. I figure I will endure the moment and then return to trying to FIX my tuning issue. I pick up the guitar, and what is this I'm feeling? A balanced and smooth Maple Neck. I strum and the sound was ridiculous in every good way possible! The tuning was perfect. I say, "Did you just tune this?" He replies, "Yesterday morning!" What??? I engage the S1 switch!!! Uh, theres my LP addiction to Humbucker sound! S1 disengaged, I roll to 4th position and smoke a lead. My mind is reeling with thoughts like, "Maybe I can knock my friend out, keep this grail of a guitar, skip the country and live with my Strat for the rest of my life, and sell pears in some tropical place to make ends meet!" Long story longer: I bought this guitar immediately, and am never looking back. Fender welcome to my world! My world is a better place with amazing tone because you are part of it! If you want a guitar...this is IT!!!!
jasonk931 owns this item
I've had two Deluxe Strats (one ash w/maple fingerboard; one alder w/rosewood fingerboard). The quality of workmanship tends to be excellent, although I did try a titanium colored Dlx in the store w/ a neck problem. The gradiated neck allows for a comfortable grip all down the neck. The quick string change locking tuners are one of my favorite perks. But I do have a love/hate thing with this strat because of the pickups. Whether this current N3 design or prior...they only sound organic and full to me when played through a tube amp and with certain pickup settings. I've run the ash through a 59 Bassman and it was good but too bright for me. My current pearl white Dlx is run through a Vox AC15C and sounds mostly good (I agree that the neck S1 engaged is strange like a Sitar). I still struggle to like these pickups and will probably change them. I'll see if Seymour Duncan can replicate the American Standards from '89, because Fender no longer makes them. Overall though, an excellent made and full service guitar.
horsezens owns this item
I have the deluxe american strat in FSR Ice blue with an aluminium pickguard. I picked up this guitar in a music shop after intending to buy a new american standard. As soon as I noticed the features of the deluxe over the standard, I was in love. The locking tuners keep the guitar in tune for days on end and make the guitar super easy to string fast. The S-1 Switching offers more versatile sounds than that of the standard as well, particularly in position 1 with the switch down, you can get very close to the massive sing of a decent set of humbuckers. I also own a les paul and this guitar can almost emulate the power of it. I also love the tone controls of the deluxe, allowing you to roll of the tone of the bridge pickup. This is essential in my opinion for playing with overdrive at high volumes. All-round fantastic guitar, and one I will never be selling.
blakeypiano owns this item
I've got the Am. Deluxe of 2010 with a maple neck. Well built, beautiful instrument. Feels very, very good. It stays in tune after tremolo work.The N3-pickups sounds good on a deluxe reverb. A little different in position 2 & 5 because of different magnets (Alnico 2, 3, 5) in compare with Am. vintage. A plus for the sound with overdrive/fuzz/Distortion, because the noiseless N3. The S1 is not used very much, but sometime you are happy with the extra (fuller) sound. I love the much for the versatile playability. It's an allrounder
JoachimJonckers owns this item
I own a American Deluxe strat of 2003, silver body, rosewood fretboard. It is an excellent guitar, it is very well finished and crafted. The fingerboard is quite comfortable, and allows rapid and precise fingerings. The pickup configuration of this guitar is quite versatile, you have five combinations through the selector plus five additional ones when you push down the volume button. This guitar has an incredible response to overdrive pedals, with a very rich tone and sound, particularly when you use a all-tube amp. It is one of the best strats I have ever played.
jesuspolo owns this item
This is my go-to strat. It sounds great for anything that I play. The noiseless pickups are fine, and the coil-tapping a switching give you the option of lots of different sounds, some heftier than usual for single coils. I especially like the tone coil-tapped with middle selector switch position. The guitar is beautiful with the burst finish and the extra touch of abalone dot inlays. The neck is amazingly smooth from the first time you play it and the substantial frets help. So fare there have been a bunch of reviews by people who love this guitar and one average review by a guy who got one with finish that bled over onto the fretboard. That has to be an anomaly. None of the ones I have seen in guitar stores have any problem like that. I've never played one of Fender's specialty models that cost an extra $2000 or more, but the American Deluxe Stratocaster is the class of the rest. Amazing guitar.
I was given one of these as a gift from my wife. It was basically my Christmas/Anniversary/Birthday gift all rolled into one. There is a big difference between the American Deluxe and the American Standard that makes the price difference VERY worth it though.
I hear a lot of people badmouth the N3 noiseless pickups but personally, I love them. They are a more modern sounding pickup. While I find they do a good enough job to suit my needs a reproducing vintage tones and they do give you Chimey clean tones that Fender is famous for, they are not you Dad or Grandpa's pickups. If you want true 1950's or 1960's tones, look elsewhere. I come from a primarily hard rock/metal background with a love of rock from all decades as well as jazz and blues. The N3 Noiseless pickups do all the sounds I need or at least come close enough for my needs and most importantly, when using it with high gain tones it is whisper quiet.
This is also one of the most comfortable strats I've ever played. I have small hands and vintage necks feel like the fat end of a baseball bat to me. The compound radius makes this guitar one of the most playable strats ever. The rounded neck heel makes upper fret access MUCH easier than on other models.
While it was a gift, I was also lucky enough to be able to pick out the specific guitar I wanted. Luckily my wife had been with me before when I was guitar shopping and understands that no 2 guitars, even of the same make/model will sound identical. The tones I encountered ranged from bright and twangy to a deep and mellow tone. I chose a guitar with a deeper tone...it still has that twang strats are known for, but a bit fatter sounding than most strats I've played. I also noticed that my strat was heavier than the thinner sounding ones, so if you want the fatter sounding strat I'd say look for the heavier strats of the bunch. This thing weighs almost as much as a certain model guitar I own from those other guys.
Another thing I've always hated about vintage style strats is that heavy trem bar use would almost always put them out of tune. The bridge design on the American Deluxe combined with the locking tuners makes this guitar one of the stable I've owned in terms of it's ability to hold it's tuning. If you like to heavily abuse the trem bar this guitar can take it... a perfect choice for those who don't like Floyd Rose systems but want the same kind of capabilities.
Now for the big difference between this strat and any other I've seen - the S1 switch. With it disengaged you get more typical strat sounds because the pickups are wired in the traditional strat manner. Engage the S1 and you get a whole other range of tones. They are all usable in my opinion, but my absolute favorite is the neck position. When used clean it's a little weak sounding but once a certain amount of overdrive or distortion is added it becomes a fat midrangy tone that will cut through the thickest wall of sound mix you could imagine. I think it's a great alternative to using the bridge pickup without the S1. Definately a different sound. I find that setting just doesn't get the love it deserves and I think it's because people aren't using the right amount of gain on the setting to hit it's sweet spot. While most strats are only going to give you 3 to 5 basic sounds, the S1 gives the American Deluxe 10 basic tones to work with...much more if you take the time to tweak your rig and learn to manipulate the tone and volume controls of the guitar.
I LOVE this strat - it's become one of my favorite guitars. As with any guitar, no matter how expensive, try out multiple examples if you can because the wood used for the guitar is the only variables that can't be controlled. Not that some sound better, but they do sound different. Since this guitar was going to be a gift from my wife and I knew there would be a sentimental attachment I also made sure that I wouldn't look back some day and say "I wish I'd tried a few more and been more patient". I have a guitar that will probable stay with me for the rest of my life.
I took the sunset metallic finish. I didn't love the look at first but I loved it's tone. Since then the look has grown on me. It's not as common of a finish as the other choices and as such it really gets people's attention.
Want a verasitle guitar that can do many different styles... give this one a close look. It is more expensive than the American Standard but there is a good reason for it.
Guitar_Fiend owns this item
I had an American Deluxe Strat from 2000 - 2012. It was the Teal Green Transparent, ash bodied model with a rosewood board. I traded my American Standard in on it and became my number one guitar for many years. Probably the most comfortable Strat I ever owned. I loved the locking tuners, noiseless pickups and just the overall feel and sound of it. It just felt so classy and maybe a bit mellower than the average Strat. That didn't matter, it was so reliable. My only gripe was/is the price disparity of this model over the American Standard. But it is kind of like Buick vs. Chevy. The little "extras" make it work.
I bought my American Deluxe about a year ago and it has become my number one guitar. If you hang out on forums, you will hear people talking about the S1 switching and the noiseless pickups. Those features (particularly the N3 pickups) are what drew me to this model strat when I was playing guitars in my local shop last year. The N3 pickups sound great to my ears and I can get some pretty good single coil sounds through a Deluxe Reverb. Listen to these pickups for yourself before making up your mind. I like most of the S1 switching options and use them to thicken up my tone for a solo or just to get new sounds that are a little darker. There are a few S1 settings that I don't care for, particularly the one on the neck pickup. Everything about my guitar was built correctly, excellent finish, very nice neck pocket fit, great fretwork, and a pretty slab of rosewood. The price jump from a Standard to a Deluxe is pretty steep, but you do get some nice upgrades in pickups, compound radius neck, and hardware. I really don't have anything bad to say about this guitar.
db2112 owns this item
If it was legal to marry a guitar.........I would marry this one! Sexy beyond words, responsive to the touch, moans beautifully when I stroke her with love and tenderness.
billshideler owns this item
This is a fine guitar. Well made with lots of options provided for pickup combinations and tonal variations due to the 6-way toggle combined with the S-1 switch. I bought the Montego Black model and enjoy playing it immensely.
yahad owns this item
2011 American Deluxe Stratocaster with Maple fingerboard.
I have been playing guitar for many years and have owned everything from Gibson to PRS to Schecter Custom to vintage Yamaha electrics. This guitar is rock solid, built to last, and plays amazingly well.
Factory setup was outstanding. Action set perfect. Amazing tone. Fit and Finish is excellent. Rolled fingerboard edges are smooth and clean. Neck is fast. Control pots provide full range control. Although the N3 Noiseless pickups have a slightly lower output they in no way handicap the guitar. This guitar has a beautiful clean sound. Can get all classic Fender sounds. With the S-1 switch engaged you get some beautiful distortion and great harmonics. Regarding the amount of distortion and harmonics, much depends on amplification and processing. But the guitar will produce the sounds you want. I currently own two own high end PRS guitars and they are special in their way. This guitar is different but equally in its way. Great deal for an American made Strat. IMO there is no comparison to the lower end Fenders. Case, Locking tuners, and Schaller Strap Locks are great features too. Would not hesitate to buy again. Solid axe.
scamp owns this item
I've had my American Deluxe Strat for well over a year now and its been a love-hate relationship ever since. My wife bought it as a gift since I've been drooling over it for a while, and it seemed really good on paper and on the display shelf. American made, quality materials and the latest improvements on most if not all the components of the guitar. After about a day or two of playing, I realized that the workmanship was not what I imagined of a top-tier, American made model was cracked up to be. Now I have been a fan of strats for a while and have had a Japanese-squier for more than 10 years and even the China-made 'Classic Vibes' strats have better neck feel and workmanship than mine. The fret work on my Deluxe was really sub-par, with the satin finish all over the frets and were not properly sanded off. Even the frets were not even polished and looked like they were scrubbed with furniture grade sandpaper. The fret ends at the bottom side of the neck were catching the skin of my fingers, contrary to the claim that these go through strict quality controls.
Not wanting to give up on it, I contacted Fender about it and sent high-resolution photos of the fret work. Fortunately, the Fender representative was very prompt and helpful and redirected me to a licensed service center. The situation was somewhat resolved as the guy who worked on it polished the frets and was very helpful.
All in all, I still have the strat but am completely convinced that "American-made" guitars nowadays are not what they're chalked up to be. I don't know how mine even got through what I imagined as a strict quality control environment. Even for a $1600 guitar. Don't get me wrong, I love Strats and will continue to play them but I strongly advise anyone intent on buying these top-tier models to try out Fender's lower-priced ones and you might be surprised that some might even be better.
Aji owns this item
This guitar does not do heavy metal brilliantly. However it does everything else perfectly. I own the white/maple model and its sexiness is only surpased by its tone quality
elliotroseuk owns this item
Smooth playing guitar, excellent feel and tone. The push button tone knob boosts the tone with a little overdrive that sounds great. Excellent guitar. Can be a little expensive, but my personal view is to buy the very best you can and enjoy it forever.
davidgard owns this item
|Model Name:||American Deluxe Stratocaster®, Maple Fingerboard, 3-Color Sunburst|
|Body Material:||Select Alder|
|Neck Finish:||Satin Urethane|
|Neck Shape:||Modern "C"|
|Scale Length:||25.5" (648 mm)|
|Fingerboard Radius:||9.5"-14" Compound Radius (241 mm-355.6 mm)|
|Number of Frets:||22|
|Fret Size:||Medium Jumbo|
|String Nut:||Synthetic Bone|
|Nut Width:||1.685" (42.8 mm)|
|Position Inlays:||Black or White Pearloid Dot|
|Truss Rod Nut:||1/8" American Series|
|Neck Plate:||4-Bolt with Micro-Tilt™|
|Bridge Pickup:||Noiseless™ N3 Single-Coil Strat|
|Middle Pickup:||Noiseless™ N3 Single-Coil Strat|
|Neck Pickup:||Noiseless™ N3 Single-Coil Strat|
|Controls:||Master Volume (with S-1™ switch), Tone 1 (Neck Pickup), Tone 2 (Middle and Bridge Pickups; No-Load™ Tone control)|
|Pickup Switching:||5-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup, Position 3. Middle Pickup, Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickup, Position 5. Neck Pickup|
|Special Electronics:||S-1™ Switch|
|Bridge:||2-Point Deluxe Synchronized Tremolo with Pop-in Arm|
|Tremolo Arm Handle:||Pop-In Deluxe Tremolo Arm|
|Tuning Machines:||Deluxe Staggered Cast/Sealed Locking|
|Pickguard:||3-Ply Mint Green|
|Control Knobs:||Aged White Plastic|
|Switch Tips:||Aged White|
|Auxiliary Switching:||S-1 Switch On: Pos. 1. Bridge/Mid/Neck Pickups, 2-Bridge/Mid, 3-Mid/Neck, 4-Bridge/Neck Out-Of-Phase/In Series w/ Tone Cap, 5-Bridge/Mid In Series/Out-Of-Phase/In Parallel with Neck Pickup|
|Strings:||Fender® USA Bullets® 3250L, NPS, (.009-.042 Gauges)|
|Unique Features:||Compound Radius Fretboard, New Noiseless™ N3 Strat® Pickups, Reconfigured S-1™ Switching, Locking Tuning Machines, Contoured Heel|
|Included Accessories:||Hardshell Case, Cable, Strap, Straplocks|
|Strap Locks:||Schaller® Strap Lock System|
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