Fender American Standard Stratocaster [1986-2000]
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Fender American Standard Stratocaster [1986-2000]

American Standard Stratocaster [1986-2000], ST モデル from Fender.

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M Elise 12/03/2008

Fender American Standard Stratocaster [1986-2000] : M Elise のユーザーレビュー (content in English)

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Mine is a red American Standard Stratocaster made in the USA in the early 90s. It has the traditional Strat single coil setup with a 5 position toggle switch. Strats of this era were the first to adopt the new 2 position pivot point bridge/whammy bar setup. Mine has an alder body and rosewood neck. The pickups were the standard pickups from the era that Fender was using. I have more to say about the pickups later. I have to rate it a 8 out of 10 because the Strat design is a classic if ever there was one but I'm not sure that these 90s era Strats are really the best.

UTILIZATION

When I bought it the neck played like butter. It couldn't have been better. It still plays well but I have had to make adjustments over the years to compensate for different string gauges.
I believe the 2 pivot point whammy bar works more smoothly and easily than the original design but also has its drawbacks which I talk about later.
The guitar has held up well over the years.

SOUNDS

Over the years I have had the opportunity to compare this guitar to two 70s Strats and one Mexican Strat from the 90s. The American Strat sounds smoother and better overall than the Mexican Strat in all positions except for the bridge treble pickup position which lacks bite and life in comparison to the Mexican. The 70s Strats sound stronger and glassier to me in a way I can't explain which brings me to the issue of the two pivot tremolo system on the new Strats. I suspect that this system robs the guitar of tone somehow and have read where others agree.
I have recently replaced the original 90s pickups with a set of vintage 57 reissue pickups and the difference is shocking! The 57 pickups sound so much smoother, sweeter, and more Alnico like but they lack the punch of 90s pickups and can sound mushy when the amp is distorting. The 90s pickups are punchy and modern sounding but also sound harsh in comparison to the 57s and respond differently dynamically to picking. I prefer the 57s. I'm still experimenting with other combinations including a 69 reissue pickup in the neck position.
The moral of the story is that even though they look roughly the same American Strats from different eras can sound quite different from one another so shop carefully.

OVERALL OPINION

I certainly recommend an American Strat because they are classic but my advice is to shop carefully and really compare the myriad of new and used models available because they definitely do sound different from one another. A novice may not hear the difference but if your ears have developed you can hear the differences easily if you do A/B comparisons. I also feel that new American Stratocasters have become too expensive at near $1,000.00 because they are actually quite simple assemblies once the precision parts are made so I would look for a used guitar.