The Differences Between American Standard And New American Professional Fender Electrics

On January 2017, Fender officially launched their brand new American Professional Series of electric guitars. This flagship line was made to replace the American Standard Series, first introduced in 1987. And while the American Standard Series is a highly popular option for players of all ilk, the Professional series aims to give Fender electric guitars and basses a modern tune-up while retaining many of the beloved features from the old line. It also adds a the Jazzmaster and Jaguar electrics into the fold, along with the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Precision Bass and Jazz Bass from the old line. All in all, this new line features 92 different instruments when colors and other various options are taken into consideration. Below, we look at what the American Professional Series brings to the table, the future of the American Standard line and the differences between the two.



Is The Fender American Standard Series Being Discontinued?

Unfortunately, they have indeed been discontinued. This means that Fender is no longer manufacturing new instruments in the line and as soon as they are out of stock, they’re gone for good. If you’re really set on getting a Fender American Standard instrument, you should pull the trigger soon – but make sure you take a good look at what the new American Professional Series has to offer. You many find that the changes are more appealing than you might have expected.




What Are The Differences Between The American Standard and American Professional Electric Guitars?

While many aspects between these two lines remain consistent, including the fretboard radius, Bi-Flex Dual Adjust truss rod, 4-bolt neck joint, and the choice of body and fretboard woods, there are indeed several key changes. The biggest of these are the pickups. Gone are the Custom Shop Fat 50s for the Stratocaster and Custom Shop Twisted Tele neck and Broadcaster bridge pickups for Telecasters. Instead, these two Electrics sport Fender’s new V-Mod pickups.


113062750-fender-american-professional-telecaster-guitar-maple-neck-ash-butterscotch-blonde-1 Fender American Elite Telecaster in Butterscotch Blonde.


These new V-Mod pickups have been carefully voiced for not only each instrument but where it sits as well. For example, Fender uses a blend of different alnico magnets of varying strengths within the same pickup, such as stronger pole pieces for the smaller strings. The result is a set of modern high-output pickups that are not only responsive and very well balanced, but very articulate and clear as well. Of course, Fender made sure that the V-Mods didn’t take away the core character of each instrument. For example, the V-Mod pickups on a Telecaster are voiced to retain the guitar’s signature twang and bite.

As for the HSS Stratocaster, the old humbucker has been replaced with a Shawbucker. There’s also two new dual-humbucker equipped electrics have been introduced with this new line – the American Pro HH Shawbucker Stratocaster and American Pro Telecaster Deluxe Shawbucker, both of which also come equipped (as the name suggests) with Shawbucker humbucking pickups. Like the V-Mods, each Shawbucker is voiced a little differently to account for their position.


113010705-fender-american-professional-stratocaster-guitar-rosewood-olympic-white-4_1 Fender American Professional Stratocaster in Olympic White.


Other notable differences between the two lines include a “Deep C” neck shape instead of the Modern C, Narrow-Tall frets instead of the old Medium Jumbos, a genuine bone nut instead of a synthetic nut, and more, depending on the instrument. There are also three new color options to choose from (Sonic Gray, Mystic Seafoam and Antique Olive) along with the standard Olympic White, Black, 3-Color Sunburst, Sienna Sunburst and the return of classic Butterscotch Blonde (available only on Telecaster models). All American Professional Series instruments also included a newly designed Elite Molded instrument case.

Click here for more information on the Fender American Professional Stratocaster.

Click here for more information on the Fender American Professional Telecaster.



The New Fender American Professional Jaguar And Jazzmaster Electric Guitars

114010700-fender-american-professional-jaguar-guitar-rosewood-3-color-sunburst-1 Fender American Professional Jaguar in 3-Color Sunburst.
113092785-fender-american-professional-jazz-master-guitar-maple-neck-mystic_seafoam-1 Fender American Professional Jazzmaster in Mystic Seafoam.


The Jaguar and Jazzmaster electric guitars have become increasingly popular so it doesn’t surprise us that Fender decided to add these two to the American Professional Series. Like the other two electrics in this series, the American Professional Jaguar and Jazzmaster come equipped with a new Deep C neck, genuine bone nuts, Narrow-Tall frets, and new V-Mod series pickups. And as with the other V-Mod sets, they are voiced for each instrument. While they are a bit hotter than the traditional pickups found in Jaguars and Jazzmasters, they retain the vintage flavors that each instrument is known for. These two electrics also ship with Elite Molded instrument cases and are available in the new color schemes mentioned above, as is the case with all the instruments in the American Professional line.

Click here for more information on the Fender American Professional Jaguar.

Click here for more information on the Fender American Professional Jazzmaster.



Fender American Professional Jazz Bass And Precision Bass

Fender American Professional Jazz Bass Fender American Professional Jazz Bass in Sonic Gray.


Fender’s two legendary basses have also received an update with the new American Pro Series. Like the electrics mentioned above, the biggest changes are with the new pickups, each calibrated to the signature tone of each instrument. The American Professional P-Bass comes equipped with high-output V-Mod split-coil pickups that come packed with the signature Fender bass sound that the instrument is known for, but with an overall more balanced sound. The Jazz Bass’s single coil V-Mod pickups are similarly balanced, giving the bass a crisp clear sound while maintaining plenty of vintage warmth.


193612776-fender-american-professional-precision-bass-maple-neck-antique-olive-1 Fender American Professional Precision Bass in Antique Olive.


Aside from the new V-Mod pickups, both the American Pro P-Bass and Jazz Bass come with upgraded tuners that feature increased sustain and better tuning stability, Narrow-Tall frets and a redesigned neck profile, a Slim Modern C for the Jazz Bass and a ’63 P Bass profile on the P-Bass, considered by many to be the gold standard of bass neck profiles. Both the American Professional Precision Bass and Jazz Bass are available in 4 string, 5 string and left-handed versions, while the Jazz is also available in a fretless configuration. And of course, both American Professional basses ship with Fender’s new Elite Molded instrument case.

Click here for more information on the Fender American Professional Precision Bass.

Click here for more information on the Fender American Professional Jazz Bass.



In Conclusion ...

While we will definitely miss the American Standard Series, we're very happy with the direction Fender is taking their new flagship line. The new V-Mod pickups are the perfect mix of modern design with classic sensibilities while the other hardware changes work to improve the overall sound and playability of the instruments. Make sure you check out the individual links above for the full specs of each instrument. And if you have any questions regarding the purchase of any of the instruments above or another piece of gear we carry, don't hesitate to chat with one of our friendly PAL pros by using the live chat feature below or by calling us toll-free at 1 877-671-2200!


Click here to check out our entire selection of Fender American Professional Series Guitars and Basses!


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