Fender American Standard Stratocaster [2012-2016]
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Fender American Standard Stratocaster [2012-2016]

American Standard Stratocaster [2012-2016], Guitare de forme SC de la marque Fender appartenant à la série American Standard Stratocaster.

contenu en anglais
S2D 21/09/2014

Fender American Standard Stratocaster [2012-2016] : l'avis de S2D (contenu en anglais)

« Enduring Iconic Guitar »
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Hendrix, Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Edge, Mark Knopfler, Hank Marvin, Buddy Holly, David Gilmour, Ritchie Blackmore and every guitarist who's been in Iron Maiden. So what do they all have in common? The Fender Stratocaster. Originally built in the 1950's the Stratocaster has seen and done it all, the most popular and best selling guitar of all time apparently and one which has been copied by thousands of companies around the globe looking to cash in on it's legendary status and widespread appeal, but the Daddy of them all is still the American Standard Strat.

It comes equipped with 22 frets, 3 single coil pickups, a pickup selector switch with a choice of 5 pickup positions, 1 volume knob and 2 tone knobs. The neck is made from maple wood and also comes with a tremolo bar or whammy bar as i prefer to call it. The bridge is a stock Stratocaster bridge but from what i hear it can be upgraded to a floyd rose or similar locking bridge system (sold seperately) if you feel like doing a bit of Van Halen-esque divebombs and still want to stay in tune afterwards.

UTILIZATION

The top frets are easy enough to access, although the bigger your hands are the better... and it has a classic design that back in the 50's must have looked futuristic and ground breaking but these days it's just part of life and history, the shape can only be described now as 'shaped like a strat'. With regards to the shape and design - if it's not broke then don't fix it, and with credit to Fender they haven't. They only modify it slightly every now and then to have a certain optional model with humbucker pickups or a new colour for the body, or in their custom relic series where they purposely wear out the wood and the paint to make a new guitar look as if it's been used out on the road for 40 years, but with the American Fender Stratocaster standard - you know exactly what you're getting.

SOUNDS

And moving onto the tone of the Strat. It's trademark sounds are found in it's solid, bluesy neck pickup and it's stinging bridge pickup. Match a strat up with a good Marshall amp and you'll get instant chemistry, you will have the sound of late 60's heavy rock at your fingertips. For example the master of them all, Jimi Hendrix, dial in a healthy amount of gain on your amp and select the neck pickup and you will get a sound close to the lead in 'The 3rd stone from the sun'. Dial back on the volume control on the guitar till it gets clean, select the middle pickup and you will have the 'Little Wing' intro sound. Go full on with the overdrive and master on your amp, select the bridge pickup with the tone and volume all the way up on the guitar and you will have the Voodoo Child (slight return) hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck-standing lead sound. The Strat can cut through the mix like a knife through butter and demand attention, or it can sit in the background and hold the fort as a rhythm guitar while bringing tears to a glass eye as heard in the Eric Clapton ballad 'Wonderful Tonight'. The Fender Strat is always open to new ideas, and when paired with effects pedals it can bring new and exciting sounds to mainstream rock and pop music. As shown by Hendrix in the late 60's with the Wah wah and Uni-vibe pedals mixed with wailing feedback and whammy bar abuse, and Bon Jovi's Ritchie Sambora for the super-catchy Talk Box riff on Livin' on a Prayer, or with U2's main axeman The Edge with his never ending stadium-sized delay pedal sounds as demonstrated on 'Where the streets have no name' from the Joshua Tree album. The Strat also featured heavily in the 1970's funk/disco era, with it's light but dancy clean, compressed sound paired with a Fender twin amp (as well as many other types of amp) chopped it's way through many a hit song and delivered every time live and in the studio. It even made an appearance in the Grunge area, basically whatever the decade and whatever the style of music that's been forefront since the 1950's - the Strat has been used to great effect. It is a reliable, work horse guitar that is perfect for out on the road live gigging, or in a recording studio being put to the test in session work 365 days a year.
There is no least favourite sound with a Strat, unless the input jack is faulty which can happen from time to time, maybe once every year or 2, or when trying to play a clean chord after a 15 minute straight Hendrix-at-Woodstock inspired feedback-fuelled lead with whammy bar torture session (only in the rehearsal room of course) and realising it's about 5 miles out of tune. Great times.

OVERALL OPINION

My favourite thing about a Strat is the fact it's a Strat. It sounds simple and cliche but when you've been playing guitar for a long time and are maybe a bit jaded by guitar music or music in general you just need to clear your mind, and just realise how honest and magical a real American Fender Stratocaster sounds. Even with a copy by Squire or Yamaha or some Chinese brand you've never heard of, even if you haven't got that great sound of an American model you can still pretend you are at Woodstock in front of hundreds of thousands of people playing a half hour long version of Purple Haze. For new and casual guitar players that might be all they want, and that's perfectly ok. With me when it comes to drumming i am honestly the worlds worst drummer but whenever i get a shot of a drum kit i pretend i'm John Bonham or Dave Lombardo trying crazy double bass pedal runs (then seizing up with leg cramp after 30 seconds) but enough about that. I actually got given my Strat as a present years ago but i would buy a Strat time and time again, along with the Les Paul it is one of the most iconic guitars money can buy and if you can afford the $700-800 price tag for an American Strat, then it will be well worth it as it will never lose it's value and sounds like a guitar should. It does have limitations (use for drop tuned Slipknot-esque metal is not recommended with a Strat) but it's possibilities far outweigh them.

So all in all, if it's good enough for Nile Rodgers and the 3 guitar players from Iron Maiden (yes all 3 of them) then it's good enough for me and you. Give a Strat a home and buy one now.