An American Fender AM HSS Deluxe Strat, that possesses a 2002 serial number, so despite the fact that it is now pushing 17 years old, it is still in very good condition – The cool and translucent teal green finish display lighter signs of use – No significant dings or dints and certainly nothing of any concern , but a closer inspection will reveal slight grazes/wear to the top surface of the gloss finish – On the front, any signs of wear are subtle, whilst on the rear, only lightish hints of buckle wear are visible, but nothing that shows the wood, so just light compression marks to the finish – The frets have been dressed and polished, so no issues on that score – Includes the deluxe shaped moulded Fender case, complete with various tags/paperwork, polishing cloth and trem arm
So lets find out a bit more about the AM HSS Strat Deluxe – Today Fender Strats tend to fall into 2 camps, vintage or modern – When Fender designed the Strat in the early 50’s, it was designed mainly for the country and jazz market – Modern pop/rock/fusion, or whatever tag you wish to use, had not yet materialised – Yet as time has moved on, many guitar players have found that the original vintage spec models are not suitable for today’s more fluent playing styles – This is where the AM HSS Deluxe Strat comes into play – The changes that appeal to the modern guitarists are a 9.5″ radius fingerboard, along with 22 medium jumbo frets, which allows for a far more fluid playing action, with no choking out when you bend those strings – Furthermore you’ll find such spec allows for easier and controlled string bending – Also note the body/neck join heel, which is now contoured to make it more comfortable, with easy access now offered to the higher frets – So ideal for the brave players who wish to wander pass the 12th fret – A 2 point modern fulcrum tremelo, with a set of Fender locking tuners, plus the LSR roller nut, delivers a smooth and positive feeling tremelo, with trouble free tuning – This is also the trem spec favoured by the likes of Jeff Beck, hence no better recommendation could ever exist than that – Additionally the modern C neck profile has rolled fingerboard edges, with an ultra smooth satin finish, that possesses some of that played in character – Neck measures .843″ around the top nut and gently fills up to .870″ so more of an even taper regarding the depth of the neck as you move up towards the higher reaches – Ash body – Maple neck with a 22 fret rosewood fingerboard that is even grained and smooth
Tonal character :- Over the years many Strat players have loved the classic bell like vintage tones, yet have despised the associated hum from these single coil pick-ups, especially at stage volumes with significant levels of gain – The answer today comes in the form of a set of samarium cobalt single coil models, that Fender have spent many a long hour developing, trying to retain the adored vintage qualities but now in a silent package – Both Clapton and Beck are 2 well known users of such pick-ups – Purity is an obvious way to describe the tonal character once you’ve heard it for the first time – Maybe less organic than a traditional set of vintage flavoured pick-ups, but somehow more transparent, with a larger sonic tonal palette when used with pedals and amp ‘modelling’ rigs like Kemper and Helix – Rather than the regular 3 single coil spec version, on the HSS model we have a bridge humbucker, to deliver more output and girth for those scorching rock solos – I suppose this gives the guitar more of a rock flavour as against pure vintage blues from the 3 single coils – Master volume pot with treble bleed mod, to preserve expressive qualities and clarity as and when you roll off the pot, as required – Tone neck + tone middle/bridge, with ‘by pass’ option when turned up to 10 – All in all you have a more versatile platform to work from – Ultimately the best bet is to just plug it in and play so you find out what it is capable off achieving – Like any good Strat it is happy working in blues combo, or with any rock n roll, pop, or funk band
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