THE SOUND OF LEGENDS
Even after changing the world of music forever with the introduction of the Telecaster, Leo Fender was always asking musicians for feedback, seeking new ways to improve and refine his instruments. While the Telecaster was popular enough to stay in production, many players had suggestions for how to make the electric guitar--still a new form of instrument at the time--more comfortable, easier to play, and even more versatile. Released in 1954, the Stratocaster introduced several new features--including a contoured body for more comfortable playing, a double cutaway to make the higher frets easier to reach, a third pickup between the bridge and the neck to make even more tones available, and a tremolo bar to make notes easier than ever to bend. The large, 8-screw pickguard allowed almost all of the Stratocaster's electronic components to be mounted on one metal plate, making them especially easy to service.
The versatility and playability of the "Strat," combined with its sparkling sound, made it one of the most iconic guitars--maybe the
most iconic guitar--in the history of music. Dick Dale used it to pioneer the surf sound. Buddy Holly took advantage of the versatility when he recorded "Peggy Sue" using one pickup setting for the rhythm, then switching to another for the solo. Bob Dylan was playing one the night he shocked the world by "going electric" at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton used them to take guitar artistry to heights no one had imagined before, and, more recently, John Mayer has used Strats in a huge variety of styles. The list could go on forever. Jeff Beck said that with other guitars "[I] just wind up sounding like someone else. With the Strat, I finally sound like me."
The American Deluxe Series
American Deluxe is Fender's "high end" line of guitars, featuring some of their most iconic guitars with a variety of top of the line options for serious and professional guitarists, such as advanced pickups and electronics, polished chrome or gold-plated hardware, and exemplary American construction. Everything that made Fender guitars great, plus a little bit more "under the hood," including the groundbreaking S-1 switch--a button to switch pickups instantly located within the crown of the volume knob. Many guitarists like to modify and customize their guitars with newer and higher-end improvements. The American Deluxe series has the upgrades built in from the start.
In their never-ending quest to create a single-coil pickup that produced no noise, magnetic hum, or microphonics, but that still produced those famous Stratocaster "bell" tones, Fender teamed up with legendary pickup designer Bill Lawrence, who helped them create the revolutionary Samarium Cobalt Noiseless pickups, using samarium cobalt magnets to produce a softer magnetic field. When they found that no coil-winding machines were available that could ensure the level of quality they demanded from each pickup manufactured, Fender built their own coil winders, following Leo Fender's mantra since he first started designing instruments: if nothing on the market is good enough, build a better one yourself!
The Strat Player's Strat
The American Deluxe Stratocaster HHS (also known as the "Fat Strat") comes fully loaded with two of the revolutionary Samarium Cobalt Noiseless single-coil pickups from the Fender mod shop (at the neck and middle) with a Fender DH-1 humbucking pickup at the bridge for some extra beef when you need it (the the "HSS" in the name refers to the pickup configuration: Humbucker, Single-coil, Single-coil). With the 5-way pickup selector and the cleverly hidden S-1 switch, you can quickly choose between any of the pickups, or any combination of the three, with a subtle flick of a switch or push of a button, putting an unparalleled diversity of tones at your fingertips. The lightweight alder body won't break your back even in a four hour marathon gig, and your fingers will glide effortlessly across the satin-finished rosewood fretboard. Dot abalone inlays look extra stylish, and help you navigate the fretboard too. The classic headstock is equipped with deluxe staggered locking tuners, letting you whammy-away on the deluxe 2-point synchronized tremolo bridge without going out of tune. And, of course, the American Deluxe HSS is a thing of beauty, from the classic White and Sunburst models to the striking Amber and the gorgeously sleek Montego Black. Even viewed from the back of the cheap seats, this is a guitar that tells the world you're a force to be reckoned with. It's the guitar to pull from its case when you want the world to know you're a serious guitarist before they've even heard you play.
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