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Fender American Ultra Stratocaster Guitars

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    Fender American Ultra Stratocaster Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar
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    Fender American Ultra Stratocaster HSS Rosewood Fingerboard Electric Guitar
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    Fender American Ultra Stratocaster HSS Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar
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The Fender American Ultra Series is the new flagship line from Fender and is designed for players who want the highest performance Stratocaster ever made. The research and development were “particularly intensive,” said Riley Giffin, Electric Guitar Product Specialist at Fender. The team went through hundreds of iterations of each aspect of the guitar before they were satisfied. New Ultra Noiseless pickups, advanced electronics, updated neck shapes, contours and colors add up to a Stratocaster that you can’t put down. Still, don’t let these modern upgrades fool you. According to Giffin, “the vibe of the American Ultra is more classic Fender.”

Fender first went noiseless back in 1998; the American Ultra Stratocaster features the 5th generation of these pickups, with decades of refinement behind them. “They’re re-voiced, and we feel like they’re better sounding than they ever have been,” said Giffin. “They really capture the single coil tone.” Also available is an Ultra Noiseless bridge humbucker.

An S-1 switch is nested in to the volume knob. “Once activated, it adds the neck pickup when you’re in the 1, 2 and 3 positions so you can get the bridge and neck pickup together, or you can get all three on at the same time,” said Giffin. On the HSS Strat, the S-1 switch splits the humbucker into a single coil, but adds extra winds for a hotter single coil sound.

The new American Ultra neck has a modern-D profile. “This finally makes it super comfortable and feels like a big step forward,” said Giffin. The back is covered with satin urethane. “We really tried to get it closer to a raw wood feel. It’s a little more satin, a little smoother and less sticky than the previous generation.”

The 10” to 14” compound-radius neck makes for easy chording on the lower frets, with a flatter profile for faster fretting and more accurate bends on the upper registers. The fretboard, available in maple or rosewood, has rolled edges for added comfort.

A first for Fender, the American Ultra’s tapered neck heel contour allows for easier access to those high frets. “We worked with the engineers in the factory to make sure it was still structurally stable and had integrity, but was as thin as we could get it,” said Giffin. “It’s a pretty significant reduction in the bulk right at the base of the neck.”

“These colors look really stunning under stage lights, and take on different hues from different angles. Texas Tea is one in particular. When you see it in person and under bright lights, it has shades of gold, black and green. Pretty incredible. The Artic Pearl and Blue really stand out when you hit them with light. The Plasma Red and Aged Natural are new variations. The Ultraburst is a three-color sunburst where we really tried to capture some of that ’60’s Fender burst color. It’s a little brighter in the center and a little more vivid on the red.”
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