Ionic Fender designs return with modern improvements
It seems that the creative minds at Fender never sleep! 2016 alone has been responsible for producing some of the brands most beautiful designs, such as the Fender Offset Series and Fender Elite Series of guitars and it seems there’s no sign of stopping this freight train of creativity. It’s full steam ahead as we look towards the new year and Fender have graced us with an early release of their highly coveted Fender 2017 American Professional Series. But what makes them so different from the Fender American Standard guitars I hear you ask? Let’s take a look…
Tell me more about the Fender American Professional series
The Fender 2017 American Professional Series features a huge range of different guitars and basses, in fact there’s 92 in total, making it one of the biggest ranges Fender have released in quite some time. These guitars and basses are available in a myriad of different set ups including ash and alder body styles with rosewood and maple fretboards incorporated into the newly updated Stratocasters, Telecasters, Jaguars, Jazzmasters, Precision Bass guitars and some cool Jazz Basses. There’s also three brand new colour schemes to choose from in the form of Sonic Gray, Mystic Seafoam and Antique Olive – all of which look great across the new range officially landing in January 2017.
So, what’s the difference between the Fender American Professional Series and the American Standard Series?
Well I’m glad you asked, because there are some key differences between the American Standard and the new Fender American Professional Series that really make this new range a stand out addition to the Fender family.
- The neck shape is a new “Deep C” shape making it even more comfortable to play
- The frets are a new Narrow-Tall design, as opposed to the Medium jumbo frets of the American Standard.
- The new V-Mod / New Shaw pickups designed by pickup genius Tim Shaw are featured across the entire range and include some gorgeous sounding single coils, and of course humbuckers!
- The Stratocaster bridges now feature a pop-in arm for easy tremolo use
- Instead of a moulded case, you get an Elite Moulded Case which is stronger, sturdier and safer for your guitar overall, making each option a perfect travel companion for touring musicians.
- Did we mention the new colours? The new Sonic Gray, Mystic Seafoam and Antique Olive colour schemes look stunning.
- The new Treble-Bleed circuitry has been included in the design, which works to make sure there’s no tone loss at lower volumes and your higher frequencies are preserved – ideal for those who use their volume pots for dynamics rather than pedals.
So let’s take a look at a few of the new Fender American Professional Series shall we?
Fender 2017 American Professional Stratocaster
Well, we must start with the most famous Fender design first! The Fender 2017 American Professional Stratocaster has been updated for the new range with the new “Deep C” profile maple neck and satin urethane finish. It also features the beautiful sounding V-Mod pickups and that all new treble-bleed circuit for high-end clarity at all volumes. Check out the great new colours too, with the Sonic Gray and Antique Olive a real highlight of the series. A selection of the range is also available with a rosewood fretboard, for those who want a slightly warmer tone.
Fender 2017 American Pro Strat HSS Shawbucker
When you need that extra thickness on stage, look to the awesome Fender 2017 American Pro Strat HSS Shawbucker Strat. This beauty is packed with two V-Mod single coils as well as a Shawbucker 1 pickup to enrich the tone. All of these pickups are powered by a blend of Alnico magnets, voiced individually so each pickup has its own voice when activated. Available with either a Rosewood or Maple fingerboard.
Fender 2017 American Pro Strat HH Shawbucker RW
Well, when you simply must melt faces with your tone (and we don’t blame you for doing so) there’s nothing quite like the power of a humbucker to do the job. Fender have installed two awesome Shawbucker humbuckers in the aptly named Fender 2017 American Pro Strat HH Shawbucker. The combination of an alder body with classic double cutaway and two humbucking pickups provide the all the high gain and sustain you need. The treble-bleed circuitry comes in handy here when you want to roll the volume back without sacrificing tone and the 5-position pickup switch blade allows you to select the inner or outer coils of the pickups for nuanced tone.
Fender 2017 American Professional Telecaster
The new Fender 2017 American Professional Telecaster will surely turn the heads of those classic tele lovers. Of course, we have to talk about the return of the glorious Butterscotch Blonde colour scheme as this beautiful finish has become a coveted addition to any guitar fans arsenal thanks to the likes of Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen and Keith Richards favouring them throughout their career. But it’s more than just the colour scheme that’s going to turn heads here. The new Modern “Deep C” profile neck offers an even more ergonomically pleasing grip and the urethane finish feels great even when you’ve been playing for hours. The V-Mod Single-Coil Telecaster pickups offers that classic bright and twangy tone at all volumes thanks to the treble-bleed circuitry, and the new 3-saddle strings-through body Tele bridge features compensated saddles that can be covered up with the removable modern “Ashtray” style bridge cover should you want a different look. Also available with a rosewood fingerboard.
Fender 2017 American Pro Tele Deluxe ShawBucker
Country, rock and everything in between, the Fender 2017 American Pro Tele Deluxe ShawBucker can handle anything you throw at it and look cool whilst doing it. Fitted with the Tim Shaw designed ShawBucker 1T and ShawBucker 2T neck and bridge humbuckers, a treble-bleed circuit for greater dynamics as well as a three way pickup toggle switch to select each pickup individually or use both at the same time, you have a wealth of tonal possibilities at your fingertips. The 6-saddle strings-through-body Strat hardtail bridge with bent steel saddles offers great intonation and sustain whilst the bone nut and staggered tuning machines give you the perfect combination of accurate string tension and tuning integrity. Also available with a maple neck for those who want a bit more twang to their tele sound.
Fender 2017 American Professional Jazzmaster
Since the Jazzmaster exploded onto the Jazz music scene in 1958, it’s been a favourite of guitarists from all genres ever since, owing to its unique sound and of course, its shape. The historic Jazzmaster has been updated with a selection of modern improvements such as the new Modern “Deep C” profile neck and the treble-bleed circuit on the Master Volume control. However, it’s the pickups that guitarsist will really want to try out. The Fender 2017 American Professional Jazzmaster features a pair of awesome V-Mod single coil Jazzmaster pickups developed by Michael Frank, who was also responsible for designing the Eric Johnson Signature Strat pickups. These things really wail.
Fender 2017 American Professional Jaguar
The combination of gorgeous tonewoods, chrome, plastic and the offset body gives the Jaguar its unique character, but this year, there’s a whole new element in play. The Fender 2017 American Professional Jaguar features a pair of new V-Mod Jaguar Single-Coil pickups also designed by the legendary Michael Frank to give you the diverse tones you need. The Jazzmaster/Jaguar bridge with brass Mustang saddles and vintage style floating tremolo with lock button offer a world of dynamics making it an extremely versatile guitar. The Mystic Seafoam Green looks amazing too.
Fender 2017 American Pro Precision Bass
The V-Mod pickups make a huge difference in sound to the Fender 2017 American Pro Precision Bass, especially the combination of a Alnico 5 treble pickup and the Alnico 2 Bass pickup, both designed by pickup master Michael Bump. The neck is a ’63 P-Bass shape, which harks back to the “Golden Era” of Fender. The Narrow-Tall frets allow a little more vibrato if you want to hang on to those longer notes. The new Fluted-Tuners which are angled in to push the string down, reducing the amount of wraps needed. The HiMass vintage bridge offers greater sustain too. For those who travel with their bass, you’ll enjoy less truss rod adjustments thanks to the Posiflex Graphite rods running along each side of the truss rod. This means environmental changes and drops in temperature will not affect your guitar as much – ideal for the touring musician. The Fender 2017 American Pro Precision Bass is also available with a maple fretboard.
Fender 2017 American Professional Jazz Bass
The combination of a “Slim C” neck and Narrow-Tall frets make the Fender 2017 American Professional Jazz Bass a real players bass providing superior comfort and room to get some vibrato from your notes. The Michael Bump-designed V-Mod single-coil Jazz Bass pickups make an appearance here, making sure all the high and low notes can be heard equally. The HiMass Vintage bridge provides the sustain you need and the Posiflex graphite rods offer the neck reinforcement you can rely on all year round. The Fender 2017 American Professional Jazz Bass is also available with a Rosewood fretboard.
Fender 2017 American Professional Jazz Bass V
For those who want that lower end rumble, the Fender 2017 American Professional Jazz Bass V offers that extra B string when needed. Again, you have the beautifully designed V-Mod Single-Coil Jazz Bass pickups mounted to a solid alder body for greater resonance and tone. The 5 string HiMass Vintage bridge adds the sustain you need whilst the Posiflex graphite rods prevent warping. The Fender 2017 American Professional Jazz Bass V is also available with a rosewood fretboard and like the rest of the Fender American Professional range, comes with a Fender Elite moulded hard case.
Fender 2017 American Pro Jazz Bass Fretless
If you like those super smooth slides up and down the fretboard, then the Fender 2017 American Pro Jazz Bass Fretless Bass is the one for you. It’s exactly the same as the American Pro Jazz Bass, but with white line fret markers instead of the usual frets along the modern “Slim C” profile neck. From Jazz, to Alice In Chains inspired slides – this can do it all.
View the entire Fender 2017 American Professional range over at the Dawsons website.
Lee Glynn is a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who lives in Liverpool, England. After moving to the UK from Perth, Australia, Lee enjoyed a successful career as guitarist in Liverpool based rock band Sound of Guns.
After releasing two albums, a myriad of EPs / singles and touring extensively around the world for 6 years including stops at Glastonbury, Latitude Festival, as well as the coveted Reading & Leeds Festivals, Lee decided it was a time for a change of scenery.
Utilising his experience in music journalism, Lee now works within the web team at Dawsons Music, where he can still relay his passion for music by producing great content for the Dawsons blog and social media. Lee is still an avid guitar player and writer.