Ask just about anybody on the street to draw a picture of an electric guitar, and we’ll bet they’ll draw something that resembles the Fender American Professional Stratocaster. Yep – it’s that iconic – and it has been a benchmark for the entire industry since its introduction back in 1954.

For a guitar model to be embraced by so many for so long. It had to have been pretty great right from the start! But that doesn’t mean that Fender hasn’t made improvements and upgrades over the years. Case in point – the Fender American Professional Stratocaster.

The American Professional embodies all that has made the Strat the guitar of choice for countless guitarists. Note: photos featured here are of the gorgeous sienna sunburst finish.

Fender American Professional Stratocaster Electric guitar

It’s a classic for a guitar model to be embraced by so many for so long. It had to have been pretty great right from the start! But that doesn’t mean that Fender hasn’t made improvements and upgrades over the years. Case in point – the Fender American Professional Stratocaster. The American Professional embodies all that has made the Strat the guitar of choice for countless guitarists.

Body and neck

Fender American Professional Stratocaster

Fender American Professional Stratocaster – Sienna sunburst

Right from the first glance, you know you’re dealing with a force to be reckoned with. There’s no doubting the classic Strat shape.

The body is constructed from a solid piece of alder to help achieve that sacred Strat sound. A carefully applied gloss polyurethane finish adds to the visual appeal as well.

The maple neck is home to either a maple or a rosewood fingerboard. Furthermore, it comes loaded with 22 ‘narrow-tall style frets. Additionally, a Bi-Flex truss rod gives you the strength and stability needed to keep your setup stable.

What about the pickups

The electronics package is a top-shelf on the American Professional Strat. Single coil pickups can be had for a dime a dozen these days.

However,  Fender has installed a high-end set of Tim Shaw designed V-Mod pickups. They are all controlled by the standard 5-position pickup selector switch and a single volume and two-tone knobs for good measure.

One great feature is the treble bleed circuit, which helps fight the muddiness that can come out in a guitar tone when the volume knob is turned down.

How’s the hardware?

Compared to older Strat models, the hardware is among the best you will come across as well. One sticking point for many Strat players over the years is the actual functionality of the tremolo bridge. However, you’ll find a two-point fulcrum system on the American Professional. Coupled with the Fender-branded staggered (and sealed) tuning machines, they can enhance tuning stability.

The tremolo

Fender American Pro Sienna Sunburst tremolo

Fender American Pro Sienna Sunburst tremolo

A nice touch is the tremolo arm itself. Instead of having to thread it in, it simply pops into place. In addition, it also has a tension adjustment, so it can either fall out of the way or stay right in place.

It all depends on your preference).

Bone nut

You’ll also find a genuine bone nut instead of any synthetic material. Bone nuts are touted to transfer the maximum energy to the guitar’s saddle. The bone nut is a worthy addition to this instrument.

Hard case

Topping all of this off is an Elite molded hardshell case—just the right accessory for protecting your investment.

Fender American Pro case only

Molded hardshell case

What about its sound and playability

These features add to a guitar that delivers where it matters the most, how well it sounds and plays. The premium pickup selection and circuit design give that great vintage Fender tone all night long, furthermore, with the five-position switch. You can replicate just about any classic Strat tone that you can think of.

It also feels silky smooth, as the combination of the Modern “Deep C” neck profile and the fret wire design. It results in a guitar that could be considered the very definition of ‘playability.’

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Features

  • Three V-Mod II single-coil Stratocaster pickups
  • Upgraded 2-Point Tremolo with Cold-Rolled Steel Block
  • Deep “C”-shaped neck profile with rolled fingerboard edges
  • Bone nut; 22 narrow-tall frets for easy bending
  • Treble bleed circuit maintains highs when reducing the volume
  • Includes Deluxe Molded hardshell case

BODY

  • Body Material
  • Alder
  • Body Finish
  • Gloss Urethane
  • Body Shape
  • Stratocaster®

NECK

Neck Material
Maple
Neck Construction
4-Bolt
Neck Finish
“Super-Natural” Satin Urethane Finish on Back of Neck with Gloss Urethane Headstock Face
Neck Shape
Deep “C”
Scale Length
25.5″ (648 mm)
Fingerboard Material
Maple
Fingerboard Radius
9.5″ (241 mm)
Number of Frets
22
Fret Size
Narrow Tall
Nut Material
Bone
Nut Width
1.685″ (42.8 mm)
Position Inlays
Black Dot
Side Dots
Black

ELECTRONICS

  • Bridge Pickup
  • V-Mod II Single-Coil Strat®
  • Middle Pickup
  • V-Mod II Single-Coil Strat®
  • Neck Pickup
  • V-Mod II Single-Coil Strat®
  • Controls
  • Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck/Middle Pickups), Tone 2. (Bridge Pickup)
  • Switching
  • 5-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup Position 3. Middle Pickup Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickup Position 5. Neck Pickup
  • Configuration
  • SSS
  • Auxillary Switching
  • Push-Push Tone Control Adds Neck Pickup

HARDWARE

  • Bridge
  • 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with Bent Steel Saddles, Pop-In Tremolo Arm, and Cold-Rolled Steel Block
  • Hardware Finish
  • Nickel/Chrome
  • Tuning Machines
  • Fender® Standard Cast/Sealed Staggered
  • Pickguard
  • 3-Ply Mint Green
  • Control Knobs
  • Aged White Plastic
  • Switch Tip
  • Aged White
  • Neck Plate
  • 4-Bolt

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Strings
  • Fender® USA 250L Nickel-Plated Steel (.009-.042 Gauges), PN 0730250403
  • Legal Notice
  • WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm – www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.

ACCESSORIES

  • Case/Gig Bag
  • Deluxe Molded Case (Included)

Conclusion

The American Professional Stratocaster certainly isn’t among Fender’s cheapest Strat models. However, it is hard to argue that it isn’t worth every penny. I am considering the exceptional build quality and versatile electronics setup.

A playing contour that should satisfy even the most discerning guitarist. The Fender American Professional has rightly earned its reputation as one of the most commanding Strat models currently in production. The fender continues to be one of the most iconic guitars in history. Many strat’s are well known even by the name famous artists have given them, for example, “Rocky”  a Stratocaster which was made famous by the former Beatle George Harrison.

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Resources

American Professional II Stratocaster®. Electric Guitars. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2022, from https://www.fender.com/en-AU/electric-guitars/stratocaster/american-professional-ii-stratocaster/0113902719.html