The new Fender American Professional Series updates the core models included in the old American Standard Series and adds three new models: the Tele Deluxe, Jazzmaster and Jaguar.
The new models are priced similarly to where the American Standard Series used to sit. You may be paying the same money, but the updates go beyond a simple facelift.
Here’s a look at what has changed.
Here is where the new American Professional models differ from the American Standard:
New neck shape. “Deep C” shape that’s in between “Modern C” and “U” (except for Jazz Bass). All will have satin finishes.
New fret shape. Tall-Narrow instead of Medium Jumbo.
New pickups. V-Mod and redesigned Shawbuckers instead of Custom Shop offerings.
New circuitry. A treble-bleed circuit helps maintain tone at any volume.
New bridge designs. Don’t worry – nothing drastic. See below for more info.
New nut material. Genuine bone instead of synthetic bone.
New molded case. An “elite” molded case with TSA-friendly latches.
New colors. Sonic Gray, Mystic Seafoam, Antique Olive, Butterscotch Blonde (Tele).
Fresh colors and slight changes to the nut, frets and neck shape don’t really scream paradigm shift. But the change that players will undoubtedly remember for years to come will be the new pickups designed by none other than Tim Shaw.
The American Professional Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jaguar, and Jazzmaster are fitted with new V-Mod pickups. These single coils are made with a proprietary blend of alnico magnets, each one voiced specifically for its particular position. The American Professional Precision and Jazz Bass models implement the same V-Mod technology in split single-coil packages.
The Stratocaster HSS, Stratocaster HH, and Tele Deluxe models employ reimagined ShawBucker humbucking pickups, also specifically voiced for their position.
Changes described in press releases are one thing. Hearing these new Shaw-designed pickups in comparison to their peers is what we’re all waiting for.