Fender American Performer Series - Big on Features - Low on bucks!

Fender American Performer Series - Big on Features - Low on bucks!

The last two years have seen Fender graduate the American Standard series to the American Professional, the Standard series (Ensenada) to the Player series and the Vintage to the Original series.

So it comes as no surprise that the American Special (very much a favorite at Keyboard Corner and Kc's Rockshop) has been given the treatment and rehashed as -

The American Performer.

What is the difference you ask? What is the same?

Well to start with the same - in a nutshell - Price point!

The Performer remains at the same price point as the Special as Fenders most affordable Corona built guitar.

What's the difference? - in a secondary nutshell - PICK UPS!

This to me is the BIG difference and I'll explain why in a moment...

But first, the Performer series out does the Special series in another very significant way in that it now includes not only,

Stratocaster SSS, Strat HSS and Telecaster variations (That was three for those counting) 

but Stratocaster SSS and HSS, Telecaster SS and HS, Mustang, Jazzmaster, Jazz Bass, P-Bass and Mustang bass. (Ahem...that's nine!)

Yes, the bass is back in town in a HUGE way!

But back to the pickups -

Sporting the tres Americana name "Yosemite" the Tim Shaw designed single coils, humbuckers, P-90s, split P's and Jazz bass singles have been MASSIVELY UPDATED and re-jigged and MAN do they sound good!

Not only this but the coil tap feature on the SSS, HSS and Tele HS is absolutely the most awesomely elegant and useful thing I've seen in a while when it comes to electric guitars.

In the case of the SSS pulling up the tone knob (click!) engages the neck pickup in combination with whatever position the five-way switch is in.

I'm gonna let that sink in for a bit.........HOW FIRKIN AWESOME IS THAT!

The other thing I'm excited about it the humbucker.

Aptly named the Double Tap and included on the HSS Strat and HS Tele (it's actually called the Tele Hum),

Pickup God, Tim Shaw has designed (read Gypsy Voodoo majiked) them to split in a way that does not lose power and sounds like a proper single coil!

See, normally when you split a humbucker you lose quite a bit of output, the DoubleTap eliminates this and keep that full quack sound in the bridge of the strat and the OG two pickup mix in the Tele!


5th Dec 2018 David Leamon

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