Fender American Professional Series

Fender American Professional Guitar and Bass Overview

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Everything you need to know about the Fender American Professional Series Electric Guitars and Basses

As 2016 drew to a close, our friends at Fender unveiled their exciting new series of American-made guitars and basses, the American Professional Series. This new series of electric guitars and basses set a new standard, offering updated, modern features on classic designs including the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster, Precision Bass and more. To make it easy on you, we've gathered together everything you need to know about this exciting family of guitars and basses all in one place.

Table of Contents

What's New in American Professional Guitars
Fender American Professional Stratocaster
Fender American Professional Telecaster and Telecaster Deluxe
Fender American Professional Jazzmaster and Jaguar
What's New In Fender American Professional Basses
Fender American Professional Precision Bass
Fender American Professional Jazz Bass

What's New In American Professional Guitars

Before we start breaking down the specifications by each classic Fender model, let's first look at some of the features that all of the American Professional series guitars have in common.

We'll start with the top half of the guitar. Each model features Fender's new "Deep C" neck profile. This fresh design could be best described as falling somewhere between a "Modern C" (a flattened take on the traditional "C") and a "U" (known for being a bit on the chunkier side). The American Professional Series also features new Narrow-Tall frets. Simply put, Fender describes these new frets as being narrower and taller than their Medium Jumbo frets. Paired with the modern 9.5" fretboard radius, players will find this to be a very comfortable playing experience that can easily accommodate all styles. Each neck is capped with a genuine bone nut, classic Fender headstock and staggered modern tuners.

Moving down the guitar, let's examine some of the tonal options on tap. The American Professional Series features some new pickup options. First is the V-Mod single-coil pickups (designed by tone wizard Tim Shaw), which are voiced to produce high-output vintage warmth and the clear, cutting sound that has made Fender legendary. The second pickup option involves the newly redesigned ShawBucker™ humbuckers, voiced specifically for each position. And, if you're tired of losing your high end as you turn down your guitar's volume, you'll be very excited to check out the new Treble Bleed circuit, which will maintain all your high-end clarity, regardless of what your guitar's volume is set to. To learn more about these exciting new pickup designs, check out our interview with legendary Fender pickup designer, Tim Shaw.

Each guitar comes with a new Elite Molded Case. This new hardshell case features body-hugging contours to protect your instrument, TSA latches for increased security and nested stacking ability for easy storage and secure transport.

Fender American Professional Stratocaster

One of the most iconic guitars of all time, the Fender Stratocaster has gone through many changes over the years since its debut in 1954. The new American Professional Strat models are no exception. In addition to all of the new features outlined above ("Deep C" neck profile, Narrow-Tall frets, etc.), the American Professional Stratocasters offer a 2-point synchronized tremolo with bent steel saddles and pop-in tremolo arm. No longer needing to be "screwed in", this new arm simply pops in and securely stays in position, no matter how aggressively you use it. Tension can be adjusted to match your playing preference.

The American Pro Stratocaster is also available in three different pick-up configurations: standard V-Mod single-coil (also available as a lefty model), HH ShawBucker™ and HSS ShawBucker™. These three configurations should satisfy any potential Strat player.

Each American Professional Stratocaster model features an Alder body (note: the Sienna Sunburst finish has an Ash body) and maple neck. Each model, lefty included, is available in 3 Color Sunburst, Olympic White or Black, as well as some additional options for the righty models. Each body features a gloss polyurethane finish.

Fender American Professional Telecaster and Telecaster Deluxe

In addition to the standard features found on the rest of the American Professional Series, the American Pro Telecaster features a new bridge design. This new Tele bridge features three compensated brass barrel saddles, 6 screw mounting and removable modern "ashtray" bridge cover. The right-handed model is available in 9 different gloss polyurethane finishes, while the left-handed model is available in 3 Color Sunburst, Black and Butterscotch Blonde.

Providing players with even more choice, Fender is offering a second Telecaster model in the American Professional series. Originally introduced in 1973, the Telecaster Deluxe has been brought into the modern era as the Telecaster Deluxe ShawBucker™. Available in 3 Color Sunburst, Sonic Grey, Black and Natural, this model offers two newly redesigned ShawBucker™ humbucking pickups, providing plenty of power for the modern player. The Telecaster Deluxe ShawBucker™ features a 6-saddle, strings-through-body Strat Hardtail bridge. It also comes adorned with 4 skirted amp knobs for controlling each pickup's tone and volume.

Fender American Professional Jazzmaster and Jaguar

Reflecting the rising popularity of their offset models, Fender has included the Jazzmaster (rosewood, maple) and Jaguar (rosewood, maple) in the American Professional Series. Originally released in 1958 and 1962 respectively, the Jazzmaster and Jaguar quickly became the guitars of choice for the burgeoning surf rock and instrumental rock genres of the 60s, noted for their unique looks and signature sounds. Although losing prominence in the 70s in to the early 80s, these iconic offset guitars have become the go-to-axes for aspiring New Wavers, Indie Rockers and Shoegazers.

Featuring the Deep C neck profile, Narrow-Tall frets and other features of the American Pro Series, perhaps most notable, the offsets feature a redesigned bridge with brass Mustang saddles and a screw-in tremolo arm. The new saddles are designed to keep your strings exactly where they belong, ensuring ultra-stable performance.

Each guitar features new pickups, with V-Mod Jaguar and V-Mod Jazzmaster pickups specially designed by longtime pickup guru Michael Frank (creator of the renowned Eric Johnson Signature Stratocaster® Pickups) to bring you vintage tone with modern punch and clarity thanks to an overwound specification. Combined with the new treble-bleed tone circuit, you'll have no problem cutting through a mix with either of these beauties.

So, which model do you choose? First, there are some inherit differences in the pickups, with the Jaguar design offering a slightly brighter sound as compared to the warmer sounding Jazzmaster design. Additionally, the two guitars feature different pickup switching options.

The Jazzmaster offers a 3-position toggle with fairly conventional options:

  • Position 1. Bridge Pickup
  • Position 2. Bridge And Neck Pickups
  • Position 3. Neck Pickup

On the other hand, the Jaguar is setup with a 4-position blade that's configured as:

  • Position 1. Bridge Pickup
  • Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups (In Parallel)
  • Position 3. Neck Pickup
  • Position 4. Neck and Bridge Pickups (In Series)

One other major difference is scale length. The Jazzmaster offers a 25.5" (648 mm) scale length while the Jaguar offers a 24" (610 mm) scale length. This has an obvious impact on overall feel, particularly in the Jazzmaster where the increased length will mean higher string tension. This also has a tonal impact, with the Jaguar having a little less bottom end than the Jazzmaster.

What's New In Fender American Professional Basses

Like the guitars, Fender's iconic basses get some great new features in the American Professional Series. Both the Precision Bass and Jazz Bass feature Narrow-tall frets, bone nuts, Posiflex™ graphite rods and fluted-shaft tuning machines. The Posiflex™ graphite rods do a great job reinforcing the neck, protecting against environmental fluctuations to ensure a reliable playing experience at home, on the road or in the studio. The tuning machines are wider at the top forcing the string windings downward to keep them tight. With a sharper and consistent break angle over the nut, this results in better tuning stability and increased sustain.

Each bass in the American Professional Series also features the HiMass™ Vintage Bridge. This bridge offers single-groove saddles, providing a vintage look with all the stability and sustain you'd hope for. It also offers strings-through-body or topload setup.

Looking at the pickups, the American Professional Series sees the introduction of brand new V-Mod Split-Coil (Precision Bass) and V-Mod Jazz Bass pickups, designed by bass pickup master, Michael Bump. These pickups use a blend of alnico magnet types and offer plenty of legendary Fender bass tone.

Each bass comes with a new Elite molded case.

Fender American Professional Precision Bass

In addition to the aforementioned features, the American Professional Series Precision Bass® sports some great specs. It features a ’63 P Bass® Neck Profile, considered by many to be the gold standard of bass neck profiles. With a 34" scale length, satin finish on the back and maple or rosewood fingerboards, this neck offers a very comfortable playing experience.

The Precision Bass is available in 4 and 5-string versions (American Pro Precision Bass V®) in 3 Color Sunburst, Olympic White, Black and Antique Olive. There is also a left-handed 4-string model which is available in 3 Color Sunburst, Olympic White and Black.

Fender American Professional Jazz Bass

Beyond the standard specs of the American Professional Series, the American Professional Series Jazz Bass has plenty of great features. The American Pro Series Jazz Bass has a maple, "Slim C" neck. With a 34" scale length, satin finish on the back, and maple or rosewood fingerboards, this neck is plenty fast and plenty comfortable.

The American Professional Series Jazz Bass is available in 4 and 5-string versions in 3 Color Sunburst, Olympic White, Black and Sonic Gray. Also available are a left-handed 4-string model and a fretless 4-string model, in 3 Color Sunburst, Black or Sonic Gray.


New for 2018: Check out our Fender American Original Series overview.

Related: Fender announces Parallel Universe Series at NAMM 2018.

Tags: Electric Guitars


# john matacola 2017-01-11 19:11
where are these new models made? are they all made in the US or which models are made in other countries? I have seen intro/review videos but have not had the chance to try one out yet. Do plan on it as soon as I can find some time(free day). Please let me know,
thanks, j
# Elisha Wainscott 2016-12-21 18:47
I was planning on buying the American standard tele. Then I saw these new models. I like the tele pro with the shawbuckers. I actively play an acoustic....never owned an electric. Would the pro with shawbuckers be a wise choice? Are these shawbuckers somewhat like humbuckers? The pickguard design is super COOL
# Andy 2017-01-30 03:56
They are humbuckers. Just called Shawbucker because Tim Shaw designed themail. I think the Tele is a perfect guitar for acoustic players to go electric on.
# Paul 2016-12-10 17:33
What are dimensions of the new Narrow-Tall Frets?
# Stephen Phillips 2016-12-08 04:36
this is replacing the American Standard ? and what are the price ranges?

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