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70th Anniversary American Professional II & 70th Anniversary Player Stratocaster.

Posted: April 16, 2024
Compared to older vintage Strats the American Pro II has a 2-point synchronized tremolo with bent steel saddles for dependable bends that stay in tune. Fender’s Deluxe sealed locking tuners with all short posts is a big upgrade for restringing and tuning. 

Images provided by Fender

2024 is the 70th Anniversary of the creation of the Fender Stratocaster.  To celebrate this occasion Fender has created the 70th Anniversary American Professional II Stratocaster & the 70th Anniversary Player Stratocaster.  Obviously, there are some big differences since one is American made and the other is an import, but there are also many similarities.  The American standard that Fender sent us for review had a flame maple top, alder body and a deep grain finish that is striking.  The knobs and switch tip on this model are aged white and the pickguard is a classic tortoise shell.  Although this looks visually like a straightforward Strat it isn’t, Fender loaded it with three V-Mod II Single Coil pickups that sound full and have none of the ambient single noise. 

The note articulation through an amp was incredible but the American Professional II also gives you big, sustained tones with overdrive and distortion. Some of the increased sustain can be attributed to the Alder body and Cold-Rolled Steel Tremolo Block.  The Pro II delivers expanded tonal options thanks to its push-push tone knob for the bridge pickup allowing you to open up or soften that pickup like never before.  Compared to older vintage Strats the American Pro II has a 2-point synchronized tremolo with bent steel saddles for dependable bends that stay in tune. Fender’s Deluxe sealed locking tuners with all short posts is a big upgrade for restringing and tuning.  The 70th Anniversary commemorative neck plate, contoured neck joint and the micro-tilt adjustment are top quality.  The 70th Anniversary American Professional II Stratocaster comes in Comet Burst and includes a lush Deluxe hardshell case in Inca Silver with a crushed blue velvet interior. Street price is $1,999.99 and this is a limited-edition American made guitar.

The 70th Anniversary Player Stratocaster is not shabby either.  This model has a Nebula Noir Sparkle finish with 4-play Pearloid pickguard.  The Alder wood body delivers sustain and some extra weight, but it is worth it. The neck on the Player model has a modern C shaped which is a bit wider with a 1.650” nut width.  The neck plays fast and smooth thanks to the satin finish, while the headstock is still gloss.  Fender installed medium jumbo frets on the Rosewood fretboard for easy playability.

This Anniversary Strat has also been upgraded with a 2-point Fender tremolo.  Pickups in the Player are three staggered pole Pure Vintage ’59 Single-Coil pickups that deliver that vintage sound everyone is after without the hum. Standard 5-way pickup selector, single volume and two-tone controls handle the electronics on this Strat. Fender ClassicGear Tuners have a retro look while providing dependable modern tuning.  The Fender 70th Anniversary Player Stratocaster has the cosmetics of a custom shop guitar at a much more affordable price point. Like the Professional II the 70th Anniversary Player Stratocaster has an etched neck plate bearing the 1954-2024 designation. 

Tested through the amplifier the 70th Ann. Player Strat has vintage Strat tones with modern player features – definitely the best of both worlds in one guitar. Priced at only $999.99, the Fender 70th Anniversary Player Stratocaster is a nice tribute to its predecessors and a lot of guitar for the money.  It also includes a Fender Deluxe Gig Bag. Both the 70th Anniversary American Professional II Stratocaster and the Fender 70th Anniversary Player Stratocaster will be limited runs to celebrate the Anniversary of this iconic instrument.  If you’re in the market for a modern Strat either model will deliver the goods but order yours soon!

www.fender.com




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