Whatever Happened to the Fender American Deluxe Series?

Fender American Deluxe Strat

The Fender American Deluxe: A Symbol of Musical Excellence. When it comes to blending tradition with modern innovation, the Fender American Deluxe series stands out as a true icon in the world of electric guitars.

Fender American Standard vs American Deluxe

The Fender American Deluxe and American Standard series, while both being high-quality and popular lines, have several key differences that cater to different preferences and needs of guitarists:

Pickups and Electronics:

  • American Deluxe: Features advanced electronics like Fender’s Noiseless pickups, which reduce hum and offer a cleaner sound. Some models also include the S-1 switching system for additional tonal options.
  • American Standard: Generally equipped with standard single-coil pickups, providing the classic Fender sound but without the noise reduction technology of the Noiseless pickups.

Neck and Fingerboard:

  • American Deluxe: Often comes with a compound radius fingerboard, which flattens out from the nut to the higher frets, allowing for easier bending and playing comfort. The neck might also feature more luxurious finishes and materials.
  • American Standard: Typically has a consistent radius along the entire length of the fingerboard, which is a traditional design feature of Fender guitars.


  • American Deluxe: Usually includes upgraded hardware like locking tuners for better tuning stability and a two-point synchronized tremolo bridge for smoother whammy bar use.
  • American Standard: Features traditional tuners and a standard synchronized tremolo bridge, which are reliable but might not offer the same level of performance as the Deluxe’s upgraded versions.

Body Contours and Finish:

  • American Deluxe: May have more body contouring for added comfort, and often comes with more premium finishes and aesthetic details like abalone or pearloid inlays.
  • American Standard: Has traditional body contouring with standard finishes and inlays, staying true to the classic Fender look.

Price Point and Target Audience:

  • American Deluxe: Targeted towards professional musicians and serious enthusiasts looking for high-end features and versatility. This is reflected in its higher price point.
  • American Standard: Designed for a broad range of players, from beginners to professionals, offering classic Fender quality at a more accessible price.

The Fender American Standard series was introduced in 1987. This launch marked a significant update and rebranding of Fender’s existing American-made guitar lineup. The introduction of the American Standard series was part of Fender’s efforts to modernize its instruments and revitalize the brand following a change in ownership in the mid-1980s.  Fender ceased manufacturing the American Standard series in 2016.

These updated models included various improvements and changes over their predecessors, such as enhanced build quality, revised body and neck shapes, updated hardware, and new finish options, all while maintaining the classic aesthetic and sound that Fender guitars were known for. The American Standard series has since become a staple in Fender’s guitar lineup, appealing to a wide range of guitarists from beginners to seasoned professionals.

In summary, the American Deluxe models were designed to offer advanced features and enhancements that cater to professional needs, while the American Standard models maintained the classic Fender features suitable for a wide range of players.

History of Fender American Deluxe

Fender introduced the American Deluxe series in 1998. This series was designed to offer a higher-end alternative to the standard American models, featuring modern upgrades and enhancements like noiseless pickups, improved tremolo systems, and compound radius fretboards. These guitars were aimed at professional musicians seeking premium features and finishes not available in the standard models.

The American Deluxe series was discontinued in early 2016, when Fender decided to replace it with the American Elite series. The transition to the American Elite series represented Fender’s continuous pursuit of innovation and improvement. The American Elite series incorporated even more advanced features, such as a new neck shape, redesigned body contours for improved comfort, and the latest generation of noiseless pickups. This shift was part of Fender’s strategy to stay at the forefront of guitar manufacturing, constantly updating their product lines with the latest technological advancements and player preferences.

The decision to phase out the American Deluxe series was thus driven by Fender’s commitment to innovation and responding to evolving market demands and player needs, rather than any shortcomings of the American Deluxe series itself.

Design and Craftsmanship

Unique Features: What Sets It Apart. The American Deluxe series is renowned for its distinctive features, from its sleek body to its advanced electronics.

Craftsmanship Details: The Art Behind the Instrument. Every American Deluxe guitar is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, reflecting the dedication and skill of its makers.

Sound Quality and Performance

Sound Characteristics: The Soul of Music. The Fender American Deluxe is celebrated for its rich, versatile sound that has captivated musicians of all genres.

Artist Endorsements: Played by Legends. Discover the famous artists who have chosen the American Deluxe as their companion on stage and in the studio.

Customization and Accessories

Customizing Your Fender: Personalize Your Sound. Tips and tricks for making your American Deluxe uniquely yours.

Essential Accessories: Enhancing Your Experience. A guide to the must-have accessories for any American Deluxe owner.

Maintenance and Care

Tips for Longevity: Keeping Your Guitar in Top Shape. Practical advice for maintaining and caring for your American Deluxe.

Common Repairs: Handling Wear and Tear. Insights into common issues and how to address them to prolong the life of your guitar.

Buying Guide

New vs. Vintage: Making the Right Choice. A comparison to help you decide between a brand-new model and a vintage American Deluxe.

Where to Buy: Finding Your Perfect Guitar. Tips on where to find the best deals and selections for the American Deluxe series.

 Extended Topics and Insights

Innovative Technology in American Deluxe Guitars

Understanding the Cutting-Edge Features. The American Deluxe series incorporates groundbreaking technology like the S-1 switching system, offering a vast array of tonal possibilities.

The Role of Wood in Tone

Analyzing the Impact of Materials. The choice of wood in American Deluxe guitars, from ash to alder, plays a crucial role in shaping their distinctive sound.

The Bridge: More Than Just a Component

Exploring its Functional Elegance. The bridge in the American Deluxe series is not only functional but also contributes significantly to the sustain and tonal quality of the guitar.

Pickups: The Heart of the Fender Sound

A Deep Dive into Pickup Varieties. From vintage-style to noiseless pickups, each type offers a unique contribution to the guitar’s voice and character.

Fender American Deluxe: A Choice for All Genres

Versatility in Musical Expression. Whether it’s rock, blues, jazz, or pop, the American Deluxe series proves its versatility across various music styles.

Investing in a Fender American Deluxe

Understanding Its Value Over Time. The American Deluxe is not just a purchase; it’s an investment, often appreciating in value, especially limited editions or rare models.

Custom Shop Creations

When Standard Isn’t Enough. For those seeking something truly unique, the Fender Custom Shop offers bespoke American Deluxe guitars, tailored to individual specifications.

Sustainable Practices in Production

Fender’s Commitment to the Environment. Learn about Fender’s efforts in sustainable manufacturing and how the American Deluxe series is part of this eco-friendly approach.

Connecting with the Fender Community

Joining a Legacy of Enthusiasts. Owning a Fender American Deluxe also means becoming part of a vibrant community of musicians and enthusiasts who share a passion for the brand.

Exploring Further Dimensions of the American Deluxe Series

The Legacy of Fender American Deluxe in Music Education

Inspiring the Next Generation. The American Deluxe series is not just a tool for professional musicians; it also plays a significant role in music education, inspiring young and aspiring musicians.

The Impact of Electronics in Fender American Deluxe

Understanding Active vs. Passive Electronics. Delve into how the choice between active and passive electronics in the American Deluxe models affects the guitar’s tone and versatility.

Art and Music: The Aesthetic Appeal of the American Deluxe

A Visual and Sonic Masterpiece. The American Deluxe isn’t just about sound; its aesthetic appeal, from elegant finishes to unique inlays, makes it a piece of art.

Fender’s Innovation in Neck Design

The Comfort and Playability Factor. Explore how Fender’s innovative neck designs in the American Deluxe series contribute to playability and comfort, especially during long playing sessions.

Collaborations and Limited Editions

When Fender Meets Other Creative Minds. Discover some of the most exciting collaborations and limited editions in the American Deluxe series, where Fender teams up with artists and brands.

The American Deluxe and the Recording Studio

A Studio Engineer’s Perspective. Learn about the American Deluxe’s qualities that make it a favorite in recording studios, from its noiseless pickups to its versatile tonal range.

Preserving Your Fender American Deluxe

Long-term Storage and Preservation Tips. For those who may not play their American Deluxe regularly, learn the best practices for storing and preserving it in optimal condition.


How does the American Deluxe compare to other high-end guitar models?

The American Deluxe stands out with its unique blend of traditional Fender tones and modern enhancements, making it a strong competitor among other high-end guitar models.

What’s the best environment to store a Fender American Deluxe?

Store it in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment, away from direct sunlight and extreme conditions, to preserve its quality.

How often does Fender release new models or updates in the American Deluxe series?

Fender periodically updates the American Deluxe series with new features and models, keeping the line fresh and innovative.

Is there a community or forum specifically for Fender American Deluxe owners?

Yes, there are several online forums and communities where Fender American Deluxe owners and enthusiasts share experiences, tips, and stories.

How does the American Deluxe series contribute to sustainability?

Fender is dedicated to reducing its environmental footprint, using sustainable materials and practices in the production of the American Deluxe series.

Can I get a left-handed American Deluxe model?

Yes, Fender offers left-handed versions of the American Deluxe series, ensuring every guitarist has access to these exceptional instruments.

What should I consider when buying a used American Deluxe guitar?

Check its condition, authenticity, and whether any modifications have been made. Also, consider getting it from a trusted source to ensure its quality and longevity.

Are there any special editions of the American Deluxe series?

Yes, Fender periodically releases special editions with unique features and finishes that are highly sought after by collectors and players alike.

How can I connect with other American Deluxe owners and enthusiasts?

Engaging in online forums, joining local music communities, and participating in Fender events are great ways to connect with fellow American Deluxe enthusiasts.

What makes the Fender American Deluxe series different from other Fender models?

The Fender American Deluxe stands out due to its advanced features, such as noiseless pickups, compound radius fretboard, and locking tuners, offering a blend of classic tone with modern playability.

Can I customize my Fender American Deluxe?

Absolutely! The American Deluxe is highly customizable. You can change its pickups, modify the wiring, or even alter its aesthetic to match your personal style.

Is a vintage American Deluxe better than a new one?

This depends on personal preference. Vintage models have a unique charm and history, while new ones offer modern innovations and reliability. Both have their unique appeal.

How do I properly maintain my American Deluxe guitar?

Regular cleaning, proper storage, and periodic setups are key. It’s also important to monitor the humidity and temperature where the guitar is kept to prevent damage.

Where can I buy a Fender American Deluxe?

You can purchase them at authorized Fender dealers, various music stores, and online platforms. Be sure to buy from reputable sources to ensure authenticity and quality.


The Fender American Deluxe series stands as a testament to Fender’s commitment to quality, innovation, and musical excellence. It’s a series that not only continues to write history but also inspires future generations of musicians.

In essence, the Fender American Deluxe series embodies a legacy of musical innovation and excellence. It’s more than just a guitar; it’s a companion for musical exploration, a tool for artistic expression, and a symbol of quality and tradition in the music industry. In conclusion, the Fender American Deluxe series represents a perfect harmony of heritage and innovation, offering musicians a tool that is not just an instrument, but a partner in their creative journey.

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