Hi! I’m Michał from Cinemon. Today, I’m at SkładMuzyczny.pl and I will be playing some Fender guitars for you. An old one and a new one. The old one is Fender American Standard the new one is American Professional. At the end of 2016 and at the beginning of 2017 came a new era. Standard series went into oblivion as it has been replaced by American Professional Series. As the name suggests, you can’t be standard anymore, you’re gonna be professional. Is there anything more to it than just a new name? We’re about to find out. You probably have read the specification on the Internet so you know the basic differences but I’ll tell you about them from my perspective. They aren’t that obvious at the first glance. The guitars look kinda similar. Well, that’s a Strat and that’s a Strat, too. Here’s the Professional and that’s the Standard. The first difference you can actually feel is the neck. To be more specific: it’s profile. Instead of “modern C” known from the American Standard we get the “deep C”. Wow, it’s a PUN! In a nutshell: our new neck profile “deep C” is much thicker. Don’t get me wrong it’s far from Gibson SG which is a hell of a baseball bat. Here we get aeee… well, a small baseball bat. It’s a kind of a difference that changes the way you think about the instrument. I’m not tempted to do fast solos. Well, maybe because I can’t do those. So it’s ideal for me. It’s a real piece of a neck for uhh, real men. Another difference concerns the frets. In the Standard version we had “medium Jumbo” in the Professional we get “narrow-tall”. Which, no big surprise here, are narrow and tall. A slight turn towards Vintage frets but they’re still taller so they’re not exactly what we know from Fender Vintage series. I was a bit afraid that height is gonna affect my intonation. Obviously I have some issues and I play the instrument very hard. But the intonation problem is not there. Everything’s just fine. The official video by Fender says we get more space with the narrow frets. Especially above the 12th fret. Personally, I don’t feel much difference. It’s not like I’m gonna play solos above 12th fret all the time now. Alright, I do feel a slight difference. But maybe just because I read about it on the Internet. There’s one more difference: I get an impression that the new neck’s finish is more dull. Less glossy than the Standard’s neck. It was my first impression that I had apart from the profile change. I ran to check on the web if there’s really some difference and there isn’t any according to the specifications. Even with the both guitars here I’m still not able to tell if it’s real or I imagine this. Another new thing is the electronics. Instead of Custom Shop pickups that the latest Standard featured we get the V-Mod, a new Fender pickup by Tim Shaw. He designed them in a non-standard way. They are made of different types of Alnico magnets. In one pickup we get different types of Alnico individually for each string. An interesting solution, indeed. Different magnets are supposed to level the sound of each string. Indeed, each string has it’s own frequency response and other characteristics. That’s why they actually came up with “staggered” pickups in the first place. With poles of different height. An old invention. And that’s why they use Alnico 3, 5, 7 now, in the same pickup. V-Mod. It does seem to make sense when you think about it. According to the specs, the sound of the pickups should be on the vintage side. We would expect a lower output, darker sound and a more open sound, too. And, wait for it… …that’s what we get, indeed! Another change, according to some, a big one according to others, irrelevant… …namely: a treble bleed system. It is supposed to prevent treble loss while using the volume pot. Indeed, it retains the high frequencies, the signal remains clear. Which some like and some don’t. If you’re an orthodox guitarist and you use the volume pot for cleaning up and softening your sound, you won’t be too happy with the treble bleed. If, however, you’re a modern guitarist of the 21st century, it’ll work for you. But, really, it’s a change subtle enough to miss it, if you don’t read about it first. Actually, let’s listen to it. Turning the volume down. Let’s take the Standard and we’ll hear what it sounded like in 2016. Turning down. Alright, now it’s totally mellowed. We miss the characteristic “clicking” until we get back to the full volume. With this guitar we get the click on all volumes. The clarity on the full range of volume settings. Only: Right. But to tell you the truth, you get the softer sound not only because the guitar’s electronics fiddles with it but you also drive the amp with lower signal. That’s about it when it comes to the electronics. But there’s also a cool feature about the hardware. The tremolo arm is no longer screwed. It pops in! You push it and it goes in with a “pop”. It seems a trifle but it can be a life-saver. On various occasions I forgot to install the arm. I’d suddenly remember, in the middle of a song, I don’t have the arm installed. Alright, I got it right here, but I have to screw the damn thing and the cable is blocking the way so I have to unplug the guitar to do that. And the song is about to start! Hurry and problems. It’s all gone. You just pop it in! And it’s there! So it’s a really cool solution for the forgetful ones out there. Not only those. It’s just convenient. Not to mention the arm slot which over time usually got loose. Well, actualy it always got loose. And it was causing the arm to make noises. Instead of superfluent tremolo work we got clicks and noises. It’s all gone now! There’s a plastic part there which makes such things a past. And that’s cool! It’s a well-thought feature. Coming back to our Strat. I’d like to play a little bit and to show you the differences in the sound of the guitars. (MUSIC: Nobody’s Gonna Put Out the Fire by Cinemon) (Nice, ehh?) You can actually see how the tuning holds up on this guitar. Not many instruments bear my playing well. This one seems to be fine! More or less. Not bad, indeed! Ok, I defeated it. And now a standard American Standard. In a sense, for me, an ultimate test of a Strat is its bridge pickup. Very often it’s just too aggressive, and so is in the case of this Standard. At least for my taste. The Professional’s pickups is nicer. Less punchy, more round sounding. One thing is that it can be a matter of the pickup setup. The other thing is that it’s a matter of your needs. And what you expect from your instrument. The first impression: it’s brighter and it has higher output. (MUSIC: Nobody’s Gonna Put Out the Fire by Cinemon) I prefer it rounder and darker with more mids. However, 2nd and 4th position is more interesting here. It retains the nice attack. (MUSIC: Peace of Mind by Cinemon) (MUSIC: I’m Gone by Cinemon) Riiight. Both guitars are nice. Really nice! They cost about the same. So there’s no problem figuring out which’s better because of the price. It’s a matter of taste, really. I’d personally go with the Professional because, as I already mentioned, I’m more into rounder and softer sound. The guitar sounds consistent in all positions. And it’s not a rule, even in the higher series by different manufacturers. And I like the thicker neck, it’s more convincing for me. I just don’t like it when the guitar feels too easy. But it’s not uneasy! It’s a really convenient guitar. Besides… …it’s all so shiny and new.