In today’s article, we’re going to answer one of the most important questions among the mid-level and professional guitarists: are American Fenders worth it? To be honest, it’s totally understandable why people search for much cheaper guitar alternatives. In today’s world, it’s not that difficult to find a good guitar at a reasonable price. On the other hand, American Fenders tend to be really expensive. So are they worth it?
Yes, absolutely. With higher price comes an exceptional attention to detail and amazing sound quality. American Fenders are often used by professional musicians during tours and studio recordings. It’s always a good idea to save up a bit more and purchase an American Fender guitar rather than a Mexican or Chinese-Made axe.
Still, there are a lot of cool models manufactured in the US that are worth considering. Let’s dive deeper with research and find out why American Fenders are so good.
Made In California
All American Fenders are being made in Corona. Although the corporate headquarters of the company are in Scottsdale, Arizona, their main manufacturing centre is based in California. According to LA Times, the factory employs between 300-400 workers who follow strict guidelines to create one of the best instruments available on the market.
For those who don’t know, Fender makes guitars all around the world. You can find cheaper Squier models made in China and Indonesia and mid-level guitars manufactured in Mexico. There are also Fender guitars made in Japan who are primarily aimed for the Asian market. Still, the American-made Fender guitars are considered as the highest available models. And that’s why they are pretty expesnive!
The whole process of creating guitars in Corona is really interesting. If you’d like to see how it all looks, I included a great tour video from their American factory. This behind the scenes one-hour footage is a great opportunity to find out who makes these guitars and how. I highly recommend checking it out!
Used By The Best
As I mentioned earlier, American Fender guitars are often recommended by professional musicians we all love and listen to. From older icons as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan up to today’s legends as John Frusciante or J Mascis, Fender has a wide roster of artists who adore their gear.
On top of that, the company offers a lot of interesting signature models. Some of the new additions include:
- The Tom Morello Signature Stratocaster
- The Jimmy Page Telecaster
- The Stevie Ray Vaughan Stratocaster
- Flea Active Jazz Bass
- and many, many more!
If you’d like to check out the whole Artist Series, make sure to visit their official website.
Great For Investing
A lot of players wonder if their new guitars will hold their value. What’s more, some guitarists decide to purchase new guitars as a form of investment. Are American Fenders worth it when it comes to investing? Well, although we don’t know what’s going to happen in twenty or thirty years, it seems that top-level guitars are often a good form of investment.
Still, it applies only for the best guitars out there. You can’t expect that your cheap guitar will suddenly become an extremely expensive rare guitar in a few years time. But if you have a model from a limited edition and there are not many guitars like that on the market, there is a high chance that your guitar is going to be far more expensive in the future.
So if you’re looking for a Fender guitar to invest in, you should probably check out the limited Artist signature models. Try to find the rarest guitars out there and you’ll definitely some results in the future. Alternatively, you can search fo used guitars for example on Reverb. Just make sure to inspect the quality of a used guitar before you buy it!
Custom Shop American Fenders
What’s important, Fender allows you to create your own custom guitar from the factory in Corona. Fender Custom Shop was founded in 1987 and they’ve been creating high end quality guitars for the most demanding players. If you’re looking for a new guitar but you’re not convinced to the American models currently offered by Fender, you can always place a custom order in their Custom Shop.
You can either try the Fender Custom Shop or the newest division of Fender – Mod Shop. This shop allows you to modify existing Fender guitars, so if you have a preference when it comes to pickups or specific wood type, you can change it in there. So instead of making a guitar totally from scratch, you can just add some modifications to current models. It’s a pretty cool option for more advanced players! I really recommend checking it out, even just for fun.
As an example, here’s a cool Jaguar that I created with Mod Shop. It’s definitely one of my dream guitars!
Feel free to use the link above and play around with it. Personally, I think that’s amazing that today’s guitarists have so many options to customize their guitars. Well done, Fender!
Top 5 American Made Fender Guitars
We already established and American Fenders are totally worth it. But since there are quite a lot of different models, I know how challenging it may be to actually choose a new guitar. So for those who are struggling, I prepared a list of top five American Fender guitars that will blow your mind. I guarantee that all of the models mentioned below feature an exceptional quality.
Here’s the list of some of the best American-made Fenders out there that are definitely worth it! I included the links to Amazon as well, so you can check out their detailed specs and pricing if you’re interested.
|1.||Fender American Ultra Stratocaster||See on Amazon|
|2.||Fender American Professional II Stratocaster||See on Amazon|
|3.||Fender American Performer Stratocaster HSS||See on Amazon|
|4.||Fender American Ultra Telecaster||See on Amazon|
|5.||Fender 75th Anniversary Commemorative Telecaster||See on Amazon|
1. Fender American Ultra Stratocaster
One of the best American Fenders out there. Although it’s really expensive, it has everything you need. It’s really versatile and it looks absolutely beautiful. To be honest, I love the combination of black color with this golden pickguard and this maple neck. In addition, the guitar is equipped with three noiseless single-coil pickups. Undoubtedly, it will be a great choice for the most demanding guitarists.
2. Fender American Professional II Stratocaster
Another interesting model manufactured in Corona. For those who don’t know, Fender announced the American Professional II Series in 2020. It’s been only a year, but these guitars already gained a huge following among intermediate and professional guitar players. It’s really difficult to fail with this top-shelf guitar. Looks and sounds absolutely fantastic! I think that Strat proves that American Fenders are totally worth it.
3. Fender American Performer Stratocaster HSS
Something for more demanding players who don’t necessarily like the regular SSS setup in Stratocasters. The DoubleTap humucking bridge pickup used in this model offers a lot of versatility and punch. I think that this guitar will be ideal for players who are into a bit heaver music. If you like alternative or progressive rock, this American Performer Stratocaster should be an excellent choice for you. I highly recommend checking it out!
4. Fender American Ultra Telecaster
The American Ultra Series is actually more expensive than the American Professional II Series. But in fact, it offers even better quality! Fender claims that the Ultra Series is their most advanced series of guitars and basses. Undoubtedly, this is the top level when it comes to guitars. What I also like about this specific model is the really comfortable Modern D neck profile. It makes you fall in love with that guitar really quickly. In addition, the Ultra Noiseless pickups offer an extremely good tone quality. I think that this Telecaster is a great proof that American Fenders are totally worth it!
5. Fender 75th Anniversary Commemorative Telecaster
Another extremely good guitar. This unique and special edition guitar offers a remarkable sound and playing experience. I think that this model is a great example of a guitar that could potentially be a good investment. It’s not a guitar from common series of guitars (like American Professional II), so in the future it will definitely be worth more than it is now. Think about buying it and keeping it in the mint condition for fifty years. That can be a really good investment! Still, it’s also an incredible guitar to play on.
The Differences Between Mexican And American Models
When you look at the pricing, it is obvious that Mexican Fenders are far more affordable than American models. And the thing is, the guitars from Mexico don’t sound bad at all! In fact, there is a part of the guitar community that truly believes that Mexican Fenders actually sound better. Although that statement is debatable, Mexican Fenders are still a really cool option for beginner and advanced players.
Still, there are a few differences when it comes to sound and the overall quality. In general, the factory in Corona has higher standards than the factory in Ensenada. As a result, the American-made guitars are less likely to have any factory flaws. Better quality control and used materials affect the final outcome, so that’s why the American Fenders are far more expensive than Mexican ones.
Feel free to check out the tone comparison below – it will definitely help you to understand the tonal differences between these guitars.
There is a reason why US-made guitars are considered as some of the best guitars in the world. Are American Fenders worth it? Definitely! Their attention to detail and quality is simply remarkable. Undoubtedly, the American Professional series is made for guitar players who know are passionate about the guitars and often make a living out of it. Of course, it doesn’t mean that without an American Strat you won’t be able to develop a successful musical career. If you work hard and practice a lot, the gear doesn’t matter. But once you reach a certain level, getting a top-shelf guitar is a must.
I hope that you enjoyed today’s article! What do you think about American Fenders? Let me know in the comment section below. Additionally, if you liked this post, you may also like: