Fender To Replace their Flagship Electrics
The huge range of Artist models, Special Editions, Vintage Hot Rods and the like in Fender’s catalogue demonstrates the company’s inventiveness when it comes to finding new ways to modify and repackage the seemingly ever-green Precision and Jazz Bass. But when it comes to re-designing the core standard models, things must get a bit trickier. For those of you not up on your Fender history, the original American Standard Series was launched in 1987 following the management-led buy-out in 1985. After years of decline under CBS, this was a significant turning point for Fender and a big statement of intent – we’re back and we can still make a damn good bass guitar. In 2000 the American Standard Series was revamped as the American Series. In January 2008 Fender unveiled yet another overhaul and reinstated the ‘American Standard’ moniker. Fast-forward to January 2017, and Fender are set to replace their flagship line once again with the new American Professional Series, which introduces three new colours: Sonic Gray, Mystic Seafoam and Antique Olive.
As before, the latest round of changes could hardly be called dramatic, but they are certainly significant. Precision fans will welcome the ’63 neck profile, and in terms of tone, the new American Professional Jazz Bass ticks all the right boxes. Both models benefit from Posiflex graphite support rods beneath the fingerboard, new fluted tuners that offer better tuning stability, Michael Bump-designed V-Mod pickups and narrow-tall frets. It’s also worth mentioning the cases. These basses come with a brand-new rectangular moulded hard case that have a large internal pocket for your strap, spare strings and all the rest, and they’re fitted with TSA locks. This means the locks can be opened using a master key if airport baggage security need to inspect the contents. You might not like the sound of that, but it’s better than having them break the lock off! For now, American Standard instruments are still available in select stores and online, but availability is limited as Fender dealers ramp up for the official launch of the American Professional line coming in January 2017. For more info visit www.fender.com