While Midnight Wine is not uncommon on Mexican-built Stratocasters, it is sparsely used on USA models. This stunning example was produced as part of the initial American Professional launch run, in late 2016, for the February 2017 debut at the big NAMM trade show in California. So the combination of its 2016 production date – preceding its official launch – and the rare Midnight Wine finish, make it both super sexy, and extra rare.
In replacing the long-lived American Standard model the American Professional boasted a handful of refinements, rather than a bunch of new features – tweaks, rather than a complete rebuild. (If it ain’t broke…) A subtle change in the neck profile, from the previous ‘Modern-C’ shape, to a very slightly more rounded ‘C’, which Fender saw fit to misleadingly label a ‘Deep-C’. A new super flat satin neck finish feels like no finish at all, allowing your hand to absolutely fly up and down the neck.
The Micro-Tilt neck adjustment remains unchanged, and the fingerboard keeps the traditional 9½” radius, while benefitting from rolled edges and a genuine bone nut.
The single-coil pickups were one feature that was tweaked, and renamed ‘V-Mod’, for “vintage modified” in the process. After untold hours of research, experimentation and subsequent development by pickup guru, Tim Shaw, the end result is a unique mix of three different Alnico magnets: Alnico II and III at the single-coil neck pickup; Alnico II and V in the middle; and all Alnico II in the bridge Shawbucker of this awesome HSS model.
The magnets mix at the neck delivers smooth and subtle tones to the low strings, with a slight oomph in the mid-range, while the high string magnets are pure vintage Stratocaster tone. The middle pickup’s low strings receive the same magnet mix as the neck, but the high string magnets are tweaked for a slightly bolder punch and tighter delivery than previously. The bridge Shawbucker lays claim to that famous Les Paul range, again pushing the mids right out where you want them, but just as easily rolled off for pure smooth-and-classy when it’s needed. Here's Tim Shaw discussing the V-Mods: LINK.
You could drop a new scratchplate on this Midnight Wine beauty and pretty much call it brand new. The frets and fingerboard look untouched, there’s no playwear on the neck, no paintwork mishaps, the metal parts all look like they were fitted at the factory last week. The plastic and Fender sticker are still on the backplate.
Free courier delivery
Complete with its original Fender TSA hard shell case & case candy, including Fender strap and straplocks, this somewhat rare and absolutely stunning American Professional Stratocaster ship FREE to any address in Australia. ($100 airfreight to New Zealand, $175 to the US, Canada, UK and mainstream European countries. International freight added at checkout)
Weight: 8lb 1½ oz / 3.67kg