USA Clapton Strat VS CS Clapton Strat

Discussion in 'Fender' started by MichaelAndrew3435, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. MichaelAndrew3435

    MichaelAndrew3435 Premium Member

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    What are some of the differences other than one being handmade in the CS? Any different electronics? pickups?
     
  2. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    About $2,800..:D
     
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  3. MichaelAndrew3435

    MichaelAndrew3435 Premium Member

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    Lol well I'm looking at used models, so the CS is about twice as much. So a $1,200 - $1,400 difference.
     
  4. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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  5. marksoundguitars

    marksoundguitars Chief Paint Sniffer MLP Vendor

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    Sorry, but there's no way a new Strat is worth $4K. I don't care who built it to whose specs, there's just not much more that can be done in the CS that isn't done on the line. $2K, fine. $2.5K, pushing it.

    YMMV. ;)
     
  6. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    A reviewer had this to say:

    "Okay, despite owning and loving the regular "Line" Artist EC "Blackie" Strat, I decided to bite the bullet, splash out and see what all the fuss was about for the Custom Shop equivalent. A lot of people (and I mean a lot) question the difference between the 2 guitars and whether it is worth forking out the extra cash for the CS model. Well, here's the actual physical differences:

    Line (Artist series):
    Multiple piece spread (i.e., body is made from several pieces of wood glued together).
    Hum, single, hum route in the body.
    Different perimeter (body outline).
    Different neck shape.
    Rough shapes and contours are mostly done on a Computer Numeric Control machine, so automated shaping before final sanding.

    Custom Shop:
    Two-piece spread.
    Tight 3 single control routing in the body (so less wood removed from the body).
    Neck shapes and body contours are done by hand (roughed on an original pin-router like they were originally).

    To expand (no pun intended) on the neck shapes, they are very similar in feel (soft V), except for the fact that with the CS neck you can definitely feel the difference behind the first 2 or 3 frets where the neck comes to a soft point rather than than the smoother feel of the Line model neck. Visually there is absolutely no difference; both guitars look identical except for the logos on the headstock. The pickups are the same (Vintage Noiseless) and in my opinion are some of the best that Fender make. The real advantage with these is that they are quiet in all positions, not just positions 2 and 4 of the pickup selector. Both guitars have the TBX tone control (upper tone knob) and the 25dB mid boost control (lower tone knob). The TBX (which stands for Treble Bass eXpander) tone control is a detented, stacked 250k/1 Meg control which enhances the tonal palette without the use of a battery. From 0 to 5, the TBX is your standard tone control, but once you pass 5 you start to decrease the resistance, which allows more bass, treble, presence and output to flow to your amp.
    However, where both guitars achieve their superb versatility is not so much with the TBX tone control, but with the 25dB mid-boost circuit. When you get to the solo part of a song, you turn the pot up and you instantly have a superb humbucker sound, very similar to a typical Gibson Les Paul. I used to think that my American Standard strat always sounded a bit thin when it came to the solos, but the boost circuit on these guitars has completely changed all of that.
    I believe the quality of an electric guitar can be heard unplugged, and acoustically, the CS strat definitely has more of a ring and sustain to it. Plugged in though, the sound difference between the Line and the CS is very difficult to distinguish. Frets on both guitars are identical (Vintage style) and are amongst the thinnest and lowest frets available, certainly smaller in all respects to Les Pauls or any of the PRS range.
    I own Les Pauls and PRS's, but I always find myself coming back to this guitar, it is just so flexible and adaptable to whatever you play. If you need one guitar to get you through a gig, then this is it. One minute you're playing glassy, clean tones, and the next you're into overdrive with a meaty humbucker sound. In my opinion this is the most versatile strat you can buy. The neck shape (soft V) has to be one of the most comfortable neck shapes that Fender make which is so critical to the enjoyment of any guitar. Let's face it, if you don't like a neck when you first play a guitar, it will not feel any more comfortable later.
    For CS vs Line, like so many things, when you pay twice as much for one item than something almost identical, you have to look beneath the surface to appreciate the associated nuances. In summary, the CS strat is a higher quality build, it sounds better acoustically, but is very hard to discriminate against the Line strat when plugged in. The neck shape is very slightly different but both necks are amzingly comfortable. Personally, there's very little to tangibly distinguish between the 2 guitars, which is a huge credit to the Line guitars which are also high quality products. Bottom line, if you have a CS EC strat, great, they don't get much better, but if you don't have the extra cash to splash, buy the Line model, you will equally love it and wonder why you didn't get one years ago."


    This line is where it tells me you're paying for something MORE than tone..

    "Plugged in though, the sound difference between the Line and the CS is very difficult to distinguish."
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
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  7. scozz

    scozz Senior Member

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    Yup...absolutely!

    No way I'm spending $4000 on a Strat of any kind! The regular USA EC Strat is $1599 and the CS EC Strat is $4400???? :eek2:
     
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  8. Crotch

    Crotch Members Only Premium Member

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    I have had 4 Clapton strats. 2 production models and 2 CS models. I still own both the CS models. Personally there isn't much difference between the 2 production models and the one CS model. The feel is a little different. A little heavier, neck a little more pronounced on the CS. Where it changed a little more is with the new Journeyman Clapton Strat. Sanded neck (V) with 2 piece Ash and Nitro. Very different from the other 3, production or CS.

    But lets be honest about the Strat pricing. No one is paying $4,000 plus for a CS EC Strat. The street price on a used one is about $2000 to $2200. The street price on a production model is around $1000-$1200. So it is still double. But the price isn't ludicrous. I gigged my first EC Production strat and it was a hell of a guitar. I wouldn't feel bad about buying that again at all, in fact looking at the grey/pewter myself. I traded a Les Paul I had for the Mercedes Blue CS and a Gilmour Relic. Sold the Gilmour relic and kept the Clapton. Since then I have bought another and am looking to buy the Daphne Blue model and possibly the production pewter as stated. I may have never bit the bullet on the CS if not for that trade, but overall glad I did.

    Bottom line is this is the best guitar Fender makes in my humble opinion. And its not even close. (Possibly some Beck players out there might disagree). I highly suggest either model to anyone. The most versatile guitar I have played.
     
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  9. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    ..and people still buy them..that's a hell of an upcharge for something that could be assembled from Allparts stuff.
     
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  10. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    How does it compare to that '70?:naughty:
     
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  11. MichaelAndrew3435

    MichaelAndrew3435 Premium Member

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    Yeah, I'm not bashing the Fender CS models, but I had a Telecaster and a 50's Strat and ended up returning both because of a few issues they had. Plus, I don't know if it was worth the extra money. I still preferred my American Special Strat over both of them.

    BTW thanks for moving the thread mods. Accidentally posted it in the "Other Guitars" section without realizing it.
     
  12. Crotch

    Crotch Members Only Premium Member

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    Honestly, its probably better. But I like soft V neck (a lot) and anything over 7.25 radius which the 70 has. I believe the clapton is 9.5. Just easier to play.
     
  13. scozz

    scozz Senior Member

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    Well someone is paying $4000 or somewhere close to that number or there wouldn't be any used ones!

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not denigrating CS Stats in general or this CS Strat in particular. All I'm saying is that I wouldn't pay anything close to that number, ($4400) for a Strat. I just don't covet that guitar to do that. Although I've owned Strats and have for decades, I'm a LP guy and I don't even know if I would pay that much money on a great LP. There are too many great guitars out the for far less money. It doesn't make sense to me, that's just my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
  14. MichaelAndrew3435

    MichaelAndrew3435 Premium Member

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  15. Crotch

    Crotch Members Only Premium Member

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    People that buy their guitars from GC, or Sweetwater or big box stores, yes, they're going to pay that much. Even new that guitar is under $3,000. I just spent $3k on a new $5100 MAP CS Strat. Thats the realistic pricing of guitars whether Fender or Gibson. It's still a steep price for a Strat yes. But I'd take a Strat over any guitar in a minute. (335 a close 2nd) As always, it's all whats worth it to you. Like I mentioned. I wouldn't bat an eye at buying a regular production model EC. They're killer guitars. As I mentioned, I may have never gone CS if not for a trade but I'm glad I did. At the same time, it doesn't make me dislike the production models any less. I can't say enough about them actually. I try to talk everyone I know into grabbing one and trying them.
     
  16. MichaelAndrew3435

    MichaelAndrew3435 Premium Member

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    So I'm leaning towards the USA model. Is the Clapton Strat ideal for high gain applications? I cover a lot of Nirvana and older RHCP stuff.
     
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  17. Crotch

    Crotch Members Only Premium Member

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    Yes it will be fine. Having the tbx controls can get you wherever you want to go
     
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  18. mekhem

    mekhem Member

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    Not justifying the price but:

    Artist:
    Alder
    Poly finish - Body and Neck
    Riff/Standard sawn neck

    CS Artist:
    2 piece Ash/alder <on white>
    Nitrocellulose Lacquer Body and neck
    Quartersawn Neck

    I have heard - but never been able to compare - that the neck profiles are noticeably different. Standard Artist model is softer V and the FCS is a harder V all the way up the neck. I highly suspect that as a rule the FCS models are lighter buy a goodly amount since the claptons are generally heavier than average from what I have seen.
     
  19. Crotch

    Crotch Members Only Premium Member

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    The Regular CS Clapton is still Alder and Poly........

    The new Journeyman Relic is Ash and Nitro though..........
     
  20. mekhem

    mekhem Member

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    Well - I skipped over the regular version yesterday for some reason.
     
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