They call it ultra for a reason! Fender’s American Ultra Stratocaster in ‘Texas Tea’ is truly an aesthetic marvel, boasting a gorgeous satin finish, a high gloss headstock, gold-coated frets, and a sharp-as-hell aluminum pickguard and tremolo cover. The big question is, though, does it play as good as it looks? We say hell, yes!
When I first tried out the Ultra a few NAMMs ago, I was astounded by its incredible handling and unique finish (at first glance, it appears to be straight black, but upon closer inspection, you’ll see that, in fact, it’s more black gold, much like the beloved Southern refreshment). It truly felt like coming home.
First off, I would like to give Fender props for the amazing setup. Right out of the box, the Ultra plays like butter and requires absolutely no adjustments whatsoever. The action? Perfect. Intonation? Perfect. This has never been the case with any other guitar I’ve ever played in my lifetime.
Your fingers absolutely fly over the 10”-14” compound radius fretboard, and the 22 medium-jumbo frets make for a much easier and comfortable playing experience. Great for fat fingers!
Be prepared for some seriously dangerous curves, including a huge belly carve and a tapered neck heel, which gives you much better access to the upper register (also great for soloing). The single-coil Ultra Noiseless pickups produce very little hum and give you the classic Fender tone we’ve all come to know and love. It took me a second to figure out, but the S1 switching (which allows the neck pickup to be incorporated into positions 1 and 2) is activated by pressing in the volume knob. Fender, you little scamps!
It may be a pretty penny at $1,899.99, but it’s worth its weight in gold in that it’s adaptable to all styles—including djent. The American Ultra Stratocaster is the perfect working musician’s guitar, and it can truly take whatever you throw at it.
It also includes a beautiful heavy-duty hardshell case, sealed locking tuning machines, and chrome hardware. In particular, I’m a big fan of the pop-in tremolo. It can be a bit difficult to pull out, but I’d much rather that be the case versus it falling out, which the screw-in ones can sometimes do.
If you’re on the fence about buying this guitar, do yourself a favor and just…hurdle over it. This is one of the most fun to play and great sounding guitars I’ve ever had the pleasure of jamming on, and the possibilities are limitless.
Disclaimer: We were loaned the product from the manufacturer for an honest review. We received no payment or other compensation for the review of this product.