Fender American Elite Stratocaster - Sky Burst Metallic with Maple Fingerboard

6-string Electric Guitar with Select Alder Body, Maple Neck, Maple Fingerboard, and 3 Noiseless Single-coil Pickups - Sky Burst Metallic
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Fender American Elite Stratocaster - Sky Burst Metallic with Maple Fingerboard image 1
Fender American Elite Stratocaster - Sky Burst Metallic with Maple Fingerboard image 1

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Fender American Elite Stratocaster - Sky Burst Metallic with Maple Fingerboard
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Timeless Style Updated for the 21st Century

Over a dozen new innovations, like fourth-generation noiseless pickups and high-mass, full-sustain saddles, conspire to make the American Elite Stratocaster one of the best modern Strats for the money. The classic tone cocktail of an alder body and maple neck provide the same punch, bite, and twang that built Fender's empire, but the expanded 10-way S-1 pickup switching system and comfortable compound-radius neck will give even veteran Strat players reason to upgrade. Fender's tremolo system is also better than ever for the American Elite, with a smoother response and a copper-infused bridge plate to help fight tuning slippage.

Fender American Elite Stratocaster Electric Guitar at a Glance:
  • Fender Stratocaster: the look and sound of rock 'n' roll
  • 4th generation Fender noiseless pickups with S-1 switching for new tones
  • No-slip tremolo bridge adds texture to chords and leads
Fender Stratocaster: the look and sound of rock 'n' roll

The Fender Stratocaster has helped shape the sound of rock 'n' roll for the past 60 years, from psychedelia and surf rock to punk rock and metal. The Fender American Elite carries on that tradition today with the classic build players love - a comfortable, lightweight alder body and fast maple neck for superior tone and playability - with over a dozen new innovations to continue to inspire great music for the next generation.

4th generation Fender noiseless pickups with S-1 switching

Fourth-generation noiseless pickups give the American Elite the classic Strat sound without the hum and buzz. And for exciting tonal options, the American Elite's S-1 switching gives you 10 total pickup options - which include running all three in series - with the push of a button. Sweetwater Strat purists appreciate that Fender discreetly built the S-1 switch right into the volume knob for an unmodded, timeless look.

No-slip tremolo bridge adds texture to chords and leads

The quintessential Fender tremolo is now even better. The American Elite moves from shimmery chords to distinct vibrato and beyond with a natural response that won't strain your hand. You can dive-bomb confidently thanks to a set of locking tuners on one end and a high-mass, copper-infused bridge plate on the other to help fight tuning slippage.

Fender American Elite Stratocaster Electric Guitar Features:
  • Fender noiseless single-coil pickups (4th generation)
  • S-1 switch provides 10 pickup options for exciting new tones
  • Select alder body for light weight and a punchy, balanced sound
  • C-shaped compound maple neck with a fast satin finish and heel contour
  • Maple fretboard provides a woody tone and quick response
  • Tremolo bridge adds texture to chords and leads
  • High-mass saddles for added chime and sustain
  • Locking tuners for tuning stability and quick string changes
  • Includes strap locks, pop-in trem arm, and adjustment wrenches
Unlock your playing potential with the Fender American Elite Stratocaster!

Why Buy Your Guitar from Sweetwater?

See how Sweetwater goes to great lengths to give you the very best online guitar buying experience. From our online Guitar Gallery that allows you to see and select the exact instrument you want to our 55-point Evaluation process and our in-house guitar techs, we take the guesswork out of buying your next guitar online.

Additional Media

Electric Guitar Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Body Type Solidbody
Body Shape Stratocaster
Left-/Right-handed Right-handed
Number of Strings 6
Body Material Alder
Body Finish Gloss Polyurethane
Color Sky Burst Metallic
Neck Material Maple
Neck Shape Compound, modern "C" to "D"
Radius 9.5"-14" compound profile
Fingerboard Material Maple
Fingerboard Inlay Black dot inlays
Number of Frets 22, medium jumbo
Scale Length 25.5"
Nut Width 1.685"
Nut Material Synthetic bone
Bridge/Tailpiece Two-point synchronized tremolo bridge with pop-in arm
Tuners Locking short-post tuning machines
Neck Pickup Fourth generation Noiseless single-coil
Middle Pickup Fourth generation Noiseless single-coil
Bridge Pickup Fourth generation Noiseless single-coil
Controls 1 x volume (S-1 push switch), 2 x tone, 5-way blade pickup switch
Strings Fender USA NPS, 9-42
Case Included Elite molded hardshell case
Manufacturer Part Number 0114002736

Customer Reviews

4/5
Based on 5 reviews
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5/5

Updating Previous 4-Star Review to 5-Star

I own way too many guitars... way too many pedals... and I'm going that way with amps, too. This guitar is solidly in my top 3 guitars (all of which are quite distinct with their own personalities and purposes). As far as Statocasters go, this is my favorite of all time. Better than my Custom Shop. My first review of this was a 4-star primarily because I was using this guitar wrong. My expectations were out of whack. I threw big fat string on it and expected it to be a something it wasn't. I put 9s back on and reset the intonation, action, and tremolo to stock in order to experience this guitar as it was meant to be. I gotta say, I'm really in love with this thing. It is fast, comfortable, versatile, and tonally kickin'! Today, I paired it with a Suhr Rufus Fuzz and could not put the guitar down for 4 hours. It's inspirational, this guitar is, so long as I let it be what it was born to be. Oh, and my Sweetwater Sales Engineer, Alan Finkbeiner, is top notch - a truly great guy.
Music background: 20+ years of rock and blues
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5/5

Extremely Pleased

Outstanding guitar. This is my first strat, but 5th electric guitar. The finish in unbelievable. I think it looks even better in person than it did in the pictures. I absolutely love the compound radius neck, it feels super comfortable to play. The neck is finished with a satin like finish that feels really smooth. The fret-board is finished with the same satin texture. From videos and pictures I've seen of starts, I expected the fret-board to have a gloss finish, but I am happy this doesn't, I much prefer the satin finish. The texture reminds of the feel of the neck on my Ibanez Prestige. The setup was almost perfect out of the box too with really low string action just the way I like it. The guitar seems to stay in tune really well, even with tremolo use. The only issue I had was the high B and E strings were a little tight in the nut, tight to the point where when I used the tremolo, they would sting and then "ping" when they broke loose. I used a couple nut files and some nut sauce (lubricant) and that seems to have solved the problem. I won't knock it any score for that though since its a minor issue and I had the tools to fix it. The pickups on this guitar sound absolutely amazing. I am blown away by how dynamic they can be and how they respond with how you pick. It sounds as good as or better than what I expected a great strat to sound like. The S1 switch is great too, those 5 extra tones really work great with the heavier gain stuff. Every setting on it sounds great in its own way. The pickups are super quiet too, just as quiet as any humbucker I've played. They really nailed the pickups in this. The only other complaint I can make is the made in china case. The plastic and latch designs are real nice on it, but they used some cheap fuzz lining that sheds little black fibers. When I first opened the case I noticed the guitar was covered in the little black fibers. I tried to vaccum it out, but if you just rub your hand across the fuzz, you get black fibers on your hand, not a lot, but a few. I won't knock the score any for this because it's a pretty minor issue, the fibers are easily cleaned off the guitar, but I wanted to mention it. Other than that, the design of the case is really nice, I like the feel of the handle. Everything else about the guitar seems great. I love the new bridge design, its very comfortable on my right hand when I am doing palm muting stuff. The locking tuners are great too. This is my second guitar with a type of locking tuner. I think they should be standard on all guitars, they really ease the pain of changing strings.
Music background: 20 years guitar experience
4.5/5

great guitar

first , i'd like to thank sweet water for great service, ultra quick shipping, and their polices. second, i'd like to thank my sales engineer , zach garrison of whom I've delt with for many other products. he is a true gentleman, & a knowledgeable sales person. he is my go to man, at sweet water. first class. ok, i purchased this guitar for my daughter, who is a student at G.I.T. in calif. she wanted me to build her a new strat I've been building guitars for 30 yrs but for health reasons,(heart transplant) i had to take a few yrs off. called sweet water, talked to zach .she picked out this fender elite strat. blue burst/maple neck. it arrived today. she loved it . the set up on it was spot on, fit& finish perfect. playability great! i can say , if anyone is worried about buying a guitar online, your worries are over. just shop sweet water. you'll never regret it . its all top notch products, service, & sales team. thanks zach!
4/5

Amazing Guitar

This is the most comfortable guitar I have ever played. That includes being more comfortable than my Custom Shop Strat that I had made back in the '90s. The neck is so very playable from the nut to the last fret. The pickups are definitely the best noiseless single coils that I have experienced, and the S-1 switching give me so many tonal options that I could get away with using just this guitar for nearly every song on our set list. That being said, this is not a 5.0 guitar. Here is why. The stunning, beautiful, jaw dropping finish is exceptionally soft. The guitar had its first battle scar within 2 hours after lightly bumping against another guitar as I was taking it out of the rack. I was shocked at just how deep and visible a dent such slight contact created. I felt lucky it was on the back of the body. The next day, I was extraordinarily careful with it during rehearsal but somehow ended up with yet another similar dent on the front of the guitar... from what I have no idea. Again, I was shocked. In contrast, I accidentally let the screwdriver slip off the strap screw of my Epiphone SG 400 Pro while changing to strap locks. I looked for damage and though the contact was pretty heavy and the screwdriver is hard and sharp, there was barely a noticeable mark the size of the tip of a pin made. Later, I bumped the Epiphone into the arm of my wooden chair and notice not the tiniest mark made on the body. I know it sounds like I'm a clutz and getting what I deserve from the dents in the Strat, but I'm usually quite careful with my guitars, but the Epiphone is my least favorite guitar and I'm not really worried about being so careful with it. However, I estimate that the same impact that caused zero damage on the Epiphone would have resulted in a dent 1/4" to 1/2" long and plenty deep to be highly visible. The good news is that relic guitar paint jobs are in fashion, and the Elite is sure to be looking "relic" in only a few years. The second reason this only gets a 4, despite being by far my favorite guitar in my collection, is that it is not possible to properly set the intonation on the low E string if I put anything bigger than a balanced set of 10s on. I put on a set of 11s with a .050 on the bottom, and the saddle movement stopped just short of proper intonation while adjusting. I know it comes with 9s from the factory, but Fender should know that many players put heavier strings on and at least allow enough saddle adjustment to accommodate slightly heavier strings. The third reason this wonderful guitar gets a 4.0 is that it was lacking any meaningful sustain as set up. During rehearsal, it was the 4th guitar I picked up to play. As I let a note ring out, it faded so fast my head swiveled around looking for where it had gone. That problem was solved by adding another spring and decking the tremolo. Not a big deal, but I expected more out of the factory set up at this price. With all that said and knowing what I know now, would I still buy this guitar for this price? Yep. I certainly would. It's freakin' awesome.
1.5/5

Disappointed so far

I like the guitar. It plays well, it feels good and it's the easiest guitar I've ever played. That said, the guitar will NOT hold in tune. I tuned it and played a song with my teacher and the song sounded off. We tuned it again and it sounded off one more time. He checked the set up and it looked good but for some reason the tuning of this fine guitar wouldn't hold. For this price the guitar should hold a tune. I called Sweetwater and they told me that the guitar comes with factory strings and this happens sometimes. We changed the strings and still no holding of tune and now the bridge is rising off the body! Very upsetting experience. To their credit Sweetwater is taking this guitar back and shipping me a new one in the hopes that I just had a LEMON. I'm not sure what happened and am very hopeful that when I receive my next guitar it holds a tune so I can use it to play...
Music background: Experienced
See also: Solidbody Guitars, Fender, Fender Solidbody Guitars