Fender American Ultra Guitars and Basses - What's The Difference?


The brand-new Fender American Ultra series builds upon the success and popularity of the American Elites, resulting in the most advanced guitars and basses that the company has ever produced.

If you’re a professional guitarist looking for that classic Fender tone in a guitar or bass, but with the effortless playability and versatility of a modern instrument, then the new Fender American Ultra series is what you're looking for.

Refined to Perfection

Each of these instruments sports a brand new Modern "D" neck profile, compound-radius fingerboard, rolled fret edges, and a refined body-shape, delivering a comfortable and effortless playing experience, whatever your playstyle.

There’s a host of newly-designed pickups and electronics and hardware to contend with, including S-1 switches, locking tuners on the guitars, and HiMass bass bridge.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at what the series has to offer.

Fender American Ultra Stratocasters

The American Ultra Strat is a modern take on (arguably) the most popular and iconic electric guitar ever created. With that familiar dual-cutaway design, along with the fast-playing neck and tapered neck heel, this guitar offers fast and easy access to each and every note across the fretboard.

For the pickups on the Stratocaster, Fender has gone with a set of Ultra Noiseless Single Coil pickups, which deliver those timeless Strat tones, but without that dreaded 60-cycle hum. Accompanying these pickups is an advanced wiring system, which offers a huge range of tonal options.

Stratocaster with an Ultraburst finish Fender American Ultra Strat RW Ultraburst

Also available with a Rosewood fretboard in:

Maple Neck equivalent is available in:

The Stratocaster HSS – as the name would imply - comes equipped with an Ultra Double Tap humbucker in place of the more-traditional Bridge Position Single Coil pickup, which accompanies the two Ultra Noiseless Hot Single Coils to great effect.

American Ultra Stratocaster HSS with an Arctic White finish Fender American Ultra Strat HSS MN Arctic Pearl

Also available with a Rosewood Fretboard in:

Maple Neck models available in:

In short: these state-of-the-art Stratocasters will help inspire you to take your playing to all-new levels.

Fender American Ultra Telecaster

No new Fender series would be complete without including the guitar that started it all: the iconic Telecaster. Like its American Elite counterpart, the American Ultra Telecaster sports a slimline body, with stylish binding, and the aforementioned Modern "D"-shaped neck profile with a tapered heel.

In addition to this, the guitar is fitted with a set of new Ultra Noiseless single-coil pickups that deliver those instantly-familiar Tele tones, with all of the spank and twang that has helped shape the landscape of popular music since the 1950s.

In addition to this, the advanced wiring and S-1 switch increases the number of tones you can dial in, turning this world-famous workhorse into a guitar packed full of modern versatility.

Fender American Ultra Telecaster, with an Iced Tea finish Fender American Ultra Tele RW Texas Tea

Rosewood Fingerboard models also available in:

Maple Neck models are available in:

Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster

A welcome entry for the new American Ultra series is this incredible American Ultra Jazzmaster. The Jazzmaster was originally released in the early 1960s and has been a favourite with Alternative/Indie guitarists ever since.

Whilst the Jazzmaster is renowned for being comfortable, the body has been further refined to offer even more comfort.

Additionally, the guitar features the same sleek, Maple neck construction as those mentioned above, resulting in effortless playability.

Powering the voice of this guitar is a set of newly-designed, Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazzmaster pickups. These deliver that classic Jazzmaster voice without any unwanted hum.

On top of this, there are electronics that combines the traditional Jazzmaster wiring with an S-1 switch, for extra versatility.

Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster, with a Mocha Burst finish Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster RW Mocha Burst

Also available with a Rosewood Fretboard in:

Available with a Maple neck in:

What The S-1 Switch Actually Does

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the S-1 switch performs the same function on each of these guitars. However, that’s definitely not the case.

Here’s a brief breakdown on what function each model’s S-1 switch undertakes:

  • Stratocaster - activates the guitar’s Neck pickup in positions 1-3
  • HSS Stratocaster - splits the Bridge Position humbucker into Single Coils, for a more traditional Strat voice
  • Telecaster and Jazzmaster - changes the pickup wiring from Parallel to Series, resulting in a  humbucker-like tone when both are active

In other words: The S-1 Switch, whatever function it provides, adds plenty of tonal versatility to these already incredible guitars.

Fender American Ultra Basses

Last, but by no means least, we have the low-end stalwarts of the series: the Precision, and the Jazz.

Both of these come equipped high-performance necks, awesome hardware, and new pickups to make them Fender's most advanced basses ever.

For the American Ultra Jazz Bass and Jazz Bass V, you get a set of Ultra Noiseless single-coil pickups. These pickups combine with an advanced wiring system, which helps deliver those timeless Jazz Bass tones but without the hum.

Jazz Bass, with a Cobra Blue finish Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass MN Cobra Blue

Also available with a Maple Neck in:

Available with a Rosewood Fretboard in:

Jazz Bass V with an Arctic White finish Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V MN Arctic Pearl

Other finishes also available, contact our Online Sales Team for more information.

With the American Ultra Precision Bass, there’s a Split Coil and Single Coil pickup combination. First, you get an Ultra Noiseless Split Coil pickup for those thunderous P-Bass tones sitting in the middle position. Complimenting this, there's an Ultra Noiseless Single Coil sitting at the Bridge position for extra versatility.

Precision Bass with a Plasma Red Burst finish Fender American Ultra P-Bass MN Plasma Red Burst

Also available with a Maple Neck in:

Available with a Rosewood Fretboard in:

What's The Difference Between Fender American Ultra And Fender American Elite Guitars?

Fender American Ultra vs Fender American Elite The key differences between Fender American Ultra and Fender American Elite guitars? - image courtesy of Fender

American Ultra Guitars In Action

Available to Order Now

Shop for the Fender American Ultra Series at PMT Online today or call into your local store to try one for yourself. Can’t see the model you want? Get in touch, and we’ll see if we can Special Order it for you – call 0151 448 2089.

Fender Brand Page

2 Comments on “Fender American Ultra Guitars and Basses - What's The Difference?”

  • Ricardo
    5th November 2019

    Looks great. Any ideas when they'll be arriving in Birmingham? Look forward to a demo!

    • Lee Glynn
      12th November 2019

      Hi, these are arriving now! -Lee

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