Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Review & Prices

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Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Review
  • From Fender's 2021 American Ultra series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 10" to 14" Fretboard Radius
  • Ash body
  • Maple neck
  • Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 2-Point Deluxe Synchronized Tremolo with Pop-In Arm bridge
  • 1 volume and 2 tone Bell knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Augmented “D” Bolt-On neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • Deluxe Cast/Sealed Locking tuners
  • Compare Specs >
  • From Fender's 2021 American Ultra series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 10" to 14" Fretboard Radius
  • Ash body
  • Maple neck
  • Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 2-Point Deluxe Synchronized Tremolo with Pop-In Arm bridge
  • 1 volume and 2 tone Bell knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Augmented “D” Bolt-On neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • Deluxe Cast/Sealed Locking tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Verdict: is The Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster a Good Guitar?

Made in a country with top quality control, which means you should get a high-quality instrument made with good materials and excellent attention to detail. It's a guitar with decent playability. It comes with excellent pickups with good sound and provides tons of sustain. It favors playing chords more than solos. In general, it offers a good amount of features for the price. Overall, an excellent guitar if Funk or similar genres are your jam.

Final Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 73
Sound 80
Build quality 86
Value for money 70
Overall Score 80
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • Locking Tuners
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Ivory Tusq Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • S-1 Switch Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Weight Relief
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Strap Lock
  • Luminescent Inlay

Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Prices

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Is the Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster a Good Deal?

Its average competitor's price is $2900, which means that the Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster is around 14% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all guitars in our database with 6 strings and Tremolo bridge that are made in United States.

Explore All Fender Guitars >

Is The Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Easy to Play?

The Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster meets 7 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster
New Player Friendliness
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Wide nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster's construction is balanced for most hand sizes.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Balance
Small hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Scale Length Comparison
Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More guitars with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Neck Profile
Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster's neck thickness is approximately 0.84'' (21.3mm) at the first fret, and 0.89'' (22.6mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Fender website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a D type neck. It's similar to a C shape, and it's one of the most common shapes right now. It's a bit flatter and thinner, even though sometimes it has a bit more shoulders. It's a fast type of neck that is comfortable, and shredders love it.

More guitars for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Fretboard Compound Radius
Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster's Compound Fretboard Radius

The Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster has a compound fingerboard radius of 10" to 14".

A compound radius is the best you can get because you'll get the best of both worlds. It starts curved at the nut, but it flattens as you get closer to the guitar body. This means that you'll get great comfortability for chords on the first few frets, but also a flatter fretboard for playing solos without problems on the higher frets.

More guitars with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.67'' Nut Width
14'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
10'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Nut Width
Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Nut Width

The Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster has a nut width of 43mm (1.693''). This size is also known as 1 11/16'' and it's the most common size found in electric guitars. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

Frets

The Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

Finally, these are stainless steel frets. They're the best fretwire available. This means you won't need to change your frets since they should last as long as your guitar. Some people also feel easier bendings after swapping to stainless steel.

More guitars with stainless steel frets:

Fret Size

Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Fret Size Comparison
Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster's frets are Medium Jumbo size. These sit somewhere between a Jumbo and a Medium fret. They're not quite as tall as a full Jumbo, so you'll still feel the fretboard, but you won't feel it as much as with medium frets. This is a good size if you want to make it easy to press the strings but would also like a little bit of ''feedback'' to know when to stop pressing so the notes don't go out of pitch.

More guitars with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 60
Chord Playability 90
Solo Playability 70
Playability 73

Does the Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Sound Good? Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar. Instead, we'll take a look at the hardware used—mainly the pickups—to determine what kind of tone you can expect.

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Fender. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a moderade level of hot output instead of the overwhelming output that distinguises active pickups in metal.

The Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster's configuration is SSS. This is the pickup configuration made famous by the Stratocaster. It gives you beautiful clean tones, but also a vintage-sounding distortion. This pickup combination will sound chimey, but you might be surprised at the warmness that you can get from a single-coil at the neck position on a 22-fret guitar. The disadvantage of this configuration is the hum noise that single-coils produce due to their nature.

More guitars with the same pickups

22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat Bridge Pickup
Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat Middle Pickup
Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat Bridge Pickup
Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat Middle Pickup
Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat Neck Pickup

Versatility

It gives you a good amount of tone options with its 5-way switch. You can use it to choose at least 5 different pickup combinations.

It has a S-1 Switch option. This is a push knob that can do a lot of different modifications to the wiring of the pickups. It can connect pickups in series, parallel, split or add more pickups to the combination. It depends on the guitar model.

Diagram

Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster's switch options

What music genre is the Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with SSS configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Funk or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this kind of guitar.

Sound Score

Pickups 100
Sustain 60
Versatility 83
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 80

How well is the Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Built?

Where is the Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Made?

Knowing where the guitar is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive guitars are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster is made in United States. Guitars made in the USA have the reputation of being the best instruments you can get. This statement isn't as accurate as a few years ago, but you should still expect top-quality from a guitar made in this country.

More guitars made in United States

Quality of Wood Used in the Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster

As an electric guitar, type of wood won't affect the tone and sustain much. Instead, the hardware will be much more important. However, wood is still important for the look and feel of the guitar in general.

These are the types of wood used in the Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster:

Ash wood pattern used for guitar building
Ash Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Fretboard

The fretboard and neck are made of Maple. This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Finally, the body material is Ash. The most popular Ash wood for guitars is swamp Ash. It has a really light color with beautiful patterns, which makes it perfect for a natural-looking finish. It's not as lightweight as Alder, but also not as heavy as Mahogany. It's known for producing a bright tone with solid mids and lows.

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Bridge

The bridge is a 2-Point Deluxe Synchronized Tremolo with Pop-In Arm. This type of bridge allows you to change the pitch of the notes by pulling the bridge with the attached bar, which gives you better versatility. Also, since the bridge is not fixed to the guitar body, the bridge will move as you bend the strings. So you'll have to increase the distance of your bends to reach the same tension (note) compared to a fixed bridge. This allows you to perform smoother bends but will also make you slower. Finally, remember that this type of bridge requires a bit more maintenance than fixed ones, especially when changing strings.

More guitars with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster comes with locking tuners, which helps with tuning stability and makes changing strings a lot faster and easier. As long as they're high quality, these are the best tuning machines you can have. The only disadvantage is that they are a bit heavier than normal tuners.

More guitars with locking tuners:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster has a Ivory Tusq nut. This material is made to look, feel and sound like Ivory. It's made of organic polymers and doesn't contain oil or animal products. This is probably the highest quality nut you can get, so you can expect good tune stability and more clear tones when playing open strings. Most people seem to agree that it looks nicer than any plastic and even some bone nuts.

More guitars with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

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Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 82
Features 80
Quality Control 95
Build Quality 86

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Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Specs

General
Brand: Fender
Year: 2021
Configuration: SSS
Strings: 6
Made in: United States
Series: American Ultra
Colors: Sunburst, Red Burst
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Top: Contour
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Ash
Bridge: 2-Point Deluxe Synchronized Tremolo with Pop-In Arm
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Deluxe Cast/Sealed Locking
Fretboard: Maple
Neck Material: Maple
Decoration: Black Pearloid Dot
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: Augmented “D”
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.84'' (21.3mm) - 12th Fret: 0.89'' (22.6mm)
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo Yes
Fretboard Radius: 10" to 14"
Nut: Ivory Tusq
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 5 Way
Knobs: Bell
Pickup Mods: S-1 Switch
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 2
Bridge Pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat (Single Coil / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat (Single Coil / Passive)