Differences Between the Fender American Performer Telecaster and Professional II Telecaster
Fret design, case/no case, pickups, and Greasebucket tone control.
Practical differences between these two guitars are limited, and the Performer is cheaper, which could make it the better value for some. The frets on the Performer are jumbo while the Pro II frets are a narrow/tall design. Whether you want the fret space or string space should play into this decision, for sure. Personally, I like the Performer better, but you could make an argument for either one. P.S. No hardshell case with the Performer, which is disappointing.
|American Performer Telecaster
|American Professional II Telecaster
|Dark Knight, etc.
|22, Narrow Tall
|3-saddle String-thru Tele Bridge
|3-Saddle Top-load/String-through with Brass Bullet Saddles
|Fender Classic Gear
|Fender Standard Die-cast
|Yosemite Tele Single-coil (Neck and Bridge)
|V-Mod II Tele Single-coil (Neck and Bridge)
|1 x master volume, 1 x master tone
|1 x master volume, 1 x master tone (push/push series)
|3-way blade pickup switch
|3-way blade pickup switch
|Greasebucket tone control
|Contoured neck heel, Enhanced bridge
|Fender USA, .009-.042
|Fender USA Bullets 3250L, .009-.042
|Rock, Blues, Country (Versatile)
|Professional use, Versatile
6 Main Differences Between these Two Telecasters
Body and Finish
- American Performer Telecaster: Alder body with a gloss polyurethane finish; available in various colors including Honeyburst.
- American Professional II Telecaster: Also has an alder body with a gloss polyurethane finish; available in different colors, including Dark Knight.
Neck and Fingerboard
- American Performer: Features a Modern “C” maple neck with a 9.5" radius rosewood fingerboard, white dot inlays, and 22 jumbo frets.
- American Professional II: Has a Deep "C" maple neck, a similar 9.5" radius rosewood fingerboard, white dot inlays, but with 22 narrow tall frets. Additionally, the "Super-Natural" satin finish helps improve playing comfort.
Electronics and Hardware
- American Performer: Yosemite single-coil pickups are designed for a vintage tone with a modern punch. You also get the Greasebucket tone circuit, and a 3-way pickup selector switch.
- American Professional II: V-Mod II single-coil pickups produce a classic Tele twang with more articulation, a push/push tone knob for additional tonal options, and a 3-way pickup selector switch.
- American Performer: Known for its Greasebucket tone control that rolls off highs without adding bass or affecting volume.
- American Professional II: Features a contoured neck heel for easier access to higher frets and a slightly different bridge design for enhanced flexibility in setting string tension.
- American Performer: It's a good fit for guitarists who value a blend of classic and modern features, especially those wanting vintage tones with extra punch. Suitable for a wide range of styles, particularly rock, blues, and country.
- American Professional II: Better for players wanting the more refined Telecaster experience with solid playability and versatility. It's the more traditional and nuanced choice between the two.
- American Performer: Comes with a gig bag
- American Professional II: Comes with a hardshell case
Performer or Professional II?
I prefer the American Performer Telecaster for a few reasons. First, I like a guitar that leans modern, even if it's more of a traditional and subtle design like the Telecaster. Second, the price and value are just better, and I like the extra fret space of the jumbo design as opposed to the vertical string spacing in the more narrow frets.
But you've got to look at these features and decide which ones matter most to you. The price difference is certainly not prohibitive either way.
If you have questions about our comparison, feel free to reach out via the comments section below.
Price Comparison Between the Performer and Professional II Teles
Prices updated Thu, February 29th, 2024.
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