“A refinement of Leo’s original proposition in every respect”: Fender 70th Anniversary American Professional II Stratocaster review

To celebrate yet another anniversary for Fender’s world-beating 1954 design, the company has thrown everything it knows about building great Strats into the melting pot

Fender 70th Anniversary American Professional II Stratocaster
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

Not only does the guitar sound incredible, it plays beautifully and looks a million dollars. And what more could any working guitarist want? A very fine guitar indeed.


  • +

    A genuinely fine representation of a modern Stratocaster. Full of sensible refinements.

  • +

    Professional but inherently fair price-tag.

  • +

    Looks, plays and sounds great.


  • -

    Noiseless pickups as the final upgrade?

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

You will have read many times that no two Stratocasters are the same. And if you own more than one of these game-changing guitars you’ll appreciate the truth in that statement.

Ash body, alder body, rosewood or maple fingerboard, hardtail, traditional or floating vibrato; these apparently minor changes all impact the tone, albeit in subtle ways. Pickup height, string action, neck carve, and roller or conventional nut also play their part in how the guitar feels and sounds to each of us.

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Neville Marten

In the late '70s and early '80s Neville worked for Selmer/Norlin as one of Gibson's UK guitar repairers, before joining CBS/Fender in the same role. He then moved to the fledgling Guitarist magazine as staff writer, rising to editor in 1986. He remained editor for 14 years before launching and editing Guitar Techniques magazine. Although now semi-retired he still works for both magazines. Neville has been a member of Marty Wilde's 'Wildcats' since 1983, and recorded his own album, The Blues Headlines, in 2019.