This guitar is my first American Special HSS. I must say I was overwhelmed by its smooth sound which fits perfect for more soft music and both rock and punk/grunge. I think the HSS spec is definitely a good match for an American Special based on the Texas Pickups and the humbucker. This guitar can easily compete with a more expensive American Standard in sound. But if it was a SSS I would think a American Standard is more worth the money, if you want the best quality. The design of the guitar fits very well my needs, but there isn't much lacquer (if any) on the neck, which I personally like since it's way easier to move around without drooping it, but some prefer the old lacquered ones since it gives more protection.
The downside of this guitar is that the E and G string was buzzing a lot when played a little rough. I have never heard so much buzz on any string before even if it was a new one! I've spend a whole day adjusting the height and ended up filed some of nut hole to fit the E string. I think I have made it work now, but for a guitar at this price, you would think fender was a little more quality minded. I was personally let a little down by this, especially because the preferred height standards for these guitar strings, didn't fit the a buzz free sound even after tuning. I just hope I managed to fix this, and it won't occur again. Otherwise I would have to take it to a shop. Which is really lame for a brand new fender guitar at this price.
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