2021 Fender Player Stratocaster Limited Edition Surf Pearl
Here are the specs of the guitar for those of you that care about such things.
The body wood is alder with the aforementioned gloss polyester finish.
All three pickups are labeled as "Player Series" Stratocaster pickups with alnico 5 magnets. This lends to a very bright, trebly sound. I did not have to set the pickup height that high because the output is certainly there. Output for a Stratocaster, that is.
String saddles are bent steel. I may change these out for full-block saddles later.
The bridge block is full size and not the skinny block Squier uses.
The neck shape is the "Modern C" and does agree with my fret hand quite well.
The neck itself has a satin urethane finish on the back and gloss on the front. The headstock is glossed just like the neck is, which is proper. Nothing looks mismatched.
Frets are not the narrow-tall found on the American Pro II Stratocaster but rather the older medium jumbo - which I prefer.
The nut width is 1.650" (in comparison, the Am Pro II has a 1.685" nut width).
Is the Player Stratocaster the old American Standard but now built in Mexico?
2016 was the last year Fender produced the American Standard Stratocaster before switching to American Professional. The Player Series out of Mexico didn't appear until 2018.
The '16 Am Std Stratocaster has a neck with 1.685" nut width and "Custom Shop Fat '50s" single-coil pickups, neither of which ever appeared on the Player Series as far as I know.
Also, the Am Std Stratocaster does have a Micro-Tilt adjustment on the neck plate, which the Player Series doesn't have either.
And if you really want to get ultra-specific about it, the Am Std had a "tree" style string retainer on the headstock whereas the Player has a "wing" style.
At a glance, the Player looks like the old American Standard from 2016, but it's not. Pickups and neck are the two main differences. There may also be some other electronics differences I'm not even aware of.
However, this brings up an interesting point...