Fender Strat QC ? American Original series

Guitarmageddon

Dr. Stratster
Apr 19, 2014
27,491
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Hi all,

I’ve recently bought this beautiful American Original 60’s Strat. I must say I’m both impressed and confused at the same time.

View attachment 583309

Firstly it’s an amazing sounding and playing instrument but there are two things I’ve noticed they don’t bother me but it shouldn’t be like this for an expensive guitar. I know it’s not a custom shop but it’s the top of the mass production model and not cheap over 3k AUD

So there is a neck pocket gap with mine I know few people complain about this online so I'll include it here. Any idea why the neck pocket is bad? I also found that all of the ones I tried that are AO 60’s had it in the shop, tried like 3 or 4?
View attachment 583310 View attachment 583312
The second thing, which I think shouldn’t be there is the tool mark on the pickguard. The guys at the shop explain it would’ve happened during final adjustment at the factory because they dug a little bit of the truss rod as well.

So I guess they forced the screwdriver there to make adjustments? So weird why they didn’t just pop the neck and adjust it.
View attachment 583313

I got a replacement as part of the warranty claim, I would’ve kept this guitar regardless (it’s the best sounding and resonant AO I’ve ever tried!!) but if they are willing to take my claim then I take it!

The guys at the store offer to swap it out for me but they were super nice and just had an overall great experience buying the guitar, I told them to don’t worry about and I’ll keep it as a spare. I mean these ‘plastic’ cover cost $70 here, crazy.

View attachment 583314
I explain to them I don’t need them to do extra work for me, just thought I needed to be compensated by Fender, for not being careful at their factory.
For a guitar like this, I don’t think it should come like that… worst of all, one of the AO I tried had a really loose switch, which is weird….

Anyway, that’s my rant. The shop is called Billy Hyde if you ever visit Melbourne check them out, they are awesome!

Not sure if you guys will find this post but Steve and Dave from Billy Hyde you guys are legends!!

They gave you the wrong pickguard, that's a 1962 11 hole pattern, the one on the guitar is a standard 11 hole, you'd end up having to drill a new hole in the body between the top of the middle and neck pickups....no go....
 

jvin248

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 10, 2014
5,612
Michigan
I could use the gap on this one for a pick holder. But I don't mind. I love my gappy oly white. View attachment 583343


The gap is where the tones come from -- wider gap means more tones!


iu




.
 

60 60 60

Strat-Talk Member
Aug 9, 2020
72
Australia
They gave you the wrong pickguard, that's a 1962 11 hole pattern, the one on the guitar is a standard 11 hole, you'd end up having to drill a new hole in the body between the top of the middle and neck pickups....no go....
Yep someone else pointed that out too, so glad you guys are out here letting people know about these things. I've given back the pickguard today and told them to talk to fender about it.
 

60 60 60

Strat-Talk Member
Aug 9, 2020
72
Australia
Thanks a lot OP, the AO I've been playing for the last few years with out issue, has a neck pocket gap that I never noticed until you posted this thread... you ruined my life!

j/k like yours, it sounds great, plays great, nothing to worry about.
Nope she's a beautiful guitar
 

hexnut

Strat-O-Master
Jul 18, 2018
651
Middle Tennessee
I bought a new Vintera 60s Jaguar. Was having trouble with the pick-ups not working. Took the covers and pick guard off and they didn't clean the buffing compound off the guitar before they assembled it. It was in the switches and all the cavities. It works perfectly after I cleaned it out and cleaned the switches with electrical cleaner. Also, a piece of solder fell out during the cleaning process. It seems quality has slipped a bit. The guitar does play well.
 

AV59

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 3, 2015
2,948
New York
As others have said, the small gap in the neck couple be a plus for you in the summer if the wood expands.

The pick guard, sounds they are working to do you right. If it was me, I’d probably keep what’s on there and sell the one they give you for $70, but that’s up to you.

Most importantly, sounds like it plays ok, that’s what it’s for, enjoy! :):thumb:
 

John C

Most Honored Senior Member
Silver Member
Jul 17, 2012
8,073
Kansas City
Were you there when I took the plastic film off? XD
I'm just saying what I saw 😅

I think that @nadzab means that they don't cut the pickguard and then apply the film; the film is the top layer of the sheet of plastic the pickguard is cut from. So whatever happened to your pickguard to cause that nick evidently didn't do anything to the film.
 

evansj87

Strat-Talk Member
Feb 12, 2019
20
Augusta Township, MI
Hi all,

I’ve recently bought this beautiful American Original 60’s Strat. I must say I’m both impressed and confused at the same time.

View attachment 583309

Firstly it’s an amazing sounding and playing instrument but there are two things I’ve noticed they don’t bother me but it shouldn’t be like this for an expensive guitar. I know it’s not a custom shop but it’s the top of the mass production model and not cheap over 3k AUD

So there is a neck pocket gap with mine I know few people complain about this online so I'll include it here. Any idea why the neck pocket is bad? I also found that all of the ones I tried that are AO 60’s had it in the shop, tried like 3 or 4?
View attachment 583310 View attachment 583312
The second thing, which I think shouldn’t be there is the tool mark on the pickguard. The guys at the shop explain it would’ve happened during final adjustment at the factory because they dug a little bit of the truss rod as well.

So I guess they forced the screwdriver there to make adjustments? So weird why they didn’t just pop the neck and adjust it.
View attachment 583313

I got a replacement as part of the warranty claim, I would’ve kept this guitar regardless (it’s the best sounding and resonant AO I’ve ever tried!!) but if they are willing to take my claim then I take it!

The guys at the store offer to swap it out for me but they were super nice and just had an overall great experience buying the guitar, I told them to don’t worry about and I’ll keep it as a spare. I mean these ‘plastic’ cover cost $70 here, crazy.

View attachment 583314
I explain to them I don’t need them to do extra work for me, just thought I needed to be compensated by Fender, for not being careful at their factory.
For a guitar like this, I don’t think it should come like that… worst of all, one of the AO I tried had a really loose switch, which is weird….

Anyway, that’s my rant. The shop is called Billy Hyde if you ever visit Melbourne check them out, they are awesome!

Not sure if you guys will find this post but Steve and Dave from Billy Hyde you guys are legends!!
Your American Original is in much better condition than mine is new. Straight from Fender: 3 dents in the neck, two sunken in paint spots above the neck plate, and the top is wavy and not flat. For a $2100 guitar, it is trash QC. If you read recent articles, about half of their guitars need to be touched up, fixed, and do not pass QC. I am shocked mine did and I am working on dealing with it right now. Don't get me wrong, it plays well and the rosewood fretboard has such a beautiful, unique grain, but it would be a challenge to accept these flaws and keep the guitar. Also, I waited over 7 months to get it from Fender. Am I bitter? Hell yes I am.
 

stylemessiah

Strat-Talker
Dec 11, 2017
490
Sydney, Australia
Not another one, someone with a directional light and a magnifying glass strikes again

Welcome to episode #2,753,653 (again i dont keep an actual tally, i let the cat walk on the numpad) of

First World Guitar Problems

Im your host, (the ghost of) Leo Fender, here to tell you that none of my guitars in the "golden years" between 51 and 65 were carried around on mink covered trolleys from station to station and only delivered to stores by delicate handed elves, so why you all be tripping and acting like they were? and making unreasonable demands of current builders?. I myself was a noted world class spendthrift who often used whatever came to hand and i could make work, so why all these years after my death you all throwing shade on my namesake company on this thing i believe they call the interwebs, when im sure if you didnt have it, you wouldnt feel compelled to walk around your actual neighbourhood, instead of this virtual one, and act like youre personally aggrieved because there a lil gap somewhere or theres a minute imperfection you can only see with directional light and a magnifying glass, and spookily usually on day 3 after you bought it and i suspect with all my heart is a case of buyers remorse...you people are The Worst....

Get over it you putzes....everytime i hear someone say "it plays really well, but..." a part of me dies even more and i want to come back and suck the soul from your body as you sleep. The "plays really well" is all that matters its a guitar, what are you, a fricking museum curator? Shut up and play

p.s. If he’s still alive and any of y'all see him, please tell Forrest White he still owes me a quarter....



* I dont actually have a cat
 
Last edited:

Old Tone

Strat-Talk Member
Oct 8, 2019
17
Louisville, KY
Hi all,

I’ve recently bought this beautiful American Original 60’s Strat. I must say I’m both impressed and confused at the same time.

View attachment 583309

Firstly it’s an amazing sounding and playing instrument but there are two things I’ve noticed they don’t bother me but it shouldn’t be like this for an expensive guitar. I know it’s not a custom shop but it’s the top of the mass production model and not cheap over 3k AUD

So there is a neck pocket gap with mine I know few people complain about this online so I'll include it here. Any idea why the neck pocket is bad? I also found that all of the ones I tried that are AO 60’s had it in the shop, tried like 3 or 4?
View attachment 583310 View attachment 583312
The second thing, which I think shouldn’t be there is the tool mark on the pickguard. The guys at the shop explain it would’ve happened during final adjustment at the factory because they dug a little bit of the truss rod as well.

So I guess they forced the screwdriver there to make adjustments? So weird why they didn’t just pop the neck and adjust it.
View attachment 583313

I got a replacement as part of the warranty claim, I would’ve kept this guitar regardless (it’s the best sounding and resonant AO I’ve ever tried!!) but if they are willing to take my claim then I take it!

The guys at the store offer to swap it out for me but they were super nice and just had an overall great experience buying the guitar, I told them to don’t worry about and I’ll keep it as a spare. I mean these ‘plastic’ cover cost $70 here, crazy.

View attachment 583314
I explain to them I don’t need them to do extra work for me, just thought I needed to be compensated by Fender, for not being careful at their factory.
For a guitar like this, I don’t think it should come like that… worst of all, one of the AO I tried had a really loose switch, which is weird….

Anyway, that’s my rant. The shop is called Billy Hyde if you ever visit Melbourne check them out, they are awesome!

Not sure if you guys will find this post but Steve and Dave from Billy Hyde you guys are legends!!
Didn't seem to bother Hendrix....... This is his beloved Woodstock Strat.

1660142689379.png
 

Intune

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 14, 2021
5,569
Edmonton, Alberta
Didn't seem to bother Hendrix....... This is his beloved Woodstock Strat.

View attachment 583400

Exactly. Go get a magnifying glass and take a walk around a shop with actual vintage fenders or vintage guitars in general. If this little gap in the OP seems like a QC problem, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that it’s a way better fit then the 60’s strat it’s trying to be.
 

ryanpullin

New Member!
Feb 25, 2021
1
USA
I recently got a new AO Jazzmaster and it had two QC issues I noticed so far:
1. The adjustment screw on the high E saddle had its threads smashed and wouldn’t adjust beyond a certain level. I was able to back it out and swap it for the outside screw of the same saddle and that let me get somewhat of a better adjustment on it. I was already planning to get it swapped for a Staytrem bridge anyway, so I didn’t bother with a warranty claim.
2. There’s no grounding wire going to the tremolo cavity even though there’s a hole drilled for it. My 2018 AO Jaguar has this wire installed, and I saw a video of Puisheen stating that this has been a QC issue with the AO offsets.

I also purchased a new EJ Strat at the beginning of this year, and the truss rod adjustment nut was binding up and wouldn’t allow me to tighten it. I took it to a luthier and he was able to fix the issue pretty easily, seemed like something wasn’t seated right at first.

All pretty fixable, and the guitars are amazing. I definitely love the AO line.
 


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