NGD! One of the first American Standard Strats ever made!

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by joeybsyc, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. Swampash

    Swampash Senior Stratmaster

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    I had a Fullerton-carve E4 AmStd in gunmetal blue with maple, it was my workhorse for many years. Best-sounding Strat I've ever played.
     
  2. knopflerfan

    knopflerfan Strat-Talk Member

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    Nice looking Strat. It looks like a brand new 28 year old guitar!
     
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  3. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Xhefri,

    I tried to post this over on the FMIC forum but I got timed out so I'm putting it here as well:

    About all that I've turned up on this is that those deeper "Fullerton contours" as found on the Fullerton reissues and the early Corona guitars disappeared some time during 1987. As always with Fender in that era as soon as you have a theory about when changes happen you'll find several examples that disprove it. One theory would be that Fender was using up some stockpiled bodies that were made a bit earlier in the year (from whenever they started the American Standard-style body with the universal rout) until whenever they stopped in early to mid 1987.

    One of my personal theories is that Fender had some workers who came over from the CBS/Fullerton era making bodies; these were the people who did the deep "Fullerton Contours". As Fender added more models, these long-term workers trained the new workers and then moved on to developing the newer models. So these workers did the Reissues from the time that Corona opened, then they added the American Standards to their work stream in late 1986 while they trained the new employees on sanding/shaping bodies. Then these experienced workers moved on to doing the Strat Plus models when they came out - at least they did the first ones to "make sure they were right" before the newer workers started on these. Then this group probably moved on to the first Artist models, and if they stuck around they may have even wound up in the early Custom Shop.

    These are just wild guesses on my part; maybe someone from Fender can help us out on this.
     
  4. albala

    albala Most Honored Senior Member

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    I will compare my 80's Plus bodies with my 90's Plus bodies tonight and see if there are any differences.

    Wow, John C AND Xhefri in the same thread...my head is spinning!
     
  5. antisinglecoil

    antisinglecoil Senior Stratmaster

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    Congrats! Admittedly very jealous :p
     
  6. Rockape

    Rockape Most Honored Senior Member

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    Congrats on snagging that beautiful Strat Joeybsyc.

    :)
     
  7. Bluesplayer80

    Bluesplayer80 Strat-O-Master

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    It is a beautiful guitar! I remember when Joe first posted this back in 2013..... Yep. Zombie thread.
     
  8. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

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    Zombie thread yes, but intentionally revisited. I believe the Fullerton contours were done to all the first bodies made in Corona, and ONLY the first bodies, even if those weren't used up until later. I think they utilized the same techniques and practices as had been done in Fullerton, and probably had people cutting, sanding, finishing, and stockpiling bodies right from the beginning of production at Corona. later in 1987 they started doing the newer, less rounded "Corona" cut, and that became the standard from then on...But if you see how stuff gets stacked and stored at the plants, it's quite believable that some of these earlier bodies that found their way at the bottom of a pallet or pile ended up being used later into 87 and 88 as they used up what was available and finished to fulfill ever increasing orders and demands.

    My observations are that ALL the very early 87 American Standards have the Fullerton contours, and the farther into 87 you get, they become the oddballs rather than the norm, as the new Corona contours were what was being cut from then on, with the leftover pre-made Fullerton cut bodies becoming fewer and fewer in the stacks of bodies at Corona.

    Remember, production wasn't ramped up yet, and finished (or at least cut and sanded) bodies could have been stockpiled for quite some time prior to actually becoming finished guitars. It is my belief that only the very first bodies cut at Corona had the Fullerton Curves...even if a few didn't become finished guitars until several months later.

    Fender ALWAYS liked to use up stuff rather than discard it. That's also likely why the Strat Plus Deluxes got the older version split Wilkinson nuts too. The new model gave them a chance to use up old stock they probably didn't want to mix in with "regular" strat pluses that were using the newer non-split versions...So the new Plus Deluxe allowed them to use up the leftovers on the first ones, then go right back to the same non-split version that was already in use on the standard Strat Plus.
     
  9. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member

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    Your posts are very refreshing after all of the 'what guitar do I have' threads.
     
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  10. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

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    Ha, thanks... and the early necks are another discussion too! My research shows that the earliest American Standards had fully glossy necks, just like the AVRI's at the time. Then in mid 87 they went to a satin finish for the back of the neck and face of the headstock, but retained a fully glossy finish on the maple fretboards. This only seems to have been done for a short time before going to the full satin finish, including the fretboard surface. The full satin treatment was utilized from that point on, for the next 2 decades until 2007 when they again started using a full gloss finish on the maple fretboards and headstock face...calling it a "new" feature.

    I love American Standards, and while I have examples from almost every production year, these first ones from 87-90 era are still my favorites.
     
  11. bblooz

    bblooz Senior Stratmaster

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    Old thread, but glad it was brought back to light. It was very educational. Beautiful guitar!
     
  12. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Xhefri hasn't posted here, but he did post over on the FMIC forum that he tracked down the origin of the guitar he thought was an '89 with Fullerton Contours. It turns out the guitar was really an '87, but the neck was damaged and replaced by Fender under warranty with an '89 neck - the person he got it from still had the repair info showing the change from the original "E4" serial number to an "E9" serial number. So I suspect that the body was within the time frame of Fender still using the Fullerton Contours (but being a Strat Plus probably toward the end of that time frame) on at least some of them as they used up the bodies they produced earlier that year.
     
  13. Hash

    Hash Strat-Talk Member

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    My 1990 American Standard has a glossy back of neck. It has a rosewood board.
     
  14. smithstrato

    smithstrato Senior Stratmaster

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    That"s a beauty Joey!! Congrats on an awesome find.
    That same story is what prompted me to buy an E-2
     

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  15. Blackmore Fan

    Blackmore Fan Senior Stratmaster

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    If I remember correctly, you're banned.
     
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  16. Bluesplayer80

    Bluesplayer80 Strat-O-Master

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    Very interesting indeed. The early days after CBS departure is really intriguing, and I love the oddball mystery strat from this era. I wouldn't be surprised that in the near future, the value in some of these will increase.

    Joeybsyc, is this Torino strat the earliest Am Standard (or series) that you own? Or have you found something earlier in the past 2 years?
     
  17. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

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    Well that backs up my beliefs that these Fullerton contours were only done to the very first bodies made at Corona.
     
  18. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

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    :cry:
    Yep, absolutely interesting! And I agree that these are likely to increase in value in the future as more people realize their significance. I consider this timeframe to be the second golden age of Fender. The development and American Standard was the newly restructured Fender's first attempt at creating an all-new Stratocaster, instead of just copying their own 35 year old designs...and what a success it was! The series has been going strong for almost 30 years now, and still one of the most popular models Fender sells. The first examples featured some unique details and production methods that make them stand out, and they were very well built in much smaller quantities than a lot of people realize. Most seem to be very well constructed, which makes sense since many of the people who worked on these early guitars went on to form the Fender Custom Shop just a few years later. I have never played one that didn't sound great and have super fit and finish throughout.

    To answer your other question, I have found and purchased several more early American Standard strats, and continue to look for pristine examples... But this Torino Red/rosewood example remains the earliest one I have found.
     
  19. ZacZeppelin

    ZacZeppelin Strat-O-Master

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    Cool story. Digging the color
     
  20. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

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    Another thing that leads me to believe only the first bodies made had the Fullerton contours is the fact that I have never seen an American Standard with the Fullteron curves that didn't have the bridge posts threaded directly into the wood of the guitar, sans any brass inserts. I believe that at the same time they switched to the more modern style Corona contours they also started to add the brass inserts to the body and used fine machine threaded bridge posts that went into the brass inserts. (The same type still used today.) Those early ones that went directly into the wood of the body had a course thread like a standard wood screw, rather than a fine machine thread. You can easily distinguish the early style at a glance, as they have a slightly domed top to the bridge post, rather than a perfectly flat top of the later ones that utilized the brass body inserts. I've never seen a body with Fullerton contours that had these later style brass inserts.