Strat body cutout styles

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by ChrisSm, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. ChrisSm

    ChrisSm Strat-Talk Member

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    D017A2C0-D6AD-4DD4-A7A6-03F878C4F506.jpeg 922F3164-802C-465E-A9D5-411CE1A6D901.jpeg Hi Guys,

    Newbie question alert!

    I’m lucky to have two American built Standard Strats one 1997 and the other 1999/2000. My question is why does the 1997 body have one large cutout for the pickups and the other have HSH cutouts with the channel up the middle? Also one (I cant remember which) has a small circular cutout below the neck pickup. What’s it for? Neither of the pics I’ve uploaded are of my guitars, I just found them online for illustration purposes. The black one showing the one big cavity and the sunburst showing the three cavities and the small hole below the neck pickup position. I’m hoping for some interesting answers so thinking caps on!da
     
  2. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Censored Strat-Talk Supporter

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    It all comes down to how they grade the lumber before it gets worked on at the factory. The ones that have a beautiful grain pattern get upped to be used for translucent finishes but also the more expensive series.

    While the ones that don't look as good get earmarked for solid finishes. These bodies usually get universal bathtub routing so that they can be used on any series that needs bodies in solid finishes.

    That extra hole is for the CNC machine to hold down the body for while its being routed.
     
  3. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

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    from 1986 to i dont remember when, all strats (except for some) had that swimming pool route.
    my 87 strat plus has it, and its my best strat.
     
  4. esseff

    esseff Strat-O-Master

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    No need for thinking caps. Been done to death.

    Google "strat swimming pool route" .
    .
     
  5. ChrisSm

    ChrisSm Strat-Talk Member

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    If I’d known it was referred to as “swimming pool route” I would have. Apologies for raising an old topic.
     
  6. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

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    have a guinness and dont worry bout it.
    cheers!
     
  7. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Correct - the transition from the swimming pool to the HSH rout happened over time on the American Standards starting in probably 1999, but Fender also introduced some new American Standard colors in the middle of 1998 which may have had the HSH rout. The HSH first shows up on the American Deluxe Strats, and they came out roughly March of 1998. Then as stockpiled American Standard bodies with the swimming pool rout were used up Fender would run the next batch of bodies with the HSH rout (note that American Deluxe and American Standard bodies are different - the American Deluxes had the more rounded contours like vintage Strats while the American Standards of that era still had the blockier contours; when the "American Series" came out in mid-2000 they also had the more rounded contours). So through this transition period you'll find some colors with the swimming pool rout and other colors with the HSH, but by the end of 1999 they should all be HSH.
     
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  8. jaybones

    jaybones Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Naw, your all wrong. That little hole is were the tone wafers are stored.

    Tricky little things those wafers. Completely transparent and only a single dimension. Once they fall out of that hole they are IMPOSSIBLE to find.

    Players in the know will add extra waffers to their guitars. Since they are 1 dimensional you can stack an infinite number in there.
     
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  9. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The reason why the swimming pool rout was adopted as standard in the 1980s (?) & then dropped at the end of the 90s is discussed by Fender managers in "The Stratocaster Chronicles", which is well worth getting if you're interested in this kind of stuff. In a nutshell, it started because it was more convenient & just as good, & it was dropped due to a desire to make Strats more "vintage correct" once that became the fashionable thing to do later on. Both work.
     
  10. Wrighty

    Wrighty Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    ‘All Strats except for some’? Not totally conclusive !
     
  11. Wrighty

    Wrighty Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Technically they must be at least two dimensional to exist. Does anyone know the difference between MIA and MIM wafers and, even better, will a partcaster made from a MIM with added MIA wafers sound better?
     
  12. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Well the AVRIs were not included in this, but the Am Standards were. I don't know if you can remember all the different Strat models Fender made in the 80s & 90s but I can't, & I doubt if many others can.
     
  13. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    I'll take a crack at it.:D

    These were of course USA models; the MIJ and MIM had different routings. That being said, the USA models I remember having the swimming pool rout would be the ones based on the American Standard design - so it would be the American Standard, Strat Plus, Strat Plus Deluxe, Strat Ultra, the Jeff Beck Signature, the short-lived "American Standard Deluxe" (and American Standard with the 3 gold-logo Lace Sensors - only made for 12 months circa 1989-90) and the "Hot Rodded American Standards" (Lone Star Strat, Roadhouse Strat, and Big Apple Strat). That being said the Strat Plus, Strat Plus Deluxe, and Strat Ultra were always swimming pool routed as they were discontinued (and replaced by the American Deluxes) before the other models transitioned to the HSH routing.

    I have no idea about the routing on the Floyd Rose Classics, the Hendrix VooDoo Strat, or the USA Sambora Strat.
     
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  14. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

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    that was a long time ago, and i dont remember all the models. im guessing there were some that didnt have that route.
     
  15. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yes, the AVRIs.
     
  16. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    I always heard the 'crop circles' extra hole was to distinguish MIM from MIA. MIM had the circle.

    .
     
  17. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

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    Both the swimming pool and HSH routs are universal.
    Either would accommodate the various pickup arrangements Fender had in mind without the need for model specific bodies.

    Beginning with the American Standards around ~1987 there were some comments about the new swimming pool rout not having the same body stiffness (and therefore tone or resonance) of the traditional vintage style rout.
    I don't doubt that this contributed to Fender's adoption of the similarly universal HSH in 1998.
     
  18. carver

    carver Gone strangling Strat-Talk Supporter

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    if the routing of your guitar is causing you issues while you are playing..

    you are doing something terribly wrong.
     
  19. jaybones

    jaybones Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Well that's the magic of mojo.

    Players (and techs) who have solved this mystery and been able to catch these slippery beasties will stack them in that hole.

    Given that they exist in a single dimension an infinite number of them can be installed.

    And when one of those guitars is played the resulting tone is phenomenal.