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Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by MapleBoard, Jul 12, 2019.
Do you happen to know what year they stopped doing those bodies?
IMO the MIM Player is a fantastic Strat.
I've played a few at GC and have yet to pick up a dudd and a couple were exceptional
I've been looking for a used one locally ,but they're so new people ain't selling them or want a good price.
I have built a partscaster Strat with the Player electronics though .
Lke others in this thread ,I like to play before I buy too
Right around 2000 when the American Series Stratocasters came out.
Regarding the veneers, in the Stratocaster Chronicles book George Blanda is quoted:
“All the Strat bodies were alder up until about 1990. When it got so hard to get alder, we were faced with either using poplar or not making guitars. When the restrictions eased, we were able to go back to alder in ’93 or ’94."
(If my understanding is correct they added veneers to the poplar bodies.)
I bought a loaded body a while back and the neck pocket was stamped 1999. I was told it was an American standard and it does seem to have that sort of blockier body. I actually don't mind it at all as it sort of has this slightly modern vibe to it (a la Suhr). Anyway, the body is super light and resonant, and the finish seems to be pretty thin on it. I paired it with an American professional neck that fit near perfect, and the guitar rings loud when unplugged. It's currently my main guitar, but I also own another road worn strat when I need a more vintage feel.
Did a quick search about late 90s strats, and a good number of people seem to say these were a good year for them *shrug*
The neck pocket of mine is stamped 1999, so I guess it's alder then. I've been slightly unsure about the wood, but I just know that it's really light and resonant.
A seller can ask whatever they want.
But the fact remains, that new MIM Strats go on sale all the time at Adorama for $379 and $399 (free shipping, no tax).
I've PSAed those deals many times on this forum.
So anyone paying new prices for a used guitar, well 'a fool and his money....'
Well it was on ebay for over a week the start price of the auction was £650 and it was collection only from Poole. I think the location would have deterred a lot of potential buyers. I put down a bid in the last few seconds there were no other bids. I was lucky enough to discover that a friend has a brother that works in the same area as the seller he collected and later my friend collected it from him. I was ready to collect myself by train but it seemed like wasted excercise in time and money do I accepted my friends offer to collect.
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For what its worth.. my 1997 American Standard 2 tone Sunburst is/was Poplar, veneered, and made up of 6 pieces. So I'd suggest Mr George Blanda's quote is bull.
I tend to go along with @Mr Dunlop .. the AM Standards vastly improved around 2000
However, getting back to bodies.. there's nothing whatsoever wrong with Poplar as a guitar wood. I still have the guitar, its resonant, but reshaped, and resprayed. Oh.. and I actually like the swimming pool route..
Yeah, it's confusing. My '99 is so wonderful to me, super resonant unplugged, and plugged in it's so rich and beautiful, almost piano-like. I've never taken it apart to investigate. I have started to wonder if it's a swimming pool and that's what makes it so resonant.
I've also heard good reviews of poplar as a tonewood.
Which I guess just goes to show ya, play the things and when you find the one you love, who cares what it's made of?
I’d love to hear/see someone do a blind back to back test between laminated poplar, alder and 6 piece and 1 piece bodies through a crunchy amp and identify which one is which ...
From what I've read you're both right - while they had moved on from poplar bodies in the mid-90s they were still using the alder veneers (yes, over alder bodies) on transparent finishes to make them look prettier. They stopped using the alder-veneers-over-alder-bodies compeletly when the American Series came out in mid-2000.
If you check the mid-to-late-90s price lists you'll see that 3-color sunburst USA models were slightly more expensive ($25 higher MSRP) than solid-color USA models with alder bodies. And of course ash bodies had a higher price bump for the ash.
I doubt anyone could tell a difference in a blind test between multiple piece poplar bodies and alder. Maybe Eric Johnson can
One might notice the contours are not as nice on a 90s AS compared to a more recent one.
The finish on the necks of the 90s strats are also known to have issues with flaking. IME the necks on the more recent models have more of a satin feel to the back of the neck.
Has a much nicer neck profile too, at least the 50s model does.
They’re going to be close to the same. The American will hold its value better but it makes zero difference if you plan to keep it.
In regards to quality, Fender does a great job of quality control at both plants.
From what I understand the problem with Poplar is that it tends to have greenish mineral streaks in it.
This causes a problem trying to do transparent finishes, it was only suitable for solid colors.
Not much difference between alder and poplar as some would suggest on the hardness scale alder 590 poplar 540 about 8 percent difference poplar is a little heavier. go to the wood database they have four main measurements of wood. alder is better in two but poplar is better in two but they are close in all four measurements. The Wood Data base has a lot info. I found it after I got a strat body made of White poplar 410 hardness same as basswood but heavy as alder and not the same as American tulip yellow poplar. I not so worried about it being a tonewood but it is hard enough to hold screws and the finished guitar sounds great. but yellow polar is just fine and lower in cost than alder great for solid colors In my opinion the neck and setup and your choice of pickups and hardware make the biggest difference in the sound of a solidbody guitar I am not saying wood does not make a difference. just not as a big of a difference as other factors
Sometimes they are set up in house after they come in.
Mine was set up by a tech before I bought it.....I think they do this on purpose at the GC I go to, to really sell the guitar.
Have not needed a set up. Practically perfect of the wall.
Got a 2018 Classic Series. Friging perfect in every way. Its the most straty strat I have.
But buying used vs new....I like buying used and new. But play before you buy....if your just buying a random guitar from the internet dont be surprises thats is no better than an entry level Squier of the wall at your GC....chances are that Squire is going to be better.
Regarding better or whatever.....been playing a while and IMO its hard to find better than this Classic Series right here...this specific one as I have three two others to judge from. Damn near perfect.
The Player Series and Vintera are great guitars and as far as the Player Series go I feel are just as good quality and value wise.
Played the Am Pro and have to be honest....the MIM Player for me came out on top of the wall playing in store.
Something about those Vmod pickups.....they just sound awful...and the neck on the MIM was IMO just as nice.
I can’t stand, the black plastic used for the hole of the trussrod...
I've got both. I have PV 59 pickups in an MIM Standard, and it plays and sounds truly great. I also have a pair of American Professionals that are true keepers. I think the responses in this thread illustrate that there are a whole lot of thought processes you can choose, and as in so many other cases, preferences vary. Do what works for you.
I like the V-Mod pickups (and the Shawbucker), and I bought guitars with them. It's cool to talk about guitars, and find out a range of perspectives. But at one level, it's important to remember that only your own preferences really matter for your playing and your music.