Why does Fender hollow out the American Original 50's strat in ash?

Wound_Up

You can call me Duane 😁
Silver Member
Jan 23, 2020
4,472
NW LA
I can see a seam where the back meets the body in the control cavity and in the video the grain of the body does not line up with the grain on the back, so yeah the guitar was routed then capped, probably to lose weight. Fender probably justifies this by saying the weight is then closer to the original but 50's strats were never built this way and its not an authentic reproduction.

Its also not billed as an exact reproduction of the 50s model so there really shouldn't be an expectation that it is, imo. You only set yourself up for disappointment by making those sorts of assumptions.

They likely "justify" it by using modern production techniques and by the fact, that they never claim it's an EXACT REPRODUCTION, down, to how it's manufactured. You made that up yourself and convinced yourself that's how they should be. Which is you you end up disappointed when it's not how YOU think it should be.

In reality, Fender doesn't have to justify anything they do. Not to you and not to themselves, either. It's weird to see someone make stuff up like this because Fender doesn't do things like one thinks they should.
 
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Baelzebub

Dr. Stratster
Nov 1, 2019
14,379
State of Disbelief
Probably it's due to ash supply problems, Fender is phasing out the use this wood in its the majority of its regular production models. But Justin Norvell said: “We’ve started looking at ash that’s a little heavier and working on different chambering techniques that would allow it not to be 12 or 13 pounds.”
Interesting. Do you have any references showing what techniques they might be using? As others have pointed out, it may be a capped top but if I could figure out a way to do this after the fact, the solid ash Indio strat I got would be a perfect candidate to try it out. Nice, well-made guitar but a bit heavy at over 10 lbs.
 

Baelzebub

Dr. Stratster
Nov 1, 2019
14,379
State of Disbelief
To play devil's advocate here, did you like the sound of it and the way it felt when you played it before? If so then why wouldn't you want it now? (Open to anyone to answer).
It's kind of like eating a hotdog or braunschwsiger IMO. Most people like them until the see what's in them...then all of a sudden they want to tirn their noses up at it.
If it was good before then what makes it so bad now? Just the knowledge that it wasn't what you thought it was? For me if it was good before then it should still be good now.
I am asking legitimately here and not being prickish about it.
That was precisely my first thought.
 

Shoegoo

Strat-O-Master
Silver Member
Aug 16, 2010
677
Louisiana
Did you say ash or stash? Like a place to hide your stash. I guess Fender missed a marketing opportunity. They could call it the Stashcaster.
 

Scott Baxendale

Most Honored Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 20, 2020
5,236
Athens Ga
I took off the pickguard of my American Original 50's strat in Mary Kaye blonde and I was surprised to see that Fender hollowed out a significant portion of the guitar under the pickguard. I don't know if I should feel disappointed or not, it just feels like they did it so that the guitar feels lighter than it actually would be if it was true swamp ash (since they allegedly no longer use Light Swamp Ash in their ash models). Is that why they do this?

1nLWp81



That wouldn’t really be a original 50’s design. that is a chambered body which isn’t a bad thing necessarily but it is not a classic 50’s design.
 

Torvald

Senior Stratmaster
May 3, 2019
1,221
Northwest
I keep thinking why not just use a swimming pool rout, and why not rout out the area under the pickguard on the treble side to the same depth as the switch and pots. Might make that 8 lb. strat a 7 lb. strat. Not traditional of course but I can't imagine it would affect the tone/timbre, so...
 

Antonio77

Strat-Talker
Jan 19, 2014
309
Italy
Interesting. Do you have any references showing what techniques they might be using? As others have pointed out, it may be a capped top but if I could figure out a way to do this after the fact, the solid ash Indio strat I got would be a perfect candidate to try it out. Nice, well-made guitar but a bit heavy at over 10 lbs.
No, I don't know how they did it. However, I read that rumors about the whole Original Series was discontinued are true.
 

Shoegoo

Strat-O-Master
Silver Member
Aug 16, 2010
677
Louisiana
What's the point? It seems like a lot of extra manufacturing time to hollow out a piece of wood. And time is money. I would ask the factory why it was done.
 

Neil.C

Most Honored Senior Member
Mar 3, 2012
8,637
Surrey, England
What's the point? It seems like a lot of extra manufacturing time to hollow out a piece of wood. And time is money. I would ask the factory why it was done.
Justin Norvell said: “We’ve started looking at ash that’s a little heavier and working on different chambering techniques that would allow it not to be 12 or 13 pounds.”
 

davidrf

Strat-O-Master
Dec 27, 2010
730
Italy
Ash can be very light or very heavy... I guess the ones who were too heavy got hollowed. I would return that in a heartbeat.
 

1Comstockc

Strat-Talk Member
Mar 20, 2021
19
California
It's a Mary Kay Strat
It's a woman's guitar
It was made to be lighter

The American 50's and 60's Original is solid body throughout the line.

Jeez......... 9 pages of post.
 

RL21980

Senior Stratmaster
Jun 10, 2014
1,499
Somewhere in the Ford Galaxy...
Getting harder and harder to source good lightweight ash. Thats a cost cutting technique so they can still use boat anchor stock.
Nothing wrong with it per se. But, if thats not upfront in the description I'd be unhappy. If you wanted a semi hollow strat you could've got a EJ semi or something. But thats obviously not what you wanted. How does it sound? Thats the most important part.
 


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