50's strat body wood?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by dazco, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. dazco

    dazco Member

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    What is the timeline as far as the strats of the 50's and ash vs alder? was it ash for the first couple years, then alder. Or did it go back and fourth, etc. I have no idea, but i DID think all maple neck 50's strats were ash at least till maybe 59. Hows the story actually go. And second, are all years of USA RI's accurate in this regard? i see 57 RI's that seem to be alder when i thought a 57 would surely be ash.
     
  2. lupa

    lupa Member

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    I think body wood was determind by the finish that was to be used on the guitar, although I could be mistaken.
     
  3. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    Yes. Solid painted ones were alder. And the see through finishes were ash. Probably swamp ash.
     
  4. burningyen

    burningyen Vendor

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  5. John C

    John C Supporting Member

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    I believe the very early ones were all ash, most likely the 1954-1955 era. By 1956 they were starting to mix in alder for sunburst and painted bodies and ash for the blonde finish ones; by 1957 or so the ash was really only on the blonde finish but you would find the occasional ash-bodied sunburst.

    And of course they would paint over any body that had a blemish, or if they really needed say a black one and only had ash bodies laying around. This is Fender; they used everything at any time.
     
  6. Backless

    Backless Member

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    Ash from 54 through part of 56. 56 was a transition year from ash to alder although there may have been a few 57 ash examples. Fender didn't throw away anything... they used whatever was on hand.

    Also there are a few known 54 spruce pieces.
     
  7. dazco

    dazco Member

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  8. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Supporting Member

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    Accurate!
     
  9. rusted

    rusted Member

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    That applies to most Teles in the 50s and 60s, but not Strats.

    After early ones, the standard for Strats was sunburst over alder. There is a 56 Strat in the emporium section right now misidentified as ash, but is clearly alder (though nice alder, with some ash-like but typical grain).

    And yeah, there are always exceptions. With vintage Teles, 60s and 70s sunbursts were almost always alder. But I have a 70 sunburst that is ash (and very lightweight).
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  10. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    I'm just going by what people who are older than me and know more about them than me have said. They said alder tends to have green streaks in it compared to ash. And that's why Fender painted all of the alder bodies with solid colors.
     
  11. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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