'54 Strat (Ash/Maple) - Who Makes The Best ?

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by sixkids, Sep 5, 2005.


  1. sixkids

    sixkids Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Fellas,

    I'm specifically looking for a Vintage '54 Strat style guitar - Ash Body, Maple Neck. Any opinions as to who makes the best ? I've listed some builders below, and they are all fantastic craftsmen, but I'm not sure if some of the high end builders cater to particular woods.

    DeTemple
    Chapin
    Callaham
    Fender Masterbuilt (John Cruz)
    Lentz (used, I know)
    Greenwich Village
    Melancon
    Suhr
    Tyler
    Anderson
    Grosh
    Morgaine
    Sadowsky

    I'd love to hear your opinions (remember, SPECIFICALLY Ash/Maple). I have a Tyler Classic (Alder/Rosewood), Lentz T (Ash/Maple) , and a Morgaine '59 Les Paul, and I'm looking for just one more...........................

    Have a great Holiday !!

    All The Best !!
    Tom
     
  2. fjs1962

    fjs1962 Silver Supporting Member

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    I've got a Suhr with those specs (lightweight ash 2 tone burst, 56 Big V maple neck, V54 pickups) and it's about as close as I've found to the ash 50s Strats my buddy had back in the late 70s. Bright and spanky cleans, big and rich with overdrive.
     
  3. JZWest

    JZWest Member

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    "I'm looking for just one more..........................."

    Thas pretty funny!
     
  4. GeetarGoul

    GeetarGoul Member

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    lentz...if you can find one.
     
  5. bbarnard

    bbarnard Member

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    Nash if you don't want one that looks/feels brand new. It will take you a while to get it made though.
     
  6. fatback

    fatback Member

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    A lot of great builders on your list...

    The four that stand out to me are:

    more vintage:

    Lentz - Ended my search for a vintage style maple/ash S. Super light and responsive.
    GVCG - They don't just look old. They feel and sound old.


    more modern:

    Grosh - My favorite of the modern builders. Great no-nonsense modern/vintage. Nitro finished with plenty of options.
    Melancon - Also very nice guitars. Gerald is known to have a connection for a great supply of swamp-ash.
     
  7. sixkids

    sixkids Gold Supporting Member

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    Fatback,

    I was on my way to ordering a Lentz a while back, but then Fender had to crap on my Cherrios. Then, I just recently found out about Greenwich Village Guitars, and I've since found out that they terminated their S models. I'm very interested in Melancon, mostly because Scott Peterson holds Gerard in such high regard. I know Tyler's are great as well as Suhr's ( I've had three) but I want to see if the Ash/Maple combo is special to any particular builder. Appreciate all the feedback guys.

    All The Best !!
    Tom
     
  8. Barefoot

    Barefoot Senior Member

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    Will Vinetto Guitars make you one?
     
  9. tradarama

    tradarama www.PRIMEGUITARS.com Silver Supporting Member

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    His instruments are steps ahead. Worth the wait. Look at it this way...the wait is 2 years and has been over a year for 4 years. He has several hundred guitars outstanding....every seen ONE for sale? ....ONE? Why do you think that is?
     
  10. ricoh

    ricoh Member

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    I have not had all the others but have had a few vintage pieces as well as many Fender CS stratocasters and agree -w- Tradarama completely. Many people do not have the ability to wait for one. It is not an easy wait but well worth it!!!!!!

    +1
    Rico
     
  11. sixkids

    sixkids Gold Supporting Member

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    Tradarama and Ricoh,

    The DeTemples that you have, are they Ash/Maple models ?
     
  12. Mutley

    Mutley Supporting Member

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    I haven't played some of the guitars on your list, but I do own a DeTemple that I love. Ash/maple. Huge neck on mine. He will tell you it's the biggest neck he has put on one of his guitars. Tone kills. The cleans are big and solid and the tone holds up with moderate gain. A friend had a alder Suhr that had a more three dimensional tone, but I think that was the difference between the ash and alder. Had a Lentz that was great sounding too, but I like big necks and this one wasn't. Good luck.

    Ned
     
  13. Reeek

    Reeek Member

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    John Suhr seems to advocate rather convincingly, the combination of a swamp ash body with a maple neck/fretboard.
    Both here on TGP and on this link from his site:

    http://www.suhrguitars.com/wood.htm#more on tone

    He also has the opinion (In the link) that the T style body has more punch than other body styles. Interesting. . .

    I own a new Suhr Classic in a swamp ash body and one piece maple neck and I too was one of those who always thought (because I'd heard of course) that this combo was bright and could even be piercing.

    Nuh uh! ;)


    FAT is the word. Fat and really piano like bell tones at the same time, on my guitar anyway.

    I am really piqued about a T style in the same configuration, big time now.
     
  14. Sam Cannon

    Sam Cannon Member

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    I play a Morgain Strat, built by German master luthier Jorg Tandler. I have Suhr, Tyler, Grosh and the Morgain is the best guitar out of the bunch.

    With that being said, I have had the pleasure of playing some of the Fenders masterbuilt by John Cruz and they are a great guitar, not cheap but they are as good as my Morgain. If you are near Wild West Guitars in Riverside they have a great one. Or go to the nearest dealer that has a 54' masterbuilt by JC and check it out, he is good.

    Good Luck,
     
  15. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    i cant imagine any strat being better than the Lentz you currently own, but i say call up Bill Chapin, and tell him what sounds you're looking for.

    if he doesnt nail them for you, i'll eat my hat.

    www.chapinguitars.com
     
  16. sixkids

    sixkids Gold Supporting Member

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    Joker,

    The Lentz I have is a Tele (Ash/Maple) and yes it's a great guitar. As a matter of fact, I bought it from Sam Cannon who just posted before you. Great guitar, great deal, and well, Sam is a great guy. Anyway, back to Strats. Yes , Chapin is high on my list, don't know what kind of lead time he needs, but he is high on the list.

    Hey Sam, did you ever get that Two Rock Sterling ? I just received word today from Uwe that my Morgaine will ship next week - I'll send you pictures.

    All The Best !!
    Tom
     
  17. Distortion

    Distortion Member

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    If you are looking for a Fender Masterbuilt Strat try and fine one built by John English.
    He consistently builds amazing instruments, and it is my understanding he is the most requested Masterbuilder at Fender.
    I have owned just about everything on your list except for a DeTemple and a Morgaine, and the English Strat is hands down the best Ash / Maple Strat I have ever played.
     
  18. ricoh

    ricoh Member

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    Yes..............
     
  19. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    I don't think there's any question that a Tele leans towards ballsy sounds, and a Strat towards pretty sounds. Rules are made to be broken, but if you want to generalize, that one is pretty sound.

    An ash/maple T is an awesome guitar.
     
  20. big mike

    big mike Fixed Bias Moderator Staff Member

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    I love Melancon, and Gerard is a peach, but a true "54" Strat it aint. Its more modern flavoured.

    Bill Chapin will crank that bad boy out of the park. Guaranteed. Best strat on the face of tha damn earth. And he'll make it just like you want it to sound, only better.
     

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