Edit: Fender to phase out ash in standard line guitar bodies, possibly will continue in Custom Shop

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jdel77, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. jdel77

    jdel77 Supporting Member

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    I’ve just seen this on my Facebook feed from one of Australia’s main Fender dealers...

    https://guitarstation.com.au/pages/ash-bodies

    Apparently this is the official statement from Fender as found on the above dealer website:

    Fender's Official Announcement From April 2020

    "In order to uphold our legacy of consistency and high quality we, at Fender, have made the decision to remove Ash from the majority of our regular production models. What little Ash we are able to source will continue to be made available in select, historically appropriate vintage models, as supplies are available."


    Max Gutnik : VP, Fender Electric Guitars, Basses & Amplifiers FMIC
     
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  2. Johnny21

    Johnny21 Supporting Member

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    TL;DR: Two reasons Fender is discontinuing Ash according to the article.

    1) The Emerald Ash Borer - An introduced, invasive insect species from Asia that has killed tens of millions of Ash trees in North America in the past two decades. American efforts to curb the spread of these pests have been futile, and now North America is bracing for the loss of billions of Ash trees.

    2) Flooding due to climate change - Most of Fender's Swamp Ash comes from river islands in the Mississippi Delta. Flooding is common there but global warming is causing these areas to now be underwater 2/3rds of the year, effectively eliminating Southern Ash lumber from the market.
     
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  3. notamisfit

    notamisfit Member

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    Is there an actual Fender source corroborating this? There doesn't seem to be anything on their own website.
     
  4. Figaro

    Figaro Supporting Member

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    Ash is one of many species of trees that are declining. :cry:
     
  5. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member Vendor

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    ain't dat some schydt??

    I mean, really.. that's like Rolls Royce saying they're gonna drop the RR engine and use a Ford motor instead...

    That's gotta be a hoax... or a belated April fool's day joke..


    r
     
  6. johnsav

    johnsav Member

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    It says right in the article you quoted that they are not "discontinuing all ash guitar bodies".
     
  7. jdel77

    jdel77 Supporting Member

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    I hope so. I love my Ash body Fenders.
     
  8. jeff_lebowski

    jeff_lebowski Member

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    Trust, emerald ash borer is no joke, Omaha is cutting down at many around here as they can to save what they can. We are slated to lose a substantial amount of our tree canopy in the city over the next decade, its really sad.
     
  9. LaceSensor1

    LaceSensor1 Supporting Member

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    I wonder what the new wood choice will be for the american standard/professional model will be?
     
  10. jdel77

    jdel77 Supporting Member

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    You might want to reread it - it says they’ll try to supply Ash for historic/vintage (ie: Custom Shop) models where they can...
     
  11. superrock

    superrock Silver Supporting Member

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    Here in Michigan we have suffered immense ash tree losses as well due to the emerald ash borer, when I was a kid we lost tons of trees in my street to Dutch elm disease including the two in front of my house. this sucks if true...
     
  12. Whitecat

    Whitecat Member

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    Several boutique makers have posted on Facebook recently that getting good quality reliable ash is getting prohibitively expensive and/or outright impossible - I know a few months ago @K-Line was one of them, not sure the situation now but he knows good wood.
    Knaggs now has an upcharge for ash bodies of about $300 where they didn’t used to.
    Now these are relatively small outfits - Fender is doing mass-production quantities - I would fully believe this to be true based on the state of things at the moment.

    Edit: also this from last Septmember ICYMI - http://blog.music-man.com/instrumen...-our-mission-to-make-the-worlds-best-guitars/
     
  13. Blanket Jackson

    Blanket Jackson is Tio's favorite Silver Supporting Member

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    We may need to wait until all the Emerald Ash Borers die off then re-plant the ash trees from heirloom seeds. But that will take many decades in total. Dang invasive species ... like that nasty fish swimming up the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Scary stuff.
     
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  14. johnsav

    johnsav Member

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    "made the decision to remove Ash from the majority of our regular production models. What little Ash we are able to source will continue to be made available in select, historically appropriate vintage models, as supplies are available."
    Surely you don't mean "all ash bodies", because then how are they going to make select, historically appropriate vintage models?
    Many hundreds of ash-bodied guitars are going to be made by Fender, now at a premium.
     
  15. MkIII Renegade

    MkIII Renegade Member

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    If we can put a man on the moon, we could increase certain species of trees if we wanted to. And we've got the motive, so why not do it in another area if needed?? And Man has been known to divert flood waters and even greater things before when he is determined.
     
  16. notamisfit

    notamisfit Member

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    Again, this is a guitar store trying to sell you ash-bodied Fenders. Fender's own website has *nothing* on this change.
     
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  17. rowdyyates

    rowdyyates Supporting Member

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    I believe the point is your thread title is “Fender to discontinue all ash guitar bodies”, but your first post shows that’s not the case.
     
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  18. PatriotBadger

    PatriotBadger Member

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    Problems in the supply chain of instrument-grade ash have been common knowledge for several years now. Anything made in the last few years has been made from existing lumber stock, and what little new lumber could be sourced.

    Like nearly all of the invasive species that affect North America, the emerald ash borer is from Asia. Now that they are here, they spread quickly and will likely affect ash availability for many years to come.

    I like ash. It's one of the few woods that are hard (almost 3 times harder than alder and almost as hard as rock maple), pretty to look at, and can still be lightweight.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  19. Jabby92

    Jabby92 Member

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    Too bad, but not too surprising given the scarity. The beetles have been killing the ash off for many years. My 2019 Fender Japan Tele is a solid ash body.. glad I have it now.
     
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  20. sahhas

    sahhas Supporting Member

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    In our downtown in the last year the city cut down a number of trees, then I found out they were ash trees. Those areas look so bare now.

    things are changing for sure
     

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