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  • Best strat body?

    So the pot metal trem-arm shaft on the trem block of my frankenstrat broke away leaving me with a choice of replacing the block or going all out for a new body and Wilkinson trem. The body is a plywood Hondo tosser I got off craigslist. I've always wanted to replace it with an alder or swamp-ash done to early '60's Fender specs so now may just be the time.

    I have a great neck and populated pickguard - looking for a black body and trem.

    Aside from Warmoth and U.S. Guitars are there others worthy of consideration? I notice GFS has some, etc. Any good?
    --------------------------------
    www.VerneAndru.com

  • #2
    IMHO, the brands you mention are overpriced and the purchase of a body is always a crap-shoot in terms of its tone anyway. A basic black Warmoth body is $295 though you can pick by weight if that is important to you.

    My experience with GFS bodies has not been good. The finishes I received had paint flaws and on one body, the neck pocket was 1/16" too wide and completely unusable.

    Stratosphere sells new Fender take-off bodies on eBay (they buy new guitars and part them out). A new Squire VM body in black ;70's contour can be had for as little as $119.00. Full correct dimensions and good quality.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fender-Squie...sAAOSw3ndbECnd

    A brand new Fender MIM replacement body can be purchased for $187.95 here:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/FENDER-STRAT...ty!60120!US!-1

    Stratosphere has a new MIM Std Strat with neck plate, jackplate and trem for $219.99

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fender-Strat...YAAOSwbbdbGrVP

    Assuming you are looking to "plug and play" and are not interested in painting or finishing, these are good options. If your neck and pickups are uber high end, then a Warmoth body could be warranted.
    Last edited by 6down1togo; 06-08-2018, 11:33 PM.

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    • #3
      If you're willing to spend the money for a Warmoth and finish it yourself you might want to consider a chambered swamp ash body with a swamp ash top. I love chambered Strats.

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      • #4
        Thanks and keep the suggestions coming.

        It's going with an 80's E-series Squier Bullet neck that's to die for. Pickguard is loaded with Mojotone 50's Custom Wound with a SD Lil 59er in the bridge and wired 20-ways to Sunday.

        I'd like to keep this cheap in price but as top-shelf quality as I can get. It's a lovable mutt that'll never be worth much beyond what it can do.
        --------------------------------
        www.VerneAndru.com

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        • #5
          Stewmac has '63 Strat bodies in alder or ash.
          "Isn't it a pity, isn't it a shame,
          how we break each other's hearts
          and cause each other pain"

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          • #6
            You could try one of the Warmoth poplar bodies for about $125

            http://www.warmoth.com/MobileShowcas...1#.WxxFoRmxU0M

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            • Verne Andru
              Verne Andru commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks. Not crazy about poplar. If I go Warmoth I'd do a light weight swamp ash or alder.

          • #7
            Somebody once said that anyone with a bandsaw and a router can build a stratocaster. I made some templates for the local high school shop class, each year one or two students make themselves a strat. They learn some shop skill, a bit of safety and most of them get an A.

            Comment


            • Verne Andru
              Verne Andru commented
              Editing a comment
              I've often said strats are like busses - wait 5 minutes and another one will come along. Probably the most copied guitar in history. As far as shop skills go, I've done lots of woodworking over the years and given the space and tools would have no problem making my own. My issue is one of living in a small place in the city centre without access to the space necessary to make the dust, etc. that is a required part of the process. It's easier for me to spend a few hundred for something ready made than to find a shop with the tools that will rent at a reasonable price. You live in a more rural area than I where space isn't as much of an issue. And I have more pressing issues weighing on my time that preclude me the luxury of undertaking such an indulgence. Practicality reins supreme in my case.

          • #8
            Whatever you buy, stay away from Paulownia wood and basswood. The wood is so soft, the screws tend to pull right out. Alder, Poplar and Ash were Fender's go to woods. Alder and Poplar under solid color finishes and Ash under wood finishes (bursts, naturals) on the higher end guitars..

            The MIM Standard Strats in sunburst actually have multi-piece alder cores and the top and back are veneered for an even appearance with the burst finish. That is why the sunburst ends right at the arm contour on the top. It's where the veneer ends and they use the solid color to hide the transition.

            If it's a cost/quality decision and you want a prefinished body, the Squier Standard takeoff body is your Huckleberry.
            Last edited by 6down1togo; 06-13-2018, 03:25 PM.

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            • #9
              Does anyone know of a company that offers either prepped (drilled / sanded) or finished (preferably nitrocellulose lacquer) bodies with contour options? IOW, if I wanted a '60s body contour, or an early '80s VR contour, etc., is there anyone who lets you specify that as an option?
              **********

              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
              - George Carlin

              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

              Comment


              • Freeman Keller
                Freeman Keller commented
                Editing a comment
                Phil, I don't know exactly what those terms mean but Warmoth does offer tummy and forearm contours as well as a contoured heel,. StewMac says they rough shape the contours but leave the final shaping to your preference. It would be pretty easy to add any sort of relief that you wanted to a slab body - my strat plans show the dimensions of the standard ones.

                Obviously you can only do the finish prep (or finish) after you shaped the body, but again, prep'ing and/or shooting a few coats of nitro are pretty straightforward.

              • Grant Harding
                Grant Harding commented
                Editing a comment
                Get one of the Stewmac ones and put some Stick-it sandpaper on your stomach and forearm for custom contours!

              • Phil O'Keefe
                Phil O'Keefe commented
                Editing a comment
                Fender has used slightly different shapes on their tummy and forearm contours over the years - the 50s, 60s and 70s each have a slightly different shape. The Fullerton-built Vintage Reissues had a different contour than the later ones made in Corona too. I'd like to get a body with contours that are correct for a specific era, and I'm wondering if anyone does them to that degree of accuracy and lets you pick which one of the eras you want the contours to line up with...

                For more...

                http://www.fenderreissue.com/fender-...e-strat-bodies

                http://www.strat-talk.com/threads/st...ntours.164784/

            • #10
              Originally posted by 6down1togo View Post
              Whatever you buy, stay away from Paulownia wood and basswood. The wood is so soft, the screws tend to pull right out. Alder, Poplar and Ash were Fender's go to woods. Alder and Poplar under solid color finishes and Ash under wood finishes (bursts, naturals) on the higher end guitars..

              The MIM Standard Strats in sunburst actually have multi-piece alder cores and the top and back are veneered for an even appearance with the burst finish. That is why the sunburst ends right at the arm contour on the top. It's where the veneer ends and they use the solid color to hide the transition.

              If it's a cost/quality decision and you want a prefinished body, the Squier Standard takeoff body is your Huckleberry.
              Thanks much. IIRC Paulowina is like balsa wood whilst basswood and poplar tend to be heavier but still soft. If I replace the body my preference is a light-weight swamp ash with alder a close second.

              Fender appears to be selling body parts separately now. Their strat bodies are described as replacements for MiM Fenders or Squiers so it appears they're using the same body for both. I know some of the Squiers are basswood - any idea which models are alder?
              --------------------------------
              www.VerneAndru.com

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              • #11
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                • #12
                  all i can say is, i'm totally happy with my warmoth body and neck, let them do the finish, which was done perfect, for extra $40 they selected the lightest piece of swamp ash they had in stock.

                  yes all in all, finished neck & body, bridge and tuners it was almost $1000, but it was worth every penny, and if in need of another one i would do it again

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                  • #13
                    Verne, the bodies that Fender sells separately are MIM and made out of alder. The finish is poly, not lacquer, but they're good bodies and decent wood, and at $169 for a finished body, the prices are pretty reasonable too. You're kind of limited in the color options though - black, sunburst and CAR are the only choices.


                    https://shop.fender.com/en-US/parts/bodies/



                    **********

                    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                    - George Carlin

                    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Originally posted by Verne Andru View Post

                      Thanks much. IIRC Paulowina is like balsa wood whilst basswood and poplar tend to be heavier but still soft. If I replace the body my preference is a light-weight swamp ash with alder a close second.

                      Fender appears to be selling body parts separately now. Their strat bodies are described as replacements for MiM Fenders or Squiers so it appears they're using the same body for both. I know some of the Squiers are basswood - any idea which models are alder?

                      I would go straight to the new Fender replacement body.

                      The Squier Classic Vibe series is Alder, The VM Series are Basswood and the other are Agathis. Too many unscrupulous sellers out there with used bodies will try to pass off an Agathis or basswood body as a Classic Vibe Series to make the sale.

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                      • #15
                        I took a look through Fender's site as linked by Phil. Those are possibilities but I'm not seeing any prices nor have my googles revealed anybody reselling those Fender's bodies.

                        Any idea how a mortal human can actually buy one?
                        --------------------------------
                        www.VerneAndru.com

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