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  1. #1
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    11.03.16 @ 02:00 PM
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    I bought what was supposed to be a Made in Mexico Fender Strat. It is a 1995 model. I had the pickguard off the other day and noticed that the body looked like plywood! It looked like it was several pretty thin sheets stacked on top of one another horizontally (with the contour of the top). Did they make the MEXI Fenders with wood like this or did somebody put a Fender Neck on a Squier body and sell it to me? Is it even real wood or is it some POS pine ply?

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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Mex strats use alder, or poplar as a rule, but depending on the model it came from, yes they do use plywood as well.
    They make quite a few different varieties of Mexican strats, as you can tell by the different sticker prices, and unless the sticker on the pickguard specifically states alder or poplar, then it could very easily be plywood.
    If it's a transparent top coat, then it could be an alder, poplar, or even basswood body with a top veneer to give it a nice looking top, but if it's a solid color paint job, and you can see clearly defined layers, then it's a plywood body.
    The later squiers used a lot of plywood too, so unless you know who sold it to you it's hard to tell.
    Is it a swimming pool route where the pickups are, or are there pockets routed for each p/u?
    Are there any fender stamps on the bridge saddles?

    [ January 08, 2002 at 12:03 PM: Message edited by: tribb ]</p>

  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing! twonabomber's Avatar
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    12.08.16 @ 03:21 AM
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    it may just be where the routing process left marks in the wood. i don't know if Fender does one plunge rout for the holes, or a series of shallow routs with increasing depth.
    "is this a good show tonight, or fuckin' what?" - DLR, Montreal, 11/10/07

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    Sinner's Swing! twonabomber's Avatar
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    12.08.16 @ 03:21 AM
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    oh yeah...wanna feel ripped off, buy an OLP
    "is this a good show tonight, or fuckin' what?" - DLR, Montreal, 11/10/07

    Toronto 10/7...Cleveland 10/10...Toronto 10/12...Montreal 11/10

  5. #5
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    11.03.16 @ 02:00 PM
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    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by tribb:
    Mex strats use alder, or poplar as a rule, but depending on the model it came from, yes they do use plywood as well.
    They make quite a few different varieties of Mexican strats, as you can tell by the different sticker prices, and unless the sticker on the pickguard specifically states alder or poplar, then it could very easily be plywood.
    If it's a transparent top coat, then it could be an alder, poplar, or even basswood body with a top veneer to give it a nice looking top, but if it's a solid color paint job, and you can see clearly defined layers, then it's a plywood body.
    The later squiers used a lot of plywood too, so unless you know who sold it to you it's hard to tell.
    Is it a swimming pool route where the pickups are, or are there pockets routed for each p/u?
    Are there any fender stamps on the bridge saddles?

    [ January 08, 2002 at 12:03 PM: Message edited by: tribb ]
    <hr></blockquote>


    There are Fender stamps on the bridge saddles. It's not a swimming pool route if my memory serves me correctly. All I know is, the guitar sounds like shit even with new Fender Fat 50's PU's in it. I'm gonna get it set up and rewired with new pots and switch. Do you think this will help? IS the plywood body lifeless like cardboard usually? That's what mine sounds like.

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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    evhesq, there's good news and bad news here.
    The good news is that you've got a very good set of ears, which will help you in the future when picking out a good guitar body.
    The bad news is that you've got a plywood body, if it is plywood, that sounds flat and lifeless, like a lot of them do unfortunately.
    Not all do, but about 99% sound like that.
    Most people either can't hear the difference or don't care. You obviously can and do.
    I've only heard one plywood body in my life that sounded really good, and I have no idea why, but I kept that body, and striped it up for one of my backup guitars I used in the band. It was a cheap Kramer I came across years ago by accident, and the body sounded so good I tossed eveything else and just kept the body. It just sits on my daughters wall now, but it did sound good.
    Most don't because of the combination of glue and cheap wood they use to ply it.
    The thinner plywoods that Gibson, and other companies use to make their semi acoustics usually sound incredibly good, but those are high quality woods and very light glues. You'd have no idea they were ply bodies.
    Ok, enough about that.
    I have no doubt that it's a real fender body, but whether it's a squire, or Mex., I couldn't tell you without seeing it.
    If you look in the back where the trem is, you'll probably notice that the trem block is tapered to thin out, rather than the solid heavy block used in a lot of strats and good copies.
    Unfortunately, regardless of what pickup you use, it won't give it much more life.
    You could try a couple of things, like making sure that the bridge rests on the body, and doesn't float. You could also replace the trem block with a heavy solid type.
    To be honest I don't think it'll do much good, cause your ears have already told you what the basic tone of the body is like, but set the trem on the body first, and see how that sounds. Don't bother replacing the block if you're just gonna off the guitar.
    If you're gonna keep it, you might be able to find a cheap alder, or swamp ash body. It doesn't matter whether it's got a swimming pool route cause a lot of new fender bodies have them, and they sound fine. I just picked up a Fender JV body, which is Mex., and has a swimming pool route. I'm putting together a strat for my daughter, and the body sounds great. It's solid alder and rings like a bell.
    Since you've obviously got a good sense of what sounds good and what doesn't, can you take it back, and find something else. Just be straight, and tell them you didn't want a plywood body.
    Also, I forgot to ask what kind of amp you're playing it through. Sometimes a guitar will sound like crap through 1 type of amp, and just amazing through another.

  7. #7
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    07.16.12 @ 10:56 PM
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    I'm looking for a cheap tele due to an interest in country guitar. My first electric was a squier tele, and really not such a bad guitar.

    The first one I tried out was a new SQUIER STANDARD Tele, and I have to say, I thought it put out some good sounds. I don't mean to sound egoed out or anything, but a shitty player playing a world class instrument, is still a shitty player. The only point I'm trying to make with that is that a good or accomplished player can get along pretty well with an I guess, "Decent" instrument.

    My question for you guys is about the SQUIER STANDARD Series. In the Musician's Friend review, it states the bodies for the Strat and Tele are both made of SOLID ALDER. I checked the Squier website, and it says made of Solid Hardwood. I don't know if this something new in upscaling the production of these guitars, as stated in the MF review, or if I'm just being duped.

    I'd hate to sound like an asshole, but I really did enjoy playing that Standard Tele, especially having that extra fret. It looked solid, and I liked how the neck felt kind of bare. Granted, this Tele wouldn't be my main axe by any means, but just to see how far I want to get into this country pickin.

    Just looking to see if anyone has information on Squier using Solid wood now.
    FUCK THE DUMB SHIT!!!!

  8. #8
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    You don't sounbd like an asshole bud. Not at all.
    I don't know how long ago you had your squire tele, but the early ones were made in Japan and Korea, using swamp ash.
    The new squire series makes a few different tele's, but all tele's in the past, US, and foreign, were made of swamp ash, which is what they're supposed to be made of for that clear top end kind of bite that a tele's famous for.
    If you go to buy one the salesman should easily be able to look at the unpainted body and tell you whether it's ash or alder, cause the two woods look nothing alike in their grain pattern.
    If it's painted then don't buy it till you've played it, or are garanteed the wood it's made of.
    I've heard that some of the newer squire tele's were made of alder, but try to see if you can get one that's made of swamp ash. Alder has a completely different sound.
    The price will be about the same, but the sound of a swamp ash tele is more distinctive.
    For the money I don't think they're bad guitars at all, but selected hardwood could mean anything so ask the salesperson what kind of wood this particular guitar you're gonna buy is made of.
    As long as the body's swamp ash, with a maple board, then it doesn't matter where it was made.
    It won't sound as good as a US made tele, because of the p/u's, but it'll sound as good as your original squire.

    [ January 09, 2002 at 05:01 PM: Message edited by: tribb ]</p>

  9. #9
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    11.03.16 @ 02:00 PM
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    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by tribb:
    evhesq, there's good news and bad news here.
    The good news is that you've got a very good set of ears, which will help you in the future when picking out a good guitar body.
    The bad news is that you've got a plywood body, if it is plywood, that sounds flat and lifeless, like a lot of them do unfortunately.
    Not all do, but about 99% sound like that.
    Most people either can't hear the difference or don't care. You obviously can and do.
    I've only heard one plywood body in my life that sounded really good, and I have no idea why, but I kept that body, and striped it up for one of my backup guitars I used in the band. It was a cheap Kramer I came across years ago by accident, and the body sounded so good I tossed eveything else and just kept the body. It just sits on my daughters wall now, but it did sound good.
    Most don't because of the combination of glue and cheap wood they use to ply it.
    The thinner plywoods that Gibson, and other companies use to make their semi acoustics usually sound incredibly good, but those are high quality woods and very light glues. You'd have no idea they were ply bodies.
    Ok, enough about that.
    I have no doubt that it's a real fender body, but whether it's a squire, or Mex., I couldn't tell you without seeing it.
    If you look in the back where the trem is, you'll probably notice that the trem block is tapered to thin out, rather than the solid heavy block used in a lot of strats and good copies.
    Unfortunately, regardless of what pickup you use, it won't give it much more life.
    You could try a couple of things, like making sure that the bridge rests on the body, and doesn't float. You could also replace the trem block with a heavy solid type.
    To be honest I don't think it'll do much good, cause your ears have already told you what the basic tone of the body is like, but set the trem on the body first, and see how that sounds. Don't bother replacing the block if you're just gonna off the guitar.
    If you're gonna keep it, you might be able to find a cheap alder, or swamp ash body. It doesn't matter whether it's got a swimming pool route cause a lot of new fender bodies have them, and they sound fine. I just picked up a Fender JV body, which is Mex., and has a swimming pool route. I'm putting together a strat for my daughter, and the body sounds great. It's solid alder and rings like a bell.
    Since you've obviously got a good sense of what sounds good and what doesn't, can you take it back, and find something else. Just be straight, and tell them you didn't want a plywood body.
    Also, I forgot to ask what kind of amp you're playing it through. Sometimes a guitar will sound like crap through 1 type of amp, and just amazing through another.
    <hr></blockquote>

    Will getting it set up by a pro and rewired with new pots and a new switch even make a difference?

  10. #10
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    If you've only tried it through 1 amp, then I'd recommend you play it through a few different amps at a music store if you can. If it sounds crappy through all of them then nothing may help.
    If, on the other hand it sounds good through one or two of the others, then you may have something.
    Setup will only affect intonation and playability, but won't affect tone. Pots can definitely affect tone, but only if they're not reading right in their resistance. The usuall problem with pots is that they're noisy and that doesn't seem to be the case here.
    Have you tried setting the p/u's at different heights to see if that has any effect on the sound. First, take them almost right down to the pickguard, and work your way up slowly. Keep the bass side a bit lower than the treble side as you raise them. Keep the middle pickup at the same angle as the neck p/u, and just a bit lower in height, and keep the bridge p/u a little lower than the middle p/u, but keep it at approxomately the same angle. Bass side lower. If the treble side starts to sound good, then bring the bass side up slowly till it evens out. Usually, on a strat the bass side should sit a bit lower when you're done.
    If you've tried other amps, and reset the pickup height, and it still sounds crappy then it's the body. A setup won't help much. Body wood plays a huge factor in your sound, and a lot of players keep changing p/u's without taking that into account. Get a good sounding body, and just about any p/u you get will sound pretty good. A good body and a p/u that matches and the sucker will sing.

  11. #11
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    11.03.16 @ 02:00 PM
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    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by tribb:
    If you've only tried it through 1 amp, then I'd recommend you play it through a few different amps at a music store if you can. If it sounds crappy through all of them then nothing may help.
    If, on the other hand it sounds good through one or two of the others, then you may have something.
    Setup will only affect intonation and playability, but won't affect tone. Pots can definitely affect tone, but only if they're not reading right in their resistance. The usuall problem with pots is that they're noisy and that doesn't seem to be the case here.
    Have you tried setting the p/u's at different heights to see if that has any effect on the sound. First, take them almost right down to the pickguard, and work your way up slowly. Keep the bass side a bit lower than the treble side as you raise them. Keep the middle pickup at the same angle as the neck p/u, and just a bit lower in height, and keep the bridge p/u a little lower than the middle p/u, but keep it at approxomately the same angle. Bass side lower. If the treble side starts to sound good, then bring the bass side up slowly till it evens out. Usually, on a strat the bass side should sit a bit lower when you're done.
    If you've tried other amps, and reset the pickup height, and it still sounds crappy then it's the body. A setup won't help much. Body wood plays a huge factor in your sound, and a lot of players keep changing p/u's without taking that into account. Get a good sounding body, and just about any p/u you get will sound pretty good. A good body and a p/u that matches and the sucker will sing.
    <hr></blockquote>

    Thanks for the advice!

    Where can I find a decent alder or ash SOLID body for around a hundred bucks? I would prefer one that I wouldn't have to finish myself.

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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Boy, these are getting to be long posts.
    Are you able to install all the hardware yourself, as well as setting up the neck?
    What color are you looking for?
    I see lots of alder strat bodies on ebay for less than 100. Ash ones as well, but you want a lightweight ash body, and without actually picking it up it's hard to tell. There more of a forgiving factor with alder, and I think it sounds better anyway.
    I have a friend I can talk to this afternoon to see if he's got a strat body, but I can't see him finishing it for you for 100. If he's got one, it would be routed for the p/u's, pots, and bridge, but you'd have to do the assembly and finish it.
    I think your best bet is ebay, or a local luthier.

  13. #13
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    11.03.16 @ 02:00 PM
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    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by tribb:
    Boy, these are getting to be long posts.
    Are you able to install all the hardware yourself, as well as setting up the neck?
    What color are you looking for?
    I see lots of alder strat bodies on ebay for less than 100. Ash ones as well, but you want a lightweight ash body, and without actually picking it up it's hard to tell. There more of a forgiving factor with alder, and I think it sounds better anyway.
    I have a friend I can talk to this afternoon to see if he's got a strat body, but I can't see him finishing it for you for 100. If he's got one, it would be routed for the p/u's, pots, and bridge, but you'd have to do the assembly and finish it.
    I think your best bet is ebay, or a local luthier.
    <hr></blockquote>


    Thanks for the advice.

  14. #14
    Sinner's Swing! twonabomber's Avatar
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    12.08.16 @ 03:21 AM
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    Warmoth has prefinished Strat bodies, but they're around $250 or so...
    "is this a good show tonight, or fuckin' what?" - DLR, Montreal, 11/10/07

    Toronto 10/7...Cleveland 10/10...Toronto 10/12...Montreal 11/10

 

 

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