June 15th, 2012, 08:45 AM
I'm thinking about building my first strat (from parts) I got everything but not sure about the body. I found one on ebay for 80$. It claims to be "solid wood - like basswood". Other than that, I got the body of my first guitar (Sentimental!) which as been thrown around for some time. What's your opinion? Which should I use? (I'm not sure, but it seems my old body (strat one ) isn't made of one solid piece of wood but rather two). Here are some pics:
June 15th, 2012, 12:26 PM
For what it's worth, most strats are multi piece bodies. I don't think I've ever seen a one piece strat. Most of the American Std. guitars are 2-piece bodies, although in the 80's and 90's the were veneered, so more pieces than that was not totally abnormal. All the MIM std strats are veneered, I've stripped the finish off a sunburst one of those that looked two-piece due to the veneer, and it was seven, yes SEVEN piece body. Yikes.
A two piece body is pretty much the norm, and expected on fender style instruments. From new to vintage to custom shop.
June 15th, 2012, 12:45 PM
Your guitar looks like basswood, which is very common in MIJ and other asian made strats. Basswood is soft, light, easy to work and sounds fine, not unlike alder or poplar, but softer and lighter. Because it is so soft, screws will strip through the wood pretty easily though. My two cents, other than perhaps a few in the 50's or a custom shop model, there are no 1 piece strat bodies. Standard MIM's are at least 4 or 5 pieces and veneered to look like 1 piece. For years they were poplar but they may be alder now. Most of the American made ones are alder and at least two pieces. My experience has been that 3 pieces are more the norm for Am. strats.
June 15th, 2012, 12:51 PM
Pretty sure my 80s MIJ strat is basswood.
June 16th, 2012, 04:13 PM
June 17th, 2012, 01:05 AM
There's: solid wood - one piece; solid wood - several chunks glued together (blocks); laminated wood - thin layers glued together; plywood - slightly thicker layers glued together; laminated face - solid wood as per one of the above with a thin facing layer (veneer) glued on; and so on and so forth. In theory laminated bodies or blocks should give a more consistent quality than one piece solid bodies. A veneered facing layer is for appearance reasons only. Artificial materials such as MDF or even particle board should be superior to "real" timber as their qualities and characteristics can be tailor made.
Just thought I'd throw all that in to confuse matters.:twisted:
June 17th, 2012, 11:53 AM
My very subjective 2 cents: A good body should vibrate/resonate well and not be dead sounding. Glue doesn't vibrate or resonate well. The less glue the better. The fewer pieces of wood involved the better. One or two piece bodies is optimum, with plywood or particle board being the least desirable because the glue and mutliple wood pieces doe not resonate that well. That said, in solid body guitars, the pickups are far more important than the wood.
June 17th, 2012, 12:24 PM
My experience has been that 3 pieces are more the norm for Am. strats.
I've heard Damon from Fender UK say 3 piece is the norm for Am Std Strats on one of his demo videos. Mine's 3-piece and sounds great.