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Pure Vintage ‘56 Strat Pickups - Why A3?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Ethan2776, Jan 23, 2021.

  1. MrGibbly

    MrGibbly Tele-Afflicted

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    "wound up"...I see what you did there. ;)
     
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  2. FrontPU

    FrontPU Tele-Holic

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    Also there seems to be early teles whose neck pickup is built with A3 slugs though it’s supposed to be A5.
    I personally don’t know this kind of thing is common or exceptional, probably the then Fender had prioritized availability (what they had then) over the fixed design specification?
    I don’t know, but reality seems not always obey books.
     
  3. Goldenshellback

    Goldenshellback Tele-Meister

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    I can’t believe for a second that Leo Fender used one type of magnet for a particular model exclusively. Knowing what I’ve read about the man I can just believe he purchased parts and components at the very best price he could get. So if A3 magnets were used until that batch was depleted and there were A5’s available, he used them. Leo Fender believed in making guitars at a low production cost, make as many as possible, and sell as many as he could. And he did this and the rest is guitar history.
     
  4. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Holic

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    It's not just about pickups, but there are some interesting reasons to pick 1956 - I think the biggest is the switch to alder. Some models could be ash and some could be alder and both are accurate afaik for '56. On top of that, 1956 saw v necks but they were still thick, so Fender could appease a crowd that didn't want the '59's thinner neck.

    Finally, they aren't 100% accurate anyway. They're all nitro instead of having a different sealer and they have a 5-way switch with a bridge tone control.

    If you ask me, it's a pretty much perfect blend of features.

    And I haven't forgotten about the great pickups!
     
  5. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    All solvent based finish all the way through is correct enough for a pre-'63 Fender reissue. It sounds like you are speaking of "Fullerplast" when you say "a different sealer." That was a conversion varnish (a high solids content catalyzed material). It started being used on "all" Fenders (scare quotes because almost nothing was 100 percent at Fender) starting in 1963. The primary pre-Fullerplast sealer was called Homoclad, a brand name for a solvent based sealer. That said, there were various sealers used up to the full-time use of Fullerplast. They were solvent based, though.

    Additionally, the original wiring instructions and necessary components were included, for those desiring accurate old-style wiring.

    The '56 Strats and '58 Precisions were very darned vintage accurate, at least in terms of "hard" specs. They are the most accurate reissues Fender ever made on the standard production line. The other models...not as much. The post-'63 models used the wrong sealer. The white dots and pearloid dots on rosewood board models were the wrong material. The '52 Tele actually should have been given all Philips screws called a '53, and finished differently. The poly finish on the '70s models was the wrong material – nothing like the AUC used on early poly finished Fenders. But the '56 Strat and '58 Precision were about as close as you can get without getting the real deal.

    They didn't dye the neck maple like Fender did in the old days before finishing. The dots weren't made of phenolic resin. But other than those minor nits, the maple-necked AV '56 Strats and AV '58 P Basses were extremely accurate reissues.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
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  6. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Holic

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    I just meant that as far as I know the flash coat finish doesn't have Homoclad underneath.

    These are fantastic guitars.
     
  7. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    Of course they didn't; there is no such thing as "Homoclad" in its old form any more. It is now something that serves the same purpose, but that is formulated differently, as a modern oil based alkyd sealer (now a Sherwin-Williams product, FWIW, which is Fender's finish supplier).

    A coat of modern lacquer based sanding sealer has similar enough properties, and will easily wear through to the wood over years, should anyone ever get that far into an AV.

    It was the right choice, given what's available these days. When you can't exactly match a material, you use the currently available material that will behave the most similarly in real-world use. I would bother to pick nits if a polyurethane undercoat was used, but not any one of a number of solvent based sealers, including your run-of-the-mill lacquer sanding sealer, e.g. Deft or the like. They will at least approximate the way the old stuff wore through. Homoclad will not. It will behave more like Fullerplast than like what Fender used before Fullerplast.

    FWIW, here are clues as to the composition of the sealer Fender probably used on the AV Series (Sher-Wood LOVOC Lacquer Sanding Sealer). As you should see by the following three pix, there is probably stuff in all of these materials today that wasn't there in the old days. Most of the time, we are left with approximating their behavior, rather than matching them chemically, exactly:

    Screen Shot 2021-01-25 at 7.22.21 PM.png

    ...and here is what Homoclad is today:

    Screen Shot 2021-01-25 at 7.24.22 PM.png

    And here's your run-of-the-mill polyurethane from the same maker.

    Screen Shot 2021-01-25 at 7.26.51 PM.png

    Personally, I use simple dewaxed shellac to seal my '50s-style builds. Pore filler over that, then clear lacquer over the pore filler before priming. If a two-tone burst on alder, then yellow dye before the shellac, and skip the pore filler and clear lacquer that follows it. Dewaxed shellac is classic, it was available back then, it very well could have been used by Fender on any single instrument, it hasn't changed a whole ton, and it will behave like an "old" material as the decades pass. It might not be 100 percent vintage accurate, but that doesn't mean it isn't a good choice for approximating such.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
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  8. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    image.jpg Takes about 4 years, to wear down to the wood...
     
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  9. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sweet looking heel. But I can't tell if you have a burst or a blackie.
     
  10. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Holic

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    Got any other shots? Mine is new to me and was hardly played before I got it, so no wear yet.

    And EsquireOK, do you believe they altered the paint formula along the way? Some people report a more durable finish in later models before the AOs came along.

    I'll stop there because the thread is heading off track and it's my fault. My point (like EsquireOK's about paint) was that it doesn't have to be perfectly vintage accurate to behave similarly or be a great example. AV56s are fantastic.
     
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  11. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    Its a burst. I think I’m gonna start a “love for the 56 AV” tomorrow and put up more pictures and just....you know. Gush.
     
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