From collins_ji–(at)–andem.com Wed Sep 14 23:03:03 CDT 1994
Article: 24065 of alt.guitar
From: collins_ji–(at)–andem.com (Jim Collins)
Subject: Re: Re:’54 Strat Re-issue
Organization: Tandem Computers, Inc.
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 1994 22:51:23 GMT
X-Disclaimer: This article is not the opinion of Tandem Computers, Inc.
In article <354m1aINNai--(at)--phid.apex.com>, roger–(at)–pex.com (Roger Jensen)
> The Custom Shop Strat is not a replica of a ’54, that’s for sure.
> The radius is 9 1/2″ or something like that, and almost all Custom
> Shop models use this radius. ’50s and ’60s Strats had a 7 1/4″ radius.
> The Custom Shop Strat is swamp ash, not alder, though swamp ash was
> indeed used on some ’54 Strats. The neck is like a baseball bat, and
> maybe like many ’54 Strats out there — but then again. not too many
> ’50s necks were similar. It comes with a 5-position switch too, unlike
> the original. The pickups may also not be wound to the exact ’54
> specs, but these also varied widely. Other than that, things are
> pretty close to the original. But it’s still nothing like a real ’54
> or a ’59 Strat.
> – Joe
> Well, he sounds like he knows what he’s talking about but….
> Like a lot of “netters” you just can’t be sure.
> Your post is full of ambiguities like “almost” all Custom shop Strats…and
> “maybe like many”…or..”pickups MAY also not be wound to…”
> And I have to add that it comes with the 3 way pickup switch.
> I had to install a 5 way switch in mine.
> Do your homework before you post FACTS?
> I own one of the ’54 reproductions. It’s everything it’s supposed to be. I’ve been playing for over 30 yrs. and IMO it’s a sweet guitar.
You know what? You’re both right. There are two different guitars, both
are based up the 1954 Strat. The Custom Shop 1954 guitar does indeed come
with a 9.5″ radius and a five position switch. It also has a different
finish on the neck. The finish has the same feel (shiny, not satiny), but
it does not have that characteristic yellow tint of the regular reissues.
Then, there is also the 1954 anniversary guitar. I don’t know exactly
what designation Fender uses for this guitar, but it is different from the
Custom Shop 1954 replica. This one has the yellowish finish on the neck, a
three position switch, and a 7.25″ radius. It is different from the normal
reissues in a few respects. For one, the neck is different. The ’57
reissue neck, while having a 7.25″ radius, has a rather flat profile in the
back, not the V-neck or boat neck one might expect. The 1954 anniversary
has a clubbier neck than the normal reissue. The ’54 anniversary has an
ash body, as the originals from that year did, and the normal reissue has
an alder body. (By 1957, alder was the normal body wood choice.) The
Custom Shop replica also has an ash body.
The 1954 anniversary guitar is distinguishable from the normal reissue in
at least one other respect. The twelfth fret markers on this anniversary
guitar have the “proper” spacing for the year which they represent. The
normal reissues do not. The normal reissues have the two dots closer
together. (Interestingly, the Japanese-made reissue Strat has the
“correct” dot spacing. Japanese-made reissues are clearly designated “Made
in Japan” on the back of the neck, at the heel.)
The 1954 anniversary is the limited issue one — 1954 of them made. As
far as I know, the Custom Shop version is not limited to a specific number
of manufacture. It is fair to say, though, that the Custom Shop version is
not as plentiful as the normal reissues. One of these 1954 anniversary
guitars is easily distinguished by the neck plate, which has the
anniversary designation. The Custom Shop version has a Custom Shop decal
on the back of the headstock.
Hope this helps clear up the confusion.