So, there is a balance of scale length and playability. These first few years (1982–1984) of reissues, known as American Vintage Reissues, are now high-priced collector's items and considered as some of the finest to ever leave Fender's Fullerton plant, which closed its doors in late 1984.[26]. 19 1/8". Scale: The scale length of most Fender and Squier guitars is 25.5”, which can be found on Strats, Telecasters, and others. 13 1/2". The Stratocaster's body is front-routed for electronics, which are mounted in a plastic pickguard. The distinctive body shape, which has become commonplace among electric guitars, was revolutionary for the time period, and for the first time a mass-market electric guitar did not significantly resemble earlier acoustic models. [26] Some early reissues from 1986 were crafted with leftover parts from the Fullerton factory. Originally two- or three-tone sunburst; many other colors subsequently produced. Despite being credited with inventing the most popular electric guitar in history, Leo Fender made very few alterations to the basic design of the Fender Stratocaster (and the Telecaster for that matter) up until 1965 when the company was sold to CBS Instruments. The Strat Plus was produced from 1987 to 1999 and was equipped with Lace Sensor pickups, a roller nut, locking tuners, a TBX tone control and a Hipshot tremsetter. A big difference between the Stratocaster and the Les Paul is their scale length—the length of the strings measured from the nut to the bridge. This is true, as long as both are strung with the same gauge strings. It is a double-cutaway guitar, with an extended top "horn" shape for balance. Body Depth. Though advertised as "Tremolo" (a change in volume amplitude), vibrato is the correct term for pitch variation. Many different colors have been available. As they followed Jimi Hendrix's popularity on TV, CBS asked for the word Stratocaster on the headstock be made larger so that people could read the model name easily. This thicker board lasted until 1962, when the fretboard was made with a thinner 'veneer' of Brazilan Rosewood. Commonly used short scales are 25, 24.9, 24.75, and 24.625 inches. But in general, when we’re talking about Gibson’s, we’re referring to a nominal 24 and three-quarter inch scale. The "quacky" or "doinky" tone of the bridge and middle pickups in parallel, popularized by players such as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Gilmour, Rory Gallagher, Mark Knopfler, Bob Dylan, Eric Johnson, Nile Rodgers, Scott Thurston, Ronnie Wood, John Mayer, Ed King, Eric Clapton as a solo artist [20] and Robert Cray, can be obtained by using the pickup selector in position 2; similarly the middle and neck pickups in parallel can be obtained in position 4. 1954–1959, one piece maple necks (including fretboard); 1962–1966, thin Brazilian rosewood fretboard known as a "veneer-board"; 1954–1964, Spaghetti logo on the headstock; 1964–1967, gold "transition" logo on the headstock with small writing of the word "Stratocaster"; 1968–1980, black CBS logo with larger printed "STRATOCASTER" on the headstock; 1966–1969, Indian rosewood or optional separate laminated "maple cap" fretboards; 1954–1977, three way pickup selector switch; 1954–1982, 7.25 inch radius board with small frets by modern standards; 1954–1971, 4 bolt back plate at neck joint; 1971–1979, 3 bolt back plate with MicroTilt, This page was last edited on 3 December 2020, at 14:02. Guitars that duplicate the Stratocaster by other manufacturers are sometimes called S-Type or ST-type guitars. Indian Laurel … It always stays right around 24 and three-quarter inches, but it’s gone anywhere from 24 and five-eighths down to 24 and nine-sixteenths, depending on the era you’re talking about: courtesy of StewMac. The Les Paul has a 24.75-inch scale length, while the Stratocaster has a 25.5-inch scale length. As the average gauge has decreased over the years, modern Stratocasters are equipped with three springs as a stock option in order to counteract the reduced string tension. However, from the mid- 20th Century luthiers seeking increased volume have moved to a 26 inches (660 mm) scale, which is now the standard for such leading makers as Ramirez. 12 Fret - 6 String. This neck allows you to change the scale length of your 25-1/2" Fender® scale guitar to the shorter Gibson® scale of 24-3/4". The Custom Classic Strat was intended to be a combination of the best aspects of vintage and modern Strats. As mentioned in the introduction, scale length is the distance between the bridgeand the nut of a guitar. Short Scale Electric Guitars: What are they? In 1965, George Harrison and John Lennon acquired Stratocasters and used them for Help!, Rubber Soul and later recording sessions; the double unison guitar solo on "Nowhere Man" is played by Harrison and Lennon on their new Stratocasters.[21][22][23][24]. During this time, vintage instruments from the pre-CBS era became popular. The Stratocaster's double cutaways allowed players easier access to higher positions on the neck.[8]. Now, what is scale length? [5] The Stratocaster's sleek, contoured body shape (officially referred to by Fender as the "Original Contour Body"[6][7]) differed from the flat, squared edge design of the Telecaster. To summarise, the specific features in the evolution of the Fender Stratocaster between 1954 and 1979 included:[13]. 1985 "Contemporary" Stratocaster with original (pre-CBS) headstock shape, locking tremolo and humbuckers. Body Shape: Stratocaster Neck Material: Maple Neck Finish: Natural Satin Neck Shape: "C" Shape Scale Length: 24" (610 mm) Fingerboard Radius: 9.5" (241 mm) Number of Frets: 20 Frets Size: Medium Jumbo String Nut: Synthetic Bone Nut Width: 1.61" (40.9 mm) Position Inlays: Cream Dots Truss Rods: Head Adjust Bridge Pickup: Standard Single-Coil Strat Yet for a player for whom the standard Gibson scale length of 624mm (24.6") is 'home', Fender's 648mm (25.5") can feel, initially at least, quite different - not least the added string tension. Original Stratocasters were manufactured with five vibrato springs (three in late 1953 prototypes) attached to a milled inertia block and anchored to the back of the body. Various other modern American-made Stratocasters have been produced. The "C" Shaped neck was maple with either maple or rosewood finger board and 22 jumbo frets. Modern "American Vintage Reissue 1962" Stratocaster. The 25½ inch scale length is renowned for producing a rich, strong, bell-like tone with a well-defined bottom end. In 1956, Fender began using alder for sunburst and most custom-color Stratocaster bodies. As string gauges have changed, players have experimented with the number of springs (often four though Hendrix used five). Bullet® Stratocaster® HT HSS, Laurel Fingerboard, Shell Pink. The American Standard Stratocaster is the same great best-selling, go-to guitar it has always been, and now it´s upgraded with aged plastic parts and full-sounding Fender Custom Shop Fat ´50s pickups. In 1959, Fender introduced a thick Brazilian rosewood fretboard to the Stratocaster, now colloquially referred to as a "slab-board". The further apart the notes are, the more stretching and shifting around will be required to play them. Different guitar manufacturers opt for different scale lengths for tonality purposes. His remarkable playing style and musical prowess led to a dramatic increase in sales and thrust the Stratocaster into musical history as the premier electric guitar. The archetypical Stratocaster is a solid-body electric guitar with a contoured asymmetric double-cutaway body with an extended upper horn; the body is usually made from alder or ash. The 25-1/2" produces a rich, strong, bell-like tone, and defined low-end. Body Width. Nearly all of the 1960s models of the Stratocaster had a rosewood fretboard, and maple fretboards would not be re-introduced in large numbers until 1970. A guitar with a shorter scale length (like the Gibson Les Paul) requires less tension to reach concert pitch than a guitar with a longer scale (like the Fender Strat). [3] Pivoting "tremolo" bridges are common, balanced by springs mounted in a rear cavity, and the bridge has six individually adjustable saddles whose height and intonation can be set independently. The benefit of short scale guitar is that you don’t need to … These increased 1970s production levels saw a gradual departure from the high quality instruments of the 1960s and the introduction of Japanese manufacturers into the market. Fender does have short-scale models – namely the Jaguar… Antonio De Torres (1817–1892) used a scale length of 25.6 inches (650 mm), and later makers have followed suit. 1970s Stratocaster with large "CBS" headstock, "bullet" truss rod and die-cast bridge. Pick up two guitars that are otherwise identically … Some players, such as Eric Clapton and Ronnie Wood, feel that the floating bridge has an excessive propensity to detune guitars. They decided to manufacture two Vintage reissue Stratocaster models, the one-piece maple neck 1957 and a rosewood-fretboard 1962 along with the maple-neck 1952 Telecaster, the maple-neck 1957 and rosewood-fretboard 1962 Precision Basses, as well as the rosewood-fretboard "stacked knob" 1962 Jazz Bass. All of these design elements were popularized and later became an industry standard due to the success of the Stratocaster. Whenever playing a Fender Stratocaster or Fender Telecaster, you are playing a guitar with a neck that has a 25.5-inch scale length. In the early 1960s, the instrument was also championed by Hank Marvin, guitarist for the Shadows, a band that originally backed Cliff Richard and then produced instrumentals of its own. As the scale length increases, the notes are spread further apart along each string. However in newer guitars, since the middle pickup is almost always wired in reverse (and with its magnets having opposite polarity), this configuration creates a spaced humbucking pair, which significantly reduces 50/60 cycle hum. Scale Length. Now, the Bullet Strat features a 25.5” scale, so those with smaller hands might want to try the short-scale Stratocaster, with its 24” scale, or the Mini Strat, which boasts a 22/75" scale. The original specifications were used, with three 57/62 pickups, aged pickup covers and knobs, a tinted 7.25 radius, 21 fret maple neck, an ashtray bridge cover, and three position switch (with five-position switch kit included). Neck type Years Scale length Width at nut Width at last fret Thickness at 1st fret Thickness at 12th fret Radius 540S7 / S540-7: 1991–1993 648mm/ 25½" 48mm 64mm 20mm 21.5mm Additionally, the Strat SS means you get a strap, cable, picks and a Fender Frontman 10G amplifier —everything you need to start playing. Fender's 25.5-inch, commonly referred to as "twenty-five and a half", is considered the standard scale length that most guitar companies use. The most widely used scale lengths on the electric guitar are 25 ½â€ (647.7mm) –the traditional scale length of the Fender Stratocaster- and 24 ¾â€ (628.65mm) –the scale length of a Gibson Les Paul. As of 2019, these include the more affordable American Performer Stratocaster (successor to the Highway One and American Special Stratocasters) and the more expensive American Ultra Stratocaster. Late 1950s Stratocaster with alder body and three-tone sunburst finish. One of the most common scale lengths is the Fender 25-1/2" guitar scale. Guitarists soon discovered that by positioning the switch in between the first and second position, both the bridge and middle pickups could be selected, and similarly, the middle and neck pickups could be selected between the 2nd and 3rd position. Start Your Musical Journey. The output jack is mounted in a recess in the front of the guitar body. The archetypical Stratocaster is a solid-body electric guitar with a contoured asymmetric double-cutaway body with an extended upper horn; the body is usually made from alder or ash. [4], There have been minor changes to the design over the years and models with features that differ from the archetypical design. New Bent Steel Saddles with Elongated String Slots, Copper Infused High Mass 100% Metal Bridge Block, Thinner Undercoat Finish for Improved Body Resonance, Tinted Neck, Aged Plastic Parts, 9.5" (24.1 cm) (fretboard radius), Chrome (hardware), Molded rectangular SKB case, Cable, Strap, Polishing Cloth (included accessories), Maple (neck material), 4-Bolt Neck Plate with Micro-Tilt (neck plate), Modern "C" Shape (neck shape), S/S/S (pickup configuration), Polishing Cloth Included (polishing cloth), No-Load Tone Control (special electronics), Synthetic Bone (string nut), Fender USA Super Bullets 3250L, NPS, (.009-.042 Gauges) (strings), All contents and images on this site are copyright protected by their respective owners. Various other companies have produced their own Strat-style bodies known as Superstrats. For example, a shorter scale guitar like a Gibson Les Paul (24.75″) will have frets that are slightly closer together than those on a Fender Stratocaster (25.5″). For example, the Gibson Les Paul has a scale length of 24.75” (although it has varied through the years). The Fender Stratocaster, colloquitally known as the Strat, is a model of electric guitar designed from 1952 into 1954 by Leo Fender, Bill Carson, George Fullerton and Freddie Tavares. Body Length. Fender released their first Stratocaster signature guitar for Eric Clapton in 1988. A guitar’s scale length refers to its neck length. The neck is usually made from maple and attached to the body with screws (often referred to as "bolts") and has a distinctive headstock with six tuning pegs mounted inline along a single side; the fingerboard may be maple or another wood, e.g. [9] The design featured a solid, deeply contoured ash body, a 21-fret one-piece maple neck with black dot inlays, and Kluson SafeTi String[10] post tuning machines. The Fender Custom Shop produced an entry level, team built Stratocaster that was discontinued in 2008. This was tailored to the demands of modern players, notably having a flatter fingerboard, a thinner neck profile and an improved tremolo system. For a similar list of neck dimensions for acoustic guitars see the list of acoustic neck profiles. If the properties of each individual string were exactly the … A better way to measure scale length is to measure from the nut to the 12th fret, then double the distance: For example, if you measure the distance from the nut to the 12th fret on a Fender Stratocaster, you should get 12.75″ or 324mm. It offers more sparkle, shimmer and brightness than shorter scale lengths. Some Stratocasters have a fixed bridge in place of the vibrato assembly; these are colloquially called "hard-tails". Why scale length is measured between the nut and 12th fret. While the floating bridge has unique advantages for wavering pitch upwards (like Jeff Beck), the functionality of the "floating" has been widely accepted, yet disputed by some musicians. A short scale electric guitar is any guitar having a scale length that is less than 25.4 inches. The novel mechanism pivots on a fulcrum design with a six screw bridge plate, allowing the whole set-up to "float" while transferring the strings energy directly into the body. The three-pickup design offered players increased versatility and choice in tone quality over earlier one- and two-pickup electric guitars, and a responsive and simplified vibrato arm integrated into the bridge plate, which marked a significant design improvement over other vibrato systems, such as those manufactured by Bigsby. The Les Paul is 24.75 inches versus the Stratocaster’s longer 25.5 inches. 37 3/4". This has an impact on both sound and playability. Many Stratocaster players opt to tighten the springs (or even increase the number of springs used) so that the bridge is firmly anchored against the guitar body: in this configuration, the vibrato arm can still be used to slacken the strings and therefore lower the pitch, but it cannot be used to raise the pitch (a configuration sometimes referred to as "dive-only"). The Strat Ultra was introduced in 1990, again with pickup variations, and also with an ebony fingerboard. Full-length ‘long scale’ guitars measure 25.5-inch; in contrast, a small scale guitar neck measures from 22 inches to 24 ¾ inches. A single-ply, eight-screw hole white pickguard (changed to an 11-hole three-ply in late 1959) held all electronic components except the recessed jack plate, facilitating assembly. These guitarists inhibit the bridge's movement with a chunk of wood wedged between the bridge block and the inside cutout of the tremolo cavity, and by increasing the tension on the tremolo springs; these procedures lock the bridge in a fixed position. For example, the bridge cover on the Fender Stratocaster was often taken off by players and either disposed or kept in the case. Gibson still advertises this scale length but it is an “abbreviation” to what the scale really is. A popular Fender Reissue Stratocaster was the '57 American Vintage Reissue. This Strat® features several player-friendly refinements such as a slim and comfortable “C”-shaped neck profile, a vintage-style tremolo bridge for expressive string-bending effects and sealed die-cast tuning machines for smooth, accurate tuning. Leo Fender insisted it leave the factory floating (raised up in the back) while designer Freddie Tavares preferred it tightened flush for full bridge plate/body contact resonance. In December 1965 the Stratocaster was given a broader headstock with altered decals to match the size of the Jazzmaster and the Jaguar. The '57 Vintage Reissue Stratocaster was discontinued in 2012.[27]. The company regarded 1957 as a benchmark year for the Strat. [4], The Stratocaster was the first Fender guitar to feature three pickups and a spring tension vibrato system, as well as being the first Fender with a contoured body. Why Would Anyone Want to … When the Fender company was bought from CBS by a group of investors and employees headed by Bill Schultz in 1985,[25] manufacturing resumed its former high quality, and Fender was able to regain market share and brand reputation. A scale length of 25.4 inches, 25.5 inches, or longer is considered long for steel-string acoustic guitars; anything less is considered short. All three boast offset bodies that make them comfortable to play and 24-inch scales—a step down from the typical 25.5-inch scale of many Stratocasters and Telecasters. Fender introduced a five-way selector in 1977, making such pickup combinations more stable.[19]. The proper scale length of the Strat Scale Length is a crucial piece of info that enthusiast guitar builders need to be aware of when building, repairing, and modifying Fender Stratocaster electric guitars in their homes. [1][2] "Stratocaster" and "Strat" are trademark terms belonging to Fender. As the bridge floats, the instrument has a tendency to go out of tune during double-stop string bends. 9.5" (24.1 cm) (fretboard radius), Chrome (hardware), Molded rectangular SKB case, Cable, Strap, Polishing Cloth (included accessories), Maple (neck material), 4-Bolt Neck Plate with Micro-Tilt (neck plate), Modern "C" Shape (neck shape), S/S/S (pickup configuration), Polishing Cloth Included (polishing cloth), No-Load Tone … In 2017, the American Standard Stratocaster was replaced by the American Professional Stratocaster, with narrow frets, a fatter 'deep C' neck profile and V-Mod pickups. Fret spacing is the most noticeable thing you’ll see when comparing guitars with different scale lengths. This model line has been continuously improved and remained in production until late 2016. Like that of the violin, the scale of the classical guitar was standardized by the work of its most famous maker. Pickups: same | Series Body Style: same | Bridge: same, 3-Color Sunburst, Olympic White, Black, Candy Cola, Jade Pearl Metallic, Sienna Sunburst, Charcoal Frost Metallic, Color Sunburst, Olympic White, Black, Candy Cola, Jade Pearl Metallic, Sienna Sunburst, Charcoal Frost Metallic, 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with Vintage-Style Bent Steel Saddles. Early 1950s Stratocaster with ash body, two-tone sunburst finish and single-ply pickguard. Scale length. The biggest difference between the Stratocaster and the Les Paul is their scale length; the scale length is a term to describe the distance between the bridge and the nut on a guitar. The bridge was a Custom Classic 2-point tremolo with pop-in tremolo bar. The following setup procedures and specifications are for your Stratocaster as equipped with the strings that come on the instrument as standard equipment from the factory. After 1965, the Fender company, under the control of CBS Instruments, saw a drop in sales of the Fender Stratocaster to customers. The neck is usually made from maple and attached to the body with screws (often referred to as "bolts") and has a distinctive headstock with six tuning pegs mounted inline along a single side; the fingerboardmay be maple or another wo… Fender’s Telecaster, Stratocaster and Jazzmaster … 25.5" (648 mm) Fingerboard Material. This shortens the distance between frets and lowers string tension for easier, quicker playing. Inter-departmental Dupont support research provided a flexible basecoat for their wood applications. The Stratocaster's scale length is 25.5 inches (648 mm). Fender has also manufactured guitars in East Asia, notably Japan, and in Mexico, where the affordable 'Player' series guitars are built. How scale … Over the years, countless variations of the Stratocaster have been made. The guitar introduced into the popular market several features that were innovative for electric guitars in the mid 1950s. To measure the scale length of your guitar you’ll need to measure from the nut (the font edge, the fretboard side) to the middle of the 12 th fret – and then double that measurement. Early 1960s Stratocaster with rosewood fingerboard and three-ply pickguard. In addition to the two most common scale lengths, many guitars have been built using other scale lengths as well. YOUR “FEEL” STARTS HERE. Fender has produced various 'deluxe' modern American Stratocasters with special features. A scale length of more than 35” begins to be uncomfortable to play unless you have huge … "ART/ARCHITECTURE; Strummed by One Hand, Sculptured by Another", "IN PRAISE OF: The Fender Stratocaster | IN PRAISE OF: The Fender Stratocaster",, "1954 Limited Edition Stratocaster Owner's Manual (Catalog Copy)", "Vintage Guitar Case Study – 1954 Fender Stratocaster", "Vintage Guitar Case Study – 1963 Fender Stratocaster", "Chronological Collection of Fender Stratocasters",, "Custom 'EZ Trem' Tremolo Arms For Fender Stratocaster", "Fender Stratocaster History: The evolution of an icon", "Eric Clapton Speaks: Best blues guitar, Gibson or Fender? In the context of guitars, bass guitars, and other string instruments, scale length refers to the distance between the bridge and the nut, not the length of the neck. Fender Products Catalog 2006, Page 32, Fender Musical Instruments Company. On many modern Stratocasters, the first tone control affects the neck pickup; the second tone control affects the middle and bridge pickups; on some Artist Series models (Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy signature guitars), the first tone control is a presence circuit that cuts or boosts treble and bass frequencies, affecting all the pickups; the second tone control is an active midrange booster that boosts the midrange frequencies up to 25 dB (12 dB on certain models) to produce a fatter humbucker-like sound. [18] When two pickups are selected simultaneously, they are wired in parallel which leads to a slight drop in output as slightly more current is allowed to pass to the ground. In 1985, Fender's US production of the Vintage reissues resumed into a new 14,000 square-foot factory at Corona, California, located about 20 miles away from Fullerton. The first model offered for sale was the 1954 Fender Stratocaster. The modular nature of the guitar, with its easily removable components, left players and luthiers to perform numerous modifications to their own guitars, changing out pickups or necks to fit the needs of the player. A scale length of a guitar can be defined as the distance between the nut and the saddle. Most Stratocasters have three single-coil pickups, a pickup selector switch, one volume control and two tone controls.

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