Between 1952 and 1954, Leo Fender’s team designed the Fender Stratocaster (“Strat”) electric guitar.
Freddie Tavares, George Fullerton, and Bill Carson were on that team.
This electric guitar has been produced consistently since 1954, and it has a double cutaway design with an extended horn shape on the body for added balance.
Fender designed the Strat to be comfortable for all-day play, long gigs, and intense practice sessions, rather than unwieldy and wide.
In 1965, Fender purchased the VC Squier Company. A Strat with this branding is also available, albeit there are some thickness differences to consider.
How Thick Is a Stratocaster Body?
A full-sized Strat body’s normal thickness is 1.77 inches (45 millimeters). The body of a normal Squier Strat is slightly thinner. It’s 1.57 inches long (40 millimeters).
Stratocasters were the first guitars to have some of today’s most recognized features. It was the first electric model to deviate from the acoustic designs of the time, and it not only has a distinctive body shape that has become widespread among most brands.
The enlarged horns, offset waist, and curved back provided superior balance and comfort for musicians. Although other brands have altered the design to avoid copyright difficulties, the innovation that went into the Strat more than 60 years ago is still relevant for today’s guitarist.
Stratocasters have been created in countless versions over the years. Because it has a modular architecture, luthiers and players can alter it to produce a variety of tones.
The necks and pickups are the easiest to replace, but there are plenty of other electronics to tweak for different tones.
A normal Strat body thickness ranges from 1.5 to 1.77 inches, depending on whether you buy the original model, something custom, or a Squier edition.
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Is a Stratocaster a Difficult Guitar to Play?
Throughout the years, the Fender Stratocaster has been the preferred instrument of many musicians. From Clapton to Knopfler, Jimi to SRV, everyone has loved the distinct style and tone that only a Strat can produce.
Although this electric guitar has a lot of familiarity, it has a charm and sincerity to it that not every guitarist can find.
When it comes to refining your tone on the Stratocaster, it’s easy to get caught up in the details rather than focusing on the bigger picture.
You can always wait months for a set of boutique pickups or specialized components, but improving your surrounding gear to improve your sound is typically acceptable.
If you’re looking to improve your tone while playing the classic Squier Stratocaster, these pointers can help you get there.
1. Select the Correct String Gauge.
The Strat should be tuned to the string gauge you’ll be playing with. The saddle heights, truss rod tension, and intonation adjustment are all influenced by the tension and core diameter of the spring claw.
When utilizing a vintage-style single-coil, fat strings sound fantastic. You’ll get more output without the dullness that comes with everything being overwound.
Even if everything sounds wonderful, if you can’t achieve a full tone or your fretting hand cramps, the setup won’t work since you won’t be at your best as a performer.
If you’re looking for something unique and brilliant, I definitely recommend the D’Addario EXL 110-3D guitar strings.
2. Get the Hardware Right
When you start playing the conventional Strat or the Squier variant, you’ll notice that your gear has three distinct areas of focus.
The vibrato stopper
Your saddles, please.
Springs on the guitar
Have you ever noticed how some guitars sound better with aluminum hardware, while others sound better with heavier metals?
When it comes to playing a Strat, the inexpensive alloys that replaced bent steel in the early years of production are among the poorest guitars in the lineup. In some areas, brass saddles are desirable because they can deepen the tone and improve sustain.
For a tone boost, I recommend the 10.80mm Solid Brass Guitar Bridge Saddles, which come in a set of six.
When you buy them in bulk, you have more manufacturing consistency and they’re made exclusively for the Fender Strat.
3. Upgrade the Pickups
With the normal or Squier Stratocaster, pickup upgrades are the most common modification. You can accomplish a huge tone boost by investing in something amazing with this item.
The takeaway here is to think about spending as much on new pickups as you would on the instrument. Some of the better solutions are really quite costly!
Poor playing mechanics or a unique Fender manufacturing lemon will not be cured by a high-quality pickup. It is not a cure-all.
Alnico magnets are also required for a traditional Stratocaster tone. For musicians who prefer old tones, beveled edges are essential.
When picking up something from a boutique, the most usual style is scatter winding.
For this upgrade, I like to use the EMG JH James Hetfield Signature Pickup Set. You get a clear, active tone while still getting the punch passives provide.
It has the same Strat attack as the original, but with lower inductance for stunning low-end fill. With the installation system, you won’t even have to worry about soldering.
4. Change the Height of Your Pickups.
After you’ve upgraded the pickups on your Strat, you should consider their height in relation to the strings. This step is essential for determining the guitar’s final tone.
The only way to investigate the tonal variations that can occur with your instrument is to adjust them. Because each Strat is unique, this is usually the most difficult stage.
The guitar’s strings, neck, truss rod tension, and other settings all play a part in how it responds to varied pickup heights.
When looking for ways to improve your sound with this stage, keep the following points in mind.
Setting the pickups too high can result in an excessive magnetic pull on the strings, preventing the desired vibration.
Lowering the pickups will calm you down while still giving you a nice, clean tone with extra smoothness.
Higher pickups boost the output level, but if you go too far, the sound will become harsh and lose sustain.
If only some of the frequencies are dominating the guitar’s sound, you can only lower one side.
The key is to trust your intuition and hearing. Experimenting is free, and you could end up with a Strat that sounds like a million bucks!
To test your Stratocaster’s tone, use a high-quality amp with a neutral frequency response set at medium volume settings. I prefer the Fishman Pro LBT-600 Loudbox for that job. It accurately reproduces sounds while also providing many recorded or vocal accompaniments for practice.
It’s ultra-clean, eliminates feedback, and comes with phantom power and a balanced XLR for outstanding results.
5. Review the Wood and Finish of the Strat.
The weight and tree species utilized in the construction of your Strat have a greater impact on how it sounds.
A maple neck is standard on almost all Strats. The first instruments were all made of one piece maple.
The guitar’s sound evolved into that wonderful vintage sonic wave we hear with each pluck after Fender incorporated a slab rosewood fingerboard.
This endeavor resulted in a rosewood veneer board. This option grew in popularity to the point where it was included in several SRV signature models. Fender glued the maple boards on during the Hendrix era.
Why does Fender favor maple or rosewood for its Strat models?
The objective is to brighten up the tone. The classic Strat sound shines clearly when Fender combines an ash instrument body with an under-wound pickup.
Although other woods have been added to the guitar’s lineup over time, they have a greater impact on the instrument’s feel than on its overall tone.
The neck size is the one area of worry here. The tone of Strats with a significant design set low has more sustain, snap, and brightness.
When you have a thinner neck, you’ll get a beautiful sounding instrument, but the tones will be darker and warmer.
6. Focus on the Effects.
When artists use the various effects available on Strats, they may create some astounding sounds.
Here are the most important things to think about.
- Fuzz adds intensity and sustain to the instrument while also providing a full-body sensation. Whether you use silicon or germanium transistors affects the outcome.
- Overdrive circuits on a Strat provide the instrument with the necessary output without overpowering the experience.
- For individuals who enjoy echoes, Delay is a wonderful alternative.
- With the Stratocaster, reverb works wonders, producing a clean sound that makes you feel like you’re playing the blues. For environmental washes, increase the decay and intensity.
- The vibe effect is another option for some players. It gives the output greater phase, creating a fascinating sound that fills the room.
Final Thoughts: How Thick Is a Standard Strat Body?
The Stratocaster contains everything you require, which is uncommon in any product. It’s the classic electric guitar that comes in a variety of models. The thickness of the body on a normal Strat should be no more than 1.77 inches. You have a different instrument if it is slimmer or thicker.
A perfect Strat is impossible to find. Some sounds excite people, while others are too strident for them. That is why purchasing this instrument is such a unique experience.
Examining the various alternatives is the best method to select which guitar from this range will match your demands.
Alder and ash are still used to make modern Stratocasters. When completed properly, the former provides some auditory benefits by removing part of the tone richness, whereas ash provides more articulation and presence.
The Fender 75th Anniversary Commemorative Stratocaster is one of the best guitars you’ll ever play if you’re ready to take your talents to the next level. It sounds amazing straight out of the box, but you can tune it to create a unique sound that you’ll adore.
FAQs on How Thick Is a Stratocaster Body
How thick should a guitar body be?
The average body thickness is roughly 45 mm. According to all of the guitar-making resources I’ve read on the internet, cavities are frequently made in inefficient ways.
What are the dimensions of a Stratocaster body?
The standard 1960s Strat body measures 461mm/18.1″ long and 323mm/12.7″ wide.
What is the body thickness of a Fender Telecaster?
Telecaster MDF Guitar Body and Neck Template 0.25″ thickness.
How thick is the wood on a guitar body?
Although classical guitars are made of 3 mm thick wood, the components utilized in this experiment are substantially thicker. String 1 of a classical guitar, the high E string, has been installed in both the 5 mm and 15 mm bodies.
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