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cytania

Fender CNC ID Holes

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Following on from the 'why so sloppy' thread here. I did some web browsing about the weird 'CNC' holes Fender is putting in bass bodies. I found opinion was divided about the reason for the holes.

One person though the hole was a test to check the CNC bit was sharp. A lot of people thought they were for the CNC machine to grip or locate on the body.

Put I am now convinced that the holes have only one purpose - to identify the Fender series the body is made for. Check this image I came across.



Now a lot of people out there seem to have responded with a 'meh, it can't affect tone' attitude but then I noticed some bass bodies had holes in the middle of the neck pocket!

That's got to affect the long term stability of the neck screws hasn't it? Almost asking for splits down the line. Is this to make basses easier to smash? Weaken the bolt-on for a Paul Simenon London Calling moment?

My second reaction is why can't Fender identify their guitar bodies by a less intrusive method, like say writing in the control pockets? Like they have for decades...

Does this mean that bodies were getting switched between production lines willy nilly before the innovation of the holes? And if that matters so much does it suggest that bodies are made to remarkably different price points; so the 'I can tell a Squier from a MIA by ear' fraternity are right because clearly Fender cares enough to drill holes to stop bodies being sold as something they are not?

I was eyeing up a CAR American Special but these lurking holes have really put me off it. Maybe it's because I associate holes with drilling mistakes, amateur modifications and wood worm… Or maybe it feels like the a corporate management dweeb imposing their will on Leo's timeless formula.

Might as well have the had the CNC machine cut 'Kilroy Wos Ere' or 'U R Owned by The Man'!

Edited by cytania

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These holes first appeared in the late seventies when there was only one 'series' available. You bought a Fender Precision and that was it: no options from other countries or ranges. There was no need to identify where the bass originated because they all came from the same place.

Sorry, I don't buy the ID theory.

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Well' looking at the pictures I assume a combination of rout, pick guard hole and neck pocket hole. I've not really gotten into 'cracking the Fender code'.

Here's a link to another line up of pictures, this time Stratocaster bodies.

[url="http://www.strat-talk.com/forum/stratocaster-discussion-forum/145704-fender-crop-circles-cnc-holes-explain-please.html"]http://www.strat-talk.com/forum/stratocaster-discussion-forum/145704-fender-crop-circles-cnc-holes-explain-please.html[/url]

It could be random 'bit sharpness' tests I suppose, but to me that's even worse. What it clearly isn't is a necessary part of the production process.

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"[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]These holes first appeared in the late seventies"[/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]But I've seen so many, ahem, topless photos online over the years and never noticed the holes before.[/font][/color][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][color=#282828] If that's so it's a bit like discovering all the old Page 3 pin-up girls where silicon implant wonders :blink:[/color][/font]

[font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][color=#282828]They've been described as 'Fender Crop Circles'. Like crop circles they were rumoured about in the seventies but by golly they're everywhere now! :lol:[/color][/font]

Edited by cytania

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seems strange that MIJ Fender Jazz bodies have no routing at all. i just think its something to do with the tooling a certain factory is using.? interested to find out though

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79 and 1980 Precisions.




You can add the latter one to the routs used to ID the bass. ;)

Edit: Stupid forum software! They're Tiff images, and you'll have to rename the file extension to open them.

OK now added pics for 77 and 81 basses which I've just discovered I had on photobucket. The routs are exactly the same as the first ones..

Edited by Musky

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This was the answer from Strings Direct, who sell the Fender bodies, http://www.stringsdirect.co.uk/c/948/bodies-necks/bodies/jazz-bass-bodies/

[font="Arial"][size="2"][font=Arial][size=2]"Hi John,[/size][/font][/size][/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"][font=Arial][size=2] From our understanding the hole is used for a jig in the painting process for all Mexican bodies as a way to suspend the body. It is only on Mexican bodies and is always located in a place that would be under the pick guard. In the American factory they use a different painting process therefore not needing the hole.[/size][/font][/size][/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"][font=Arial][size=2] [/size][/font][/size][/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"][font=Arial][size=2]Hope this helps[/size][/font][/size][/font]
[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][size=3] [/size][/size][/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"][font=Arial][size=2]Thanks[/size][/font][/size][/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"][font=Arial][size=2] [/size][/font][/size][/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"][font=Arial][size=2]Emile"[/size][/font][/size][/font]

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thanks for that. seems a shame they dont use the 'bit of 2 by 4' as the neck, suspending the body for painting. Fender just dont get the fact that bassists like to take the pick guard off. :(

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Hi Musky, those tiffs coming up as unreadable on my mac. Taking this along with KiOgon's post this suggests Fender have been using holes as erratically in the past for painting reasons but over the last two or three years have made this the norm. Two different paint shops?

Why do Strat owners get three holes sometimes? I looked at the strat forum photos and they're not 3 tone bursts.

Going through the dog-eared pile of Guitar and Bass magazines in the loo and there's Norman Watt-Roy holding his 70s Precision. He took the guard off to be more like Jaco and he'd played it so much the finish is obliterated. No rout, no sign of a hole.

If I owned a Fender and had never taken the pick guard off I'd be feeling a dread 'do I look underneath or do I live in happy ignorance' emotion. Sort of like Schrodingers Cat, but for a hole that may or may not exist!

Edited by cytania

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Will people please stop taking the scratchplate off and wandering around naked. It goes against all common decency. It's like going out without your keks on.

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[quote name='EssentialTension' timestamp='1383383160' post='2263779']
Will people please stop taking the scratchplate off and wandering around naked. It goes against all common decency. It's like going out without your keks on.
[/quote]

concurred :lol:

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"[color=#A4A4A4][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=3]My conscious mind is a friend, forever growing with me. My sub-conscious mind is the stranger who teaches my friend who I am."[/size][/font][/color]

Like your sig line bubinga. That is deeply wise.

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I guess some MIA Fenders are made with MIM bodies then because my Jazz Definately had the holes & bought it new.
Nice one Fender !

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[quote name='cytania' timestamp='1383383102' post='2263778']
Hi Musky, those tiffs coming up as unreadable on my mac. Taking this along with KiOgon's post this suggests Fender have been using holes as erratically in the past for painting reasons but over the last two or three years have made this the norm. Two different paint shops?

Why do Strat owners get three holes sometimes? I looked at the strat forum photos and they're not 3 tone bursts.

Going through the dog-eared pile of Guitar and Bass magazines in the loo and there's Norman Watt-Roy holding his 70s Precision. He took the guard off to be more like Jaco and he'd played it so much the finish is obliterated. No rout, no sign of a hole.

If I owned a Fender and had never taken the pick guard off I'd be feeling a dread 'do I look underneath or do I live in happy ignorance' emotion. Sort of like Schrodingers Cat, but for a hole that may or may not exist!
[/quote]

OK, now edited my post.

The router holes only appeared in the late 70's. They have been the norm since then, though not all basses have them as has already been noted. Norman's bass is earlier.

You can ID the basses from the way the control cavities are routed, so no need to stick extra holes in there.

Why do Fender use them? No idea, other than they can and it's probably cheaper than messing about with paint sticks or other methods of securing the bass. Fender has always been about mass manufacturing methods in order to keep costs down. The fact that this has been going on for 30+ years doesn't appear to have lost them too many sales.

I think you're over thinking all this. The simplest explanation is that they're used in the manufacturing process, as has already been stated.

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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Squiers yet :rolleyes: have you seen the holes in some of them :lol: ;) :unsure: only joking Squier owners :blink:

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[quote name='KiOgon' timestamp='1383385080' post='2263820']
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Squiers yet :rolleyes: have you seen the holes in some of them :lol: ;) :unsure: only joking Squier owners :blink:
[/quote]

Doh....Now I just have to take the plate off my VM :mellow:

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Overthinking? Well it certainly has me struggling to pin down why anyone would do that. Soon as I saw it I felt annoyance. Something beautiful spoilt…

Sorry to everyone who's cool with it. Just my gut reaction that's all.

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I felt exactly the same when I took my plate off and found routs the same as the blue one above. The straight rout with the grounding wire really is pointless. :(

Perhaps I'm underthinking things. It seems to be a trait in my day to day life! :lol:

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[quote name='cytania' timestamp='1383388758' post='2263879']
... Something beautiful spoilt…
[/quote]
The main purpose of a Fender pickguard (there's a misnomer) is to hide what is not beautiful in a mass production process.

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I'm sure I've said this before (like the last time there was this bellyaching) - if you want a bass with no pickguard, then buy one which was designed not to have a pickguard ;)

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