Hollow Strat Construction



Everyone seems to be more than happy with their hollow strats, I'd like to know a bit about them. I've been planning to do that kind of a long scale Mustang or a Jazzmaster, unfortunately Warmoth don't make...

How thick is the top and how much does the choice of wood contribute to the sound? I wonder if the top is bend on the bottom part over the forearm contour or cut to shape? Does hollowing have a different effect on different woods?

I love the Warmoth chambered hollow bodies and have done Strats in alder and mahogany with flame maple, zebrawood and rosewood laminate tops to date; flat top chambered bodies have an 1/8 inch laminate top; there are other carved top body styles like the VIP/LP/L5S/etc that have carved tops have thicker laminate tops, obviously, but I haven't made one yet. The laminate top is bent to the contour, regardless if on solid or hollowed body.

The hollow chambers dramatically increase natural resonance/sustain as compared to a solid body with the same laminate top, and to my ear solid bodies with laminate tops don't sound that much different than a solid body made from the same base wood without the top; but sound DOES differ to a good degree based on top/base wood choice in hollow chambered bodies.

Describing sound is hard to do, but I'd say that generally a denser wood top, like maple or rosewood sounds "brighter", less dense tops like the Zebrawood sound "warmer"; but the more fundamental contributor to the sound is the base wood rather than top. My favorite is flame/quilt maple on alder.

When playing you get more of a sound like playing a semi-hollow body like an ES-335, but the resonance is more "controlled" and feedback is not apparently an issue even at high volume levels as with an axe like an ES-335.

Go for it, you probably will never go back!
I would have to agree with what the "Hack" has to say. Aside form the obvious weight issues, the semi hollow body resonates at a much higher level than that of a solid body, making the sound  sustain longer and "round out" better.  Bass notes especially will sound more full and not muddy.  I would highly recommend the hollow Strat body.  Check mine out on the customer gallery under the name Todd Krueger.  Good luck with the build and, as always, "Rock like you mean it, act like you've seen it!!"    :laughing7:
Sounds very tempting!

I have been thinking to go for a maple neck/fingerboard and alder bottom and ash top, any thoughts?

This is all music to my ears: I'm seven weeks into the 12 week wait for my hollow alder/flame maple body  :toothy10:

Full specs are as follows:
Hollow Alder 2-piece body
Hardtail bridge routing (vintage spacing)
No F-holes
Heel contour
Flame maple 5A laminate top
Black dye front
Cream drop-top binding
Black gloss back
Top routed for S-S-S

Can't wait now.....I'll report back and post pics when it's all done....It's being attached to my Warmoth strat neck.
the comparison to ES 335 is quite accurate, I love how it sounds warm and jungly at the same time!  it sounds bigger than a solid strat body for sure.  and aaahhhh, the weight, you would no longer pick up a LP again. :rock-on: