Fender to Discontinue Ash Bodies In Production Models

Fender American Original 70s Jazz Bass Natural

Fender will be phasing out ash bodies in their production models due to environmental concerns. Ash trees have been declining at an alarming rate due to an insect called the Emerald Ash Borer, which destroys the trees, as well as flooding due to climate change. The story was first reported by GearNews.com.

“In order to uphold our legacy of consistency and high quality we, at Fender, have made the decision to remove ash from the majority of our regular production models,” the company writes. “What little ash we are able to source will continue to be made available in select, historically appropriate vintage models, as supplies are available.”

Fender has already begun phasing out some ash models. The company confirmed to No Treble that all of the American Original Series basses that are currently built with ash will remain in the lineup. Custom Shop instruments will also continue to be built with ash. Fender also writes that they will debut new construction methods and techniques to make the most of their remaining ash stock, plus experiment with new and historical woods.

Fender has used ash since its first game-changing instruments: the 1950 Telecaster and 1951 Precision Bass. “This marks the beginning of a new chapter at Fender that we hope will inspire musicians with beautiful new tone wood combinations, new resonant body styles and bold new sounds – as always with our continued commitment to quality and value,” Fender concludes. “With your help, we believe we will continue to achieve unprecedented success together.”

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  1. Bob

    I was under the impression that Fender used Swamp Ash back in the day – grew fast, plentiful, and far lighter than the Northern White Ash we have in Michigan. If anything, folks who sustainably harvested trees that were killed by the Ash Borer have lots of material to work with – at least I do.

    • jeff henning

      While they want to act like they’re being environmentally responsible, I suspect the only thing they care about is the cost due to it becoming a rare commodity.

      Personally, I’ve always thought that their basses are overrated. They’re good, but not THAT good.

  2. graham

    Rosewood..now ash, big message folks, we need to use resources responsibly. So question.. why are mahogany bodied guitars so damn cheap in comparison to ash/poplar whatever. There is no management of mahogany becuase it comes from rainforests..

  3. Erik

    These days Fender Seems like it’s always an excuse for taking this and that away 1st it was this nonsense about Rosewood now it’s Ash … No other company or custom luthiers has these problems but Fender does…pffft