Bill Alston


Aerodyne Stratocasters Domestic


An ASTM SSH The M indicates Medium Scale

The domestic models fall into two versions the Special and the Standard the standard further subdivides into the normal scale 324mms and the medium scale 314mms indicated by M in the model name. Model Timelines
The model designations changed from time to time but this did not necessarily mean the model had changed. MIJ guitars often have number linked to the release price in yen so as the price goes up they change the number. This happened a couple of times with the Aerodynes then they dropped the numbers completely so models available by year are

Year

Models




2004 and 2005

AST65




2006

AST65

ASTM75/DH

ASTM75/DS

AST Special 100DMC

2007

AST72

ASTM80/DH

ASTM80/DS

AST Special 100DMC

2008

AST

ASTM/DH

ASTM/DS


2010 to 2016

AST

ASTM

ASTM/SSH







There will of course always be some overlap.

Aerodyne Special 100DMC
Released in 2006 at 105,000 yen available in 2007 also. This was a higher quality guitar than the standard. It featured a 2 piece alder body with maple laminate top the neck is a maple oval type with a rosewood fretboard. 324mm scale 250mm radius 22 medium jumbo frets. White pickguard with white covered single coils, which are heavy drive DCS 2s. The colour designations are FLR, FLB, FLA and FLB. These are Flame Red, Blue and Amber and the FLB is a burst which looks like a Red, Brown Burgundy sort of colour. The DMC indicates DiMarzio pickups described as heavy drive DCS-2 pickups .

 
This is an Aerodyne Special in FLA note similarity to the Export SE Aerodyne Classic


Aerodyne Standard Full Scale length models.
The first of these the AST65 was released in 2004 at 65,000 yen only available in black. It looks to me like this is the same guitar as the Aerodyne version 1 released in the west. It is a Basswood bound body with a Maple neck, Rosewood board a 324mms scale and a 184mm radius (about 7.25 ins) a black pickguard with black plastic controls and pickup covers.the pickups are 3 vintage single coils.
In 2005 the price had increased to 68250 yen and new colours added GMB which is gunmetal blue and OCR which is a candy apple red. In 2006/7 it became the AST72 because of the price increasing to 72,000 yen and then in 2008 to the AST which it still is today. The change in name did not mark any change in specification although in 2009 or 2010 vintage white was added to the colour choices.
Left handed version first appeared in 2008 in black only, expanded into the full colour range by 2010.


An AST in Candy Apple Red


The Aerodyne Standard Medium Scale models
These are 314mms scale guitars (in the west this would be described as 24.7 inches) so only a slightly smaller scale than the full scale models. The first release was as the ASTM75/DH and DS models at 75,000 yen DH being SSH and DS SSS models. They later changed name as per the table above. Original release was in black, olympic white or gun metal blue. Candy Apple red was added around 2009.They have Dimarzio pickups described as Full range impact pickups DCS-3 DCH-3 possibly ceramics pictures not that clear. By 2010 however the reference to DiMarzio stops and they are referred to as J-Craft. I cannot find that these were ever available in a left handed version.
Update February 2017
The Japanese catalogue now only shows The SSS model and the SSHM model. The SSS is available in Black, Gun Metal Blue or Old Candy Apple Red, the SSHM in Black or Gun Metal Blue.
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