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Picture of ShneaSIG
posted
After an extended, almost 20 year hiatus, I've taken up an instrument once again. Actually, instruments. Once upon a time, I started learning to play bass, but quit because I was an impatient youth and life got busy. I started up again, and my goodness, how I missed it! I've also begun a foray into guitar as well. My daughter and I are actually learning guitar together, which is extremely awesome!

So, now... the question...

I've currently got an Epiphone Les Paul, and I'm enjoying it thoroughly for its thick, heavy tones. But, I have a wandering eye, you see... I have an itch to get a Fender Strat because I also like the brighter, chimey sort of tones those single-coils produce.

So... to Strat, or not to Strat?

...cuz... as I type this... I wanna Strat.

Bonus question: how to tell the wife. Wink


-ShneaSIG


Oh, by the way, which one's "Pink?"
 
Posts: 10989 | Location: MO | Registered: November 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go Vols!
Picture of Oz_Shadow
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Adorama has some nice deals on Player series Strats. Very nice guitars. I like their custom Lake Placid Blue color. mid to upper $500ish on sale

A Strat will play different. Some aspects can be more difficult, especially if the coils have extended poles. The knobs will get in your way at first.

A floating trem system does not like alternate tunings. Use the LP for that or go with one of the alternative setups.

No matter what, you want your guitars setup nicely to keep you playing.

The Strat is the most comfortable couch guitar ever made. I play mine unplugged every night while we are streaming some show.

https://www.adorama.com/fe0144...m_source=rflaid62905

Something like that

Tell the wife Baby Yoda made you do it - he used the force

 
Posts: 16343 | Location: SE Michigan | Registered: February 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
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Yes, Strat. I say this as a guy whose main player is a Les Paul.

Look, you'll run into purists who advocate for one or the other and sneer at the opposite. You'll also meet guys who say all you need is a Tele and anything else is a waste of time. A lot of people will just recommend what they like because they like it and they want you to like it, too. Those guys, put bluntly, are full of shit.

Nothing else sounds like a Les Paul. Nothing else sounds like a Strat. Nothing else sounds like a Tele. They all have earned their place in modern music, and are all worth owning a decent example of, and in mostly the original configuration they were offered in. For now, avoid Strats with humbuckers and other weird shit, because they won't sound like a Strat. And no, humbuckers with coil tapping and all that doesn't sound the same. Avoid weird single coil pickups and yes, I'm going to say it, noiseless stacked humbuckers, because often enough, they won't get you the sound you're looking for. People will disagree with me and I don't care, but for what it's worth, I'm probably the only guy on the forum who can say all my guitars are loaded with pickups I've built with my own two hands. I know a little more than the average casual player.

As for pickups, you don't need staggered pole pieces. That concept comes from a time when guitar strings were manufactured differently. Mainly, they all came with a wound third and had a lot of nickel in them. The thin core of this string didn't effect the magnetic field as strongly (and thus wasn't as loud), so they moved the pole piece closer to the string, and while they were at it, decided to run with the concept and adjust all the pole pieces' heights to "balance" the volume. Then string gauges and metallurgy caught up to produce more even volume across all six and as a result, staggered pole pieces combined with modern strings will yield some funky volume variances. Some people like this, but mostly, I recommend pickups with flat pole pieces.

Avoid "hot" or high output pickups. That's not the Strat sound. You want medium or low output pickups, because that's what they were loaded with when "the Strat sound" became a thing. I don't care who used what on what album, the Strat sound is medium or low output pickups. They didn't start coming with hotter pickups until the 70's, when CBS owned Fender. And here's my trump card: You can always add more gain with effects pedals and amps, you cannot add more clarity, you can only take away. Period. More gain from the source = a permanently reduced clarity from the source. It's just how it works.

Strats, in my opinion, can be set up to float, but should not. For the tiny bit of pull up you can get with a Strat bridge set to float, you gain a lot of headaches in the tuning and stability department. For the vast, wide majority of players, the bridge being set up to ride flush on the body is the best way to go. Plus, you get more of a string break angle over the bridge, which means a bit more sustain. If you want a floating bridge, get something with a Floyd Rose.

You don't have to buy vintage, or Fender custom shop to get an amazing Strat. Play a lot of them, learn what neck profile you like best, and find one that speaks to you. Don't turn your nose up at a Mexican Fender, at one point the ONLY actual difference between them and American Strats was the decal on the headstock and some electronics, which are easy to change. Avoid ordering online if you can, unless there's a used one you see that you just absolutely have to have and can bring immediately to a competent guitar tech for a setup.

Oh, and one mod that's absolutely worth doing is a push/push pot swap and wiring it for adding the neck pickup or bridge pickup. This gives you all the standard pickup combos that a five way switch yields, plus two more: bridge and neck combined, and all three at once. Just do it. Trust me on this.

I regret selling my custom Strat I built up off of an '85 Japanese Squier. It surely didn't play or sound like what probably 95% of guitar players out there think a Squier should sound like. Some day, I'll slap together another Parts-caster because my selection of guitars has gotten too Les Paul.

So, in conclusion: Yes, Strat. Very Strat. No question about it.
 
Posts: 12216 | Location: Seattle-ish | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of ShneaSIG
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quote:
Originally posted by Oz_Shadow:
Adorama has some nice deals on Player series Strats. Very nice guitars. I like their custom Lake Placid Blue color. mid to upper $500ish on sale

A Strat will play different. Some aspects can be more difficult, especially if the coils have extended poles. The knobs will get in your way at first.

A floating trem system does not like alternate tunings. Use the LP for that or go with one of the alternative setups.

No matter what, you want your guitars setup nicely to keep you playing.

The Strat is the most comfortable couch guitar ever made. I play mine unplugged every night while we are streaming some show.

https://www.adorama.com/fe0144...m_source=rflaid62905

Something like that

Tell the wife Baby Yoda made you do it - he used the force


Much appreciated! Baby Yoda will need to help me explain to Mrs. ShneaSIG, though.

quote:
Originally posted by P220 Smudge:
....

Nothing else sounds like a Les Paul. Nothing else sounds like a Strat. Nothing else sounds like a Tele. They all have earned their place in modern music, and are all worth owning a decent example of, and in mostly the original configuration they were offered in. ....



This. So. Much. This.

I'm going to end up owning 2 dozen guitars and 3 dozen basses, just wait and see.


P220 Smudge - thank you for sharing your insights! I'm probably going to try to pester you with additional questions as I geek out on guitars. Feel free to ignore me.

I really want that "SSS" type Strat sound. The offerings with the humbucker at the bridge were intriguing, but I wasn't sold on toggling to single coil as being true to the "SSS" sound. The demos I could find sound good - often, they'd sound very good - but while it was a great sounding guitar, it wasn't quite that classic "Strat" tone, even though I'm sure it would otherwise be a guitar that I'd happily own and love.


-ShneaSIG


Oh, by the way, which one's "Pink?"
 
Posts: 10989 | Location: MO | Registered: November 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
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quote:
Originally posted by ShneaSIG:
P220 Smudge - thank you for sharing your insights!


Absolutely!

quote:
Originally posted by ShneaSIG:
I'm probably going to try to pester you with additional questions as I geek out on guitars. Feel free to ignore me.


Oh hell no, lol. I actually really love helping guide players to the sound they're looking for, otherwise, the knowledge goes to waste. If I can help you avoid some pitfalls and get straight to what you want, I'm more than happy to help however I can. If I don't know the answer to your question, I know who to ask. Thankfully, I learned at the feet of some giants in the industry and parted ways on good terms.

quote:
Originally posted by ShneaSIG:
I really want that "SSS" type Strat sound. The offerings with the humbucker at the bridge were intriguing, but I wasn't sold on toggling to single coil as being true to the "SSS" sound. The demos I could find sound good - often, they'd sound very good - but while it was a great sounding guitar, it wasn't quite that classic "Strat" tone, even though I'm sure it would otherwise be a guitar that I'd happily own and love.


Yeah, for what you gain with your typical H/S/H "Super Strat," you tend to lose most of the "Strat" in the process. That setup and sound has a place, and I've owned a number of Ibanez guitars that did this sort of thing very well. Several Japanese RG's, an American RG, a couple Japanese S540's, etc. That's a whole different animal.
 
Posts: 12216 | Location: Seattle-ish | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
of sunshine
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Sure, you want a Strat. And probably also a Tele.

(The Mexico made ones are damn nice, and a good buy. I have a nice forest green Mexico Strat.)

But you may also want a Gibson with some P90s for another single coil sound.

And a Gretsch, and a Rickenbacker . . .




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 49111 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This thread needs some photos...

The current situation. You can see the spot where the Strat should go, next to the Les Paul.



-ShneaSIG


Oh, by the way, which one's "Pink?"
 
Posts: 10989 | Location: MO | Registered: November 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jhe888:
Sure, you want a Strat. And probably also a Tele.

(The Mexico made ones are damn nice, and a good buy. I have a nice forest green Mexico Strat.)

But you may also want a Gibson with some P90s for another single coil sound.

And a Gretsch, and a Rickenbacker . . .



Uh-huh... after the Strat will be a 5-string bass...


-ShneaSIG


Oh, by the way, which one's "Pink?"
 
Posts: 10989 | Location: MO | Registered: November 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of ShneaSIG
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quote:
Originally posted by P220 Smudge:
quote:
Originally posted by ShneaSIG:
P220 Smudge - thank you for sharing your insights!


Absolutely!

quote:
Originally posted by ShneaSIG:
I'm probably going to try to pester you with additional questions as I geek out on guitars. Feel free to ignore me.


Oh hell no, lol. I actually really love helping guide players to the sound they're looking for, otherwise, the knowledge goes to waste. If I can help you avoid some pitfalls and get straight to what you want, I'm more than happy to help however I can. If I don't know the answer to your question, I know who to ask. Thankfully, I learned at the feet of some giants in the industry and parted ways on good terms.

quote:
Originally posted by ShneaSIG:
I really want that "SSS" type Strat sound. The offerings with the humbucker at the bridge were intriguing, but I wasn't sold on toggling to single coil as being true to the "SSS" sound. The demos I could find sound good - often, they'd sound very good - but while it was a great sounding guitar, it wasn't quite that classic "Strat" tone, even though I'm sure it would otherwise be a guitar that I'd happily own and love.


Yeah, for what you gain with your typical H/S/H "Super Strat," you tend to lose most of the "Strat" in the process. That setup and sound has a place, and I've owned a number of Ibanez guitars that did this sort of thing very well. Several Japanese RG's, an American RG, a couple Japanese S540's, etc. That's a whole different animal.



Any thoughts RE: maple fretboard or rosewood?

On my Spector Euro, I friggin' LOVE the feel of the ebony fretboard. It's smoooooooooth.


-ShneaSIG


Oh, by the way, which one's "Pink?"
 
Posts: 10989 | Location: MO | Registered: November 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
of sunshine
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I prefer ebony or rosewood fretboards because they can be left unfinished. I like the feel over a finished maple fretboard.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 49111 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Eschew Obfuscation
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I can't help you choose, but thought you might enjoy this.



_____________________________________________________________________

NRA Endowment Life Member; ISRA Member
_____________________________________________________________________

“The Left want to be our shepherds. But that requires us to be sheep.” ― Thomas Sowell
 
Posts: 5013 | Location: Chicago, IL | Registered: December 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by CoolRich59:
I can't help you choose, but thought you might enjoy this.


Pretty epic!


-ShneaSIG


Oh, by the way, which one's "Pink?"
 
Posts: 10989 | Location: MO | Registered: November 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of ShneaSIG
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quote:
Originally posted by jhe888:
I prefer ebony or rosewood fretboards because they can be left unfinished. I like the feel over a finished maple fretboard.


I've heard some say that finished maple feels sticky or tacky, but I've heard others say that Fender's finish on maple avoids any stick.

I'll have to see if I can't get into a guitar shop around here and fiddle around a bit.


-ShneaSIG


Oh, by the way, which one's "Pink?"
 
Posts: 10989 | Location: MO | Registered: November 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
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quote:
Originally posted by ShneaSIG:
Any thoughts RE: maple fretboard or rosewood?

On my Spector Euro, I friggin' LOVE the feel of the ebony fretboard. It's smoooooooooth.


Yeah, they each have their place. An all-maple neck is going to give you more mids, and a bit more highs. I prefer the way rosewood feels and, in fact, all of my current guitars have a rosewood fretboard. But maple with a light coat of pure lemon oil on it is slicker'n pig snot. Sticky maple boards tend to be dirty, in my experience. On maple necks, regardless of the fretboard, I like to take some 0000 steel wool to the back of the neck and knock some of the finish off, especially on any guitar with a poly finish. It makes for a smoother feel.

Strats didn't start coming with rosewood boards until the 70's. So again, the vintage Strat sound is an all-maple neck.
 
Posts: 12216 | Location: Seattle-ish | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go Vols!
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I like maple on a Fender. Probably my favorite. My LP copy has rosewood. My acoustics have ebony and one has richlite I think it is called, which is hard to mentally accept, but it plays fine and sounds good.
 
Posts: 16343 | Location: SE Michigan | Registered: February 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go Vols!
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I'm going to throw this out there -

Don't take what any of us says as a hard and fast rule. A lot of us have found what we like by trying different things. And still are doing this!

We can guide you to quality guitars and what would be most suitable in a variety of situations or versatile, but you may find you like something all together different.

Enjoy the journey. Try as many varieties as you can. You may well find you like that Strat with a humbucker, or the Nashville Tele or an upside down Jaguar!
 
Posts: 16343 | Location: SE Michigan | Registered: February 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
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quote:
Originally posted by Oz_Shadow:
Don't take what any of us says as a hard and fast rule. A lot of us have found what we like by trying different things. And still are doing this!


This is true and I agree, but I’ll add a few caveats and qualifiers. I made a living for a while helping players find gear they were happy with. I’m no expert, but I know enough to get you in the ballpark of what you’re looking for. When I say “this isn’t the Strat sound,” obviously it isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but I feel safe saying that my recommendations are a decent starting point.

A lot of what became accepted knowledge over the years, specifically regarding pickups and their output levels, got turned on its head a bit in the last 25 years or so. But what people learned before and repeat as fact to this day has not kept up quite as well. Signal processing has evolved sooo much since then. It’s no longer necessary to have high output pickups to overdrive the initial gain stages of an amp, if indeed, it ever actually was in the first place. There is buttloads of every flavor of gain you can think of.

Here’s a timely segue: Eddie Van Halen just passed, and radio stations are playing “Eruption” several times a day now. Here in Seattle, the guitar and amp he used in the studio to record it are in a museum. The pickup he used in that guitar was basically broken. Incredibly low output. My old boss had it on his workbench to reverse engineer it. Michael Soldano had a go with the amp, and figured out that what EVH had told everyone about plugging it into a variac and dialing it up was some nonsense to throw everyone off the trail, and though he had run it on a variac, he had dialed it down instead of up. Soldano wound up coming up with his own take on that concept and released a few models with what amounts to a built in variac to get the same effect.

So basically, when you listen to Eruption, you’re listening to a low output pickup, and a high gain amp dialed to medium-high gain with the amp running at a lower voltage. What you’re hearing is clarity, which you cannot add with anything, and everything between your fingers and the speaker bleeds it away to a certain degree. Everything in the signal chain adds capacitance, which rolls off highs, and no amount amount of EQ can add them back. Those are not opinions, those are facts. I’ve formed quite a few opinions based off of those facts, chief among them being that medium or low output pickups and a very low value capacitor on the tone pot yields lots of clarity and is the perfect starting point for most applications.

Hot Strat pickups aren’t really going to give you that jangly scooped sound that you think of when people toss around names like Hendrix, SRV, or John Mayer because that's not what those guys were using. David Gilmour often gets used as an argument for hot Strat pickups, but I’ve gotten the Comfortably Numb solo sound dialed in with medium output pickups running through a Boss SD1 on medium gain into a Hughes & Kettner Duotone on the clean channel. Low gain sound overall, but lots of compression (compression is also a natural by-product of having pickups mounted to, and suspended from the pickguard, specifically the way they are on a Strat).

quote:
Originally posted by Oz_Shadow:
We can guide you to quality guitars and what would be most suitable in a variety of situations or versatile, but you may find you like something all together different.


Absolutely. Play everything you can get your hands on. You may find that you get bored with the “Strat sound” but you really love the way a Les Paul Jr with a single bridge P-90 sounds, as JHE suggested. Here’s an opinion from a former coworker: the bridge P-90 is The Rock and Roll sound, not a bridge humbucker. He had a pretty well-reasoned and deep argument for it that I had a hard time arguing with, even though I prefer a humbucker.

Basically, yes, there are some hard-and-fast rules, but what you need to be aware of is opinion presented as fact, and in this realm, basically everyone does it to some degree or another. Some statements I’ve made would be seen as trolling on some forums, and a lively debate would follow. But anything I’ve said here along those lines is only intended to help get you in the ballpark of the sound you’re looking for, and I do try to speak in generalities. If it helps, view it as a shortcut to “the Strat sound.” Obviously there will be exceptions that prove the rule. Smile
 
Posts: 12216 | Location: Seattle-ish | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Legalize the Constitution
Picture of TMats
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I'm planning to put this Strat on Reverb in the next couple days. If you're interested, let me know. It's a 2013 American Deluxe. It has a soft-V neck profile and N3 noiseless pickups.







It's in very good condition for 7 years old. If you have any interest I'll send more pictures to you and fully disclose a couple of very small dings. Otherwise, have fun in your search.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: TMats,


__________________________________________________________
Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense.
- Robert Frost

Amen
 
Posts: 9962 | Location: Wyoming | Registered: January 10, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes, of course you need a Strat. A guitar players arsenal can't be complete without one. I have some with rosewood necks and some with maple. I really don't have a preference between the two but I do feel like it's a bit easier to play lead on maple. In case you're on a budget don't hesitate to look at Fender's Squire series. I've been shocked at how good some of them are.


No one's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.- Mark Twain
 
Posts: 2723 | Location: TX | Registered: October 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Throwin sparks
makin knives
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Oh buddy, you wont get much help here on the Wife, but I like what P220Smudge shares. I think everyone needs a Strat in their lineup. I have my Lovely Gibson Les Paul, numerous PRS, Teles, Marrtin,Taylor, Breedlove. They ALL have a place that is unique to each. GAS is strong..........I could very easily turn into a collector, well wait........... Check out Sweetwater.com, i think they are one of the BEST in the business, with a return policy that is STELLAR! its not that far from Christmas is it? shame on me..

https://imgur.com/a/nskHoCf
 
Posts: 5838 | Location: Nashville Tn | Registered: October 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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