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  • Teach me about Strats

    I've been playing for several years now and as I learn more and study more and more guitarists, I realize that a vast majority of my favorite players are Strat players (Gilmour, Hazel, Beck, Lalonde, Belew). I've come to love that versatile, clear, single coil tone that I just can't get on anything else. Unfortunately, I've always neglected Strats in favor of more original and unique guitars, but I think it's time I sat down and started looking for one.

    Anyways, there are countless thousands of Strats and I'm wondering if anyone can give me a brief overview of the differences between the majority of them, which most of you prefer, and what would work best for me. Such as: differences between different eras, neck variations, pickup variations, tonal differences between straight and slanted pup setups, etc.

    Not expecting immediate answers, but any help is better than no help. I'm sure someone must be able to link me to some resources that have ****************loads of Strat information.

    Pretty much just looking for the perfect guitar that a small-handed, funk loving Eddie Hazel worshiper could appreciate.
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><font color="olive"><i>My lungs taste the air of time, blown past falling sands...</i></font><br />
    <br />
    Gretsch Electromatic Corvette, Carvin DC127<br />
    '64 Gibson Mercury<br />
    Fender Tonemaster 4x12 w/ vintage 30's<br />
    '70, GE-7, 535Q, RAT, Orange Box, OCD, TR-2, PS-5, DMM, DD-7</font></div>

  • #2
    For what you're asking, I'm wishing I had a bibliography to post

    Probably a good way to get acquainted is to look at the Fender site and read all the specs of the Strats that interest you. They make replicas and reissues of Strats of every era these days, so you'll get a basic sense of which eras are associated with which traits, e.g. maple or rosewood fingerboards, soft-Vs v. C-shaped, pickup types, etc. Of course, there will be exceptions and differences, but that and a good reading of some online histories should help you get a feel for the basics. Try looking at websites for larger-volume vintage dealers, too.

    Comment


    • #3
      Uhh... I like the Red ones

      Seriously though, that question is probably best answered by going out and playing as many different Strats as you can to get your own opinion. What I like could be radically different to what you like. At the end of the day, just go out and play a bunch and I'm sure you can get the answers for yourself.

      Stuff like slanted pickup configs etc. you can experiment with once you find one you like. Find out what neck you like, tones you like etc. and go from there. Though, I'm sure someone can point you in the right direction and give you links and stuff. I'm not that guy
      <div class="signaturecontainer"><div class="bbcode_container">
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      <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>Hopeless</strong>
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      <div class="message">I wouldn't recommend them for metal, but then I also wouldn't recommend playing metal.</div>

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      <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>Django Sentenza</strong>
      <a href="showthread.php?p=46037250#post46037250" rel="nofollow"><img class="inlineimg" src="images/buttons/viewpost-right.png" alt="View Post" /></a>
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      <div class="message">When you've founded an entire branch of science dedicated to quantifying taste, get back to me.</div>

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      Comment


      • #4
        I'd say start at the beginning.

        Three single coils with or without vibrato. That doesn't matter. You don't have to use it.
        Nothing special done for the p'ups.

        A nice little amp that can get you your cleans and driven.

        Spend time on the middle and neck p'ups. Not just that bridge p'up.

        Practice getting the tone. "Your sound."
        ------------------------------------------------
        Then, move on after a while.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well I was looking for more objectively-oriented discussion rather. I have played various Strats (though they usually all end up being close to the same configurations), I'm just looking for the finer aspects of them that I can't learn from the hour or two I get to spend in the shop every 2 weeks with the limited collection there.

          In the end I'm probably just going to build a franken-strat, but there's just so many god damn options out there and no way for me to tangibly learn about all of them. I mean, as much as I'd love to, I can't play EVERY guitar in existence. :P

          *EDIT*

          For what you're asking, I'm wishing I had a bibliography to post

          Probably a good way to get acquainted is to look at the Fender site and read all the specs of the Strats that interest you. They make replicas and reissues of Strats of every era these days, so you'll get a basic sense of which eras are associated with which traits, e.g. maple or rosewood fingerboards, soft-Vs v. C-shaped, pickup types, etc. Of course, there will be exceptions and differences, but that and a good reading of some online histories should help you get a feel for the basics. Try looking at websites for larger-volume vintage dealers, too.


          Helpful.
          <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><font color="olive"><i>My lungs taste the air of time, blown past falling sands...</i></font><br />
          <br />
          Gretsch Electromatic Corvette, Carvin DC127<br />
          '64 Gibson Mercury<br />
          Fender Tonemaster 4x12 w/ vintage 30's<br />
          '70, GE-7, 535Q, RAT, Orange Box, OCD, TR-2, PS-5, DMM, DD-7</font></div>

          Comment


          • #6
            There are also vintage style necks that have 7.25 radius fretboards which can fret out durning those bluesy types bends if you like a low action. I prefer a rosewood 9.5 radius fretboard myself if I play a strat. I guess if you like that funk sound you want a maple board. You need to go try out a few to find one you like. I am not a huge strat fan although I have used 2-3 over the years I've come to the relization that I like Les Pauls, Archtops and Teles.
            <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><font color="seagreen">Guitars = Chick Magnet<br />
            Guitar Hero = Guy Magnet<br />
            You do the math.</font></font><br />
            <br />
            <br />
            <font size="1"><font color="blue">HCAG Civil Posters Society, Charter Member #002.</font></font><br />
            <font size="1"><b>Simple music is the hardest music to play and blues is simple music. - Albert Collins</b></font></div>

            Comment


            • #7
              Teles are currently in vogue and lots of folks are on the semi-hollow bandwagon.

              Those are great guitars, but there's probably a good reason strat type guitars can be bought at any shop in S/S/S, H/S/S or H/H configurations with standard Fender trems, hardtails, TOM bridges etc...

              As for specific model... you can read lots of specs, but they won't really tell you if it fits your hand or not. The Fender C is the 'standard' but some folks like a thicker than average neck and some like a bit thinner. I'm pretty easy to please as my three main strats have different profiles and three different fret radii, but my favorite is the Warmoth standard thin with the compound radius. Just a bit thinner than a Fender C and, while I love the vintage-flavored necks, that compound radius is just tits. Low action, nice bending, great for leads, great for chords.

              But seriously, just go play some guitars, mate.

              Where in PA are you located?
              Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius:

              "When it comes to gear vs talent I'll be the first to admit that I sit in the Mayor's seat in Poserville."

              Comment


              • #8
                There are 300 page books just about Strats. It would take hours to explain all the variations and flavors. Get your price range set, and then go out and play as many in your price range as you can. Eventually, the "one" will emerge.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I love my G&L Legacy.

                  I honestly believe G&L guitars are true quality. Their 2-point trem is incredible, the split neck design is cool as hell and the PTB (Passive Treble Bass) system is the best idea in years. But, mostly because I like Leo more than I like Fender.
                  <div class="signaturecontainer"><i>&quot;No one ever goes to heaven deservingly<br />
                  and no one ever goes to hell unwillingly.&quot;</i> <br />
                  -<b>CS Lewis</b></div>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    About an hour south of Pittsburgh, out in the ****************in boonies. You know, flight 93 crash site, Quecreek mine disaster, all that jazz.

                    There are 300 page books just about Strats. It would take hours to explain all the variations and flavors. Get your price range set, and then go out and play as many in your price range as you can. Eventually, the "one" will emerge.


                    Well really I was just looking for the basics to help narrow things down a bit. A little bit of knowledge doesn't hurt.

                    And I've heard nothing but praise for G&L's. I've yet to ever play one though.

                    *EDIT* I'd like to add that the general curiosity stems from not having a lot of shops around here. There's some guitar centers an hour and a half away, but I don't dare step foot in one of them again. The couple legit mom n pop shops around always have such a limited selection though, and even those are of questionable quality.
                    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><font color="olive"><i>My lungs taste the air of time, blown past falling sands...</i></font><br />
                    <br />
                    Gretsch Electromatic Corvette, Carvin DC127<br />
                    '64 Gibson Mercury<br />
                    Fender Tonemaster 4x12 w/ vintage 30's<br />
                    '70, GE-7, 535Q, RAT, Orange Box, OCD, TR-2, PS-5, DMM, DD-7</font></div>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Too broad of a topic. Go drive to your GC and try all of theirs. And if you're bored, here's something to read: http://reviews.ebay.com/Buying-a-Fender-Stratocaster-A-Guide-for-the-Novice_W0QQugidZ10000000001650626
                      <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.&quot; – David St. Hubbins</div>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        About an hour south of Pittsburgh, out in the ****************in boonies. You know, flight 93 crash site, Quecreek mine disaster, all that jazz.



                        Well really I was just looking for the basics to help narrow things down a bit. A little bit of knowledge doesn't hurt.

                        And I've heard nothing but praise for G&L's. I've yet to ever play one though.

                        *EDIT* I'd like to add that the general curiosity stems from not having a lot of shops around here. There's some guitar centers an hour and a half away, but I don't dare step foot in one of them again. The couple legit mom n pop shops around always have such a limited selection though, and even those are of questionable quality.


                        A price range would help focus the comments a lot.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I live in Pittsburgh proper.

                          I started on a Strat, you can get them anywhere.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A price range would help focus the comments a lot.


                            Price doesn't matter. Anything under $2k really. Something under $1k would be great since I'm pretty poor at the moment, but I don't want to limit myself from a world of nicer guitars by refusing to pay over a grand. Besides, buying groceries is overrated.

                            And of course there are Strats everywhere. Doesn't mean they aren't garbage though. Or at least others elsewhere far more deserving of my attention and money. I'm not one to buy the first thing I see without an educated decision and not knowing what to look for, value and playing wise. Otherwise I'd just own an arsenal of pawn-shop guitboxes (not to say that those are all garbage either...but you catch my drift).
                            <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><font color="olive"><i>My lungs taste the air of time, blown past falling sands...</i></font><br />
                            <br />
                            Gretsch Electromatic Corvette, Carvin DC127<br />
                            '64 Gibson Mercury<br />
                            Fender Tonemaster 4x12 w/ vintage 30's<br />
                            '70, GE-7, 535Q, RAT, Orange Box, OCD, TR-2, PS-5, DMM, DD-7</font></div>

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Poor isn't looking for a $2,000 guitar, hoping to get one for $1,000... poor these days is selling plasma and giving handjobs for some extra cash while living on Ramen noodles.

                              Seriously.... it was just a couple handjobs.

                              You really need to go play several of them to see things like what neck profile you like and what fretboard radius and fret size you like. This are the things you just can't change after the purchase.

                              For what it's worth, I'd put a used 60s Classic Player at the very top of my list. Comes with CS69 pickups which aren't my very favorite set, but they sound VERY stratty... Glossy tinted neck and vintage type tuners which IS my preference, 2 point trem which is not my preference but itsn't a deal-breaker for me. The 60s all have rosewood fretboards. Standard neck profile, flatter than average radius, but not too extreme... medium jumbo frets... Basically everything is a slight update from the originals but are updates most modern strat players prefer.

                              And if you are a fan of light blue, I think it's about the best looking sub $1,000 strat going. Comes with the mint green pickguard and aged covers and knobs. I LOVE the look, but everyone might not. Very surfy.

                              They cost $800 new and maybe $600 to $650 used. HECK of a nice guitar for that kind of money.

                              I've been a strat guy for 30 years and have played a lot of nice guitars. If I suddenly lost everything and had $1,000 for a guitar and didn't have a lot of time to look around, this would be at the absolute top of my list.

                              Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius:

                              "When it comes to gear vs talent I'll be the first to admit that I sit in the Mayor's seat in Poserville."

                              Comment

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