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Swimming pool route, why is it bad?


honeyiscool

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I've always noticed that my electric guitar with the greatest amount of sustain and acoustic volume is a Squier Jagmaster with the mother of all swimming pool routes (looks roughly like this):

 

331384079_tp.jpg

 

Of course, it's fitted with a trem as well, so there's hardly any weight in the middle of the guitar at all. I believe it is alder, and even with all the weight missing (and a tiny zinc trem block), it is a heavy guitar, weighing in at 8.6 pounds, making it heavier than several Les Paul style guitars I've had.

 

Anyway, the point is, it's by far the loudest guitar I have when playing acoustically, louder than any of the guitars I have (Strat, Tele, LP style), and there's an excellent clarity and singing quality to its acoustic sound that carries over when plugged in. It sustains extremely well, and I don't know, is it just me or is the huge pickup cavity imparting almost an acoustic quality to the sound?

 

So what's so bad about swimming pool again?

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It's bad because Leo didn't do it that way. At least that's the only reason I can come up with - that some people are so stuck in tradition that anything different is automatically labelled as wrong or bad.

 

I know some people (on message boards, never irl) claim that they can hear a difference. I doubt that very much

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I wish that all of my Strat-type guitars with pickguard mounted pups and electronics had a swimming pool route, they're all hum-sing-hum routes. If they had swimming pool routes, it would make it a lot easier to get the wires, pups, and pots back in and the pickguard back on right after working in there.

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I like it for modding. However, sometimes I play really hard and hitting the pickguard in certain spots really makes for an annoying percussive effect that really bothers me.

 

I have a squier strat that has a swimming pool route. I use it for testing different pickups and wiring schemes. If I like it I move the electronics over to my main Warmoth strat.

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It would seem to me that a swimming pool route is, to some degree, chambered..., thus giving it some of the attributes of a chambered body. In my experience, chambered bodies are acoustically louder and punchier so I am fine with it.

 

I believe it to be a purist thing.

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From a manufacturing standpoint a bigger route costs more to make. Sure the cost is small to Fender with its CNC machines. But with their kind of volume it probably still adds up to enough cash that someone can get a bonus just by pointing out how much he saves the company every year by not doing it.

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i have one strat copy with the swimming pool. I have 3 or 4 other stratty guitars that have the traditional routing. To be honest, there is no difference to me one way or the other. I didn't know it was a swimming pool until I took the pickguard off.

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From a manufacturing standpoint a bigger route costs more to make. Sure the cost is small to Fender with its CNC machines. But with their kind of volume it probably still adds up to enough cash that someone can get a bonus just by pointing out how much he saves the company every year by not doing it.

 

 

Are you sure about this? It would seem to me that one large rectangle would be much easier to do than 3 individual pickup routes with all the curves and whatnot regardless of the CNC.

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It's bad because Leo didn't do it that way. At least that's the only reason I can come up with - that some people are so stuck in tradition that anything different is automatically labelled as wrong or bad.


I know some people (on message boards, never irl) claim that they can hear a difference. I doubt that very much

 

 

+1

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It really depends on where the chamber is for the chamber to impact positively on tone in my experience. My Charvel/ESP parts caster has half swimming pool for the front and middle pick ups, then its just a humbucker rout for the bridge pick up as originally the ESP body came from an M1. This makes the bridge pickup sound way different to a full swimming pool rout in my opinion

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Are you sure about this? It would seem to me that one large rectangle would be much easier to do than 3 individual pickup routes with all the curves and whatnot regardless of the CNC.

 

 

Ease is not the issue, time is. Routing away wood takes time. The more wood is routed away, the more time is needed. Compare the surface area of SSS or HSS routes to a swimming pool route. In some cases a pool route almost doubles the area to be carved away. The complexity of the SSS shape should be a non-issues because the three smaller cavities are connected by a routed trench, so there is no pause to reposition the bit.

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I won't claim I can hear a difference, but some of the best Strats I've come across were 90s MIAs with the pool route. The fact that they were putting great pickups in them is a much bigger factor I'm sure, but the big rout certainly wasn't hurting anything. I know one of SRV's favorite Strats had an enormous tub route because a previous owner crammed four humbuckers in it.

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I agree that it is similar to a chambered body as far as tone is concerned. My experience is that it adds to a fatter sound (louder acoustically), but if anything, takes away from the sustain. I have one guitar currently with the swimming pool route which is a Washburn USA WM3 - kind of a short-scaled, set-neck, stop-tail take on a Stratocaster. I love this guitar for it's acoustic quality - actually sounds like an acoustic guitar plugged in, which is great for those jangly things (better than my two Strats or Tele for that application). It doesn't have as much sustain though and I don't like it as much for leads.

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From a manufacturing standpoint a bigger route costs more to make. Sure the cost is small to Fender with its CNC machines. But with their kind of volume it probably still adds up to enough cash that someone can get a bonus just by pointing out how much he saves the company every year by not doing it.

 

 

I'd wager that the extra cost of doing the rout is more than paid for in corresponding savings from inventory simplification.

 

EG

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"Bad" may not really be the operative word here. Typically, when someone would buys a solid body guitar, they would expect to get just that...a solid body guitar. Not a guitar with a route the size of Lake Superior covered over with a pickguard. I think there's a point where a huge route versus the same guitar with a minimal route may have some sonic differences. But that difference may be negligible.

 

Quite frankly, for me, it's an indicator of the time and care that went into the construction of the guitar. I can appreciate the time, care, and attention to detail that goes into removing only the amount of wood necessary to install the electronics.

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It isn't bad. The swimming pool route is actually quite good.Don Grosh and G&L use it.

 

 

yup Nothing wrong with a 'pool route,my Legacy sounds great .

 

My MIM strat sounds good too and it's SSS .

 

People are way too anal about this sort of stuff .

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