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HARDTAIL STRAT VS TREMOLO?


musicalpeace

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Hi guys, I'm considering buying a '74 hardtail strat. I've played ones with the tremolo all of my life, and I've heard from a lot of people that a strat without the tremolo doesn't sound like a strat. Apparently a huge part of the strat sound comes from the spring vibration and that non-anchored tremolo. But the hardtail supposedly has more sustain... So is it a good buy or bad buy? What do you guys think?

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Seing how I bought a Jim Root Strat (which BTW i have been waiting for since
APRIL
:mad:
)...i say hardtail all the way man!!

 

Dude wtf? Thats crazy waiting so long, have you found out what the deal is? :confused:

 

Adnittedly Im not a strat guy, but my hardtail billy corgan still manages to sound like a strat, and yeah the sustain is great :thu:

 

The Jim Root sounds more like an explorer tho :thu:

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I'm kinda torn on the hardtail vs trem thang myself. I'm not sure how much difference there is once the volume goes up. There has to be some. But how do you quantify it?

And how about a blocked trem? Do you gain a bit of the ht vibe that way?

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The last hardtail I had was a 1954 blonde one didn't really seem to sound that much different just a little more sustain.

 

 

+1

 

I had a 79 Hardtail that I really loved. The neck not so much, I actually took the original neck off and stored it and used a different one. The Hardtail still had some strattyness to it just a little deeper and I thought it sounded great. Like the above, good sustain.

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Apparently a huge part of the strat sound comes from the spring vibration and that non-anchored tremolo.

 

 

I'd say that the pickups and scale length have more to do with the Strat sound than whether or not it has a hardtail. Why don't you play it and see for yourself?

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I love my '74 hardtail. It has bg-pups.com v60's in it, graphtec nut and a 4'th bolt under the neck plate to hold things in place:

 

wag74strat004.jpg

 

Sustain is excellent, very beefy sounding on the neck pickup and good shimmer in the 'tween positions.

 

Tone wise, between it and my srv... well, they are so vastly different as far as body/neck wood that I really can't tell you what the trem in the srv adds, or not. I like the srv and the '74 for different reasons.

 

FWIW, there seems to be a lot of 70's fender "prevailing wisdom" as far as their quality - I'm sure there are plenty of dogs, but for the most part I like 70's fender stuff.

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Yeah! that don't suck! NICE!

 

I love my '74 hardtail. It has bg-pups.com v60's in it, graphtec nut and a 4'th bolt under the neck plate to hold things in place:


wag74strat004.jpg

Sustain is excellent, very beefy sounding on the neck pickup and good shimmer in the 'tween positions.


Tone wise, between it and my srv... well, they are so vastly different as far as body/neck wood that I really can't tell you what the trem in the srv adds, or not. I like the srv and the '74 for different reasons.


FWIW, there seems to be a lot of 70's fender "prevailing wisdom" as far as their quality - I'm sure there are plenty of dogs, but for the most part I like 70's fender stuff.

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A year ago I bought a 1977 Hardtail Strat. It was an experiment of sorts. I don't like Strats, and I hate trems, so I thought maybe I'd dig a HT Strat. I still didn't care for the strattiness of it.

 

As for your question regarding the value, when selling my '77 I learned the HT is not worth as much as the trem model. They were bringing a few hundred less.

 

Pic, just because:

 

DSC_4320.jpg

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Well my hardtail is a Washburn Custom Shop WM3 with a TOM bridge. To me it is the perfect guitar to get that acoustic strum sound without the electronics (no piezo). I much prefer it to my two Fender Strats for that jangly chord driven stuff, and with a Custom Custom in the bridge it can handle leads and heavier stuff as well, but it's a real disappointment in the quack positions.

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Never really saw the point of hardtail Strats ... if I didn't use the wigglestick as much as I do, I'd probably be playing a Tele most of the time ... WITH A STRAT PICKUP AT THE NECK.

 

And yes ... the trem springs add a kind of 'natural reverb' to the classic Strat tone ... which is why the likes of Eric Clapton and Ry Cooder use trem-blocked regular Strats rather than hardtails.

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I'm a big fan of the Strat trem - I use it a fair bit, but even if I didn't I still think it contributes to the overall sound.

 

There aren't as many 70s Strats around as there used to be, but they still turn up fairly regularly. I'd wait until you find one with a trem.

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Dude wtf? Thats crazy waiting so long, have you found out what the deal is?
:confused:

Adnittedly Im not a strat guy, but my hardtail billy corgan still manages to sound like a strat, and yeah the sustain is great
:thu:

The Jim Root sounds more like an explorer tho
:thu:

I know...please dont get me started...yeah there are plenty of dealers that have one in stock, but since i ordered from my guy for a nice deal, he had to order it..but the US Fender stuff is WAY behind...A few weeks ago i called Fender and they said it looks like it would ship to the dealer in August...I called Fender yesterday to check up and the guy said theres no way he can determine when it goes out, and that the US stuff can be like 9 months out but he sounded like he didnt know dick.WTF?? I spoke to the dealer and he said his delivery status of August has not changed, so we'll see...i think ill call again today to see what kind of different answer i get today.

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I used to prefer the hardtail, i had the big apple (two humbucker) strat of the early 2000's which sounded super fat and really powerful. In recent years i've definitely gone more the way of the trem, although it does take a bit of the sustain away it give you something extra in the guitars percussiveness, thats something i do love about the classic strat sound.

 

I think hardtails definitely still sound stratty but they have a smoother attack and a longer sustain.

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sometimes the trem on my strat annoys me if i'm trying to play very staccato, I can definitely hear the springs vibrating and creating their own reverb sort of sound. its not always noticeable but when it is its annoying. I never use the trem anyway so I'd go for a hardtail.

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Hi guys, I'm considering buying a '74 hardtail strat from a friend. I've played ones with the tremolo all of my life, and I've heard from a lot of people that a strat without the tremolo doesn't sound like a strat. Apparently a huge part of the strat sound comes from the spring vibration and that non-anchored tremolo. But the hardtail supposedly has more sustain... So is it a good buy or bad buy? What do you guys think?

 

 

As far as the sound and overall tone, thats purely up to you; everyone has their own opinion, and what someone else says might not even be in the ballpark as what your own ears tell you. I stick with hardtails for mostly aesthetic & functional reasons, but hey, its whatever you want.

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sometimes the trem on my strat annoys me if i'm trying to play very staccato, I can definitely hear the springs vibrating and creating their own reverb sort of sound. its not always noticeable but when it is its annoying. I never use the trem anyway so I'd go for a hardtail.

 

 

cut a rubber band, then tie it around the springs, they then wont ring out but the spring still work for trem action!

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If you don't use the tremolo on a Strat, it's really easy to lower the trem against the body, tighten the trem-claw screws a few turns into the body and raise up the bridge saddles. Then, you get the sustain + extra beefy sound that a hardtail offers along with the springy reverb sound from the trem. Or, if you prefer not to hear the springs ring, you can wedge a piece of foam against them and they are easily silenced.

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I'm leaning more towards the trem strats at the moment, because it sounds like they're much more versatile. Sounds like I can get the hardtail effect (with less sustain though) just by eliminating string vibration. And also do sick dive bombs and manipulate feedback like hendrix. Plus investmentwise, if the trem is worth more now, it's probably going to continue to be worth more...

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If you don't use the tremolo on a Strat, it's really easy to lower the trem against the body, tighten the trem-claw screws a few turns into the body and raise up the bridge saddles.

 

 

fwiw, I always set my trem'ed strats decked like that. It comes from playing out, and breaking strings - if you have your bridge floating and break a string, your guitar goes out of tune, usually a lot, and can really hork up a song. With the trem decked, as long as you can muscle through without whatever string breaks, you're ok!

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