Another Strat question....Sorry!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by fataxeman, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. fataxeman

    fataxeman Supporting Member

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    I have 4 strats right now and there is something to like about each one....but not one of them has everything I want (or think I want).

    Neck - I want a beefy neck (I have that in the 90-91 Jeff Beck model).
    Don't like narrow necks. My American model '97 Lonestar and '88 Deluxe? have acceptable widths (although I haven't measured them cause it's hard to be accurate). However, a Crafted in Japan strat that I used to have and a Chinese Squier strat I picked up recently have necks that I find too narrow. I'm talking about the width of the neck here; not the thickness.

    I like both maple and rosewood fretboards. I tend to prefer the maple on darker colored bodies and rosewood on lighter colored bodies.

    Headstock - I want a fat/big headstock. Maybe it's just me, but I can almost never tell from the pictures if the guitar has a fat headstock unless it has a shot of the headstock from a straight on perspective. I know most of them have the smaller one.

    Tuners - I would like to have locking tuners.

    Pickups - I want the most vintage sounding ones (SSS configuration). I hear good things about Kinman, Fralin, Lawrence, ToneRider and about a dozen more. Something tells me Don Mare pickups should be close to or at the top of the list. I want them to be quiet but most importantly I want the pickups to be capable of the trademark "quack" in positions 2 and 4, so does that mean I want to stay away from RWRP pickups?

    Which Fender model (current, MIM, American, reissue, artist model, CIJ/MIJ with wide/chunky necks ...excluding CS and Masterbuilt whatever that is) most closely approximates these features? I know that all the pickups I mentioned are aftermarket but if anyone cares to comment on the best vintage sounding Fender pickups, please do so.

    If there is another thread covering most/all of this, just let me know.

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Mr. Crow

    Mr. Crow Member

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    You have exactly described what I have been searching for, except I don't need locking tuners. I've been looking for quite some time, and the closest I've come is the Fender Hot Rod 62 Strat, but that still didn't do it for me in that I found the neck's width to be a bit narrow. Chunky- yes-, but alas too narrow. Also, it didn't have the big headstock- I love those, I'm a child of the 70's.

    I've come to the conclusion that to get all the features you mentioned, it's going to have to be a parts built Strat. And I'm deathly afraid to head down that alley.
     
  3. Guitarman3366

    Guitarman3366 Member

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    You should build one with parts. I did it and love mine!
     
  4. TwoTubMan

    TwoTubMan Member

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    Agreed, and if you do your research, it can turn out fine. As you seem to have a pretty good grip on what your looking for, it should be a breeze.

    As for pickups, I am honestly sold on the Fender Custom Shop 69's. I have those in a Warmoth Strat made of a Black Korina body and a solid rosewood neck. About as far away from "traditional" woods as is possible. To quote my best friend, "That's the most Strat sounding Strat I've ever played."
     
  5. fataxeman

    fataxeman Supporting Member

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  6. bluegrif

    bluegrif Member

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    If you read the list of guitars on my sig, you'll see I'm a real believer in partscastors. It can be next to impossible to find a Strat with exactly the set of features you're after unless you either have one built or build it yourself. Building one from parts is really fairly easy, especially if you use nothing but finished parts. The finishing is the most time consuming task (although finishing a neck is pretty easy). I have done a full body finish and, while it came out great, I wouldn't do it again. Just way too labor intensive and time consuming, especially if you use nitro as I did.
    My MO is to build from carefully selected parts, then take the finished guitar to my luthier and have him do a fret/level/dress and full setup, which adds about $125 to the overall cost but is what really gives it the kind of playability you get from a custom builder.
     
  7. bluegrif

    bluegrif Member

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    Just one more thought. If you don't want to go the partscaster build route, you might consider buying a nice sounding Strat and just replace the neck. Most of your requirements that aren't available on production models have to do with the neck. You might even be able to pick up a used Fender with upgraded, boutique pickups and/or hardware, but with a neck that doesn't suit you. If it's a US Fender, you'd be able to sell the neck for plenty of money for a nice neck from Warmoth (or parts builder of your choice) that could be ordered with the profile, width, and frets you prefer.
     
  8. fataxeman

    fataxeman Supporting Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the info.
     
  9. Rob Taft

    Rob Taft Supporting Member

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    Myself, I'm a fan of wide necks but unless you go the custom or partscaster route there are not a lot of options particularly when it comes to Strats. I had a 57 Vintage that I didn't really bond with so I purchased a wide neck via Warmoth and I've been pretty satisfied. I also replaced the pickups with Suhr FL pickups and I didn't lose the quack even though they are RWRP and dead quiet.

    I've still been looking for wide necks and spotted the 95 Limited Edition Strat (pic below) on Ebay. It has a factory 1 3/4" neck. I went ahead a bought it primarily for the neck alone. Not a bad guitar and appears to be in good shape but I'll see in a few days. I've also got my eye out for a Seymour Duncan Esquire which comes standard with a 1 3/4" nut but I haven't seen many of those on the web.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Rumblefish

    Rumblefish Silver Supporting Member

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    Get a K-line.He ended my 40 year quest for the perfect(for me)strat.
     
  11. fataxeman

    fataxeman Supporting Member

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    Bump for a couple more replies.
     
  12. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

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    The quack is caused bythe position on the middle pickup, the RWRP cuts the noise in the quack, its the only noiseless position, I use the quack when I overdrive an amps, since the tone is determined by the amp not the pups.

    my opinion is that you want to stay away from basswood, I have a 1991 MIJ strat that is ALDER, but it has a basswood cap, that really screws up the guitar, and the photoflames are beautiful, but if they ever get scratched or worn they look horrid. The low grade electronics and pups had to be replaced after they failed in a couple years.

    personally I have a american deluxe fat strat, to early for the electronics, and I really don't have to have to change a battery in my guitar, the humbucker really opens up the range of the guitar, mine is split coil so I get the bridge single coil pup as well as the humbucker, my pups are rio grande fat bottom dual calibrated, not a traditional fender tone, I have lindy fralin's blues special in my MIJ strat, but that can not be played hard.

    the rio grandes give great tone, and a very wide range of tones, they work well for anything, the fralins are great pups, blues specials have and amazing warm bell like tone, when i put the base plate on it really transformed the bridge pup to one that very aggressive, really love the base plate on the brigde pup.
     
  13. bluegrif

    bluegrif Member

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    +1 on the Suhr FL pickups. I have Fralins and Van Zandts, both excellent choices. But the FL have recently become my personal faves.
     
  14. rockstarjay

    rockstarjay Member

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    70's classic strat has the big headstock and a big "c" neck profile (a plus or amse being a small c). All current production Fender tuners stay in tune if the nut is cut properly and you know how to put the strings on correctly (and I'll go jimi on the talent lever at whim). Pickups blow,but it will take the $35 AV steel block. and best thing NO METRIC SYSTEM! I love mine.

    The AV 70's reissue has a big headstock U neck which is like a big c with an extended shoulder. I hated this neck, which is a shame because I really wanted to buy one. (wanted a big headstock with an alder body). Otherwise a great guitar.

    Not much else in the midrange with a big headstock.
     

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