Any views on the Fender Highway 1 Stratocaster?.....

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

  1. psklaroff

    psklaroff Member

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    Hi All,

    I'm contemplating getting a Fender Highway 1 Strat (Honey Blonde - RW neck) and was wondering what thoughts or views you folks had on it...(against say, the American Standard etc...)

    Thanks

    Pete
     
  2. benjammin420

    benjammin420 Member

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    i was comparing the highway 1 to the classic player 60, i was going to get one or the other. The highway one had a slimmer neck, hotter pickups and over-all lighter in weight. But it felt light in a cheap sort of way, the CP is alot more solid feeling and has beefy, vintage tone. whereas the highway 1 sounded thinner, 'spankier.' I thought the highway 1 felt and sounder more like a MIM standard (more so then the MIM classic player). in the end i went with the CP 60, but everyone and a while at the guitar store ill pickup a hwy 1 and strum it for a while. I still like the neck, but i dont love the tone.
     
  3. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    The highway 1 has 22 6100 frets so that makes it a winner for me .
     
  4. psklaroff

    psklaroff Member

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    Thanks...this is all really helpful to me.

    I had heard that the HW 1 had big frets too...so that's very good news as I use 6100's already on my other guitars...(this saves me a re-fret!)

    The tone issue is an interesting one, as I'm after a good solid single coil sound but something not overly bright - which I hear the Alnico III's can deliver.

    A lot of web reviews seem to suggest changing pickups though which has concerned me a bit....any thoughts on that at all?...

    Many thanks,

    Pete
     
  5. benjammin420

    benjammin420 Member

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    i found the tone more bright than the CP. Changing pickups could help that, but could also make it worse. are you looking for more of a vintage, or modern, approach?
     
  6. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    The weakest thing on both guitars is the bridge.Granted the pickups on the CP60 are better .
     
  7. psklaroff

    psklaroff Member

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    Thanks B420...

    I'm after a more modern sound really but with some of the 'bell-like' qualities you can get with the in-between pickup positions. If I could get a front pickup tone close to 'Lenny' or 'Riveria Paradise' by SRV that would be a plus, but ultimately I want a quiet but punchy single-coil, rather than an absolute vintage tone....(if any of that makes sense?...)
     
  8. psklaroff

    psklaroff Member

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    I have read about the bridge pickups being a bit weak....(although I'm keen to avoid a humbucker in the back position as I have this on another guitar..)

    Any suggestions for a replacement if I discover I don't like it...?

    Thanks guys..this is really helpful info...
     
  9. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Pete,

    I just played one at Berklee... my friend got it. He asked me to play and ...

    Loved really snappy tone! Of course his guitar was set up right. Pickups!!! What are they?

    That was great!

    Tomo
     
  10. benjammin420

    benjammin420 Member

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    I swapped my pickups for Hot Noiseless, which i love for heaviness, but the vintage noiseless are nice too (quiet, punchy). Both those songs have a sweeter strat tone, which is what the hwy 1 has i think.

    Eagle1 is right though, ive been having issues with the bridge on my guitar, and the hwy 1 has the vintage 6-point tremolo im tired of.
     
  11. psklaroff

    psklaroff Member

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    Thanks Tomo....

    It makes all the difference when you have heard from another player who has tried one out. A lot of people on the internet seem to just focus on the finish or the type of case you get with the guitar!...

    Cheers
     
  12. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    Swap out the bridge for a Callaham ,510ts or a Wilk VSVG and it's SOOOOOOOO much better.
     
  13. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    You might try changing the wiring so the bridge has a tone control and the middle is open. I did this on the parts strat I finished recently and it made a world of difference.

    I used the Jimmy Vaughan schematic but installed a .047 cap instead of the .022 they use on that model.

    This is the first strat I've had wired this way and I really don't understand why all strats aren't wired like this.

    Good luck with your new guitar.
     
  14. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    My friend did own relic finish on... finish was very thin and great! Tone was great. If you have this and have a good tube combo amp.. you are ready to do anything!

    Tomo
     
  15. SyKrash

    SyKrash Member

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    swapped my pickups out for some suhrs.

    It's been my #1 ever since.
     
  16. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Do you have original H1S 's pickups? email me please.

    I played 3 single coils. That was great!

    Tomo
     
  17. tbp0701

    tbp0701 Member

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    I have an '02 Highway One, which gets played daily (quite a bit daily, in fact). I think it's fantastic, with a deep, singing voice, and it seems I can feel the body resonate even more than my acoustic. This may sound odd, but it's one of those guitars that just feels alive, somehow.

    I had a full refret done about a year ago--I do play it a lot--but the finish is pretty much fine. There are some chips and spots, but it's mainly just glossed up since I've had it. (Do not put one on a stand with cheap rubber; I've seen what happens.) I should mention that my hands are pretty non-acidic; the lacquer on my saxes held up very well, too. As for other changes, a bone nut was installed with the refret, and earlier I swapped out the Pings for Fender/Schaller locking tuners.

    That said, I think mine is a much different guitar than the current Highway Ones. It's first generation, I guess, pre-Greasebucket/jumbo frets/70s styling, and I think Fender basically used the American Standard body and neck, applied a lacquer finish, and paired it with Classic Series hardware and electronics (except for the Ping tuners).
     
  18. AustinIsPresent

    AustinIsPresent Member

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    I love the highway1's. I found "the" strat in a black H1 at guitar center 2 years ago. I was short cash and I couldn't snag it. I think about that every time i see someone loving their strat. Sigh.
     
  19. Drew68

    Drew68 Supporting Member

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    I've really learned to love my HWY-1 after a desperately needed setup. They're a great template for mods, too! I wish I'd bought a truckload of 'em back in Dec. '07 when GC was tossing them out the doors for under $400!!!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  20. psklaroff

    psklaroff Member

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    Thanks everybody...I actually tried one out today briefly and was very impressed with it. The factory setup was not great but the sound and feel was....so it looks like a 'go-er' for me...


    Cheers

    Pete
     

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