Big differences....strats

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Mooncusser, Jul 11, 2006.


  1. Mooncusser

    Mooncusser Member

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    Hi all,

    I just thought I'd post this.

    I have a 70's RI strat/ (northern maple)/ quartesawn neck/ rosewood.
    Fender vintage style tremelo
    CS 69's under the hood.

    Just finished a project strat, for a back up on the 70's RI.

    96 strat body (poplar) quartersawn warmouth SRV fatback neck.
    made by MANN bridge/ vintage stlye tremelo
    CS 69's under the hood.

    I cannot believe the difference in tone between these two guitars.
    It is like the odd couple.
    I have to say the tonal woods and bridges are to be the guilty ones for that, but man I can't get over the MASSIVE difference bewteen the two.
    Share your expiriences if you have had the same effect...
    Take care,
    Mass
     
  2. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Member

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    What I find most telling is that you have the same pickups in both guitars, so it's much more like a apples to apples comparison.

    I have three strats and they all have different pickups. All sound very different. . .but like I said they all have different pickups.
     
  3. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

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    I've got an 1987 american standard and an 1988 '57' re-issue. Both have maple necks and Suhr V60lps. Although both are unmistakably stratty in tone they are very different from one another.
     
  4. dallas

    dallas Member

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    FYI. A rosewood neck doesn't have the sparkle the maple does. It sounds a little darker.
     
  5. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

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    I currently have 3 Strats in the stable, a Suhr Swamp Ash Classic with V54's, a new Eric Johnson Strat, and my old '89 Strat Plus with Fralins. All have maple necks. Sure they all sound different plugged in with their different pickups, but they all sound really different acoustically too. I love strats!:drool Can'tcha tell?
     
  6. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Walk into a Fender dealer and play some identical spec Strats and you'll find they all sound different to varying degrees. IMO, all Strats are not created equal....even with identical parts. You'll find dogs to gems with exact same models.....which is why building a parts-o-caster is such a crap shoot.

    Running the racks can be a pain but there are gems to be found if you take the time. I found a new $600 Jimmie Vaughan Strat that I feel is the 2nd best Strat I've played in 40 years at this stuff, only to be eclipsed by an original '64. Lesson learned....sometimes, if you keep an open mind, you can fine $6000 worth of tone in a $600 guitar ;).
     
  7. Red Suede

    Red Suede Member

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    I had two 65s. One was mint and the other beat, but I thought they would be close. Not a chance. (Both sunburst, alder bodies, rosewood fingerboard, etc).
     
  8. Mooncusser

    Mooncusser Member

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    Wow,
    Lots of differerences with everyone.
    I guess I wasn't clear though.
    Both guitars have a maple neck/ rosewood fretboard.
    I expected some differences just due to the differences in body wood and the tremelos, but I thought those issues being the only differences would at least put them in the same ballpark for tone dynamics, but those slight changes really made a monumental difference in the tone of the two.
    Take care,
    Mass
     
  9. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    All pieces of wood are different even if they are the same species - you need to spend a couple of hours talking to Bill Chapin....

    Some people wonder why I have so many Strat types - well they are all different and all useful. I happen to like Ash Body/Maple neck, as an example, but two of mine (Fender Strats) are almost as different as chalk and cheese. One is better for cleans but thins out under distortion, the other is the opposite. I dunno why, really.
    Bill's making me one completely different with Mahogany Body/Korina Neck/Braz Rwd Board. Looking forward to that.

    Best, Pete.
     
  10. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    I've a 1961 Strat. Try as I might, I've never come close to duplicating its sound. I've tried countless variations and EVERBODY'S pickups/bridges/electronic wiring. Still....
    My 3 pesos worth - Strat tone is a very wholistic thing. I've replaced necks on Strats with what in theory was an identical neck, and been greatly disappointed in the result. I replaced the neck on a teal American Standard (with matching headstock) because its trussrod was frozen. The original combination was pretty decent sounding - definitely above average-sounding American Standard. I put Fender Fat 50s pickups in it and it sounded particularly good. I replaced its stock neck (frozen trussrod) with a Fender SRV neck - one of the old ones, low serial number early issue. The result was an absolutely dead-sounding (acoustically) instrument - no ring or sustain at all. And it absolutely existed there before with the other neck. I put the SRV neck on a different guitar - it rocks: fat juicy tone, great ringing sustain, and acoustically LOUD. As for the theory of maple being brighter and rosewood being darker - it's a generality, but not necessarily the rule. One of the brightest sounding Strat I've ever played was a '62 USA Reissue with stock rosewood board. It was brighter sounding than the '57 USA Reissue Mary Kay that I owned at the time, and that guitar was made from ash....

    Part's ain't parts when it comes to Strats...

    Peace,

    jb
     
  11. TS808

    TS808 Member

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    I have two American Series strats both are stock and both have maple fretboards. One is a 3-tone sunburst and the other is Olympic white and I notice the difference even between those two. The 3-tone is brighter sounding and the white one is a bit warmer. Both are alder. My thought is the differences in finish might make a slight difference in tone. I also had to replace the nut on the sunburst one and went with a bone nut. I agree with the previous posts though that no two are alike for sure. The depth of the neck pocket on the sunburst strat is a little deeper cut too.
     
  12. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    Strat tone is holistic. Little changes, little unpredictable factors, seem to have major results. Ex: I have a 61 strat, rosewood neck, body finish gone. It was a sunburst. Trem. Light, resonant body. My buddy down the block has a '65. A little heavier, still has the sunburst finish, otherwise much the same. Completely different sound. His p/us must be hotter. It's a bit louder at the same settings, same amp. A little crunchier. Same distinctive strat tones, but his are sort of more so, even exaggerated next to mine, especially the neck only sound. Mine has a balance, an airyness and delicacy his lacks. It has subtler sounds, and to my ears sounds so much better at high volumes. Must be the p/us. This has mystified me for years. How could they sound so different?
     
  13. supergenius365

    supergenius365 Silver Supporting Member

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    I just switched out maple necks today on one guitar - both good quality necks. I thought I was smoking something :)nono) b/c the tones were so different just going to the new neck!
     
  14. dallas

    dallas Member

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    Lot's of great posts. Continue!! Both my Strats sound different. The Ash/Rosewood sounds darker than the Alder/Maple. I'm getting ready to replace the p/us in the ash and will get back with the results.
     
  15. woude

    woude Member

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    I have two strats;

    one totally custom. alder body, D-profile birdseye maple neck with thick rosewood fingerboard. Reverse headstock. Carbonfiber trussrod. Kinman traditional mk2 in neck, kinman woodstock in middle and a seymour duncan A2pro humbucker in the bridge. Wilkinson vintage trem. Around 7 lbs.

    one modded MIM strat with a black '95 mexican poplar strat body, custom 'wizard' (thin) profile birdseye maple neck, ebony fingerboard, Carbonfiber trussrod. Cheap stock pickups and inferior mexi bridge. Around 7 lbs.

    Acoustically, the MIM has a lot of snap and bells, a really percussive sound. Still it's really balanced and even with the inferior bridge and poplar body, it sounds huge. Lot's of bass, lots of trebe and sustain. I've played expensive strats next to it acoustic and I have to say this one has a lot more lowend than other strats. It really needs other pickups though! I'm thinking of fender custom shop '69 pickups. I want to get a typical hendrix sound out of this one.

    The custom has less snap, less bells, but an absolutely ridiculous fat tone acoustic and even more plugged in, because of the kinmans. Think masssive violin. It reminds you of a strat, but with the heavyness of a baritone guitar! The reverse headstock seems to soften the base notes and give more of an edge to the higher strings. Bending higher strings is suprisingly easy and notes have an amazing bloom.

    My next strat will be three tone sunburst ash body, all maple neck and fender custom shop 54 pickups. I want bells and chime in the next one :)
     
  16. Stormin

    Stormin Supporting Member

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    These posts have validated a theory I've been working on for a long time with Strats: just cuz a component (hardware) or combination (woods) works for yours, doesn't mean it'll work for mine.

    I spent three years trying pickup combinations in my '68. When I finally got the best right ones in, I tried them in a '74, '79, '87, and a '95 - they all sounded like crap. Every one of my three remaining strats has the hardware and pickups that make THEM sound the best - no two are the same. One has Duncan's (the '68), the other has Rio Grande's (the '87), and the '95 sounds best stock.

    YMMV,

    Stormin!
     
  17. dallas

    dallas Member

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    My original Strat was a 75. I kept the neck and middle and replaced the bridge with a super distortion. It sounded great! Currently, I have 2 Strats. A mexi and a S/D Ash. I put Texas Specials in the neck and middle and a Hot Rails in the bridge. Great sounding guitar! The Ash has the mexi p/us I hadn't realised how much I hated the tone. I'm going to do the same as the other one but putting a Dimarzio Fast Track 2 in the bridge.
     
  18. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

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    so which one sounds better???
     
  19. Mooncusser

    Mooncusser Member

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    My partscaster sounds better than my 70's RI, which I didn't expect.
    I think I would like to reserve that opinion until I install a steel block in the 70's tremeo, as the partscaster has..then the playing field would be equal, and the only real differences then would be the body wood. Untill then though, I am playing this parstcaster more than my beloved 70's RI.
     
  20. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    Anyone use/like a Lil' 59 in the bridge? I always thought that if that sounded like a good combination. One I might like to try someday.
     

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