Do Strats need gain to sound good?

5F6-A

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I have heard Mick (Taylor) from TPS say that Strats need gain on different occasions? Is this your experience?


EDIT: I suppose his point was that Strats need a tiny bit more gain than other guitars to get a glorious overdriven tone....
 
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CapnRex

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I mean, they need gain if you want overdriven sounds. Not so much for straight cleans, though a nice boost like a fuzz pedal with volume rolled down is nice.

They do not *need* gain, but they can sound great with gain depending on the sound you want to create. It's like asking if girls need to be wearing red to be sexy. Sure, sometimes it's fun.
 

5F6-A

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I mean, they need gain if you want overdriven sounds. Not so much for straight cleans, though a nice boost like a fuzz pedal with volume rolled down is nice.

They do not *need* gain, but they can sound great with gain depending on the sound you want to create. It's like asking if girls need to be wearing red to be sexy. Sure, sometimes it's fun.
I suppose his point was that Strat need a tiny bit more gain than other guitars to get a glorious overdriven tone....
 

Tri7/5

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I am honestly trying to figure out what you are even after by this question and if it's even a real question... I mean think about it for a minute. I've seen some real headscratchers here before but this one ranks high. A guitar that "needs" gain? Gain isn't what a guitar does though your signal chain may provide if you so choose. If you want to play with a clean tone, play with a clean tone, If you want some dirt and overdrive play with dirt and overdrive. A strat has been utilized by all sides of the spectrum for years.
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
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I'll take a Strat clean over a Les Paul clean 99% of the time. I don't know who Mick (Taylor) is or what TPS is (Toilet Paper Show?), but it sounds like I'm glad I don't.
 
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ripgtr

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Yes, absolutely.
You have to plug them into an amp. The amp has tubes. Depending on the tube, each has a different gain factor. Once this is added up, it goes through the speaker. It has gained much volume.

If you mean distortion and not gain, the answer is absolutely no. Unless you are trying to get a sound With distortion and then, yes, yes you would need distortion.
 

moehuh

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I have heard Mick (Taylor) from TPS say that Strats need gain on different occasions? Is this your experience?
Could it be that you are mixing up gain and volume? These are two different things for guitarists. Gain is how much overdrive or distortion your signal has and volume is the amount of sound pressure your setup/amp produces.

Mick has mentioned multiple times that a Strat needs a certain amount of volume to sound big and that a great Strat not necessarily sounds good when played quietly.

I think this mainly has to do with the compression that is happening with an amp at higher volumes. You even out the high end and increase some mids and bass (BTW the reason you change your EQ when increasing the volume on your tube amp). If you are going for a big Strat tone, this certainly is a big factor of the final sound and has been my experience as well.
 

korus

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Ask Mick Taylor to plug 'his' '65 Strat in any tube amp with Dan who can plug his '66 Tele in any tube amp and they can do a short TPS episode WITHOUT pedals. Tube amp, cable and pre CBS Fenders. As designed. They can call it 'Sort of Q & A'.

Answer to your question is right there.

Mind you, not Mick's blue American Series Strat and not Dan's red CS Tele.
 




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