Experience with Mahogany Short Scale Strats? Which Pieces are Critical for Thicker LP Tone?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by agiehler, Nov 5, 2019.

Which do you feel has the greatest effect on thicker tone with HH setup?

  1. Scale length

    28 vote(s)
    63.6%
  2. Body/neck woods

    3 vote(s)
    6.8%
  3. Bridge type

    3 vote(s)
    6.8%
  4. Neck attachment

    3 vote(s)
    6.8%
  5. Other?

    7 vote(s)
    15.9%
  1. Jim85IROC

    Jim85IROC Member

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    The shecter is a set neck, not a bolt on.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That said, I'm not a big believer in the neck attachment having a significant difference in the tone. I put together a guitar for my son that's got a mahogany SG-ish Ibanez body with a 24 3/4" maple bolt-on neck that has all the great raunchy tones that you would expect from an SG or an LP Jr.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
  2. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Scale is the LEAST of it.
    Put a capo on your Strat to shorten the scale, retune, and it retains 99% of its Strat flavour.
    HH Strats are common and a very viable format.
    HH Tele with a TOM (as in that pic) with Hb's, and use the shorter scale for 'authenticity' and feel is a best shot, imo.
     
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  3. stonem

    stonem Member

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    I'm not gonna debate it with you. We are here to share opinions and we both have one.
     
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  4. RicardoDiazHimself

    RicardoDiazHimself Member

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    I don't think that's how scale length affecting tone works.
     
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  5. agiehler

    agiehler Supporting Member

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    Whoops just did a quick google search for the model you mentioned and must have misread. Anyways interesting that you say the bolt-on SG still has the tone. Maybe bridge and scale in combination are important? My DGT does have a bit of snap to the notes that could be from the trem.

    Interesting experiment that I'll have to try. In theory it seems like it should replicate a short scale conversion tone, but something tells me it's not that simple?
     
  6. Adagietto

    Adagietto Supporting Member

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    My dual-humbucker 24.75" scale Fender Toronado sounds like a Fender — it still has that brightness and snap to the sound. I presume that this has far more to do with the bolt-on maple neck than the scale length. The alder body also may contribute. Note that it has a TOM bridge and tailpiece.
     
  7. agiehler

    agiehler Supporting Member

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    Gonna have to look into the Toronado model. So HH, short scale and TOM bridge together still don't have a fatter LP clean tone? Perhaps the neck attachment has more to do with it than I previously thought...
     
  8. Jim85IROC

    Jim85IROC Member

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    I think the scale and the overall type of bridge config (hardtail vs. trem) has the most to do with it. What type of hard-tail bridge is not really important, but a trem definitely changes the sound. In my opinion, that's got more to do with the difference in sound between a Tele and a Strat than the pickups.

    You can throw humbuckers into a set neck Mahogany Tele and it still doesn't sound the same as a Les Paul. A PRS will get you closer because the scale length is more similar to the Les Paul. Scale length can't be overlooked.
     
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  9. Adagietto

    Adagietto Supporting Member

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    No, doesn't sound like an LP. It doesn't sound quite like a typical Fender (maybe a bit like a dual-humbucker Tele?), but I doubt many would mistake the sound for Gibson. Generally, it's like an LP Special, but made with Fender parts: 2 humbuckers, 2 volumes, 2 tones, TOM, 24.75". Mine is an '04 Deluxe, MIM. There were 3+ iterations made in its relatively short lifespan.

    Edit: Perhaps the shorter scale reduces the snap and twang a little. Even the godawful 14K bridge pickup couldn't obscure the overall Fender flavor, though. [I have it torn down now to replace the pickups and harness.]
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
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  10. agiehler

    agiehler Supporting Member

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    Hard to find too many clean examples on YouTube, but I wonder if the proper pickups would make that model fat enough to be a worthwhile pursuit. Most of the ones on there are still snappy and "plinky" sounding just like you said though, so perhaps even new pups won't help.
     
  11. smallbutmighty

    smallbutmighty Member

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    THIS is the way to do it. A big part is scale length, but the other big parts are the TOM bridge and the Mahogany.

    IMO.
     
  12. smallbutmighty

    smallbutmighty Member

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    I haven't done every variable, but I've done a LOT of controlled comparisons...probably more than most.

    And I agree with your conclusions.

    If you're looking for LP-type tones from a F-style bolt-on, the key things are:
    • TOM bridge
    • Scale length
    • Mahogany
    This poll forces you to pick only one, but I would say they are all key ingredients in the recipe.

    That said, I have a particular alder S-Style with a Floyd that sounds remarkably LP like, so WTF? :)
     
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  13. Adagietto

    Adagietto Supporting Member

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    My '04 came with Duncan-designed humbuckers. The bridge was a relatively hot, dark 14K. It still sounded like a Fender, just with a mismatched pickup IMO. I'm in the process of changing the pickups, but that won't change the guitar's DNA. If I want fat, I grab my LP.

    This probably isn't the guitar for you. I posted about it because I think that scale length is a small factor in a more complex equation. My guess is that if I hand this guitar to someone, the shorter scale is one of the last things they'll notice.
     
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  14. Otter351

    Otter351 Member

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    9.2lbs of mahogany goodness. Not fooling myself in thinking it's exactly like an LP, but it's pretty close. TOM, scale and neck angle are all important. If you believe in tonewood (which I do), the mahogany is important too.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. agiehler

    agiehler Supporting Member

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    Set neck or bolt on?

    I agree with the above about mahogany, TOM and scale length being critical. Starting to think that a set neck is fairly critical too. I mean PRS has the CE and Custom series, the only difference being the neck wood/attachment, and there's a snappy attack present in the CE to me. I wonder how much closer it would be if the neck was mahogany instead of maple, but still bolted?
     
  16. RayBarbeeMusic

    RayBarbeeMusic Member

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    Weird, b/c I have and have had a number of short scale mahogany strats and they sound like...........TADA! Strats. Even with humbuckers. Even the 24" scale strats I've been building lately sound like......TADA! Strats.

    There are a lot of things that go into the difference in sound between a LP and a Stat. Not any one thing is "most" of that.
     
  17. Multi Angle Vise

    Multi Angle Vise Member

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    Another anecdotal data point (oxymoron?):

    Hamer Vector XT (Flying V) - set neck, 24.75" scale length, alder body, maple neck, fixed tune'o'matic bridge, strings through body (not a tail piece), two humbuckers.

    This is by far the brightest guitar I own, the most distant from my idea of the LP sound that I have. I've quite a few conflicting experiences around this topic, so I've not any conclusion. But I think body shape is a contributor, as I've noticed other Vs doing something similar. (I used to think electric body shape was more cosmetic than I do now.) I'd have said a mahogany neck is important, but then there are maple necked LPs, which apparently still sound like LPs. Is it just mahogany body then?

    Having watched a few of @smallbutmighty's video, in particular the comparison process, I have to weight his opinions higher.
     
  18. agiehler

    agiehler Supporting Member

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    Totally, the whole complete system is most important. Was hoping that I could get away with half of the ingredients and end up with mostly the whole tone. Apparently this confirms that my original plan may not be fruitful. Thanks for the real world input, this is exactly what I was looking for.

    So in the Hamer equation the maple neck sticks out to me. Owned one of the roasted maple fretboard/maple neck 335 studios in the past and found it to be oddly bright and snappy for what it was. Strange that even with the rest of the stuff (hums, bridge, scale) the V is still your brightest guitar :nuts
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
  19. Otter351

    Otter351 Member

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    This one is a bolt-on, mahogany neck.

    I've owned a CE-24 and a Custom 24 for a couple decades and I definitely think the CE is more "snappy". The same difference can be said for this Tele and my LPs but I don't think the difference is simply swapping out the four bolts and neck plate for glue. The heels are different, the mounting surface area is different, the overall geometry is different.

    It's fun talking "what ifs" or "can you" do this or that and that's exactly why I built mine. But, if you want an LP...buy an LP. If carve-tops aren't your thing, buy a Special with humbuckers. If single-cuts don't float your boat, buy a SG or DC. All of those get much much closer to the real thing than a Fender-styled guitar ever would
     
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  20. smallbutmighty

    smallbutmighty Member

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    Agreed. The sound of an LP, or Strat, or Tele is the sum of everything, from the wood and components to the tools and processes used to build it. Ever cooked a well-known home recipe in someone else's kitchen, with your own ingredients, and find it tastes different because their cookware is a different material or seasoned/aged differently than yours? It all matters.

    That said, trying to tease out all the individual differences and rank them in order of importance can be fun and instructive. Nothing will teach you more about how guitars work than building guitars.
     
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