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

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

  • Scale length

    Votes: 28 62.2%
  • Body/neck woods

    Votes: 4 8.9%
  • Bridge type

    Votes: 3 6.7%
  • Neck attachment

    Votes: 3 6.7%
  • Other?

    Votes: 7 15.6%

  • Total voters
    45

agiehler

Member
Messages
521
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
So perhaps the maple neck is more of the snappy culprit in the PRS example.

Yes I really just wanted to open a discussion about the ingredients and see what everyone thought about the different variables before going down the partscaster rabbit hole again lol. Maybe it's best to just throw some PAFs in my Squier Strat and see what happens. Needs new electronics anyways. Thanks for sharing your experience and the cool TeleGib.
 

agiehler

Member
Messages
521
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, and find it tastes different because their cookware is a different material or seasoned/aged differently than yours?

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.
Agreed, it's interesting to find out what each part contributes to the voice and that's exactly the info that I was hoping to get out of this discussion.
 

jvin248

Member
Messages
4,831
Anyone ever put together a mahogany body, mahogany/rosewood conversion scale neck, dual humbucker Strat style guitar to attempt Gibson/PRS tones? Did it work out?...
...Maybe it's best to just throw some PAFs in my Squier Strat ...
You need these ingredients:
-pickups and pots/caps that go with that model
-pickups spaced to the bridge with relative distance of the scale length (LP vs SG are different even with the same scale length)
-pick/strum in the same locations ... this ergonomic issue surfaces: TOM, Tele bridge, Strat volume knob. Play one and see where your hand is picking/strumming and you'll see how that changes the tone in dramatic ways. For example, Strats and LPs can twang when picked closer to the bridge.

So yes, throw the PAFs in the Squier Strat but also make sure you are using the same pots as go in the Gibson, perhaps Gibson branded so you get the same pot build tolerance effects.

Remember that when people have tried 'the exact same guitar except for X' they are dealing with say pots alone that have a 20% tolerance range ... all that adds up to why people 'run the racks'.

.
 

Tone_Terrific

Supporting Member
Messages
31,774
I don't think that's how scale length affecting tone works.
That's the best you can do to hear scale difference and keep other things equal.
It's an obvious and easy test and conforms to the definition of scale length.


Maybe it's best to just throw some PAFs in my Squier Strat and see what happens. Needs new electronics anyways. Thanks for sharing your experience and the cool TeleGib.
Changing to HB's it THE most effective way of closing the gap between Fender with sc's and Gibson with hb's. Choose them well.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
13,990
IMO the LAST thing u want for a thicker tone on a strat is mahogany. Mahogany is actually bright, IMO brighter then alder and even ash. But with the shorter scale and set neck and TOM or wraptail you get that thicker sound. Even a tele is thicker than a strat due to the hardtail. IMO tho one thing isn't going to get you real close if u r looking for a gibson tone with strat feel.

If like u said u just want fatter, i'd look almost exclusively at the trem, the block and saddles. Maybe a brass block and some cast zinc saddles. That actually might be TOO fat. Maybe try the block then if u need more, saddles. I have found the trem on a strat is everything when it comes to strat tone. Changes it radically in most any way depending on the type/material.
 

HERSCHEL

Member
Messages
5,457
Scale Length and Hardtail will get you 90%+ of the way there with good pickup choice. Wood type doesn't mean much and pickups can push it either way. My Les Pauls sound different even with basically everything the same but pickups and bridge brand.
 

agiehler

Member
Messages
521
IMO the LAST thing u want for a thicker tone on a strat is mahogany. Mahogany is actually bright, IMO brighter then alder and even ash. But with the shorter scale and set neck and TOM or wraptail you get that thicker sound. Even a tele is thicker than a strat due to the hardtail. IMO tho one thing isn't going to get you real close if u r looking for a gibson tone with strat feel.

If like u said u just want fatter, i'd look almost exclusively at the trem, the block and saddles. Maybe a brass block and some cast zinc saddles. That actually might be TOO fat. Maybe try the block then if u need more, saddles. I have found the trem on a strat is everything when it comes to strat tone. Changes it radically in most any way depending on the type/material.
Funny you mention mahogany being brighter. Not the same wood of course, but I know the all rosewood neck Strats of late seem to be brighter than the standard maple/rosewood config even though convention would lead to be the opposite result.

Scale Length and Hardtail will get you 90%+ of the way there with good pickup choice. Wood type doesn't mean much and pickups can push it either way. My Les Pauls sound different even with basically everything the same but pickups and bridge brand.
OK so either modified trem HH Strat or hardtail HH Strat with conversion neck might be the closest possible.

Now that you mention the Strat/Tele comparison, I remember getting pretty close to my R8 with a parts Tele on bridge pup with the tone down a bit. That was with overdrive though, clean was a different ballgame.
 

Mr Fingers

Member
Messages
2,492
Honestly, I find it easy to get LP tones, even with most single-coils, via pedals and amp. Sure, all those build specifics contribute, but with the signal processing readily available now, I don't find any of them necessary. The epic "Stairway" and "La Grange" solos, as well as much of Gilmour's great stuff, all show that you don't need those LP features.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
13,990
Funny you mention mahogany being brighter. Not the same wood of course, but I know the all rosewood neck Strats of late seem to be brighter than the standard maple/rosewood config even though convention would lead to be the opposite result.
Thats IMO and thru my experience because rosewood actually has a lot of high mids and the thicker the board the brighter they seem. So for example, if you buy one of those MIM player 60s necks with the 9.5" radius you will usually find them thinner or brighter sounding than the MIM classic series neck. It's the same as the MIM classic series but because it's 9.5" theres less rosewood removed from the edges to produce the 9.5" radius than with the classic series 60s 7.25" radius resulting in a thicker rosewood board. More RW, more brightness or thin sound depending on how u hear it. Try an after market neck like allparts or such with the 12" radius. They sound so thin compared to a vintage style one even by the same manufacturer.
 

agiehler

Member
Messages
521
Honestly, I find it easy to get LP tones, even with most single-coils, via pedals and amp. Sure, all those build specifics contribute, but with the signal processing readily available now, I don't find any of them necessary. The epic "Stairway" and "La Grange" solos, as well as much of Gilmour's great stuff, all show that you don't need those LP features.
Works great for overdriven sounds, but what about clean? What pedals will give a Fender a rich and full clean tone?
 

agiehler

Member
Messages
521
Single coils already sound rich and beautifully clean. Especially if the pups are 60s style wound :)
I guess I'm more talking about the sharp attack. The clean tones is this vid have such a warm and smooth attack, more like what I'm looking to replicate...


Versus something like this which is fairly full and fat, at least for a Strat, but always has that sharp attack and plinky sustain.


Apples and oranges, I know. But I'm trying to figure out what most contributes to that fast attack and plink. Bolt-on maple neck with 25.5" scale is the obvious culprit, but if it were possible to lose that attack by only removing 2 of those variables, which would they be? I think a set-neck with 24.75 scale is the ticket, unfortunately that makes a tough partscaster :p
 

agiehler

Member
Messages
521
Why not just get a LP??

A Strat is better at being a Strat imo.
Well simply because an LP is not at all comfortable for me to play, sitting or standing. No ergonomics whatsoever, the necks feel too wide and flat, no upper fret access, etc. etc. Most guys seem to just "deal with it" for the sweet tone, but every time I try that I end up selling them off lol. Then of course I plug in a Strat, strum a chord and immediately notice how weak it sounds and miss those PAFs.

Cue my DGT. Basically an LP with smaller, rounder neck, double cutaway and trem. Sounds glorious and plenty fat. Wish the frets were a bit smaller though. Which brought me to my inquiry, thinking maybe I could just find a workaround in some version of a Strat and sell the DGT for some extra cash.

Anyways don't want to turn this into an LP slagging thread because I certainly appreciate them for what they are. Just more-so wanted to dissect the assembly of parts to find out which pieces contribute most to the overall sound. I mean it's a slab of wood with strings, not rocket science. There has to be some method to the madness!
 
Last edited:
Messages
1,668
I guess I'm more talking about the sharp attack. The clean tones is this vid have such a warm and smooth attack, more like what I'm looking to replicate...


Versus something like this which is fairly full and fat, at least for a Strat, but always has that sharp attack and plinky sustain.


Apples and oranges, I know. But I'm trying to figure out what most contributes to that fast attack and plink. Bolt-on maple neck with 25.5" scale is the obvious culprit, but if it were possible to lose that attack by only removing 2 of those variables, which would they be? I think a set-neck with 24.75 scale is the ticket, unfortunately that makes a tough partscaster :p
Oh, my brother! There are a thousand ways to get closer to that with a strat. Pick one :)
If you have an SSS strat you can add a series switch so you combine neck and middle series, instead of parallel, youll get your mid heavy, rounded humb sound. Change the saddles for block brass ones. Same with the trem block for a brass one. Easiest things to change, IMO.
 

bigtone23

Member
Messages
5,814
Scale length for sure. Gotta have the shorter scale to add the sweetness up the neck and the smeary attack down low.
Hard tail, too. All things being equal, the hard tail adds punch.
 
Messages
785
...the maple neck sticks out to me... ...Strange that even with the rest of the stuff (hums, bridge, scale) the V is still your brightest guitar :nuts...
Yeah could be the maple neck, or that particular maple neck, clearly I can't be certain. There's a meme here of tone following the neck, and I've one experience of it - two very similar maple neck bolt-ons - one bright, one warm. When I swapped the necks as an experiment, the brightness followed the neck. The V now has a Custom Custom which tames the brightness, but can still perceive that it's a very sparkly guitar.


Does a Gibson Les Paul Long Scale still sound like a Les Paul?
 

agiehler

Member
Messages
521
Yeah could be the maple neck, or that particular maple neck, clearly I can't be certain. There's a meme here of tone following the neck, and I've one experience of it - two very similar maple neck bolt-ons - one bright, one warm. When I swapped the necks as an experiment, the brightness followed the neck. The V now has a Custom Custom which tames the brightness, but can still perceive that it's a very sparkly guitar.


Does a Gibson Les Paul Long Scale still sound like a Les Paul?

Funny enough I would say it sounds quite plinky in the above demo, no? Sounds like a Tele Deluxe to me. Makes me think a Tele Deluxe "short scale" would get very LP-ish.
 

dewey decibel

Member
Messages
10,323
Apples and oranges, I know. But I'm trying to figure out what most contributes to that fast attack and plink. Bolt-on maple neck with 25.5" scale is the obvious culprit, but if it were possible to lose that attack by only removing 2 of those variables, which would they be? I think a set-neck with 24.75 scale is the ticket, unfortunately that makes a tough partscaster :p

I haven’t seen this mentioned (maybe I missed it) but IMO an important part of a Strat’s sound is not only from the trem, but also the routing of the body for the trem. Couple that with the pickups mounted to the pickguard and it's going to sound plinky. Think about it, you've got almost a banjo effect happening. That's why a Strat still sounds like a Strat even unplugged. Mounting the pickups to the guard does something, much different than a humbucker mounted in brackets. Scale length affects the attack of the note, the shape of it. Putting a capo on the 1st fret doesn't replicate that effect (otherwise a Strat played in E would sound like an LP played in F). I personally feel the neck wood has more impact than the wood of the body, but it really depends on the piece/instrument. But, if I were you I'd be looking at:

24 3/4" scale bolt on neck, mahogany with rosewood board
Strat body with humbucker routes (pickups mounted on rings, not pickguard)
pickups routed in comparable position on the string as they would be on an LP
TOM bridge, no trem routing
2 vol, 2 tone, 500K pots

I don't think you'd need a conversion neck as you'd be mounting the TOM bridge yourself anyway, you just need to put it in the right place so it will intonate. I have a feeling those conversion necks but the pickups in slightly different spots than they would be on an LP, and that's important. Anyway, this is just my guess to get you where you want (personally, I hate Strats and find them terribly non-ergonomic, so YMMV!)...
 




Top