Fat Strat Sound...

ashoar12

Member
Messages
7
Hello,

I am messing around with my strat trying to get a nice vintage sound with a huge fat bassy bottom end and I just can't quite seem to accomplish it. I have a MIM strat that I have replaced the stock ceramic pickups with some vintage style alnico II pickups. For some reason the stock pots are 500k instead of 250k, if I replaced them, would that help? I'm new to this so I need a little advice...

I'm looking for ideas along the lines of pickups, pots, caps, really anything I can do.

- Thanks
 

ashoar12

Member
Messages
7
I have a small fender frontman reverb... but I play a lot through a Fender Blues Deluxe that I don't own. The tube amp makes it a little better, but not enough for me...
 

dave s

Member
Messages
6,440
Know what you mean ... some of the strats can sound sort of 'tinny' at times and not as full as we'd like. A couple of quick tweaks would be to roll BACK the tone control on the guitar, roll down the high-end on the amp a bit and hit the volume knob on the amp!

That should fatten up your tone a bit. Good luck.

dave
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
38,184
What other guitars have you tried?
Borrow a Les Paul, an Epi will do, plug it in, go to a store if you have to.
If THAT is what you think good tone is, unload the Strat 'cause it will fight you all the time if you want something else.
Strats have a lot of charm and versatility but it's a struggle to make them sound good if your idea of good is different to the guitar's.
It's not a lack of bottom, to me, rather the thinness of the top end that has to be dealt with. Some people seem to to love it, so YMMV.
An amp with 2-12's doesn't hurt, either:)
 

ashoar12

Member
Messages
7
Well, I have a LP copy, an MIM Strat, a "project Strat," and a 69 thinline reissue Tele... Out of all of them, I LOVE the tone of the Tele the most. I don't know if it is the semi-hollow mohogany body or what, but the thing just has a punchy, growling tone with some extra bassy kick. I was wanting a guitar with the same tonal qualities (and feel, I love the Fender necks), but I also want to mess around with a tremolo, which my tele doesn't have. So, I was hoping to try and mimic the sound from my tele I guess.
 

VanStone

Member
Messages
350
I hate to burst your bubble, but try as you might you will not get a big, fat, solid, tight bottom from an alder or ash bodied strat. Yes, there are things you can do to help: 250 pots, alnico II pups, remove the treble bleed if it has one, EQ, etc. But trust me, I tried everything to like a Fat Strat and failed.

The only real cure, to get the bass response you want, is a different tone wood. Take for instance Joe Bonamassa's Gigliotti Strat and Tele - they're mahogany body. I had a mahogany body strat built, and that was the only way to get the bass response I wanted. Tradeoff is now the treble is warmed up a bit. <shrug>

If bass response is a must, you really should be looking at Gibson style guitars.

V
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
38,184
I hate to burst your bubble, but try as you might you will not get a big, fat, solid, tight bottom from an alder or ash bodied strat.
V

What is fat? I guess that is the question.
I like the big, boingy, bottom avialable from single coil Strats and find that is what I consider to be tight BUT if you are running more OD that same bigness becomes overwhelming and then tightness (as I call it...or focus) is found in a bridge humbucker. It's another YMMV situation.
 

Birddog

Member
Messages
3,115
I'm a Strat, Fat Strat AND LP guy and I can tell you that, when switching to the Strats while gigging that I run the treble on the amp a little lower (I don't change the bass or mid) and also on the bridge p.u. I dial back to around 4 on tone. On the neck p.u. I dial back to 5 or 6. Otherwise the switch from LP to Strat / Fat Strat is too grating on my ears.

I run both of my MIM's with the stock pickups.
 

Clutch21286

Member
Messages
418
That tone is pretty standard.

Strat style guitar + Fender type amp + Heavy Strings (will help) + little reverb and delay+ ability to play.
 

61Ephramite

Member
Messages
328
Fralin Blues Special in the neck position and sweeten the bass and mids on your amp. Mayer is using Vox amps in the video but Fenders will get you there.
 

VanStone

Member
Messages
350
I don't know what kind of P/Us or amp Van's using, but there is fat, big, solid, and tight Strat sounds out there.

Perhaps I misunderstood the OP, but he said "Fat Strat" sound so I am assuming we are talking H/S/S here. And I must disagree most heartily with you sir, a bridge humbucker in an alder guitar has a certain irksome thinness, fart, and flab that no amount of tweaking will cure. Surely, you don't mean to tell me that a humbucker responds the same way in alder as it does in a warmer tone wood like mahogany.

So, if you want the laundry list of humbuckers I've tried to fatten the "Fat Strat" (bridge humbucker) sound:

Single size:

- Dimarzio Distortion S
- Cool Rails
- Rio Grande Dirty Harry

Humbucker size:

- Genesis Br. Brownie
- SD Alnico II
- Rio Grande Tallboy
- SD Custom 5
- Rio Grande BBQ
- SD Pearly Gates
- SD Custom Custom

+ probably a couple I have forgotten. :p

I find Alnico 2s to be a little too vintage sounding to get truly FAT sound. I don't think you said what P/Us you are using. Lollar Blondes for example give a great vintage clean Strat sound. If you want a FAT sounding Strat, the Alnico 5 Lollar Specials will be FAT city baby... Yes Virginia, even with Alder!

FYI- The Lollar Specials were too fat for me, the Blackfaces were a better mix between fat and spanky for me. The Suhr FL Standards give me this too.

If we're talking single coil bridge, I can partially agree with you. Alnico II can be a little farty depending on the pup. However, the Blondes you mention are actually very tight for A2. I agree Alnico 5 is probably the way to go. The OP asked about more bass; Specials will produce more midrange, not more bass, and although they will certainly be fat they will also be more distorted, which would probably actually be counterproductive. Personally I'd go Lollar Blackface, or Vanzant Blues or Vintage + to keep it tight with a little extra oomph.

V
 




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