Fender J. Vaughan not warm and woody?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by morice1680, May 22, 2008.

  1. morice1680

    morice1680 Member

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    Hello, I just purchased a Jimmie Vaughan strat and find the tone to be rather tinny (metal sounding if that makes sense) (plugged or unplugged) compared to both my custom shop relic and MIJ (Finish Stripped) Strat. I took a fralin out of my MIJ and put in the JV and the fralin lost it's warm woody tone. My question is "is it the finish or the wood? I forgot to mention that my other 2 strats have rosewood boards, but I don't think that would make a difference? If I had the guts I could mount the JV neck on my custom shop and see what change that makes ( I can't mount to my MIJ due to the 3 bolt design). Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I do that neck swap stuff all the time. It's fun and if you know basic guitar setup, you can't really hurt anything.

    Alder/ maple strats will tend to be more upper mid, and sometimes spikey. Very clear and cutting, but not always as much depth as the rosewood fingerboard can give.

    I don't think it's the finish. Try a setup and different strings. Heavier strings and higher action go along way in beefing up a strat's tone. A lot of it is the wood and construction though. Sometimes you have to accept it is what it is. Try switching necks with your CS strat and narrow it down to see if it's the body, neck, pickups etc..
     
  3. Robert1950

    Robert1950 Member

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    I've had mine for 4 months now. It has nice acoustic ring to it. I play it through a Gibson GA-5 ( a grittier tweed champ ) and it does not sound thin at all. Pickups are A5s wound a bit on the hot side I believe. I use postions 2 and 4 about 90% of the time. Love the neck - a maple soft V and my hand get along quite well. I changed the standard 9s to 10s (all nickel).

    Maybe you got a piece of body that's a bit of a dud? I played many dozens of strats before I settled on this one.
     
  4. morice1680

    morice1680 Member

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    Thanks, Yep, I put 11's on. I even used a heat gun and stripped the finish out of the pickup routes thinking that would help. My thought is that its the finish under the bridge and trem rout. I would rather not waste the time stipping the whole guitar and find out it was the wood? I love the neck, otherwise I'd probably sell it off. I have toy'd with the idea of buying a Thin Skin Fender body, but that will run me about what I paid for the guitar. Like you said I could mount it on my custom shop, but then I have $2000.00 wrapped up in a custom shop and $400.00 wrapped up in a useless, unsellable JV body?
     
  5. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    Try some pure nickle strings on it.
    That will smooth it out nicely, you'll be pleasently surprised.

    I prefer nickle plated on my Strats but on some this does the job nicely and by your sound description I think your Strat is a good candidate for it.

    i owould recommend Gibson Vintage Reissues.
     
  6. morice1680

    morice1680 Member

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    I'll give it a shot. Thanks
     
  7. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    Those guitars have poplar bodies, not alder. Like any model, they can vary somewhat in tone...
     
  8. c_mac

    c_mac Member

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    You don't really think its the finish do you? Wait, don't answer that, I forget when I'm on TGP sometimes. Let me try this again.

    The finish is a huge deal and I would absolutely have stripped the finished in the pickup routes to help out my tone. Stripping just a little under the input jack goes a long way too; much more of a raw tone.
     
  9. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    If you were going to strip that means you were going to finish. Might as well take a look at Warmoth's showcase for a good deal. On the other hand finishing is a lot of work and not cheap to do right. Keep an eye on the bodies from The Stratosphere on the 'bay and look for something like a '57 reissue MIJ. Can be had usually for under $200 shipped and the contours and details are total vintage. Even a highway one would be better, but putting a shine on it is still elbow grease and it's never perfect.
     
  10. JohnK24

    JohnK24 Supporting Member

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    I had two JV strats (stupid me sold them too....), both were great guitars. I found the key to the Tex Mex pups was to really lower the pickups and I used .011 strings on them. I also had 5 tremolo springs in it, cranked down tight. I do miss the neck profile on those strats...one of Fender's best.
     
  11. morice1680

    morice1680 Member

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    C Mac. I know, check with mythbusters to see if finish really makes a difference in tone. But, I've got to tell you this stuff is thick, I can't help but think that this plastic coating has an effect on the sound, considering the metal parts are on top of this stuff. Sorry for any spelling errors, I was drawing guitars in english class and missed a whole bunch of useful info.
     
  12. c_mac

    c_mac Member

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    A ****** sounding guitar will not sound unshitty by removing the finish.
     
  13. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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    That was only on the very first years of production. Since around 2000 or so they've been alder.

    I concur on the nickel strings and lowering the Tex-Mex pickups. I did both on my JV and it's a sweet, warm tone machine now. Also did the belnder mod so I can dial in the bridge pickup when I'm playing the neck one. That's a great sound.
     
  14. bgood

    bgood Member

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    +1 on lowering the pups. Also block the trem if you can. big improvment on mine. Not that I ever thought mine was bad. But it was on the bright side before droping the pups and blocking. Now it's more middy and better sustain. It's the perfect match for my Mission Tweedy Deluxe 5e3.
     
  15. bluegrif

    bluegrif Member

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    The one I had sounded pretty fairly warm. I wouldn't say thin at all. Although I found the pickups lacked complexity and were a little spikey, the fundamental tone of the guitar was fine. Especially for such a low-priced Strat. The thing is, individual examples of any given model are going to vary quite a bit. Every piece of wood is a little different. That said, you should be able to warm it up with a pickup swap and some of the other suggestions like nickel strings. Obviously the strings and pickup height adjustment won't cost you anything, so start there.
     
  16. Webfoot

    Webfoot Supporting Member

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    Somewhat similar experience. I have a Lonestar Star Strat. Love the playability and tried many. Basically bought the lonestar because of the neck shape and got it mailed order (which is risky). But mine also sounds plinky. The pickups have their own sound which is alnico 5 which is typically a fast attack and a 'harder' sound. Also they lack harmonic complexity as mentioned before (I will eventually change mine). My pickups are way low... almost flush for the neck pickup.

    But my plinky sound is there when unplugged. I recently played a bunch of surh guitars and basically a good sounding strat will sound good with 9s. But bigger strings to help make a thicker tone... especially if you are playing through blackface amps that also can sound thin.

    I don't know either where my plinky sound comes from and unfortunately I think it is becoming more common on more mass produced guitars both low end and high end. Let me know if you figure it out.
     

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