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Fender Strat SSS routing, vs HSS vs Bathtub route .... can you tell the difference ?

Dr. Tweedbucket

Deluxe model available !!!11
Messages
48,049
First of all, which guitars get what? I heard the MIM are all bathtub routed, but not sure what the Japan or USA guitars got. Fender has recently made changes for the better ...... but does anyone have the bottom line on the routing scheme and it's effect on overall tone? :confused:
 

John Hurtt

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
19,083
One of the best playing strats I've ever heard has a swimming pool (bathtub) route. The type of route will effect each individual body, but I don't know if you really get any type of general tonal characteristic.
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,189
I had a really bad sounding Am. Std body with a bathtub route.


I don't think the route was at fault. LOL

Both my current fender bodies are H/S/H
 

bc-cosmo

Member
Messages
1,347
My Grosh Retro Classic has a bathtub route--I think they all do--and it's one of the greatest-sounding S-style guitars I've ever played.
 

Spankyrigor

Member
Messages
128
wait. sorry for sounding like a noob, but the bathtub/swimming pool route is that one big cavity, right? as opposed to the individual pickup routing?
 

Dr. Tweedbucket

Deluxe model available !!!11
Messages
48,049
Hmmmm, well that's interesting. I pulled apart a Japanese Strat a while ago and it had the individual routes and didn't sound bad at all. I just bought a really nice looking and not bad playing cheap-o Squire Strat to take to work for practice. I noticed the tone is paper thin and although I haven't pulled it apart, I'm wondering if the swimming pool route is part of the reason? ( I'm sure the pickups are crap as well ).
 

Drew68

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,595
First of all, which guitars get what? I heard the MIM are all bathtub routed, but not sure what the Japan or USA guitars got. Fender has recently made changes for the better ...... but does anyone have the bottom line on the routing scheme and it's effect on overall tone? :confused:
I don't think any Fender Strats are using the bathtub routs anymore. I am pretty sure that both MIM and MIA Standards are HSH. I think the MIM and MIA 50s and 60s series are SSS. The MIM signature series and MIA HWY1s should be HSS. Fenders web page lists the routing for some (but not all) models and it is quite possible they change them around from time to time without notice. I gleaned this information from looking at bodies on ebay when I was going to build a partsocaster.

Some purists believe that all Strats should be routed SSS. Others believe there is no noticeable difference. Many even claim that the bathtub routs produced the best, most "stratty" sounding Strats. Plug 'em into a Marshall and you probably won't notice any difference.
 

Alpedra

Member
Messages
356
I can tell the difference between a good Strat and a bad Strat. I don´t care if it has a swimming poul route, SSS, or SSH routing if it sounds good to me..
 

Dirk Diggler

Member
Messages
351
My '95 American series HSS strat has the swimming pool route. Alder body/rosewood board, it's THE acoustically most resonant strat I have EVER played. Almost as loud as a semi-hollow, I kid you not, you strum a chord and the whole thing starts to vibrate and you feel it. Not only chords but also single notes in the higher registry up in the FB ring our fairly loud. Awesome and clear low-end attack. Everything is stock on that guitar, no fancy callaham trem etc so I say vintage schmintage...bring on your '54 with accurate vintage specs, my '95 will own it. This thing just defies all the usual stuff I've been told by vintage purists. I don't know what makes it so good because it's just a regular production strat. :crazy
 

K-Line

Vendor
Messages
8,296
I had one of my first builds that had a pool route. It was also a T-Style, I used it for different pickguards/pickups to try different stuff. It had a tone that was the best I ever heard. Who knows what you find?
 




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