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Finally found the "right" strat

Beng2040

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,681
After years of trying to love strats, I had all but given up. I love the way they sound when other people play them but could never get them to work for me. On a whim, I decided to buy a mid-80's 72 MIJ reissue (vintage white/maple) because it was a good price and I love the way they look. I bought it without playing and took a risk.

I freaking LOVE this guitar! It came wired with Van Zandt pickups which are a big improvement over the stock MIJ stuff (not that those are terrible). The neck is a bit on the slim side but it works perfectly for me on this strat. I'm glad to have finally found the right strat for me after almost 20 years of playing. Anyone here have a similar experience?
 

jtees4

Member
Messages
1,610
I've tried for years and years and bought so many Strats of all vintage and all models etc. to find one to love. Finally after years I found it...and it's a lowly 2002 MIM Standard Strat, no mods. I love it as is. Plays and sounds great. And I've had MIM before and USA and Japanese...just something special about this one. So while I am still a Gibson (and Gibson type) guy...I can now finally say I love a Strat.
 

dughaze

Member
Messages
999
I hated Strats for years too for all kinds of reasons. For me, the magic happened kind of accidently after I got a decent deal on one I really could not pass up by a friend on an ash American Texas Special Fat Strat. I tweaked and tweaked on it, took it for two setups, and the second setup was with the resolve that if it didn't make it happen I was going to sell the damn thing. That last setup was with a dude that claimed to have had a lot of experience in setups. I asked him how many Strats he had set up and his answer was maybe 10,000 or so...yeah right man. So with lots of disgust I brought him that beautiful Sienna Burst Strat w/ an awesome looking and feeling maple neck to try his skills on that nasty playing piece of **** and I challenged the guy to make me like playing it. While he insisted I wait in Guitar Center while he worked on it ( I just wanted to leave it with him...maybe for good!), and I did not watch him set it up probably because I knew I was going to sell it anyways, I looked around at what I would rather have after I sold it. When he was finished he said try it and we'll see if you need it further adjusted and so I did. I played it thru the cheap amp he used by his bench on and, okay, it wasn't so bad now, maybe quite a bit better, and so I asked him to adjust something else, and he improved it a bit more. So as I'm playing it and trying to like it for 15 - 20 minutes or so he walks over and asks what I mainly play which is an LP and tells me to relax my fretting grip some, that Strats are more sensitive to pressure and and said not to press the strings down so hard. I'm thinking he doesn't know I've been playing a long time, but I try relaxing my fretting grip a little anyways on my cowboy chords that just aren't playing right and BAM!...Wow, now the instrument is singing. It took a while to learn to play it more relaxed and get my confidence in it but I did and I love this thing now. Thank you Jerry! How humbling life can be sometimes.
 
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[J.K.]

Member
Messages
477
I got an American Strat on Craigslist for $400 when I was maybe 21 and was thoroughly unimpressed. It became my "beater guitar" for when I needed to jam somewhere but didn't wanna bring anything "nice" with me.
Then, a year ago, I moved and it was my only axe, so I put a few bucks into it. Locked the trem, filed the nut, adjusted the action and intonation, thew in some Bare Knuckles, changed the wiring, got rig of that awful volume knob placement, changed the tone knob to a greasebucket (so underrated for the strat), and just generally made it "mine."
Now it's the best playing and feeling guitar I have. Even vintage guitars don't play like this thing does. But man did I ever labor to make it work for me.
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
29,253
if you're not a Strat guy, and you find a strat that works for you, hold on to it! and later when you fall in love with that strat, don't start thinking that it's time to upgrade to better strats - because none of them will ever grab you like that first strat that was able to break your "i'm not a strat guy" problem!
 

Moot

Member
Messages
434
That's awesome. It's hard to find a "the one" of something.

Congratulations!
 

tamader74

Member
Messages
3,675
Jahn sorta' hit it dead on,...When you find the one that fit's TOTALLY, Don't even try to change it tonally,...it won't be the same totally means just that. I've owned vintage/collector grades,...But, can say out of literally hundreds, I've only had 3 that I can say HAD the 'it' factor for me...The first one was my '74 (in which part of my Monicker gives reverence it), The second one was a G&L Fullerton (mid. '90s), and the one I have now, a '09 HSS that somehow wound up with a Bigger than usual Maple neck, that a traded a follow member for a few months ago (the neck sealed the deal),...The HSS is truly the first one since my '74 ('ol yeller) that I am 100% satisfied with...Guitars are like shoes...Not everyone has the same size, and what one style 'feels' good to one's feet, another person may want that same style,...But, can't/hasn't find a comfortable pair for them in the first ones style....Just yet. Tom ;)
 

dughaze

Member
Messages
999
if you're not a Strat guy, and you find a strat that works for you, hold on to it! and later when you fall in love with that strat, don't start thinking that it's time to upgrade to better strats - because none of them will ever grab you like that first strat that was able to break your "i'm not a strat guy" problem!
Well said. Mine isn't going anywhere and I'll even go so far as to say it is going to stay as it is until I wear something out. Having a twangy Texas Special pickup loaded guitar bothered me at first. I'm a hard rock player and the Texas Special pickups are not my kind of pickups. I put a JB bridge pickup in place of the SD 59 (the JB was too hot for the other pickups) that came in it but I eventually put the 59 back in and I love this thing. It'll do hard rock or whatever needs to be done.
 

tamader74

Member
Messages
3,675
Beautiful Strat. dughaze,...Like I posted,...Totally perfect means totally perfect, including tonally. Tom
 






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