Hardtail vs. Blocked Trem Strat?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by dorfmeister, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    I've got a warmoth strat with a blocked trem. I like it but have never played a hardtail strat.

    What do you find the differences to be? Which do you like better?
     
  2. DeaconBlues

    DeaconBlues Member

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    There is a bit of difference in the sound between a blocked trem and a hardtail. Some will say very little difference, some will say a noticeable difference. To me, the difference is slight and not enough to be concerned about. I prefer a hardtail mainly for the tuning stability, but then again some will argue that they have tuning stability with a floating trem. Some people like oranges, others like bananas.
     
  3. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    I'm in the process of building a hard tail pine strat. I'm just waiting for the neck & body to come back from the finisher.

    I think I'm going to like a hard tail. I've been without a strat for a couple years now but had one in the house for a couple weeks this winter. Trying to get it to hold tune with new strings just put me in a very foul mood. I have no patience for that anymore and sold it.
     
  4. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Member

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    I prefer a trem, even blocked. A hardtail just feels wrong to me, but that's probably because I cut my teeth on a "regular" strat with a vintage trem. I had a hardtail and wanted to love it. It was pink! But, ultimately, it felt tight under my fingers and the tones were too bright. I would still pick up and try hardtails, though. Just haven't picked up the right one, maybe.
     
  5. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    I've enjoyed a life-long battle with Strats (GRIN). I LOVE the way they sound and look, but I just fight 'em trying to play 'em.

    A lot of the fight is due to the trem. I've become somewhat of an expert setting them up due to this, and even though I'm getting real good at setting up Strats, I still haven't bonded with one yet. I've even forced myself to play a Strat exclusively for like a year; STILL didn't get used to it, and I've tried like 4 different ones - some rosewood, some maple, some hardtail, some trem models, one great Custon Shop one. No dice yet.

    I prefer the sound of the trem models strongly; they just sound "Strattier" to me. I strongly prefer Hardtail for playing - they feel more stable to me.

    Oddly, I don't have any probs at all w/ Teles. Must be the wang bar is all I can think of.

    Thanks, Dana O.
     
  6. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    used to be an exclusive strat guy until bitten by the tele bug...now the only strats I can play are hardtail ashbody mapled necked strats...wonder why:AOKjust enough strat to get the job done and a whole lot of tele thrown in...love em...

    on a side note...haven't touched either my tele or strat since I got my Les Paul...yikkkkkeeeeess:jo

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2008
  7. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    Hmmmmm......I haven't touched my Les Paul since I bought it. :eek:

    However, I firmly believe I should have one so I'm keeping it. :)
     
  8. RockStarNick

    RockStarNick Supporting Member

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    I recently sold my strat trem body, and installed a strat hardtail body. Both were alder. I always had the trem blocked, so I've had a direct comparison, back to back pretty much.

    I can say that the hardtail strat seems to have a subtle, but noticeable different vibe. To my ears, more solid attack. Less springy feel. Not necessarily MORE sustain, but a more solid feeling sustain. I guess the best way to describe the difference is that the notes have more "push" to them, if that makes any sense.
     
  9. BluesForDan

    BluesForDan Member

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    I had been on the lookout for a hard tail strat, since I was digging my tele so much. Just never found one that really blew my skirt up.

    Then one day, I unpacked a strat that came into the shop on a trade. I'm like a kid on christmas sometimes when I open the cases. "oooo, white blond, single ply, maple neck." I picked it up, and it floated up in my hands. Wow. Light. As in seriously light. Meowww, what a neck on it !! I flipped it over. No way, its a hard tail custom shop closet classic. I tune it up, and strum. Oh,Yeah:dude I'm going to have to get this one.:AOK Sorry, tele, not enough money to keep both. A good tele I can find pretty much any time (though affording them is another story), but a sub 6 pound, nitro finish, maple neck with a nice meaty V shape, '58 NOS (what it says on the certificate and in the neck cavity) hard tail strat doesn't come around every day.

    I like both trem and hard tail. I don't necessarily think trem are inherently less stable in tuning than hard tail, but there is a difference. It is like a cross between a strat and a tele, and I really like that. Like any guitar, the individual specimen has to appeal to you.

    I wish the necks on those maple board strats I had in the '70s and '80s were like this one. I don't know what the frets are this one, they are not 6105, and they're not vintage small either.

    Oh, and before anybody asks for pics, I'll have to wait for a camera to come my way again. Sorry, don't have any right now.
     
  10. 57special

    57special Silver Supporting Member

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    I prefer having the trem cavity for tone purposes. The hardtails i've played sounded nasty to me.... sorta like a bad tele.
     
  11. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    I find hardtails to be woodier sounding than a trem. I approach each build by matching components that work with each other to be more than the sum of the parts. Some pickups don't sound right in a hardtail - others do - it goes back to that woody sound and how to compliment it.
     
  12. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    :jo I'm screwed.:jo
     
  13. DC1

    DC1 Member

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    Hardtail strats rule!

    Great tone, very solid and clear. They are about all I play.

    I have Andersons, a Kubicki / Anderson hybrid, a USACG, and a custom Dan Altilio from Top Gear guitar pro shop in San Diego.

    All of them are stellar instruments and I wouldn't trade them for any trem model on the planet.

    HT strats are highly recommended.

    DC
     
  14. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    just curious...what pickups would you recommend for a lightweight ashbody/maple neck hardtail? I have a lollar tweed in the neck with blondes in the middle/bridge and am toying with the idea of trying something else...love these pups for a thinner...smooth sounding rhythm guitar but am wanting a bit more girth bite...cut and sting without losing articulation...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  15. dharmafool

    dharmafool Member

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    Less Stratty, more Tele. More woody, less springy. I dream of a fleet o' hardtail Strats with various pickup configs. As a player I've never bonded with the floating trem. If I want to trem, I go to a Bigsby.
     
  16. crosse79

    crosse79 Member

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    Picts please :D Sorry just had to do it. It is indeed rare to see a blonde hardtail strat.
     
  17. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    Here are some I'd suggest for an ash /maple hardtail like the one I'm building.

    Sheptone - AB customs
    Suhr - FL Standards
    Duncan - Alnico Pro II


    The Sheptone AB customs are real meaty my favorite pickups to date. I have a couple sets custom wound by Jon Moore to try - I might give those a whirl in this hardtail.
     
  18. uOpt

    uOpt Member

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    The problem here is that the hardtails that people have heard are almost all Ash and maple neck, and Fender used to use some horrible Ash over the years.

    I'm about to convert a flatmount to a trem, let's see how this goes.
     
  19. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    I had a hardtail G&L Legacy, and have had scores of trem strat types. The hardtail was nice, completely stable with locking tuners, but it wasn't unless it was opened up and cranking that it came alive. My trem guitars generally sounded good at lower volumes and kept that basic sound when cranked. These days I prefer a locked down trem S type guitar over a hardtail. They just sound and feel livelier to me.
     
  20. shngn7

    shngn7 Member

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    I like having a trem that's screwed all the way in with 5 springs. This way you don't have to put a block in there and it holds tuning just as good as any. I prefer the tone of a strat with a trem cavity but hate using a trem so this way I don't have to worry. Hardtails don't seem to get that strat sound I have come to love. I am picky!
     

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