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Help Me Choose a Stratocaster

ronmail65

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,557
I started a similar, but more focused thread - I deleted it to start this.

So I thinking about getting a Fender Stratocaster (no non-Fenders). I've owned them in the past and I'm hankering for another one now. Here's what I'm looking for:
- KILLER full spectrum strat tones - hotter is better as long as it maintains character
- Rosewood fretboard
- Not picky on the type of tremolo - please no locking systems, but good tuners
- Good quality build
- Ideally the ability to get hot rodded fatter tone (maybe with a different bridge PUP, a mid boost, etc...).

I recently played a few new strats:
- American Standards (maple and rosewood)
- An American Standard with Custom Shop Pickups - sounded much better, nicer tuners ($1200)
- A used 1960's reissue with a DiMarzio blade PUP at the bridge. Great hot rockin' sound at the bridge, but the other PUPs sounded weak compared to the Customer Shop PUPs above

I also stumbled upon this place called Sigler Music and their "920D Custom Shop" stratocasters. It sounds like they buy brand new MIM Strats, upgrade certain electronics and hardward, then set them up and resell them. They sell hot rodded strats with locking tuners and all upgraded electronics / Duncan PUPs in the $600 to $800 range that sound like them might work too. I can't find reviews or opinions. Am I sacrificing quality too much with these?

What do you guys think about these options - or other Fender options?
 

Badside

Member
Messages
1,552
Sounds like you liked the new American Standard series with CS pickups (Fat 50's)

What's wrong with getting this one?

If you want a hotter bridge tone, get the HSS version.
 

ronmail65

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,557
Sounds like you liked the new American Standard series with CS pickups (Fat 50's)

What's wrong with getting this one?

If you want a hotter bridge tone, get the HSS version.
Yes - I believe that is what I tried and liked. I didn't like the $1200 price, so I'm wondering if there are other options like the 920D custom shop models.
 

RLD

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,172
Used MIM is the best deal out there.
You can get a great Strat for $200-$300.
Mod as you wish or play as is.
Or get 2 different ones.
 

K-Line

Vendor
Messages
8,439
Find one that sounds good unplugged and feels great to you. You can always dial in pickups later.
 

jonahboo

Member
Messages
629
I recently got a 1995 Strat Plus in trade
and gotta say outta all the strats I have ('73, Legacy, '03 w/ S1, 3 MIJ's) - this is a terrific guitar

locking tuners
roller nut
mini Floyd bridge
lace pick ups
high/bass boost in tone knob for bridge p/u
heck - best trem bar in a strat period - snaps in - not screwed in
while some of the colors are horrid - I was lucky to get a blue burst - subtle wood grain
and a great feeling neck in the soft c shape and maybe 9 and change radius
 

gulliver

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,768
It's easy to find a minty used American deluxe. After a few years with mine, I sold my stock loaded pickguard and started from scratch with the electronics. Great guitar, perfect modding platform.
 

windwalke9649

Member
Messages
483
Just get an American standard, or ideally a used American deluxe. I work on guitars, the shop was a distributor for Fralin, and Lollar, plus I use every single coil you can name. In the end, after installing Fralin, Lollar, Fender Custom shop, vintage fender that I pulled from other guitars, etc. I'm the end, I've been using Dimarzios (who would have thought that?
On my "hotter" Start I have Pro 54/area 58/heavy blues. I'm my lower output (the most versatile) I have Area 58/area 67/ Pro 54.
They use alnico 2 magnets, there is hardly any magnetic pull, they're super dynamic, and sound like the vintage ones I pulled
From a 61 or 62 strat, but with no hum.

a
 

73Fender

Member
Messages
3,980
Don't rule out the earlier version American Standards with the Alnico V pickups..pre March of 2012 or so. I have that version and the newer one, for what you said you are after, the previous version may do it. Same guitar other than the pickups and plastic trim I believe.
 

Badside

Member
Messages
1,552
Yes - I believe that is what I tried and liked. I didn't like the $1200 price, so I'm wondering if there are other options like the 920D custom shop models.
If that's the one you like, what's an extra 200$ for something you might end up keeping for the rest of your life?

I wasted a LOT of money by trying to find what I wanted with cheaper options.
Not saying MIMs are crap or anything, but by the time you upgrade the electronics and hardware, you didn't save much money and you still don't have the resale value.
 

B-Nads

Member
Messages
775
Were I shopping a Fender Strat in that price range, I'd be looking at either the Am Deluxe V-Neck in the higher $ bracket, a MIA Standard 2012 for a little less, or a MIM CP50 or 69. My preference would be the Dlx, then the MIMs.
 

Sweetwood

Member
Messages
1,177
Play them till you bond with one. All this talk about exact models isn't important.

...And to set it straight, old wood is not necessarily good wood either. There was plenty of crap made 50 years ago as well. Air dried is definitely better than kiln dried...that is the difference maker.
 

mslugano

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,325
Kind of an "interesting" question. You've described what you want and how much you want to pay...go play some and buy one or get one off the Emporium. Pretty simple, really.
 

ronmail65

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,557
Kind of an "interesting" question. You've described what you want and how much you want to pay...go play some and buy one or get one off the Emporium. Pretty simple, really.
Except I can't play all of them -- no all of them are carried at my local GC or other local music stores. I wish it was that simple.
 

ronmail65

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,557
Were I shopping a Fender Strat in that price range, I'd be looking at either the Am Deluxe V-Neck in the higher $ bracket, a MIA Standard 2012 for a little less, or a MIM CP50 or 69. My preference would be the Dlx, then the MIMs.
I have owned and really liked the American Deluxe models (HSS with the bridge PUP swapped for a DiMarzio SD-1). Lots of nice features, great quality, and awesome hard rock sounds at the bridge PUP.

2 concerns with going that route again...
Cost - I can find used ones on eBay close to $1K, without the PUP modification -- which is good (I don't want to spring for a new one). But I can't really check them out in person, so it's a little risky.

Tone - I owned these guitars in the past for the hard rock bridge PUP tones I got from the SD-1 (plus the feel and other non-tone features that came with the guitar). So I'm not convinced that these will deliver the killer fat '50's CS tones that I've recently come to admire. I guess additional mods or PUP swaps will get me there.
 






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