I have weird Stratocaster question...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by cruiserman, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    I purchased an '82 Tokai '62 Strat reissue. I had to decide whether to refret the neck or replace it. The pickups had gray fiber bobbins marked "E", which were OEM at that time for this model (I read made by DiMarzio). They sounded nice but anemic.

    I swapped the neck. The result in sound was dramatic, as though the same old pickups sprung to life. Only then did I replace the saddles and harness, which also improved the sound from the pickups. I'm of the belief that everything affects everything. Shoot, I even heard a difference when I changed the intonation saddle screws to stainless ones, and not for the better, imo.
     
  2. Atmospheric

    Atmospheric Supporting Member

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    See previous my post about my direct experience with an insanely resonant (but ultimately poor sounding) high end PRS. For that reason, I'm inclined to give the nod to @Husky on this.
     
  3. Steve_Blaine

    Steve_Blaine Member

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    I think a guitar that resonates is a great thing, just my opinion. Well, mine and also Jack Pearson’s. Jack is a fairly famous guitarist who played with the Allman Brothers as well as many others. He would play a Squier on stage (not always but sometimes). Here is what he said about why he played his Squier.

    “An electric guitar has to respond unplugged. Like that Squier Bullet I played during the Gregg tribute show? I never plugged it in at the store, but I knew it would be a great guitar. I just played it acoustically. It had the most response and vibrated great … had a lot of sustain. I’ve had a couple friends play it and they didn’t see any big deal about it—but the low notes are really tight and the high notes have a certain quality.”

    You can read the whole thing here if you are so inclined- https://www.guitarworld.com/features/guitarist-jack-pearson-jazz-jam-humble-genius

    Sorry for the long post. But yes, I think an electric guitar that has good resonance sound alive when plugged in. It probably has to do with more than just one thing, but wood, construction, hardware all probably play a role. Again just my opinion.
     
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  4. Obsessive Tinkerer

    Obsessive Tinkerer Member

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    Totally agreeing, a high quality block is the shizzle ma nizzle! I’ve found that Killer Guitar Components (KGC) makes the most.... musical block of the bunch. Similarly Highwood Guitars makes the best saddles out there (sound great, ouch free and slotted right so the string is in the right place). It’s a pricey way to go but swapping those parts makes a world of difference both plugged and unplugged.
     
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  5. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

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    The guitar vibrating and the tap tone frequency of the wood are separate.

    I’m not sure where PRS and I differ unless it’s in the words we use and how people interpret this words. If I play a guitar and I feel the neck almost buzz with vibration in my hands at a specific frequency I doubt Paul would say that is a good thing, that is along the same lines as Wolf notes on a violin. The idea is to get the guitar to behave evenly for all notes played. Feeling a neck vibrating is not what people mean when they say the guitar sounds great or vibrates well acoustically. Ken Parker wrote a nice article someplace about tap tones and shooting for the necks that tap at a higher frequency as they produce better clearer bass and I’ve heard my opinion echoed in the luthier journals I get each month. I’ve also seen extensive testing from Yamaha with very elaborate measurement systems where they talk about I believe a patented torrefaction type of process and how it has the desirable effect of raising the tap tone frequency as would happen in aged wood naturally.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
    Roe, kevin hart and candid_x like this.
  6. VintageKnob

    VintageKnob Member

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    I have found that one of the most enjoyable experiences playing is when you feel the guitar resonating from your playing as well as the sound returning from the amp.
    The vibe goes full circle. To be part of that loop is cool. So maybe a more resonate guitar would do that better? Don't know the science of it, it's just cool.
    The rig I'm thinking of is a G&L Legacy through a 66 Super Reverb. Maybe it's the cranked ten's?

    - D
     
  7. bertramladner

    bertramladner Supporting Member

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    More acoustic vibration is better and more sought after according to what I’ve heard.
     
  8. G34RSLU7

    G34RSLU7 Member

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    my custom shop charvel also has this quality, i haven't found it in another solidbody guitar yet
     
  9. hitchcockblonde

    hitchcockblonde Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I think JS and PRS are saying the same thing. Too many variables, from strings to wood to construction to be super-scientific. But I seldom am too concerned about plugging an electric guitar in to know if it's gonna sound good. If, unplugged, it's balanced and fairly lively, I can find pickups to get it sounding good.

    If it's balanced but not very lively or loud, that's okay. If it's balanced and lively and loud, that's usually better. But if it's really oriented toward more of one frequency or another - and especially if it's one of those guitars we've all played, where just one small range is really loud, louder than every other note? Probably not.

    Yes it's the strings interrupting the magnetic field of the pickups that makes the sound. But the strings are anchored across some combination of wood and metal, and like J Suhr said, if you were to hammer a couple nails and a pickup into a 1) plank of pine, 2) a PVC pipe, 3) a sidewalk, and 4) some Styrofoam... then tune a string between those nails to 440 Hz and plug in... gonna sound different. All 440 Hz, but musical instruments don't generate a pure and simple waveform. The pickup is being vibrated too (oooooooh yes!) and there's all kinds of overtones from all this stuff interacting.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  10. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

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    Runaway feedback. :)
    Should have potted the coils.
    Some NFB in the system mighta helped.
     
  11. cruiserman

    cruiserman Member

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    Thanks for all the input & replies.

    I thought it was defect because I've never picked up another Strat that "sang", dragging your fingers across the strings sounds like a harp. Also I misunderstood how pickups work so I thought it was diminishing getting the most out of my guitar.

    Kinda cool not to have to plug-in to get adequate sound, but I dunno? I guess to each his own. This reply really shows what I mean.

    btw: both strats are set-up within a hair of each other (same strings, springs, action, etc), the only difference is pickups.


    Thank you. I appreciate getting corrected, how else am I gonna learn? Also its one of those phrases/words you don't really use in real life so it seemed OK. However, would using "intensive purposes" work if we were talking about oil-drills? :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
    Gig Young likes this.
  12. Hulakatt

    Hulakatt Supporting Member

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    Commiserate or celebrate? To commiserate, have a beer and play a sad song on your guitar. To celebrate, have a beer and rock out on your guitar. So the takeaway is... have a beer and play yer guitar!
     
  13. hitchcockblonde

    hitchcockblonde Supporting Member

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    Yup, I have one Sttrat - well, the only one I OWN after having a few pass through my hands - has this vocal quality. A really interesting tonality even unplugged. It's the only CS Fender I've played, let along owned, so maybe they do use great wood or construction.
     
  14. Binaural

    Binaural Supporting Member

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    I believe wood resonates differently for a variety of reasons, older growth wood has tighter growth rings than newer wood, but old growth wood is still available in some areas. Moisture, as well as, sap content, if the wood has knots or other imperfections in it, even the region or elevation the wood grew at can have an effect. Fact is wood is a natural biproduct and contains many variables in its make up.
     
  15. TP Parter

    TP Parter Member

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    Lol, yet another reason for me to add r.e. my preference for single coils over humbuckers, and I also love a nice solid fundamental to my base tone that works well with mosfet and germanium boosts, fuzz, octave, and modulation fx providing clarity and depth imo.

    And yeah, that is how you achieve a perfect Strat set up.

    And @aliensporebomb, that is exactly how I pick out a guitar. If I think a somewhat dull sounding one has potential I will ask for a fresh restring and let them know I am ready to buy if it does the trick.
     

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