Poll most classic Strat tones

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by MikeP, Sep 12, 2005.


Poll who nails the Classic Strat tones & vibe best

  1. Anderson Classic

  2. Grosh Retro Classic

  3. Suhr Classic

  4. Tyler Classic

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. MikeP

    MikeP Member

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    Poll
    No need to post that they are all excellent ;)
    Who nails the vintage Fender Strat Tone & mojo the best
    Anderson classic
    Grosh retro classic
    Suhr classic
    Tyler classic
     
  2. SouthernShred

    SouthernShred Member

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    I'd add a Melancon Pro Artist to the list...but honestly, I think some of the best vintage sounding/vibe strats out there right now are coming from...Fender *gasp* :)
     
  3. Lavely

    Lavely Silver Supporting Member

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    I have not played an Anderson Strat.

    My Tyler is a LOT beefier than what I think of as vintage or classic Strat tone. More like a modded-Strat, ala SRV.

    My Suhr tends toward beefier tones as well, and the pickups are definitely hotter than vintage.

    My Grosh absolutely NAILS the vintage Strat tone. Think Robert Cray!!

    Lavely
     
  4. LightninBoy

    LightninBoy Member

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    My only experience is with Grosh and Suhr - my vote for vintage tone is for Grosh. Despite the sleeker body style, Don is about recreating vintage tone with the Retro Classics.

    My Suhr Classic excels in high gain situations - it does a great job of recreating clean vintage tone as well, but that isn't its' major strength IMO. The Suhr is clear and articulate with a very tight low end, no matter how much gain you throw at it. I can't say the same for the Grosh, or any 'vintage' styled instrument that I've tried for that matter. They tend to mush up as the gain increases. With a Fralin SP43 in the bridge position, my Grosh does a great job of covering some of the heavier 'vintage' Strat selections (Hendrix and Trower), while the Suhr (V60LPs) is about a more modern range of tones (Van Halen and Lynch).

    When bringing a tube amp to the point of 'sweet spot' break-up, the Groshs in my collection produce a certain mojo effect that I haven't encountered with the Suhr or anything else. Beautiful round, warm, hollow, woodie tone - difficult to make even a wrong note sound bad - to the point of almost not paying attention. Everything sounds magical. The Groshs, in my experience, have a great track record for that - it gets my vote.
     
  5. MikeP

    MikeP Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I just bought a Grosh off Jarrett in the emporium today.
    Should be here Friday or sooner. It has a Suhr DSV in the bridge but the original Fralin is included & I will be putting that right back in.
    Your descriptions sounded like what I want in a strat.

    I have a Suhr now & it is great but I like the tones a bit more vintage.

    I'm sure I will eventually try a Tyler too just because I have heard so much good about them.

    Thanks again
    Surpising how few actually voted on the poll eh? ;)
     
  6. John Bell

    John Bell Member

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    I've owned several of all except Tyler.
    The closest to what I call vintage strat tone was the Groshs I owned.Simply the biggest,fullest resonate guitars I've played.Unfortunately they never played as well as I wanted them to.Could be the 10" radius.

    I've owned seven Andersons in the past ten years.Over all they were the best guitars I've owned.The combination of playability,tone and workmanship made them my favorite for a long time.The classics with VA's will get you close to a vintage strat sound.Andersons seem to work very well with higher gain amps like Boogie,VHT,Fuchs,Bogner and Soldano.I wouldn't recommend an Anderson to a guy playing through a Super or Deluxe reverb.

    I've owned two Suhr classics in the past 4 years.Both were no doubt THE BEST playing guitars I've ever layed my hands on.You could set the action as high or low as you wanted and they flat out played great.I would say they are closer to a vintage strat than the Andersons,however the Suhrs were way on the bright side of the tone spectrum.They had good low end responce and sounded somewhat scooped in the mids.The high end was intollerable for me.Both models I had were equipted with brazilian boards and the standard trems which are definate no no's if you have single coil pickups.Maybe one with an indian rosewood board and a fender six screw trem would do the trick.

    The most interesting strat style I've played in a while is a Melancon.Played great,but not to easy as to feel like something else.The sound was somewhere between the Grosh and Suhr.EQ wise it was very balanced which is what I prefer,since I play a combination of soul and RnB tunes which requires me to play alot of clean chords.The single notes for soloing have more girth than the others mentioned,but that's just my opinion.Liked it so much that I hope to have one someday.

    I can't forget the Ice Blue Warmoth strat with Fralins I have.Monster sounding and playing guitar.;)
     
  7. tms13pin

    tms13pin Supporting Member

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    Personally, I think actual Fender guitars from that era nail it the best! :D

    --Tom
     
  8. MikeP

    MikeP Member

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    LOL...........is that the one ?
    You know how many times I wish I had that back? ;)

    I was debating on building another but did not see any good wood. Then I saw that Grosh & since I wanted to hear one.
    We will see .

    Thanks John
     
  9. GuitArtMan

    GuitArtMan Guest

  10. MikeP

    MikeP Member

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    I was just talking with him yesterday.
    I have bought many parts from Bill Callaham over the years & always wanted one of his guitars.
    From way back when they were less than 1800 new.
    I could never stand the thought of the two year wait. I know it is even longer now.
    That is just what I was telling him yesterday.
    How much I regret not ordering back when ;)
    He does really fine work doesn't he?
    hmmmm

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    It's not really a complete/accurate poll lacking Fender though I understand you did post it in the "Small Company" section.
     
  12. SouthernShred

    SouthernShred Member

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    You know, I have a buddy that owns an amazing 55 strat that I judge all strats by. He also has some 60's strats, etc and several custom shop pieces. The store he works at just got in a Fender Masterbuilt Mary Kaye signature and he said it is the most badass strat he's ever played, including my holy grail, his 55.

    I think that with any manufacturer, if you search a little while, play several guitars of the same model, you'll find the magic one. I think Fender is making great guitars right now...I love all of the small boutique guys, but they all seem to be variations on a theme. Wouldn't mind owning some of those variations though ;)
     
  13. MikeP

    MikeP Member

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    Yes I guess so in a way. But I do know Fender makes some good ones too. Problem is they sell so many the polls get pretty slanted.
    Also usually you can find a dozen at any given store so you can sort through them & try to find a good one.
    These brands ar not so common here & many places so......
    It is good to hear from others what they have found.
    Seems like these four small companies have very good consistency across the board.
    I think that is the main allure
     
  14. fjs1962

    fjs1962 Silver Supporting Member

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    Out of those I've owned Grosh, Anderson and Suhr, and several of each. I think it comes down to how you spec them out as to how close to the old Strat sound they come. Put on a bent saddle bridge, use Klusons, stay away from overwound pickups, and you can get the classic tone. There is NO reason why ANY well made Strat shaped guitar with a bolt on neck and vintage style hardware/pickups shouldn't sound like a Classic Strat.

    Now that said, the one out of all that I have had that sounds the more like an old Strat to me is my Suhr Classic, ash/maple, 1088 bridge, V54 pickups and Kluson tuners. I had a Grosh in a similar configuration (ash/maple, Fralin Real 54s, 1088, Klusons) that was almost as good. My SUhr Classic with V60lp pickups sounds fatter and hotter than what I think of as the Classic Strat sound, but that's what I like about it.

    I don't think an Anderson Classic will ever sound quite like an old Strat, as they will only build one with the modern type bridge, sealed tuners, and fuller sounding pickups. Not to take anything away from Andersons, as they are great guitars too, but to me the Anderson Classics I've had sounded more like Very nice modern American Series Strats than vintage Strats.
     
  15. fjs1962

    fjs1962 Silver Supporting Member

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    You said it all right there. The Standard Trem and the Brazilian board both add highs in the upper presence area. I've had a couple like that and had the same experience you did. Get one with a 1088 and either a maple or Indian RW neck and you'll have the warmth you were lacking. Neither one of my Classics (both maple board) are overly bright. In fact if anything my alder/maple with the V60s could be a little brighter.
     
  16. westex

    westex Disgruntled Optimist Silver Supporting Member

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    Well, Not being too picky, but you take your garden variety Am std. strat, slap a set of Fralin Vintage Hots in there and that sounds like a strat. Me personally, I like a wider neck than the usual 1 5/8 strat so I gotta look at that perspective, but I do own a strat nonetheless, and really enjoy those tones.

    Wes
     
  17. Vicktory

    Vicktory Member

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    This last year I was in the market to replace a wonderful Strat that I foolishly got rid of about 15 years ago when money was tight. In the process I tried out tons of new and vintage Fenders and in the boutique market several Andersons, Tylers and Suhrs. Wasn't able to actually try a Grosh in person. I ended up ordering a Suhr classic and am very pleased. Can't say I don't still miss my old Strat, but the new Suhr sounds as good or better.
     

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