Strat Cats: Can you help me?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Custom50, May 20, 2008.

  1. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

    Messages:
    7,825
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada.
    I've been a Gibson player for the whole time I've played guitar, flirted with strats a few times but i could never really get the tones i want out of one. it seems to me (and I admit i know very little about strats) that many of them look very similar but play and sound really different.

    I know factors such as the body & fingerboard wood, pickups, etc. make a big difference, but I couldn't tell you the difference between a 50s Strat Re-issue and a 60s re-issue.

    I guess what i'm asking from players who know alot about strats is, what model would be best suited to me. I'm looking for something like Mark Knopfler's and Rory gallagher's Strat tones, kind of bright and clean. I'd prefer something MIM or MIJ because i don't have a huge budget for my next guitar, but I'd like to try a strat again.

    Thanks TGPers.
     
  2. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    20,551
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Location:
    TEXAS
    I think one quick way to recognize them is that 50's style has a single layer pickguard. 60's style has a 3 ply pickguard. Also in my limited experience many of the 50's styles have maple necks and many of the 60's styles have rosewood necks however I think that isn't a 100% of the time. This is just for starters.

    Correct me if I'm wrong folks!
     
  3. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,255
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    New York/San Diego
    MIM 60s strat is great. I think they are like $600 new and they play pretty nice.

    The difference between the 50s and 60s strat is basically maple vs. rosewood respectively, at least at the MIM level. There are a few mor edifferences between the USA 57 reissue and the 62 reissue.

    For Rory and Knopfler, the 60s is probably gonna do it for you. Knopfler's guitar is a Ash and Maple, and Rory plays an alder/rosewood strat mostly.


    The 60s reissue is alder/rosewood. Now Knopfler has a brighter, snappier tone than most strat players, which would make you think of his maple fretboard, but rosewood - while a bit warmer sounding - has a pretty good high end sizzle when paired with an alder body.

    ergo alder + rosewood will probably be closer to the ash+maple sound than maple+alder.


    I'm working on my own partscaster strat right now. I dig knopfler tones, but Rory Gallagher is probably one of my favorite guitarists/tone hounds on the planet. I'm pretty much setting up my strat for Rory, EJ, and Hendrix tones.
     
  4. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

    Messages:
    7,825
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Yeah, i like rory alot too. I was just listening to blueprint, and i realized his strat tone is alot brighter than i remembered. I guess it's just due to inexperience with strats, but I find both guys have similar tones in terms of being bright and snappy, yet, as you pointed out, one is a maple/ash combo, and the other is alder/rosewood. I guess it's best for me to just try loads of strats
     
  5. mmasters

    mmasters Senior Member

    Messages:
    541
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    ash plus maple for the bright strat sound
     
  6. bluegrif

    bluegrif Member

    Messages:
    4,010
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Oregon
    From what you're describing I think one of the best deals going is the MIM 50s Classic Player Strat (not to be confused with the regular MIM 50s Strat).
    For one thing, the CP has a 9.5 inch radius with medium frets which would be a lot easier for a Gibson player to move to than the traditional 7.25 and skinny frets. The pickups are US 57/62 and give a very trad sound. The workmanship on the ones I've seen has been very good. Features like the locking, vintage look Gotoh tuners are nice. All in a all a tremendous value. The only caveat is the custom wiring which may be a little odd for you. Mainly, position 4 gives you neck and bridge, rather than neck and middle, for more of a faux Tele sound. Otherwise it's the usual wiring except the 2nd tone control is wired to the bridge pickup (like ALL of them should be!). If you can use a soldering iron you could always wire it traditionally.

    The usual price of $799 might be a bit steep for you. But you can pick them up for $600 all the time. Even a dealer like GC might let you have one for $650 or $700.

    The other model that might fill the bill would be the Jimmie Vaughan Strat. Again, a maple board with a 9.5 radius and MJ frets. The Tex-Mex pickups ain't bad and the 2nd tone is already wired to the bridge pickup on this one as well. I've seen these go for $550.
     
  7. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

    Messages:
    19,552
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    upyerasskickinfootballs
    I keep opening this thread because I think it says "StraY Cats."
     
  8. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

    Messages:
    7,825
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada.
    thanks for the advice folks.


    Stray Cats kick ass.
     
  9. edgewound

    edgewound Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,372
    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    You could also try a Strat that suits your hands and budget well, and then swap out the pick ups for an EMG active set up ready to drop in.

    EMG-S, EMG-SA, EMG-DG20a, EMG-VG.

    http://www.emginc.com/
     

Share This Page