Strat guys...help me out

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by guitarded_1, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. guitarded_1

    guitarded_1 Member

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    So having played LP type guitars all of my life, I'm considering getting a strat. The thing is, I will probably sell my Hamer Monaco Elite to fund the purchase. The Hamer is an amazing guitar, so I'm looking for something equally amazing to replace it. I'm looking for an excellent version of the Stratocaster...something that has killer workmanship, tone and feel...and will hold its value as a well respected instrument. I'll have around $1500 to spend (new or used), but the choices make my head spin. Can you guys help a brotha out?

    For a bonus question, I'm trying to think of a certain color that I have seen before on a couple of strats...but don't know the name...nor can I describe it too well. It's sort of between an orange and a red...like a burnt red. Any ideas?

    Thanks!

    Steve
     
  2. homerayvaughan

    homerayvaughan Member

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    There's many to choose from just from Fender, not including many other Strat knock-offs. One that gets a lot of praise around here is the Eric Johnson strat, right in your price range. I prefer rosewood fingerboards, but the necks are great on them. Unfortunately, they only come in 4 colors - blonde (white), candy apple red, 2 tone sunburst and black.

    A lot depends on what you are looking for in a strat. Do you want bigger frets, flatter radius, or vintage frets/radius? 3 single coils, 2 singles and a humbucker? locking trem or vintage?
     
  3. guitarded_1

    guitarded_1 Member

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    My tastes are straight up vintage...not that I can afford a real vintage strat. What I'm trying to get my hands on is the kind of strat that I can pass down. No humbuckers or any of that business. I'm a corksniffer of sorts, though I know my budget limits that a bit. I just want the finest speciman of a strat that I can get in that range.
     
  4. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    You can find excellent used Fender CS relics, closet classics, etc. for that price. I've seen quite a few here. Just determine the neck profile, whether you want a rosewood or maple board, and let the hunt begin! BTW, my fave pups which you see on many of them are the Fat 50s. Fat tone and good output, but with plenty of strat glass. AC
     
  5. guitarded_1

    guitarded_1 Member

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    Okay cool. I wasn't sure if I could find a used CS for that price. Originally, I wanted a Tele...mainly because I have played a couple of vintage teles over the years that still haunt me. I went down to the local shop (which is a killer store) and played many a CS tele...and I just couldn't warm up to any of them. I then played some CS strats and really dug a lot of them. I'll certainly want a maple board, but I have no idea as to the neck profile. I definitely don't want anything too chunky. I want a neck that is really easy to play...though I guess they all are to a certain extent. Thanks for your help.
     
  6. Luke V

    Luke V Member

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    Check out the EJ Strat. The fingerboard has a 12" radius, which should work well for a Gibson guy, and the craftsmanship is very good. They just happen to sound and feel great too.
     
  7. Joe M

    Joe M Member

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    Sounds to me that you want a 56 CS Strat. The neck on those is nice and full but not huge like on the Nocaster. Maple neck but most have vintage radius (7.25) and vintage frets (small). Coming from a Les Paul, those two things might be hard to adjust to. I think the color you're talking about is Fiesta Red, which is kinda an orangish-red. The 56's come in that color. If you're lucky, you might find a used one for ~$1500.
     
  8. klatuu

    klatuu Member

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    Bonus round answer: Fiesta Red :dude
     
  9. johnnyguitar

    johnnyguitar Long in the tooth Silver Supporting Member

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    I know this is gonna get some heat but here goes..get a cheap Mexican strat , put in some great pickups and for $500 you have something that will sound very very good and play decent too..if you are a great player you might notice the difference in tone and playability..I played a 61 all original today and it played ok but sounded like C$#p...played a Mex Strat thru the same amp and settings and it sounded better..played a CS Strat thru the same rig and it sounded like the Mex Strat..I've got a set of Bardens in a homemade Strat with a warmoth neck SRV carve and I think it sounds great..OK guys and Gals fire away..you can Stratofry if you wish but that's my story and I'm stickin to it!!!!!:messedup BTW you'll be going back to the Gibby anyway..they all do..........
     
  10. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    Don't do it!!!!!! Strats are overrated.
     
  11. guitarded_1

    guitarded_1 Member

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    I'm not knockin' the LP, it's just that I have a Monaco Elite and a LP...which is redundant. I'm keeping the LP and looking for a truly different flavor. As for strats feeling very different...that's the point. I only play LP style guitars because they are all I have known. I may be a closet strat guy...who knows.

    In fact, I plan on diversifying my amps as well. I have a Splawn Quick Rod for fire breathing tones, and I plan on getting a Matchless Clubman for everything else.
     
  12. michaelprice83

    michaelprice83 Member

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    I'd say go play a bunch of strat's or strat style guitars. If you want my opinion, I think EJ strats are the best value in the higher end Fenders, as well as the most versatile. Its got the best of the vintage specs along with some modern refinements (radius, frets, lack of string tree) that for SOME people make it the cat's ass. Anything from Buddy Holly to Malmsteen is possible with the EJ.
     
  13. tbp0701

    tbp0701 Member

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    OK, well, for one I really don't think you should sell a guitar that you're happy with, think is amazing and play regularly to fund another. That tends to wind up in that never-ending gear merry-go-round with you contributing to those "wish I hadn't sold threads."

    That said, I love Strats. And, ditto on the Fiesta Red.

    Now, the thing with Fenders is that you don't have to pay $1,500 for a great guitar. Really. (And spending that much doesn't necessarily mean you'll get a great one). They have some stellar ones in about all price ranges (personally I like the Highway Ones, Classic Series, some signatures (like the J. Vaughan, Cray and Muddy Waters Tele). But the choices do make your head spin.

    Here's what I suggest to narrow down the choices. All of the guitars boil down to two types: Vintage and Modern-Spec, with a few combinations. The biggest difference will be in the necs; vintage-style necks have smaller frets and a more curved 7.25" radius. Modern-style necks usually have medium jumbo frets and a 9.5" radius (and easier truss-rod access). Also, the vintage bridge has six screws and the modern is a two-point. There are several guitars which combine these features, often using vintage-style bodies, electronics and hardware with modern-style necks. These include most of the signatures and the Highway Ones (which have just been dramatically changed). So you'll have to decide which you like better.

    Here's what I'd do: go to some music stores and pick out a couple of each style, such as: American Vintage 57 or 62, Classic 50s or 60s and compare them to an American Series and maybe an American Deluxe. Then try some combinations, like the Jimmie Vaughan, Highway One, Robert Cray (all in the $600 MAP range), Eric Clapton, SRV, Eric Johnson (over $1k MAP), etc., whatever strikes your fancy.

    Then you'll have an idea what you'll like. And you probably won't have to sell your Hamer to get it (besides, Hamers usually get heavily discounted in the used market).
     
  14. scuba200ft

    scuba200ft Member

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    Get a Nash...You'll thank me.....

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    I have been a Strat player my entire life (with a PRS, Kramer, and a few others thrown in along the way), and tbp0701 - you make some really great points.

    My 2 cents - determining how much versatility you want out of a Strat can help narrow your choice. Although they always seem to retain that inherent "Strat sound", there is a world of difference between an EJ model and an 89 American Deluxe, both in tone and in "flexability".

    If you are looking for anything from a classic Hendrix sound to SRV nasty blues, I can't recommend the EJ enough. It is just a joy to play and has serious tone for days. It is amazing how sublte the response is on the tone controls. You can buy that guitar right of rack and, without ever having to do any modifications, have a Strat that will last you a lifetime.

    If you are looking for more of an "all around" guitar (blues, classic rock, metal, jazz), then I would say any of the American made Strats (sorry, the Mex ones are damn fine guitars but the American ones really are that much better) , but more the American Deluxe - and the pups of your choice. My main gig is a cover band, but we really run the gamut (Brad Paisley, Metallica, Tonic, Rush, Dixie Dregs) and my main guitar is the 89 Deluxe. I have a JB Jr in the bridge, a Lace Sensor Silver in the middle, and a Lace Sensor Blue in the neck (the Lace Sensors are the stock ones). Believe it or not, that guitar covers the tones I need in spades.

    Of course, I am strictly speaking about walking into a typical music store and walking out with a NEW strat. A vintage Strat is a totally different beast, ;)
     
  16. pep

    pep Member

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    I have always been a strat guy. There are a lot of fine examples that I'm sure others will be happy to name. Here's a few things that I have found over the years. Of course it's all a personal thing, but here goes.

    If you are not going to be going nuts on the trem, get one with a 6 screw bridge. IMHO the contribute to better sustain. In that same vein, a steel sustain block is necessary to get all the chime that strats are known for.

    Alder body, rosewood neck. (Don't shoot me guys). I find this combination to have the most versatile tones.

    Get something with at least a 9.5" radius. Anything smaller and you will have to really crank up the action to keep string bends in the upper register from choking out.

    So there's my 2 cents. Good luck in your search. On a side note, used Melancon's fit in your price range and are really nice.
     
  17. guitarded_1

    guitarded_1 Member

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    Wow...you guys have been very helpful. I am hesitant to sell the Hamer, so part of me is thinking that it would be a better idea to find the best Strat I can for $500 and just have it around for when I get the urge. As for the EJ strat, I'll check one out...though truth be know...I can't stand EJ...so it would have to be a damn good guitar. :)
     
  18. Rock Johnson

    Rock Johnson Member

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    Hehe... I've convinced my wife that I need to get a Strat one day, and it'll likely be an EJ. I've heard nothing but good things about them.
     
  19. homerayvaughan

    homerayvaughan Member

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    I'm not a huge EJ fan either, but they are really a great strat. Keep the Hamer, like others have said, and look at lesser expensive strats. Chances are they'll get you a lot closer to the sound and feel you are looking for.
     
  20. saxmanjack

    saxmanjack Member

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    Surprised nobody mentioned the Hamer Daytona...
     

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