Strat Midboost

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by aeolian, Apr 28, 2005.


  1. aeolian

    aeolian Member

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    Over on the longest ever surviving Dumble thread the discussion has shifted to Carlton's Valley Arts Strat and the integral mid boost. I remember playing a Clapton Strat that had this mid boost on the second half of the tone pot travel. Not a TBX which just sounds shrill to me.

    Can these be retrofitted to conventional Strats? Where would I find one by itself. This would be a very handy addition to my cover band guitar.
     
  2. Hard2Hear

    Hard2Hear Member

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    Hey-

    The Clapton midboost consists of a small pcb, a control for it, a couple of resistors, and a 9 volt battery. You can put it on any Strat, but you have to figure out where to put it. You will probably end up having to route out a space for it, unless you happen to have a strat with a swimming pool route, then you can fit it in there. The Deluxe Powerhouse Strat also has the Clapton midboost. It has a different resistor at the control pot to make it 12db boost instead of the Clapton 25db.

    you can find it at several places, just google Fender 25 db boost kit. here's one source: http://www.acmeguitarworks.com/Clapton-Mid-Boost-Kit-P44C13.aspx

    One note. If you install it, you will want very quiet pickups, as the boost also boosts noise. The Clapton Strat has used Lace pickups and Noiseless pickups, and the Powerhouse Strat uses a hidden reverse wound dummy coil to make the pickups quiet.

    H2H
     
  3. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    Is it just me, or could that midboost be why Claptons' tone has been so bland and lifeless?
     
  4. KLB

    KLB Member

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    Demeter sells a mid-boost kit.
     
  5. journo

    journo Member

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    Hi

    I would suggest a pedal midboost. This way you don't have to do surgery on your guitar.

    Demeter has a pedal. So do Duncan and Tonebone.

    Cheers,

    Mats N
     
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  6. chedgeco

    chedgeco Silver Supporting Member

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    aeolian,

    Keith could probably help you with that too... :)

    chedgeco... :cool:
     
  7. KLB

    KLB Member

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    With an EQ pedal, you can boost the 400-800-1.6K region to taste. You might want to sllightly reduce the frequencies above and below the "hump" that you create.
     
  8. journo

    journo Member

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    Hi

    I would suggest a pedal midboost. This way you don't have to do surgery on your guitar.

    Demeter has a pedal. So do Duncan and Tonebone.

    Cheers,

    Mats N
     
  9. angelo

    angelo Member

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    I loved the mid boost on my 35th anniversary strat. And still rue the day I sold it. IDIOT!


    To me, a pedal has never filled the gap because the coolest thing about the boost was real control rather than on/off.

    WIth the Clapton Boost set up, unity gain was volume at 7 - tone at 5 and mid boost at 0. From there, I could crank the volume to 10 if all I wanted to do was drive that first tube a bit. Lather on some mid boost for fat. Max it on disto channel to compress the heck out of everything with infinite sustain.

    All those options without missing a note. No pedal I have found can do that. It also sounded WAY more organic than any other active system I heard. But you simply can put them all on 10 and expect it to sound "real." If that is what you are looking for, I say go for it.
     
  10. aeolian

    aeolian Member

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    I picked up a Boss EQ pedal over the weekend and used it at an open air festival on Sunday where I was afraid the guitar might get really thin. Of course being able to wind up my Fuchs a bit helped, but the pedal did the trick. Was able to go from quacky comp parts to humbucker like solos. Now I have to find a way to keep the settings from getting moved.

    I really like the effect of the mid boost in the Clapton Strat. Does anyone know where there is a schematic for this? I'd like to build one into a pedal. Maybe with a couple of preset boost levels.
     
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  11. Ayan

    Ayan Member

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    Aeolian: email me at gil_ayan@yahoo.com and I will send you "the package."

    For what it's worth, Carlton had the "PRESENCE" control by EMG, which is a midrange boost, and EMG SA pickups. I did have EMG SAs with it in my former Strat for a while, and I got to compare that to an EC Strat w/lace sensors. At full tilt, both boosts sounded like cardboard, but the one on the EC was more musical than the one by EMG. I hear that new EC Strats with VN pickups can sound more musical with the boost all the way up.

    Cheers,

    Gil
     
  12. angelo

    angelo Member

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    Here is a question --- since it ties into the pickups themselves, can it be set up in a box that you can simply plug in to?

    If so, I could see building it in a box with a pedal for the volume --- or even two pedals (one controlling the mid)
     
  13. CJW

    CJW Member

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    I put a mid boost/cut control in my strats that I got from Torres Eng. a long time age. It is passive so it uses no batteries and takes no more space than a regular pot. It only has a couple of resistors and an inductor on it. It was less than $15 if I remeber correctly.
    I wired it only to the bridge pickup instead of all of them. When it is turned up it adds no actual volume boost, only a bump in midrange which is great for solos. Turn it to the middle and you have your stock sound. Turn it down to zero and it cuts the mids slightly for a more acoustic sound.
    Very cheap, very subtle but effective for me. Tames some of that bridge pup high end a little. I plan on trying one in my Tele.
    Might be the way to go for a "cover" guitar to get extra sounds without spending alot of money, changing pups, or hacking up a guitar.
     
  14. Ayan

    Ayan Member

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    Sure, you can do that. However, the benefit in having the boost at the guitar itself is that it will buffer its output, and then the signal loss through the cable will be decreased. [ It's a rule of thumb for electronics: you always put your boost as early as possible if you want to improve signal to noise ratio. ]

    Gil
     
  15. angelo

    angelo Member

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    That makes sense and I appreciate the info.

    The cool part about how I am viewing it is that it is an organic volume boost / mid boost that you can use with any guitar.

    When I was on a roll with that 35th anniversary, it was very hard to pick up a "regular" guitar in the middle of a set and still get all the sounds I wanted.
     
  16. BobbyRay

    BobbyRay Supporting Member

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    I've foud that my Clapton strat is my most versatile guitar! Aeolian will like that it works great with the Fuchs. I read somewhere that it also rolls off a slight bit of treble as well as increasing mids by 25db, and to my ears it does just that.

    Mine is with the noiseless pickups, and it is much hotter than say a Texas Special equipped strat with the boost completely off. As hot as my LP standard with Burstbucker V's even. And then with the boost it can get ridiculously hot. It does not sound exactly like a strat without the boost, and I'm guessing that is the noiseless pickups, but like I said it is very versatile.

    Also it has the boost as well as the TBX, controls are

    master volume, master tone/TBX, master mid boost (off at 0 and 25db boost at 10)! Tose who heard it through my Clark Tyger thought the tone was great according to the comments on the thread for the Michigan Tonefest.
     
  17. JIMMY PRESTON

    JIMMY PRESTON Member

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    THE "BOOST" WORKS REAL WELL WITHIN THE STRAT. TRIED "PEDALS" WITH A SIMILIAR "BOOST", BUT THE TONE WASN'T WHERE IT SHOULD BE.
    THE BATTERY LAST AT LEAST 500 HOURS, BUT BEWARE, NO JUICE IN THE 9 VOLT, YOU GET NOTHING, AND I MEAN NOTHING.
    CAME WITH 2 WAY STICKY TAPE AND DON'T FORGET TO WRAP THE BATTERY FROM HEAD TO TOE WITH AT LEAST ELECTRICAL TAPE.
     
  18. doublescale1

    doublescale1 FSR Tele Silver Supporting Member

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    When I had my EC Strat I didn't use the TBX at all, just the EC Mid-boost. I got a Demeter Fat Control pedal after I sold my EC Strat 8 years ago - does the same job, to my ears anyway - I use the Fat Control with my Suhr Classic-S with SSC built in - same super versatile strat as the EC now.
     
  19. Husky

    Husky Member

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    There is also a downside to putting the buffer in the guitar. There is distributed capacitance in a cable that is very hard to mimic. That distributed capacitance is what breaths sweetness in to overdrive and tames shrill high end from single coils. Without it you wind up sounding a bit like Gerry Garcia, a bit clean and squeaky. Hendrix used a 50ft coil cord for a reason. It's also the reason I don't care for a wireless or ultra low capacitance shorter cables. I prefer to put the active electronics in a pedal, easier to switch on and you can put the sweetening cable in front of the pedal, then buffer. If you wind up with a buffer in the guitar I'd recommend a true bypass to take it out if you don't want it buffered all the time.
     
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  20. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Bill Chapin put a Demeter Mid Boost into one of my Stratahoula’s he crafted. Sounds beautiful to me, Bill knows what he is doing...

    Best, Pete.
     
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