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Strat-o-Tele is almost completed...so much to UNLEARN!

Lewguitar

Senior Member
Messages
5,663
This 1980's MIJ Fender Strat has been a favorite for a long time. Bought it in a pawn shop in Boulder about 20 years ago and it had a Dimarzio Super Distortion pickup mounted in it...which I quickly removed. Not my style, so I put a set of Antiquity Surfers in it.

A few years ago I installed a pair of Antiquity Surfers (neck and RW/RP middle) and an Alnico 2 Duncan '53 Style Tapped JB bridge pickup that MJ wound for me. Used a push/pull tone pot to go from Hot to Vintage on the bridge pickup.

Sounded good but didn't sound like a Tele to me and I wondered why. Thought it must be because the bridge pickup was mounted in the pickguard instead of in a Tele bridge plate.

Wrong!

A few weeks ago I took it all apart and carved a new bone nut for it.

I removed the RW/RP middle pickup and left it out.

And rewired it so the five position switch gives me: Vintage Output Bridge...VO Bridge & Neck...Neck...Neck & Hot Output Bridge...Hot Output Bridge.

Without the middle pickup it now sounds much more like a Tele.

I'm learning that for an authentic 50's or 60's Strat tone all three pickups must match. No more RW/RP middle pickup and no Hot bridge pickup.

But I've also learned that the presence of a middle pickup and the effect of the magnets in all three pickups pulling on the steel strings is a big reason a Strat sounds like a Strat.

So by removing the middle pickup entirely and by having both pickups have the same polarity this guitar now sounds much more like a Tele.

I have a new pickguard on order from WD. It'll be cut for a Strat neck pickup and Tele bridge pickup and drilled for a master volume and master tone. And then this guitar will be completed.

BTW, since the alnico 2 53 Style Tapped JB bridge pickup has the north poles on top, I used a middle pickup for the neck pickup. And I also had to reverse the black and wire wires on this particular pickup (a Fralin Vintage Hot) to get it in phase.

I like the tone of the Antiquity Surfer better - it's throatier and ballsier. But the Fralin Vintage Hot had long enough black and white wires to do the job and the middle Antiquity didn't. And I was curious about how it would sound.







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After:

 

teleman1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,362
Esqcostrat? Will it be this title if you remove the neck pickup? Everything you have said makes sense.
 

Lewguitar

Senior Member
Messages
5,663
Do you guys with the super-cool two pickup Strats feel that your Strat still sounds exactly like a Strat?

Because to me the neck pickup on my Strat sounds different without the middle pickup being in the guitar.

The theory I have is that without the middle pickup magnets pulling on the strings, the strings ring differently...more like a conventional two pickup guitar.
 

J-E-M

Senior Member
Messages
713
When I'm just using the neck pickup it still sounds pretty much like a strat, but with a bit more mid-range presence, but that's because the pickup is overwound (a little over 7k).
 

Waxhead

Member
Messages
6,217
Strange cos I always thought the mid PUP was the best thing about a Strat.
I always use positions 2 & 4 :)
 

J-E-M

Senior Member
Messages
713
It's always been the neck pickup which has defined the strat sound to me. Different strokes for different folks - it's all kool and the gang.
 
M

Member 37136

Please don't take this as a criticism, but I never knew Strats would look so weird without a middle pickup!! I guess I'm just so used to seeing three .... Cool build!
 

Lewguitar

Senior Member
Messages
5,663
Strange cos I always thought the mid PUP was the best thing about a Strat.
I always use positions 2 & 4 :)
Love those tones too! I have other Strats so I still have those sounds.

This two pickup Strat is aiming for more of a "Tele in a Strat body" kind of thing. :nuts

I've had the guitar a long time - it's a great rebirth and new voice for it.
 

Waxhead

Member
Messages
6,217
Love those tones too! I have other Strats so I still have those sounds.

This two pickup Strat is aiming for more of a "Tele in a Strat body" kind of thing. :nuts

I've had the guitar a long time - it's a great rebirth and new voice for it.

OK enjoy it :)
 






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