Swimming Pool (Universal) Route

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by FiestaRed, Aug 1, 2006.


  1. FiestaRed

    FiestaRed Gold Supporting Member

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    Does this affect the tone of a strat in any way? Is this route under a pickguard generally looked-down upon?

    Thanks!
    -Mark
     
  2. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    I'm a big fan of G&L guitars, and the legacy line uses a swimming pool route. I will stack the tone of my S500 against any strat out there. In fact I did... I went looking for a strat, came back with a G&L:AOK Bottom line is, there are alot of myths and arguments out there about tone and resonance. Worry more about the neck connection, than the body route. Good wood, and good construction. It's all you need.
     
  3. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I think it does make a difference, although it's quite difficult to tell on a small sample - but if you play enough similar guitars with both types, I think you can hear it. The ones with the big rout sound more hollow, 'airy' and thinner to me. The ones with individual routs (even HSH) sound more direct, punchy and fatter. Which is better is a matter of taste, but I prefer them with individual routs. I think it's easier to hear acoustically than amplified - but I still do like to feel the guitar resonating more solidly, and I do think you can still hear it plugged in as well.

    It is generally looked down on too - whether justifiably or not. I know that at least one high-end maker uses the big rout, and having played some I think you can tell, and I don't like the guitars... but others do, so use your own ears and don't worry about what's perceived as 'better' :).
     
  4. Mark Kane

    Mark Kane Silver Supporting Member

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    I've put a "Beverly Hills" swimming pool route in a few and liked the way they worked out. That's routing almost all the way to the edge of the pickguard on the switch side. I've found most of the tone seems to follow a neck though, not as much the body.
     
  5. cnardone

    cnardone Supporting Member

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    I've never done a taste test so I can say first hand. From speaking to Bill Chapin about strats, he does hear a difference. I don't know if I would here it even if I heard it, but I believe others can and do.

    cmn
     
  6. slowburn

    slowburn Supporting Member

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    when I got my strat 7 yrs ago, I loved the tone, it was the most woody, alive resonant strat I had ever played... then I took off the pickguard and was *shocked* to see a swimming pool route. I mean, after all, there were all these internet message board afficionados that were swearing up and down that 3 single routes were better than the swimming pool route... bottom line is, I still dig the tone the same. take what everyone here says with a grain of salt. don't let anyone here convince you that a strat doesn't sound good because it has that route.
     
  7. DualRectifier

    DualRectifier Silver Supporting Member

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    The G&L swimming pool route is more like a kiddie pool...it's very shallow. I tried to replace my Legacy Special with an HH pickguard, using my standard Seymour Duncan Jazz and 59 pups, but the legs were way too long. Had to get special order short-leg pups. There's still a lot of wood in that area.

    I used to think it didn't make a difference, until I compared my non-routed American Standard Telecaster to a routed one. The Fenders are routed deep, and there is a good bit of wood missing there. Comparing apples to apples, I could tell a difference.

    Do this: Strum a big open G chord, then touch that part of the guitar with your finger. It's one of the most resonant parts of the guitar. It's right in line with the string vibration.

    If a good number of members of this board believe the tuners make a significant difference in the sound of a guitar, I don't see how they'll think a huge chunk of wood drilled out of the middle of a guitar would not make a difference.

    It's just a difference, one's not necessarily better than the other. Having flexibility to choose and place pickups can be good if you ever want to change your sound.
     
  8. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    another G&L player here, IMO it is a total non-issue, my S-500 & ex-Legacy are/were very toneful and the S-500 has a big open sound directly related to that...
     
  9. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Does the G&L special have a big rout under the pickguard?
    I am guessing....no.
    And while we're rooting around in routs, why do old Tele's have that angled rout under the pickguard? Not needed.
    Why are pickguard-less Tele's so unpopular? (to re-route the topic)
     
  10. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    Do you mean the Legacy special? Why would it be any different than any other Legacy. Only difference is the pickups.
     
  11. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    It's also in the direct line between the neck pocket and the bridge.

    All things being equal, the neck drives the body. Hard to imagine that taking out that much wood doesn't affect the sound.

    A swimming pool rout alone won't stop a Strat from being a good guitar, though. There's LOTS of marginal Strats that have a 'small rout', and there are good ones that have the Beverly Hills rout too.

    M $.02, Dana O.
     
  12. reentune

    reentune Supporting Member

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    Can anyone tell me exactly what year G&L started regularly routing that way?
     
  13. DualRectifier

    DualRectifier Silver Supporting Member

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    I am pretty sure G&L has always done the swimming pool route. Mine was a 1994 model. Legacy Special has always been pretty much a Legacy with different pickups and locking tuners.

    I wouldn't get too worried about it...it's really not that big of a deal. But you can bet that it does sound different.

    This is what they say on the faq over at the G&L fansite guitarsbyleo.com:


    Is Bathtub (aka swimming pool) routing a "bad thing"?


    This question comes up frequently and if we had a "Urban Legends" section, it would be at the top of the list %^). The majority of contributors to this discussion topic in Discussion Page have agreed that this is not a "bad thing". Here are some of the reasons:

    1. It provides flexibility for altering pickups (e.g. installing a full size humbucker in a Legacy).
    2. There are tonal benefits (more airy sound).
    3. Other guitar builders use this method and have stated similar positive reasons and results.
    [SIZE=+1]
    [/SIZE]
     
  14. Don Ramsay

    Don Ramsay Member

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    For what it is worth, my Jeff Beck signature Strat (earlier one with the big neck, TBX circuit) has the swimming pool route.
    A great axe to me.
    Don
     
  15. Gradinger

    Gradinger Member

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    "why do old Tele's have that angled rout under the pickguard? Not needed."

    This route facilitates drilling the wiring channel from the neck p/u cavity to the control cavity without resorting to a flimsy foot-long drill bit.

    The alternative is to drill a very long hole starting in the neck pocket, through both sides of the neck p/u cavity, and then on to the control cavity. Many builders prefer to leave the neck pocket unmolested.

    This cavity is also a good place for your stash if you have to fly with your Tele.
     
  16. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    I believe G&L do have a big rout.

    As for Teles, have you ever tried putting a neck pup in a Tele?
    That little rout proves very useful.
     
  17. AnthonyL

    AnthonyL Silver Supporting Member

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    Grosh Retro Classic has the swimming pool route and the few I've played sounded rather nice. Don says it's an important part of the RC's sound. He is capable of building it in either fashion and he chooses the pool route...
     
  18. pep

    pep Member

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    From the research I have done, all Legacy's have that route. I had one that sounded KILLER both plugged and unplugged. Screw the consensus. If you like the sound of the guitar it doesn't matter the route.
     
  19. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    Ummm... That IS the consensus!:roll
     
  20. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    I play G&L guitars, so the rout isn't an issue here...

    [edit - think I may have my SRV guitar history mixed up]
     

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