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What makes people say that Strats are the most versatile guitar?

vortexxxx

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,369
I would never say that a Strat is the most versatile. I get more unique sounds out of my tele (for example)
 
Messages
3,404
Yes, see for example the Jeff Beck cover I posted earlier. Try that on an LP without a slide. I guess theoretically you could do it with a combination of bends and turning the tuning keys on the fly.

See also hair metal and songs that make use of divebombs.

Can you do dive-bombs with a slide? Or were you referring to the use of a trem in the last paragraph again?

Anyway, having to use a slide is no big downer for me since I think they're really cool.
 
Messages
3,404
Mudster's post earlier is bang on for me, when he mentions the 'percussiveness' of a Fender. This is the real Fender advantage for me...

Personally, i think the Strat vs 335 argument is not that valid. Both are sufficiently different to allow us the need (wife listening ?) to own both.

I love my CS '51 Nocaster. It was a 40th birthday present to myself. However, i bought a CS '56 Heavy Relic Strat after much searching... You know, I don't even like the look of Strats, but this one does everything my nocaster does and much much more.

Imho, Strats can almost make every sound you need. The neck pick up on mine can be the softest sweetest sound I've ever heard, AND the nastiest heaviest too. Go figure.

I recently bought the gorgeous, unbelievable Nik Huber Krauster II. An incredible guitar too. The coil tap is amazing on the bridge pick up. Great chime, lovely switch from single coil to humbucker. BUT, and here's the rub, it can do what the Nocaster does, but it CANNOT sound like the single coil on that Strat...

The ability to have that 5 way switch on the Strat, and to continually swop between the settings during the same song, offers mind blowing flexibility.

Here endeth the sermon...

Funny mentioned the percussiveness of a Strat because that is another thing that makes me prefer 335s overall. I feel they are more dynamic overall in terms of response whereas a Strat doesn't seem to reflect the dynamics of the players touch as well.

The 5 way switch for me doesn't really work because most of the time I only really like the way the neck pickup sounds. But I can see that it would be great if you like the other positions.

And I agree that they are different enough to both be instruments worthy of respect.

Maybe if I ever find a Strat that sounds as grand and intricate as my 335 then I will reconsider my stance.
 

huw

Member
Messages
1,439
Here's a question:

When people compare different guitars, do they just plug them in, with the same amp settings, or do they re-eq the amp for the new guitar, and then assess what it can do?

Seems to me that if I were to plug a Strat into my gigging amp (which is setup for my Les Paul) it would likely sound pretty thin & weak. Conversely, if I set the amp up to get a better sound from the Strat, the Les Paul would probably sound a bit flabby by comparison.
 
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Fuzzdog

Member
Messages
653
Here's a question:

When people compare different guitars, do they just plug them in, with the same amp settings, or do they re-eq the amp for the new guitar, and then assess what it can do?

I never change the tone controls on the amp when comparing guitars. If I'm trying out multiple instruments, I want to know what the differences between them are! The tone can be fine tuned later, but I'll normally play an instrument I'm pretty familiar with, dial in a decent (yet fairly neutral) tone on the amp, then leave it while I plug other things in.

To be honest, I don't really adjust the tone controls on an amp between different guitars at all anyway - I generally set the amp tone controls in a fairly neutral sweet spot, and tweak the volume and tone controls on the guitar to fine tune. Doing it that way usually results in an amp that you can play through with a big fat Les Paul, then plug in a Strat and have it sound great without touching an amp knob at all.
 

Digidog

Member
Messages
2,852
Personally it´s for me about the sound of the PU´s. A single coil has a different sound profile, regardless of pedals and effects, that rings differently no matter how one tweaks the amp or the guitar.

Whether or not the sound of a Strat´s S/S/S configuration is useful or not, is for me a question of what I want to sound like and what place in the over all sound of the band or orchestra I´m out to get.

To consider a H/S/S Strat the most versatile guitar there is, is to rule out too many considerations of what can be done with more specific sound profiles. As my experience is that a compromise is not the best of anything, but sufficiently good for everything, versatility for me is not about how many settings a thing can be used in, but instead what limitations I myself feel and find when using that thing in question. If I feel limited, then I am limited. If anyone claim to be limited, he or she is limited, no matter what everybody else sees can be done or achieved.
 

burningyen

Member
Messages
14,969
Can you do dive-bombs with a slide? Or were you referring to the use of a trem in the last paragraph again?

Anyway, having to use a slide is no big downer for me since I think they're really cool.
I was going back to my original point of needing extra stuff (in the case of divebombs, a Whammy pedal) in order to cover territory a Strat can cover.
 

monty

Member
Messages
24,133
Think of salt in cooking, you only add a little at a time because you can add more, but you can't take it back out.
Strats are a platform where you can add more. A guitar with a thick, beefy milkshake thick tone already has more and you can't take it back out very successfully.

I agree totally. I can get sweet atmospheric sounds right up to aggressive mean stuff out of the same Strat where with a LP the dirt comes easily but the cleans leave me cold.
 

mudster

High Prairie Wrangler
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,663
I think we can all agree that this needs far more testing. For the sake of music, we are all going to have to purchase, at minimum, top quality strats, teles, les pauls and 335's. I know it will be tough, but we can do it!

In my own stable, my guitars with 2 p90's are probably the most versatile (a Thorn and a Grosh Electrajet), so I think, for the sake of the research, we should all pony up for at least one guitar w/ 2 P90's.
 

23 Fretz

Senior Member
Messages
651
From a modding point of view, I wish the electronics were more accessable on a strat. Make some more that are rear routed so you don't have to remove the strings and 11 picguard screws just to change out a pot or cap. I don't care if they still put a pickguard on it to keep the strat "look".
 

S1Player

Member
Messages
3,448
Limiting Strat to S-S-S seems like an arbitrary limitation - to then label it limited.

I have a MIM Strat with 2 P Rails and a Middle Cool Rail - all 3 coil split and selectable - Single Coil, P90, Series HB, and Parallel HB.

Talk about covering bases.
 

woof*

Member
Messages
8,803
From a modding point of view, I wish the electronics were more accessable on a strat. Make some more that are rear routed so you don't have to remove the strings and 11 picguard screws just to change out a pot or cap. I don't care if they still put a pickguard on it to keep the strat "look".

Capo is your friend :)
You never have to restring a strat to work on it.
You can pull the neck, or pickgaurd...to change parts or adjust the truss rod... easy with a capo on the first fret.
Been doing this for decades.
 
Messages
3,404
I agree totally. I can get sweet atmospheric sounds right up to aggressive mean stuff out of the same Strat where with a LP the dirt comes easily but the cleans leave me cold.

For me I prefer Gibson cleans for most things so the Strat winds up being less versatile in that regard.
 

zul

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,348
'Strat' in popular vernacular is a pretty big umbrella. Around the world it could cover a lot of ground, not necessarily fender at that. Heck it could also generally mean any electric guitar for that matter. Like colgate is toothpaste, kleenex is tissue, jazz is fingersnaps, etc.

To limit strats to sss configurations is part of the problem, methinks. Then Ry ain't playing a strat, and neither is Jimmy Herring and countless other that did not stick to sss. Are lipsticks ok? filtertrons count? When Blackmore pulled the mid pup out is he still playing a strat? And is it just pup modifications that matter, or are scalloped necks out too? I'm not calling Yngwie; don't want to deal with that Fury. And what Carlton was playing on that 'last night' might very well be a monstrosity.

Difficult to understand why strats are considered versatile when the strength of that design is handcuffed to just sss configurations. Leo and the gang came up with a affordable, modular design that could be customized fairly easily, whether by design or serendipiously. Swapping parts probably occurred very early on when it has bolt on bodies and necks, easily replacable loaded pickguards, vibrato units and the like.

Besides, what the general public defines as a 'strat' is wide, and varies by culture. To some Americans it might only be Fender, to others, any guitars that has the basic outline, to others sounds like, to others looks like, and for a select some, smells like. I don't even know how many variations Fender makes.

Well, to some we're all just 'Murkens, and that includes all of youse.
 
Messages
3,404
'Strat' in popular vernacular is a pretty big umbrella. Around the world it could cover a lot of ground, not necessarily fender at that. Heck it could also generally mean any electric guitar for that matter. Like colgate is toothpaste, kleenex is tissue, jazz is fingersnaps, etc.

To limit strats to sss configurations is part of the problem, methinks. Then Ry ain't playing a strat, and neither is Jimmy Herring and countless other that did not stick to sss. Are lipsticks ok? filtertrons count? When Blackmore pulled the mid pup out is he still playing a strat? And is it just pup modifications that matter, or are scalloped necks out too? I'm not calling Yngwie; don't want to deal with that Fury. And what Carlton was playing on that 'last night' might very well be a monstrosity.

Difficult to understand why strats are considered versatile and when the strenght of the design is handcuffed to just sss configurations. Leo and the gang came up with a affordable, modular design that could be customized fairly easily, either by design or serendipiously. Swapping parts probably occurred very early with bolt on bodies and necks, pickguards, vibrato units and the like.

Besides, what the general public defines as a 'strat' is wide, and varies by culture. To some Americans it might only be Fender, to others any guitars that has the basic outline, to others sounds like, to others looks like. I don't even know how many variations Fender makes.

Well, to some we're all just 'Murkens, and that includes all of youse.


I'm not 'Murken, haha. I didn't say that SSS was the only real Strat configuration. Just that when people say "Get a Strat, more versatile" I'd usually think they mean SSS unless they say otherwise. I don't think I'd be alone in that.

And Digidog has a valid point about that sound of PU's, Even an HSS Strat may not prove to be too versatile for someone who isn't really looking for the distinct Strat neck tone. You can route it to HSH as well but at that point you could just as easily go for a Gibson unless you really need a tremolo. And some don't like the tuning instability that those can bring.
 

MikeDojcsak

Member
Messages
423
I've been really craving a nice lefty strat lately, but my tele is my go-to for the most versatile. That being said, my les paul can do basically anything as well.
 

milli vanilli

Member
Messages
5,030
To me, a strat with a bucker in the bridge is pretty much a jack of all trades, master of none... it can pull off just about any tone and has a vibrato bar as well, making it really versatile. That said, I don't have a strat. I don't want versatile.
 




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