What to do with my '91 Strat?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by KiwiRocker, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. KiwiRocker

    KiwiRocker Member

    Jul 23, 2013
    Papamoa Beach
    Hi y'all,

    I have a black 91 strat with white pickguard and rosewood board that ismnot getting much love these days. I have replaced the original pickups with hot noiseless, but it is otherwise stock. Either with the original or hot noiseless pickups the sound has suited distortion much more than clean. Either way it does not want to deliver a traditional strat tone.

    I'm trying to figure out what to do with it. Do I pursue the ideal strat like tones, or do I give in to the obvious, and put a couple of humbuckers in it to better support its apparant nature? I quite like the idea of replacing the pickguard with an all black HH setup. I seem to be a humbucker guy with most of my other guitars being HH. Any single coil needs are covered by my Brian May Standard.

    Any way, just looking for some thoughts or inspiration to make this guitar more useful. It's my first decent guitar (I bought it new) so selling it is out of the question.
  2. Baxter Stockman

    Baxter Stockman Member

    Jun 9, 2014
    There's a number of things you could do if you wanted to persue vintage tones:

    57/62 pickup set gives a nice blend of late 50s strat tones for about $110 for the set.

    Fat 50s are well regarded as well and can be found for about $80.

    If you wanted to keep the heat and lose some noise. Lace hot golds give you glassy cleans and can overdrive very well. Those are more expensive though.

    It sounds like you've got hb tones well covered, and there are even more examples of inexpensive vintage voiced pickups around. I'm sure others will chime in with their suggestions as well.
  3. CthonicEwes

    CthonicEwes Member

    Apr 11, 2007
    Long Island City, NY
    I like the original pickups in my 91; it sounds like a strat....DUH!

    Maybe you got a dud.

    I love the neck, fits like a glove. It's maple, though, not rosewood like yours.

    I wouldn't bother going the HH route. Maybe sell it. (I know you said you wouldn't, but if you don't bond with it why keep it around?)

    You can make a clean strat sound dirty, but you can't make a dirty strat sound clean.

    What amp are you using?
  4. bandintheclouds

    bandintheclouds Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    Just a thought, but does your strat have a tbx tone control? I have an early 90s strat plus deluxe that had the lace sensors and tbx stack. I eventually decided I loved the guitar, but I wanted a more traditional strat sound. I replaced the pickups with 50s style before fully understanding the tbx. With a tbx, you want to run the tone at 5 for neutral and if you run it at 10, certain frequencies are boosted, sometimes resulting in brash tones (sometimes adding just what you want). Anyway, worth looking into and you could always rewire with a vintage style tone control.
  5. John C

    John C Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    Kansas City
    Yes, a '91 should have the TBX tone control for the middle and bridge pickups. Fender used that until circa 1996/97 when they went to the no-load tone control for the middle & bridge.

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