Which Strat?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Hugh DaMann, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. Hugh DaMann

    Hugh DaMann Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm looking for some suggestions. I own an EJ Strat and love it's sound, weight and general feel, but I'm having issues with the fret size and string tension. I'm going to start looking at other comparable strats to see if I can find something that might suit me better. My problem is I'm not certain which are considered comparable in terms of tone and workmanship. I generally prefer 12" radius necks, but will consider 9.5". I'm not married to either rosewood or maple and will largely depend on feel. And I would like to stay Fender and in this general price range.

    Of the dozens of strats out there, which should I be looking at?
     
  2. Garygtr

    Garygtr Almost as good! Silver Supporting Member

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    Check out this thread:

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=368020

    I love my EJ but am also having fret size issues. I'm condidering a refret or doing a neck transplant. The body on my EJ is light and resonant, and I dig the finish (CAR). Just an option to consider if you want to keep that EJ body and electronics.
     
  3. Hugh DaMann

    Hugh DaMann Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I did think about it. I'd rather see if I can find something first before I start throwing more money at the problem. I've been down similar paths before to just find I end up making change anyway.

    Thanks.
     
  4. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I have a limited edition Strat that's very similar to an American Deluxe that I like a lot.

    I don't think you're going to find variation in string tension unless you change scale length, tuning or string gauge. Different action will change how far you push the strings which will give them a different feel, but you should be able to adjust the action on any Strat.
     
  5. Blue4Now

    Blue4Now Gold Supporting Member

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    I know you said you want to stay fender, but, if I may be so bold, I would highly recomend a G&L Legacy. Awsome strat style with 12" redius and jumber frets. Plays itself, as they say. And it is the only strat style guitars that I have had that I have no desire to change a thing on. You can find amazing deals out there on these.
     
  6. Hugh DaMann

    Hugh DaMann Silver Supporting Member

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    I had a Fullerton Signature and although I loved the guitar -- it sounded great -- I wasn't crazy about the trem and it had. Plus this particular guitar had tuning problems...and I found I missed the Fender headstock. I feel guilty saying that.

    However, I have a G&L Tele that I LOVE......
     
  7. Hugh DaMann

    Hugh DaMann Silver Supporting Member

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    All of my guitars save one are Fender scale and there is definitely more string tension on the EJ. I think this is a known characteristic of the EJ.

    Thanks for the recommendation.
     
  8. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    Though I prefer a flatter radius on a guitar..
    I found my regular American Deluxe Strat much, much easier
    to play then the EJ Strat ... Though I tried hard to bond with an EJ,
    it never worked out ...

    Find a used Melancon Strat with a 10 or 12`radius ... you'll be very happy with it...
    The mojo factor is unique ...
     
  9. guitarsnguns04

    guitarsnguns04 Member

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    try the John Mayer...I have owned most of the sig models and a bunch of custom shops and my favs are the John Mayer and the Rory...great guitars IMHO..best of luck
     
  10. JUSTJOB

    JUSTJOB Member

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    Check out the CS Strat Pro Closet Classic! It is Nitro with a 12" radius, comes with maple or rosewood board. There was a price increase this year but you could try to locate one lower priced or used. I thought I was going to buy an Eric johnson and tried out many, but just couldn't quite bond with any of them even though I prefer the 12" radius. When I played a CS Strat pro I was hooked at first bite. I really love these strats because they are both modern and vintage at the same time and are the best of each!
    The Fender Artist Series has the Stevie Ray Vaughn Strat with a 12" radius and a chunky neck and has Texas Special pickups with a Rosewood board. This one is priced a couple hundred less than the EJ, so I guess you could change out the pickups if they didn't suit you.
    I suppose you could also look into the Classic Player 60's Strat as well. It is made in Mex. , but has the 12" radius, Rosewood board, and 69 pickups. This one may be a bit heavier in weight and only comes with a gig bag, but it is also only about $800.00.
    Also, there is a Fender Deluxe Player's Strat, again, made in Mex. , but priced a couple hundred lower than the Classic Player, also may be a bit heavier, but comes with 12" radius, maple, or Rosewood board, Vintage Noiseless pickups, and gig bag.
    These are the ones off the top of my head for Fender Strats with a 12" radius. Hope it is of some help to you.
    Best regards!
     
  11. Hugh DaMann

    Hugh DaMann Silver Supporting Member

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    So I played the following today:

    John Mayer Sig -- the limited edition one in Mica. PLayed well, but the neck is really big. However, I've had a G&L with a bigger neck and I ended up loving it. The pu's sounded friggin' awesome! It's heavier than my EJ, but was comfortable.

    American Deluxe -- I liked the neck size better and it played and sounded well. The S1 is interesting and added some balls to some typical strat sounds, overall I was impressed. But the Mayer sounded better and kept thinking about it.

    American standard -- it was OK, but sounded very thin compared to the other two.

    '62 Reissue -- this was a great guitar! Felt great and sounded great. Nice, thin neck with RW fingerboard. I was impressed.

    Now I'm trying to decide between the Mayer and the '62 reissue -- leaning toward the Mayer becasue it sounded awsome. Any opinions or other things I should look at?

    Thanks.
     
  12. burner

    burner Member

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    The Mayer Strat is very nice!
    But...so is the '62 RI

    Hope this helps.
    Love,
    burner.
     
  13. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    There are few things you can try to reduce the stiff feel.

    Have another steel block and drill deep the string wells so the string length behind the saddles are shorten.

    Add a string tree to reduce the effective string length behind the nut.

    Have the saddle height lower as much as possible.

    The low frets and sticky neck on the EJ really don't help at all.

    Other than those, Fender doesn't make many strats with the same features.
     
  14. Hugh DaMann

    Hugh DaMann Silver Supporting Member

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    Burner,

    Thanks for clearing things up for me.
     
  15. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    You should also check out the Hot Rod '62 Strat...best Strat I've played in quite some time. Chunky neck, 9.5", medium frets, thin skin finish...cool Strat IMO.

    The best bang for the buck Strat I've played is the Jimmy Vaughan Strat...but I prefer a rosewood fretboard.

    But, as Strats go, one's of the exact same specs can sound very different so play as many as you can before you buy.
     
  16. acwild

    acwild Member

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    Did you try taking a trem spring out? If the bridge has a little more give it might make it easier to play.
     
  17. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    That defies laws of physics, but good luck in your quest.
     
  18. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    I'd love to see people prove that the EJ has more tension and that it's not just an impression because the neck might be a bit sticky. Can someone post actual tension measurements?

    I've heard the fret and tension "issues" many times here, with both of my EJs I never had that issue at all. Sure the neck was a bit sticky and sometimes in humid weather it would put up a small challenge, but I never had any issues with the tension or fret size.
     
  19. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    All you guys who say there can't be a difference in "tension" when the scale length is the same are wrong. First, you don't feel the tension in the strings, you feel the stiffness (which is how much force you have to apply to bend a string to a given pitch). [Yes, I'm simplifying some things here.] Tension and stiffness aren't the same. And stiffness is affected by the length of string above the nut and below the saddle, break angle over the nut, lubrication of the nut, etc, etc. So there can be a difference between the EJ and other Strats.
     
  20. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Maybe a better way to describe it is "perceived tension". It's there and imo, everything from the 1/4 sawn neck to gunky neck to low frets etc.. all adds up to that feel.

    But simply fingerpicking open strings, I can feel the difference in tension, so it may be measurable some way. It's like the strings feel like you're picking them right next to the bridge with that real tinny/tight sound and feel.

    I just took two strats, one played real tight and one didn't. Swapped necks and used the same exact set of strings, the other neck plays like silk and you'd swear the .010's magically turned into .008's. And guess what, this new silky playing neck has small vintage frets and the stiff playing neck had tall frets.

    I handed the strat to several people and didn't tell them anything, the first words they said was man this thing is slinky. Had a very, very loose feel with the same strings tuned to the same pitch.

    Prior to that, I tried everything in the book to get that strat to play loose. Every neck angle, bridge break angle, shimming, strings, nut height, truss set etc... nothing. Dan Erlewine said it's just one of those mysteries. Very weird.
     

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