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Why am I having trouble bonding with a Strat?

dk123123dk

Member
Messages
3,892
Pros: :dude

The neck pickup sounds killer.
Lots of classic sounds can be had. And my shorter scaled, dual humbucker, set neck, mahogany guitar cannot produce.
Cleans sound sweeter with single coils to me.


Cons: :BITCH

Singles may sound sweet, but also hum. The noiseless ones lack that special sound mostly, and are a compromise.
The neck and body feels weird to me. Something I could get used to, but it would be weird to switch back and forth.
I'm not used to the controls where they are.
Tremolos are great, but come with a whole set of issues to deal with.


Do you guys/gals think that I would be better off just making do with the guitar I have now. Or get a strat and learn how to adapt to the differences? Or just get a HSS strat of my dreams and ditch the guitar I have now? Or get something like a Godin, or Carvin, Parker Fly, or save my pennies and get a Thorn?

I would miss the hell out of my guitar, but could probably replace it pretty easily in the future if I changed my mind. I might just be a one guitar man, but will I always be wondering what I am missing out on? :facepalm

Thanks for reading, and any sagely advice you have to offer. :BEER

dk
 

JimmyR

Member
Messages
3,790
The last couple of years it has slowly been dawning on me that I'm just not a Strat player. It should have occurred to me ages ago but it has taken so long to get through my thick skull that I just don't like what happens when my fingers play a Strat. I must have had over 20 Strats. I like some other people playing them, like Jimmy Wilsey who used to play with Chris Isaak. But I really dislike the whole SRV thing - he could do it but OMG the pain of all those imitators!

I think what happens is when I play a string I expect more stuff to happen, like it does with a 6120 or a 335. Maybe I only like guitars with numbers for names? Nope - I like my Starfire III (although it has numbers in the name). I guess I just like a big fat squawk when I hit the strings - Strats don't do that for me. I get frustrated and end up whacking the crap out of them and they don't sound so good like that.

Oh well - one day I'll get another good one. In the meantime don't worry if Strats don't do it for you. Listen to what sounds suit your playing and follow that.
 

rob2001

Member
Messages
16,929
Heres my theory. A guy needs a main "go to" guitar.............and a few others for specific applications. So it may not be your main guitar, but there sure are a lot of great tones to be had from a strat. I say get and keep several different guitars around and love them for what they can do.
 

The Captain

Member
Messages
12,742
Sounds like my story. I don't mind trems, but I also expect more to happen than I get with a strat. My solution was to buy an ESP Horizon FR-2, with coil taps on nice SD pups. When I feel the urge to go single coils, I push the coil tap. It soon wears off, and I push teh button again to restore tonal goodness.
Another appraoch is to try P90's. Nowm they are a single coil with balls.
TV Jones Filtertrons are also a good move, lots of chime and clarity, but no hum and lots of balls. Can you say Gretsch 6120 setzer Hot Rod ?? Yowzaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa !!!
 

HoboMan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
17,532
I am in the same boat.

I LOVE the sound of a Strat BUT the body is uncomfortable for me. I think it's because I'm 5'6" and Strats are really big on me.

The Carvin DC series is similar to a Strat body but it is a little smaller/sleeker. Much more comfortable.

Teles are VERY comfortable for me and one of my favorite body styles. Eventually I'll get a Tele with a Strat PU configuration.
 

slowhand66

Member
Messages
81
I love the sound of a strat with 3 sing coils. I love the look and the body style. I love maple necks. To balance it out, I also own a hot rodded strat with 2 hums and a Floyd, and one with HSS configuration. I have some strat mutts that have aftermarket necks made exactly to my preferences (e.g., flatter Gibson style radius, jumbo frets).

Experiment and you will find what you are looking for.
 

gerryguitar

Member
Messages
831
strats are for me THE electric guitar... not diminishing teles, Les Pauls or 335s.. the very first electric guitar I ever held in my hands was a 1961 strat... and for me thats still the benchmark...

I know its all personal preference and we're all different.. but strats cover an awful lot of ground...
 

wrightdude

Member
Messages
4,274
Maybe you need a PRS?

HA! reason I say.... I played a LP for 15 yrs... couldnt even "hold" a strat! Then after playing a PRS for a few years the next time I played a Strat it wasnt so bad... now I have 2 Strats and still want more!!!! The PRS was the bridge.....

Most of your cons can probably be overcome with more time on a Strat except the hum vs noiseless thing... just gotta bite it on that one!!!

But I'd say you should def get one.... having a variety of instruments will open new dimensions in your playing style(s).... go for it!
 

Beauhooligan

Member
Messages
85
I'm not being sarcastic, but would venture a guess that the Strat is just not the guitar for you. I like Fender guitars, Strat and Teles. I could say that it really doesn't matter which, but the Strats get 80% of the duty. But both really produce great sounds, and feel right to me. I have bought and sold a half dozen Gibson Les Pauls, and three SGs. I really wanted to bond with the Les Paul, and even more so with the SG, but they just felt like lead in my hands, or like eating ashes. I don't keep a ton of equipment, right now I have six electric guitars and that's five more than I can play at one time. Three are Strats (one vintage '63, '07 MIA LTD Ash and a MIM FSR Deluxe Players), a MIM Tele, a Yamaha Pacifica Tele copy, and an old Peavey T-60 that I've hung on to because it has a great neck and the humbuckers still sound raunchy. I sold my MIA Tele a week ago to help pay for a new roof, mostly because my MIM Tele is 98% as good in sound, fit and finish as the MIA; it must have been a good day in Ensenada. I can buy another MIA Tele that is just as good, if not identical, any day of the week, and I also needed the money (at this point in life I will sell things rather than borrow money).

I love the way a Strat feels in my hands. the way it rides on my body with a strap, the way it sits on my knee and the C shaped neck; it just feels right. When folks talk of tone it's so subjective. I think saying "great tone" is like saying "favorable sex". To me the Strat has a "sing" to it, a bell like quality that comes from the single pole pups and the resonance of the tremolo system. The player's sound that I admire the most, and try to get, is that of David Gilmour, especilly on cuts like "Comfortably Numb" and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". I can get most of that sound with the LTD Ash as it is the only Strat that still has the Trem floating. I use two simple stomp boxes (Boss CS-3 Comp/Sustain and CH-1 Super Chorus) thru my old Twin Reverb, or with my Frontman 212R using the same two pedals and adding the Boss FDR-1 '65 Deluxe Reverb box. I have even copied his short trem arm as I play close to the bridge, but I don't have 1/100th of Gilmour's skill and grace. I also admire Clapton, and the other two Strats are set up like his, blocked tremolo, all five springs in place and never put the arm on the bridge. But, even with the Trem blocked they still have that weird resonance, that carry, sustain and ringing quality.

If you can't find that in a Stratocaster, if it feels like lead or tastes like ashes, don't waste anymore time. Time for :BEER.

Beauregard
 

Ben C.

Member
Messages
6,863
The last couple of years it has slowly been dawning on me that I'm just not a Strat player. It should have occurred to me ages ago but it has taken so long to get through my thick skull that I just don't like what happens when my fingers play a Strat.
I feel the same way about Teles! I love the idea of them... but I just don't like playing them. Also took me a long time and several Teles to finally realize that!

-Ben
 

AaeCee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,443
The perfect strat solution for all you humbucker players.....strats with active boost like in the Clapton strats or as seen in many James Tyler strats. Maybe not for the die hard vintage strat purists, but to my ears they sound pretty damn stratty, with that addictive on-board boost that can bump the sounds up to something rivaling thick 'bucker tones. And if you're being drowned out on stage by your mate with his LP, turn the boost up a couple of notches and power right through. I have a couple of 'em and am hooked.
 

dantedayjob

Member
Messages
1,866
Pros: :dude

The neck pickup sounds killer.
Lots of classic sounds can be had. And my shorter scaled, dual humbucker, set neck, mahogany guitar cannot produce.
Cleans sound sweeter with single coils to me.


Cons: :BITCH

Singles may sound sweet, but also hum. The noiseless ones lack that special sound mostly, and are a compromise.
The neck and body feels weird to me. Something I could get used to, but it would be weird to switch back and forth.
I'm not used to the controls where they are.
Tremolos are great, but come with a whole set of issues to deal with.


Do you guys/gals think that I would be better off just making do with the guitar I have now. Or get a strat and learn how to adapt to the differences? Or just get a HSS strat of my dreams and ditch the guitar I have now? Or get something like a Godin, or Carvin, Parker Fly, or save my pennies and get a Thorn?

I would miss the hell out of my guitar, but could probably replace it pretty easily in the future if I changed my mind. I might just be a one guitar man, but will I always be wondering what I am missing out on? :facepalm

Thanks for reading, and any sagely advice you have to offer. :BEER

dk
Try a PRS SAS, or, if you can muster the scratch for it a 513
 

doublescale1

Suhr S-Classic, V60LP's, Soft V neck
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,052
I play mostly humbucker or P90 guitars, but when a Strat is called for, nothing else will do. I got a Suhr classic with the SSC built in. Solves the entire hum thing with no compromise in the delicate single coil tone that you use that guitar for in the first place. That is the only strat style guitar I own - but it covers all those gotta-have strat tones so I'm good in that area. The stacked silent single coil pickups have improved over the years - the Kinnmans and the latest DiMarzios seem to curry a lot of favor from TPGers, try a search if you need/want more info on those. The Suhr system, when built into the guitar is the most effective, a backplate will knock down 75 to 80 % of the hum in any strat (must have non-RWRP middle pickup though - easy enough, just get a second neck pu) as an aftermarket solution. The backplate is drilled for standard Fender backplate holes - non-"F" guitars may require some drilling. There is a forum at the Suhr site that will have tons of posts on either built-in or Backplate use, and the moderators work for John, John sometimes chimes in himself, but that is the straight poop. Agree that there are times when only a strat will do - I have found that the Suhr system is the best at no-tone-comprimise hum elimination - not to say that live in a band mix, any of the good stacked single coils wont get you convincingly in the tonal ballpark - live is not as critical as recording - how you're using them and what you are looking for will point you in the direction that best suits your needs. Good hunting.
 

jrw32

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
724
Try a PRS SAS, or, if you can muster the scratch for it a 513
I was thinking the same thing...try some PRS models out...IMO they're a nice mix of Strat/LP territory, but have their own voice/feel...& they're quiet! :)
 
Messages
1,836
:shrug: I can't say that I've found "the strat" myself. I've been looking for and wanting to love a strat for years now. I just don't get that feeling out of them I get from some other models. Maybe I'm just a little off, but I love my Mustang...The way the body feels and the way the neck is shaped is perfect for a little guy like me. Just play what you love, don't expect a mold to fit you just because it fits a lot of other players!
 

VintageKnob

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,137
In some way, I just think you haven't found the right strat yet.
I bought and sold so-o-o-o many Strat's until I finally got a Suhr.

I could not get myself to dump the big coin on a Fender CS, to me it was like paying $5.00 a gallon for gas. It's a Strat!

I came upon a used '06 Suhr Pro1 on consignment, played it and knew right away, this is what I was looking for. I had an LP, so I didn't want a HSS, I wanted a SSS Strat guitar. So I called Suhr, had them make me a SSS guard to fit the Pro and first put 3 V60LP's in it, loved it, but wanted to try something with more "glass" to them. So I put some Suhr V54's in it. KILLER!

So for $1,400 and a guard and a new set of pups, I've got the Strat that I was looking for, at Fender CS quality or better for under $1,700.00!

Now I love my LP, it's an '07 R7, BUT... the Suhr seems to be what I never put away. 40 years playing, mostly LP's and the Pro is becoming #1.

Leo designed an amazing guitar when he made the Strat, Leo's gone and so is the Fender of old. IMO, John Suhr keeps the flame burning, this thing is a beast. There is not an amp that I play it through that it does not just sing with. I've got a 67 super reverb, 5E3, 18 watt and a 15 watt champ and it sounds great through any and all of them.

Nothing wrong with Strat's, it's Fender that I have the problem with! ;-)

- DStefani
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
33,352
Having the guitar you want to play not be the guitar you want to hear is a what fuels GAS.
One solution is to embrace and adapt, but the temptation to stray is a killer.
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,917
Pros: :dude

The neck pickup sounds killer.
Lots of classic sounds can be had. And my shorter scaled, dual humbucker, set neck, mahogany guitar cannot produce.
Cleans sound sweeter with single coils to me.


Cons: :BITCH

Singles may sound sweet, but also hum. The noiseless ones lack that special sound mostly, and are a compromise.
The neck and body feels weird to me. Something I could get used to, but it would be weird to switch back and forth.
I'm not used to the controls where they are.
Tremolos are great, but come with a whole set of issues to deal with.


Do you guys/gals think that I would be better off just making do with the guitar I have now. Or get a strat and learn how to adapt to the differences? Or just get a HSS strat of my dreams and ditch the guitar I have now? Or get something like a Godin, or Carvin, Parker Fly, or save my pennies and get a Thorn?

I would miss the hell out of my guitar, but could probably replace it pretty easily in the future if I changed my mind. I might just be a one guitar man, but will I always be wondering what I am missing out on? :facepalm

Thanks for reading, and any sagely advice you have to offer. :BEER

dk
I've played Strats for 40 years as my go to guitar. Noise, trem issues, control placement, etc. just go with the territory and you eventually learn to adapt to it. However, DON'T assume all Strats, even one's with the exact same specs, will sound & play the same. IMO, there are a lot more dogs out there than gems and it takes a while to weed through them...then you might have to tweak things slightly to your taste. And don't assume the higher priced one's are "better"...I've played $400 Strats that would blow away some $4000 ones...so keep an open mind.

Humbuckers in a Strat...IMO they don't belong there. With decent pickups (like Mare's) you won't need the humbucker crutch.

Strats are inherently inconsistent so run the racks, kick a lot of tires, close your eyes, and let your hands & ears be your guide. Strats are what they are and, if you learn to adapt to their qwerks, you won't find a guitar as versatile.
 




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