$vboptions[bbtitle]

What do you do to fatten up your strats tone?

Teleman
September 8th, 2007, 08:54 AM
I'm primarlily a tele player but I've been uysing the strat a bit more lately. Wondering wihat some of you may do to fatten up your tone.
I'm currently playing an AM. Series strat with Texas Specials through a vox AC30. I'm using the following effects in my rig:

Barber Tone Press, Barber LTD, Barber Direct Drive, Boss Digital delay, Arion Chorus, boss TU 2 tuner

I really like you the strat sounds with the OD pedals and don't want to loose the basic chimy tone . Just want to fatten up the clean tone so it is not so thin on its own.

SixStringSlinger
September 8th, 2007, 09:36 AM
Maybe you can use the OD and roll back the gain or volume, so you have some grit when you pick hard, but not too much difference from the original tone when you pick softly.

maestrovert
September 8th, 2007, 09:52 AM
What do you do to fatten up your strats tone?

adjust the amp....:wink:

works for me !

y.m.m.v.

PhatTele
September 8th, 2007, 09:57 AM
Ditto...turn up the midrange on your amp. There's plenty of warm dirt in the midrange that you can play with.

JohnK24
September 8th, 2007, 10:31 AM
If you got a Barber Tone Press, it's easy...a small amount of the compression-maybe 8 or 0 o'clock , then add some of the clean signal in ..around 10-11 o'clock and then dial in the volume to taste. If the Tone Press and Texas Special get you a phat tone, then you've got your amp dialed in without enough bass. Perhaps playing .011 gauge strings, tune down to Eb...that's the easiet way to phat strat tones.

thaus
September 8th, 2007, 11:26 AM
Crank your amps master volume to almost full.........adjust the individual channel volume to get the right tone.......this helps to get some 'dirt' from the tubes. Sounds really good (at least on my amp!!). I have 3 EQ adjustments where I have the mid and bass on almost full and the treble setting about 1/2 way. I also use my neck PUP a lot; gives you a bluesier, more gutsy tone. My amp also has one huge 15 inch speaker so that thickens the sound as well. I find that by manipulating the channel volume rather than the master, the chimes remains but the tone has more balls...........

PK
September 8th, 2007, 12:08 PM
I swapped out my saddles and trem block for Vintage Callaham's stainless steel Saddle & block. IMHO the sound is much more fat & Chimey when clean compared to stock Am series (now I really love mine:))

PK

NWinther
September 8th, 2007, 01:46 PM
Usually a good setup and maybe 11-48/52 strings??
And readjust the amps for more fat tones.

WNC Bill
September 8th, 2007, 04:29 PM
most guys using a "fat" strat tone are leaving somekind of boost on all the time and then riding the volume and usually kicking in a second peda lfor actual "dirt"

mdkrek
September 8th, 2007, 04:40 PM
Usually a good setup and maybe 11-48/52 strings??
And readjust the amps for more fat tones.

Yup 11's make a huge diff in tone, SRV used 13's I think but tuned down a 1/2 step

tazzboy
September 8th, 2007, 07:48 PM
Turn it up as the late Ronnie Van Zandt said on Sweet Home Alabama.

bobthecanadian
September 8th, 2007, 08:09 PM
EMG - SPC

octatonic
September 9th, 2007, 12:09 AM
I kick in an octaver and midrange boost for solos.

TG
September 10th, 2007, 07:31 AM
Turn it up as the late Ronnie Van Zandt said on Sweet Home Alabama.

That's a good example of a 'good' strat tone, but it also shows how a tone that sounds good played by someone else doesn't necessarily work for yourself. What I mean is, I can hear that and think how nice it sounds but if I imagine being onstage playing a guitar and that sound was coming out I know I wouldn't be happy at all and would want to tighten and 'fatten' it up somehow. Most strat recordings that I like are like that if I listen to them and imagine my guitar sounding that way.
Those of us who feel comfortable with and respond to the type of sound a tele makes often seem to have a hard time with the relatively thin and hollow sound of a strat, even when it's overdriven or boosted or whatever.
If that's the case then there's very little you can do, I suspect.


Yet I'm typing this with a strat on my lap, as a matter of fact. I abolutely adore the tones I get from it sitting here, but I can't use it onstage to save my life. Not fat/solid enough, and I don't want to have to effect the life out of the thing to make it so.

bek
September 11th, 2007, 12:33 AM
Just drop in one of our own Deaf-Eddie's Fat-O-Caster switches. Cheap, improves your tone control setup, allows all the normal tones and adds the big-dog in-series and in-series/out of phase and the very cool semi-Tele neck and bridge combo. No-brainer.

tjalla
September 11th, 2007, 01:01 AM
+1 on a few already mentioned

11s
Tone pot on bridge pup ala Jimmie Vaughan/Eric Johnson
Mids at the amp and/or cranking the amp

That'll go a long way...

purpletele
September 11th, 2007, 02:17 PM
all good suggestions.
Sometimes I use an old Electro Hamonix LPB -1(back when stoned out NYU art students were building them). It's really FAT sounding, it just kinda annoys me that it only has a slider switch.

Wildhawk
September 11th, 2007, 05:23 PM
Like others I use the right amp.

Telarkaster
September 11th, 2007, 07:13 PM
I was playing the other day through a Peavey Classic combo and it wasn't giving me any love. My Strat sounded thin and weak and wasn't cutting through the mix like it should. The other guitarist was playing an SG through a Marshall half stack and I was drowned out. Then I fiddled with the knobs and cranked the volume and got the sound I wanted. Too bad the jam was almost over by then.

I told that story to the salesman who sold me the Strat and he suggested I try a Marshall compression pedal. Bam! Instant volume boost, then I fiddled with the knobs and got that compressed sound that was big in the 80s. I was enthused at first, but when I turned it off I realized that I like the sound of a pure Strat better, no pedals. I bought the Strat for it's sound, I didn't want to mess with it. The compressor could serve as a boost pedal, but I decided to stick with the volume knob.

Next jam I played through the regular 100 W Marshall half stack and everything was just right...

To summarize:

-fiddle with the knobs on what you have
-compression may work if you can live with that sound
-find the right amp

I've been thinking of going back to pick up the compression pedal and giving it another chance...

mellecaster
September 11th, 2007, 11:02 PM
Your Strat....1 quality cord....into a Nice Amp....and Practice your A$$ off...it's simple, but it Works !

djinn1973
September 11th, 2007, 11:44 PM
in addition to things like a set of 11's, amp, and tone knob settings. Try different gauges and styles of picks. You will be surprised at the effect that changing picks and or using you fingers will have

eddiewagner
September 12th, 2007, 05:28 AM
i kinda gave up on strats. i use my stat for slide now exclusively with , watch out kids, 14-59 strings. that sounds very good. so the fat-strings theory is a good one. i was always unhappy with 9/10/11 strings.

DAVID KORNBLATT
September 12th, 2007, 10:36 AM
the strat is fundamentally a thin sounding instrument
it is supposed to have chime and singing cut
the thick tone i think are only covered on Gibson territory
however i prefer sing and cut because more things can be done with it.
when its thick it is by definition mushy

Kelsey
September 12th, 2007, 12:13 PM
Is the sound too thin for you in all pickup positions or just the bridge position? SD Antiquity I Texas Hots are wound in phase and polarity with Fender Texas Specials, so you can mix and match them. With alnico 2 mags, the Texas Hots sound fatter than Texas Specials. The Ant I Custom bridge is fatter yet, while still sounding vintage. I like a Orange Squeezer type of compressor or a good boost pedal to add a little fat as well. If you want to get even fatter with OD, I can recommend the Xotic BB Preamp. As others have noted, the amp is critical, and many will get darker and thicker as you crank them up. In fact, a Strat neck pickup is fast becoming the only neck pickup I like when an amp is cranked -- most other types of neck pickup lose too much clarity at higher volumes for my tastes.

DavidP
September 13th, 2007, 01:33 AM
IMHO a "must-do" mod for strats, you can't get fatter from the guitar than running the pups in series!

TexGoneNW
September 13th, 2007, 02:02 AM
Fulltone Fulldrive 2 on clean boost.

rdchapman
January 3rd, 2008, 10:01 AM
Fulltone Fulldrive 2 on clean boost.

The only way I use mine. Really lights up an amp.

JimiBryant
January 3rd, 2008, 10:16 AM
use 11 gauge strings, mebbe upgrade the trem block to one of Callaham's?
also replace the neck plate & screws with Callaham's stainless steel ones!

I've done the upgrades to several of my Strats and ALL of them are much
better guitars as a result.. I'm not even joking, the neck plate and SS
screws alone will increase your natural sustain and "fatten up" the tone!!

I've used Texas Specials in a few guitars - the Texas Special Teles are useless (for me) but the TS Strat pups are pretty nice.

superchicken_VI
January 3rd, 2008, 12:03 PM
2006 Highway One Strat with Dean Markley Signature Series 11-52 with wound G and heavy Fender 351s. Straight-up into my Boogie, and I love it.

Durtdog
January 3rd, 2008, 12:52 PM
When I want a fat tone, I use a guitar with humbuckers and leave the Strat alone.

Flat357
January 3rd, 2008, 02:20 PM
How to fatten up my Strat ?

Feed him chips :lol:

Regarding strings , i'm not sure they matter too much .
I played heavy strings for years , and can still make my Strat sing with 9's .
Losing the reverb will help .
Regarding pedals , a Marshall Guvnor will thicken your sound up very nicely indeed .
Use a bone nut , check your capacitor / pot values and pickup height .
I guess your attack and timing will also add or subtract .
You can also wax plate your pups . Texas specials are a lot brighter than many give them credit for .
Mostly though , your amp will dictate , and there are several upgrades which can thicken up your sound regarding circuitry and valves .
Perhaps ask some of the techs for advice in that department .

petebradt
January 3rd, 2008, 02:28 PM
I'm primarlily a tele player but I've been uysing the strat a bit more lately. Wondering wihat some of you may do to fatten up your tone.
I'm currently playing an AM. Series strat with Texas Specials through a vox AC30. I'm using the following effects in my rig:

Barber Tone Press, Barber LTD, Barber Direct Drive, Boss Digital delay, Arion Chorus, boss TU 2 tuner

I really like you the strat sounds with the OD pedals and don't want to loose the basic chimy tone . Just want to fatten up the clean tone so it is not so thin on its own.Play with your fingers. Skin on steel is fat.

WickedGTR
January 3rd, 2008, 02:29 PM
Thin is in.

aznrambo481
January 3rd, 2008, 02:36 PM
Depending on how it's set up, you may want to un-float your strat trem. I added a spring to the trem, and it did wonders to my tone. You still get the strat tone, just more focused. ymmv...

chabby
January 3rd, 2008, 03:50 PM
I never understand why folks buy a strat and then look for ways to make it sound like what it aint. Just get a les paul and call it good. The right tool for the job I always say. I love the Strat for what it is. Just try and play all those slinky poppy lead lines in Sweet Home Alabama with anything else. Even a Tele won't do it - especially the intro, that is pure strat. I just recently mastered that entire song after 20 years of playing it wrong and basically faking it. Finally broke down, bought Greg Koch's Lynyrd Skynyrd video and learned it note for note because that song just shouldnt be faked. Faking that song takes it from great to just good real quick. My fingers are worn out from the slides, pops, 1 1/2 bends and sadistic vibrato from some of those notes. Truly, as Mr. Koch sez it; "you will soon learn that Ed King was bad to the bone" after learning it right. In fact I wonder how he ever in a million years banged that out -its just that weird. Must have been partly from his surf roots no doubt. No, its like trying to play the skynyrd song book without a Les Paul - just can't do it, ya have to go get a LP. Now you have an excuse!!!! Same reason I'm on my way to pick up a Baja Tele right now, the strat doesnt sound like a Tele and you can't make it. The perfect set up is what I will soon have 1.Strat 2. LP 3. Tele then you are done and can cover all the sounds you have a right to. Until then just do what all the above people suggest.

claudel
January 3rd, 2008, 07:42 PM
StratOBlaster

Paul in Colorado
January 4th, 2008, 01:12 AM
I use .0095's on my Start and it sounds plenty fat. (Jimi didn't play no .011's) It does have EMG's and a Graph-Tech nut and saddles. But I'm not convinced that's the reason.

Start by unplugging your pedals and dialing in your amp to get the sound you want. Then add one pedal at a time getting them to sound their best and dial in your other tones. Use less then you normally would of everything. If that don't do it, nothing will.

That's my take on it anyway.

TexGoneNW
January 4th, 2008, 01:41 AM
I never understand why folks buy a strat and then look for ways to make it sound like what it aint. Just get a les paul and call it good.

Ummmm...

A Strat fattened up is still different from a Les Paul.

That's pretty much why.

I played mainly Gibsons until I played in a band fronted by a guy who played an Ibanez black beauty copy, and I needed something to occupy a different tonal "space," and relied mainly on a Tele.

I haven't gotten along well with many Strats at all, but scored a mid-80's Japanese with RW board that I liked a lot, and it was the 3rd & 4th set alternative to the Tele, and backup. I got to liking it better, but needed to fatten it to keep up with the Tele. It still does it's own thing, and the Fulltone Fulldrive 2 is just an alternative to the tone I get when I "turn it up."

chabby
January 4th, 2008, 01:56 AM
Sounds like youre not really a strat guy per say so I understand.
Personally, I love the strat for its particular tonal space especially plugged into my DRRI, compressor and Fulltone OD box. And I made a great move buying my latest rendition which is the 50's CP strat with 57/62 pickups which are as stratty as it gets. I also love my Les Paul and soon a tele I hope.
Hope you find the strat tone you want. The fattest sounding strat I ever plugged in had the normal front pickups with a bucker in the back it was called the 'Fat Strat" but I'm not sure if its still available. I was pretty impressed with it at GC where I played it through a Marshall about 10 or so years ago. Teles sound awesome with buckers too. I put a burst bucker in the neck position on my 52RI but ended up selling that to acquire an SG.

Telenator
January 4th, 2008, 08:56 AM
Crank up the master volume on the amp to 8 and then use your pre-amp volume to get your overall level. Your tone will fatten right up!

charlie chitlin
January 4th, 2008, 11:20 AM
Swap places of the neck and middle pickups.
Then the "in between" switch position gives you neck and bridge.
Fat...no quack.
If you want quack, go to the other "between" position and you have neck-middle.

petebradt
January 4th, 2008, 05:55 PM
I never understand why folks buy a strat and then look for ways to make it sound like what it aint. Just get a les paul and call it good. The right tool for the job I always say. I love the Strat for what it is. Just try and play all those slinky poppy lead lines in Sweet Home Alabama with anything else. Even a Tele won't do it - especially the intro, that is pure strat. I just recently mastered that entire song after 20 years of playing it wrong and basically faking it. Finally broke down, bought Greg Koch's Lynyrd Skynyrd video and learned it note for note because that song just shouldnt be faked. Faking that song takes it from great to just good real quick. My fingers are worn out from the slides, pops, 1 1/2 bends and sadistic vibrato from some of those notes. Truly, as Mr. Koch sez it; "you will soon learn that Ed King was bad to the bone" after learning it right. In fact I wonder how he ever in a million years banged that out -its just that weird. Must have been partly from his surf roots no doubt. No, its like trying to play the skynyrd song book without a Les Paul - just can't do it, ya have to go get a LP.

While I agree you can't make a Strat into something it's not, I think you can play Skynyrd on any dang thing you want and get away with it. One band I use to sit in with always had me sit in on "Three Steps" and I played it on a Tele. Not a soul knew or cared I wasn't playing a Les Paul. Now, if you're trying to *copy* it, maybe you do, but I swear, none of those bands had the same tone live, as they did on record. As long as they played it close enough for the girls they dated, it was good enough because the MUSIC was more important than one guitar's tone.

One time I played SLIDE on "Three Steps" and everyone went nuts. They said "I never thought of playing slide on that song" and so forth.

Ed King was a badass, but I suspect if I tried to copy him, he'd hunt me down like a dog and kick my ass for not being myself.

Just be yourself. If you can play, it doesn't matter if it's note-for-note. They didn't do it that way.

Wally
January 4th, 2008, 06:44 PM
Pure nickel strings warm up things. A thick pick will take a bit of the highs out and fatten things up. Throw the pick away and the flesh of your thumb and fingers will definitely warm it up. AS suggested earlier, those amp and guitar controls have a purpose. Some STrats were built with 1mfd tone caps, too. That boosts the lows a bit.
A graphic EQ will help. Billy Gibbons is known to use huge graphic EQ's to get his teles sounding like Pearly....as much as possible. So, yes people do play guitars that need 'sonic massaging' in order to do what their ears want to do. They play those guitars for other reasons...feel, snap, zing, whatever...that another guitar doesn't do...and they find a way to get the sound that they have in their head.

guitarzan13
January 7th, 2008, 02:59 PM
the strat is fundamentally a thin sounding instrument
it is supposed to have chime and singing cut
the thick tone i think are only covered on Gibson territory
however i prefer sing and cut because more things can be done with it.
when its thick it is by definition mushy :shock: It is a pickup thang not a Gibson thang...... It is the humbucker, not the Gibby boat-anchor that gets the tone. Granted, I am very anti-Gibson.....I have NEVER EVER EVER EVER needed a Gibson.

Doug Ferguson
January 8th, 2008, 12:18 PM
+1 on most of what I've seen here. I also cut the tone pots back a bit, and have had pretty good luck with the FBM-1 I got for Christmas. It adds more mid (the Custom 30 has 2 independent midrange controls) and you can add a bit of presence indepent from any p. controls the amp has. The Octave pedal is another good choice for sperate string picking, but can get a tad muddy and beakup early and randomly with chords -- at least the Boss OC-2 does. It seems that most of the time I'm playing around with the tone depending on the age of the strings, room size, and how I'm playing on a given day. Sometimes I hit the groove, sometimes I don't.

Sigep79
January 9th, 2008, 10:36 AM
Ok, I play a MIM 2007 HSS (Fat Strat). I got rid of the stock humbucker and replaced it with a DiMarzio AirZone Bucker. Secondly, I had my tech replace the Tone Pot 2 with one that if you pull out on the knob it switches the humbucker to a single coil (cool mob, nothing to do with fattening). I had him rewire that pot so you have tone control over the bucker when the switch is in the sencond to last and last position. I play with the tone on the guitar to remove a few highs and get a more mid sound. Lastly, since I don't use the whammy all that much, I had him lower it to lay against the wood rather than it "floating" at 1/8". This helps with sustain and a fatter tone.
All this and use thicker guage strings on your B and high E and use a quality amp.

My last word of advice:
Don't try to verbatim copy another players's tone. Borrow from various sources and find something that turns your crank. Make it your own.

guitarzan13
January 9th, 2008, 10:53 AM
Sigep79...WELCOME to the TDPRI!!!!!

red57strat
January 9th, 2008, 08:55 PM
Get a fatter amp!

CLAZ
January 13th, 2008, 11:52 PM
don't play like a weenie :twisted:

bendecaster
January 17th, 2008, 08:52 AM
I use a EMG David Gilmore signature set with the clean & dist boost! I don't know if you'd call it fat, but it kicks ass for days! I installed a 9v battery box into the rear of the body so I don't have to unscrew the pickguard when the battery dies. That WAS my only complaint.

chabby
January 17th, 2008, 12:41 PM
Use 11's and play through a EL84 based amp with a great speaker.
When I switched from 6V6 Based amp to EL84 (4) I strated getting much fatter tone. The DRRI is a great amp don't get me wrong, but I'm an EL84 convert now as the tone is way fatter on strat and Tele.

stevieboy
January 17th, 2008, 02:40 PM
... I strated getting much fatter tone....

Is there such a thing as a Freudian typo?!

I know most won't be able to do this, but I crank up the RAW control on my Allen Accomplice. At home I just turn up my SF Champ to nine or so, and sometimes hit my Boss FDR pedal set for a mild amount of gain. I usually run my particular Champ with the treble around 2 and the bass around nine as well, with most guitars. I don't know if they're all like that, but mine sounds best by far like that.

Bluesbob
January 17th, 2008, 03:54 PM
First, your pickups should be at least 20 years old. Then, only use the neck pickup. If you want quack, maybe the neck-middle position. But mostly the neck alone. Then when you switch to the bridge, it'll sound so thin you'll never want to do it again. My E4 Am. Std. sounds incredible on the neck pickup, but that's it. I don't know why they even included a bridge pickup on the Strat - that's what a Telecaster is for!

boris bubbanov
January 22nd, 2008, 12:07 AM
I swapped out my saddles and trem block for Vintage Callaham's stainless steel Saddle & block. IMHO the sound is much more fat & Chimey when clean compared to stock Am series (now I really love mine:))

PK

I agree.

Another thing that seems to help enormously. I just took the stock skinny neck off my Highway One upgrade and installed a Warmoth Fatback 1 + 11/16ths birdseye rosewood board neck with a nice nut and another set of Gotoh 'klusons'. 6105s instead of monster tracks. Like I was playing a totally different guitar, nothing tentative about this sound at all. And this one hasn't even got the Callaham block yet, just the hardened screws. Big powerful sound.

A scathing anecdote against the big headstock, this just has the wee little one. Real nice neck pocket fit, took a smidge off the base of the Warmoth heel and got a real nice action level with no shims. Wish I could play it more, but the Deft on the maple is quite fresh.

Bubbanov

Tony474
January 22nd, 2008, 06:03 AM
In order of expense, from none to lots:

Adjust the tone controls on the amp - less treble, more middle, bright switch (if fitted) disengaged.

Nail the trem - extra springs and/or claw screwed in, pivot screws tightened down.

Try adapting to a heavier pick; also try picking farther from the bridge and without pivoting the wrist on it.

Install GraphTec saddles (saves a lot of string breakages, too).

Fit a Callaham cold-rolled steel trem block.

Invest in a set of Kinman Woodstock pickups, Regular or Plus - www.kinman.com is the site to visit and also contains mucho info regarding tone in general.

marksound
January 22nd, 2008, 07:21 AM
Use a heavy pick.
Use the middle pickup for rhythm, save the front and back (and in between) for leads and "special" stuff.
Adjust the tone controls on your amp and pedals.
Use a Blues Driver or similar drive pedal for a decent "all the time" fat boost.
Experiment and learn to adjust on the fly. Different rooms will give different results.

musicalmartin
January 22nd, 2008, 07:24 AM
there is a device that replaces the jack plate.it has a device to fatten up the sound built in and is a direct and easy replacement for all strats ,it has a small switch to return the strat to normal running .UK's Guitarist magazine gave it the thumbs up when installed .I'll sort out its name if anyone is interested .I use a 2007 HW1 strat and get a nice fat tone from cranking up the amp settings anyway so no need for any devices .

frogger
January 22nd, 2008, 04:46 PM
Fulltone OCD, Callaham block, roll down tone on guitar to 5, on my Vibro-King treble on 2, mid on 8, bass on 8, volume on 8,..for your personal safety please take cover. :wink:

graham232
January 23rd, 2008, 06:13 AM
don't play like a weenie :twisted:

Last night I was working with a student on one of my more advanced solo exercises - a slow blues. He was using a Yamaha Pacifica with a humbucker and still getting a thin tone.

I spent some time showing him about attacking the string a different angles to emphasise different tones, using different picks. It was then I noticed he was using a heavy pick which was so worn it was only about half the size it should be! I gave him a new .73 pick to use and showed him how to attack the strings on at 90 degree, playing between the front two puickups. Instant improvement.

I have a passive mid boost, 7-way switching and master tone in my Strat but simply because it is the only guitar I take out with the duo I play in. As many have said here before, it is all in your hands!

LOTF
January 23rd, 2008, 03:01 PM
Strat in 4th position > MXR Dyna Comp (1st knob 12 o'clock, 2nd knob 3 o'clock) > Boss Blues Driver (tone at lowest setting, distortion at no more than 11 o'clock) > VOX AC30CC2 normal channel with tone cut at at least 12 o'clock. If you've got a Deluxe Player's Strat with the button to cut in the lead pickup, push it.

This works for me, anyway, and I use nothing larger than 10s for strings.

Tony Reid
January 23rd, 2008, 09:23 PM
Replace your tremolo unit with a Wilkinson Vintage one (WVC-SB) with the steel block and the pop in arm (that doesn't wobble) and use 5 springs.