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Addicted to quack

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Hatfield92, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    So in late May, I acquired a beautiful, classy-looking Olympic White Hendrix sig strat. I thought it’d be a nice addition to my small arsenal of guitars. I’d never really owned a strat before. I considered them too ubiquitous, and I always wanted to be a little bit different. But I figured it’d provide me with some sonic variety to what I already use.

    So I traded in a couple of old small amps and an Epiphone Sheraton II I rarely played (yeah, I know I could have come out ahead selling them myself, but when the bug hits.. sometimes there’s just no time). I tried out a couple of other strats at the time too, as well as a couple of really nice Teles just to make sure I REALLY wanted a strat lol.

    But something about the Hendrix strat spoke to me. I’d been admiring the looks of Olympic White strats with maple necks for a while, so that’s what made me originally pick it up... despite the “gimmicks”: flipped headstock, flipped pickups... stuff to accentuate the Hendrix vibe.

    Anyway, for the past month and a half, this baby has been my primary guitar and I LOVE it. The playability, feel, sound. It’s just great in my hands. I find myself bending and accentuating certain notes and it just sounds... better. To my ears, at least.

    I had my first gig in a few years a couple of weeks ago, and I chose my Gibson Firebird. That wasn’t a bad choice. It’s a great guitar in its own right. I’m glad I have it.

    But I’ve just come to the realization that the strat is now my number one. And I just had to share.

    Like I said, I’ve spent over half my life being pretty anti-strat... without ever actually giving one a chance. “I’m a Tele guy” I’d always say. Maybe I was really just a strat guy all along and never knew it. Or maybe it was something I had to grow into.

    I spent a solid decade (my late twenties into my late thirties) basically not playing at all. My skills atrophied. And it took me a long time to get it back. When I started playing again, the first electric I purchased (I didn’t even own a guitar for several years) was a black squier Strat. But that doesn’t really count, in my eyes. I was extremely rusty, and I didn’t keep it long before I traded it in for the Sheraton II. That was probably 2010. And I still had a long way to go. During that time, I’d usually tell people I played with and for “I wish you could have heard me in my mid twenties.”

    Fast forward to 2019. I finally decided to get serious about BEING a musician, and I worked my arse off like never before. I can finally say that, right now, I’m better than I’ve EVER been. Not only am I a better player than I was in my twenties. I’m more tasteful. And I have a much better ear... for melody... for tone... for nuance.

    So, yeah, maybe I had to grow into it. But, for now at least, I’m primarily a Strat man. Yep, hooked on quack.
     
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  2. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Afflicted

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    Good post.
     
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  3. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Afflicted

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    “I’m a Tele guy” is what I always said as well until I got my Jazzmaster in January.

    I’m sure a Strat will end up in my collection as well someday.

    Still can’t imagine a Gibson yet though.
     
  4. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    I've owned plenty strat's although none at the moment.
    When my son wanted to buy his first electric, I went in on halfsies with him on a MIM strat with a bucker in the bridge.
    I like them and the tones, but someone tell me... What do they call it quack!?!
     
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  5. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    Why not what.
    It's supposed to be the in between tones, correct?
     
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  6. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    But before you continue your music journey, you'll have to spend time in rehab'.

    Don't spend too much time on this site; you may become Telecaster rated.
     
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  7. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Holic

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    I was a "Tele Guy" for thirty years. I always considered strats "dude guitars." When I started playing again last year after a long time off, I started wishing for a guitar a little mellower with a wider tonal range than my Tele. That's when I realized that's what Leo made the Strat for. I played one in a local shop and fell in love with the sound. I now own three of them!
     
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  8. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

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    Thank you for this. There's still nothing quite like a good ol' old man pun.

    Follow up question, though: If you can get Telecastrated, can you still get Stratocastrated later in life?
     
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  9. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    It’s definitely more pronounced on the in between positions with my strat. I think it’s referred to as quacking because the tone has kind of a quack or honk. I notice it’s most pronounced when I’m playing single string bluesy/honky tonk runs. Especially when I dig in.

    Can’t you detect it? My Tele doesn’t do that. The Firebird, maybe a little, but not to the same extent.
     
  10. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Afflicted

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    I believe all guitars have their place. Nashville telecasters don't sound like strats and I can't get a strat to sound like a telecaster. The quack is real.
     
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  11. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    The quack is real but I always find the in between positions to have less volume than the “normal” 3 positions is this something wrong I’m doing or is this just how it is ?
    Not trying to derail thread here just didn’t want to start one if quacks being discussed here
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  12. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I find the same volume drop. I’m no sound engineer, but it has something to do with the two pickups being out of phase, so there’s some frequency canceling happening. That results in slightly diminished volume AND the quack.

    I’m still learning my way around this guitar, but for the kind of stuff I’m focusing on right now (rootsy classic rock), those in-between positions are golden. It gives me a really great Skynyrd meets early solo Clapton vibe.
     
  13. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Quack, quack, quack.
    Stratocasters quack because of the positioning of the pickups, causing the cancelling of certain frequencies from the 2 pickups.
    In most cases the inbetween positions put the windings in parallel. If you wire the pickups in series the output will be greater. If you parallel the pickups out of phase, the output will be heavily attenuated.

    So in a nutshell: That's how it is.
    You can, by wiring it differently, increase or reduce the output. (However, out of phase pickups sound a bit crappy.)

    P.S. They only found out about the quack by accident. The original Stratocasters were wired with a 3 position switch. The player would let the switch hang between settings.
     
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  14. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    That, and with traditional wiring, with tone pots on neck and middle, the neck+middle position is doubly loaded, dropping some highs, which is perceived as volume drop.

    Oh, meant to add that quack is more noticeable on a Strat than a Tele because of the proximity of the pickups. Something to do with overlapping magnetic fields.

    I can't recall if it's EJ wiring, or who does it, but I wire my 'traditionally' wired Strats with tone pots on neck and bridge, that way they'll never meet. Middle has no tone control, though. Which is why I usually go the non-trad route and wire a master tone, and then what to do with that pesky third pot. Usually becomes a blender that I never use...
     
  15. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Afflicted

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    i did chuckle at the tittle thanks. i love a bit of quack myself, was using humbuckers for a long time until i built my thinline, now i'm hooked on the quack again....
     
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  16. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Afflicted

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    It's the nature of the beast.
    Using a slightly stronger pickup in the middle position takes care of the issue. I have a strat that was purposely wired this way and position 2 and 4 are the same volume as 1 and 5.
    Ironically it's a Kenny Wayne Shepherd signature model. Fender also put pickups in it with a left handed magnet stagger. I'm not sure if they did any of this in other models, but it works.
     
  17. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Similar thing happened to me 20 years ago. I had been playing LP's and Guilds etc. I bought a Strat and my ability LEAPED immediately, despite having to get used to picking around the center pickup, float picking etc. Strats probably offer a more diverse tone pallete than anything else with the 5 way switching etc. I then moved to adding the Clapton midboost also and it's like adding another layer of diversity!
    -A small tweek of the midboost to 1-2 and you just get a little enhancement grit for comping and riffs. Less sparkle, more balls.
    -A move to 4-5 and it makes slide playing great. softer edge and a touch of compression.
    -If you want woman tone for lead, move up a bit more.
    Add all those options to 5 switch positions and you have tons of options!
     
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  18. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    My playing improved when I went to a single pickup guitars (Esquire and Junior) ... Then I had to figure out that the knobs can be at other positions than dimed all the time.


    It's possible to get quack from a humbucker, if you can lower the pickup and raise the screw poles.

    Also, those Triple Telecasters with the three bridge pickups and a five way switch -- those quack like a Strat so don't be limited to the Strat platform.


    A note about studying Hendrix's Strats and the way he played, you really should move the volume knob to the first Tone knob hole and then either stack tone knobs or go with a master tone in the bottom location. Find a plug for the old volume hole. If you watch Hendrix, he picks throughout the whole region blocked by the typical volume knob.

    If you are in there rewiring to move things around, look up the Armstrong Blender mod, it gives you another range of tones blending between SSS and HSH and is a wiring only change no new parts plus you keep the classic SSS. Check it out. You'll need a stacked tone pot to use it if moving to the volume knob around.

    .
     
  19. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    That’s a lot of good info, but I’m not looking to tweak anything in the near term. I tend to be judicious with my guitars. I want to learn them as well as possible before I go changing stuff.

    And as far as the Hendrix mods, hey, I love Jimi as much as anybody, or at least I used to. But the fact that it’s a Hendrix strat didn’t really factor into my purchase decision. At least not in a positive way. I had my eyes out for a white strat, that one caught my eye... and the rest, as they say...
     
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