Comparison of seven Fender Stratocasters from a bad era - CBS 70s, 80s

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by BadTranslate, Jun 28, 2019.

  1. BadTranslate

    BadTranslate Tele-Meister

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    -1977, wine red
    -1978, natural
    -1979, natural
    -1980, sunburst
    -1980, sunburst
    -1980, sunburst
    -1982, sienna sunburst

     
  2. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, I don't know what I'm supposed to take away from.that other than that 7 Strats all sound within a poofteenth of each other through a patch that is not selling me a Kemper.

    I suspect recorded through a clean sounding amp I might have got some sort of impression of how they individually sounded. But to be honest, apart from marginal tonal and volume difference possibly due to pot/cap/pickup differences or string age, it's hard to tell anything about them. They seem to be in intonation and reasonable action and set up.

    It might be the recording process, the sound card or maybe my crappy earpieces, but that to me is one overwrought patch. It is desperately trying to capture a Marshall but it's like a crayon drawing of the Mona Lisa.
     
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  3. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    The tone was not pleasing to my ears on any of the 3 I made it through. Sounded like a clipping digital amp sim to me. Were they all on the bridge pickup? tone on 10 volume on 10?

    I don't know how Kempers work but maybe it's running into the interface too hot and you might need to use a cab sim/impulse response with it? As mentioned playing clean is the way to go for comparison demos.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
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  4. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    1.Buy a blackboard
    2.Buy a piece of chalk

    3.Write the following phrase 1000 times:

    "I will never demo a guitar with a dirty sound again"

    4.String all guitars with NEW strings
    5.Plug them in a CRYSTAL clean amp
    6.Demo the different guitars.
     
  5. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    pretty harsh in here but I'd say that's more due to misjudged audience than anything else. Demo + vintage strat + modern modeler = disaster.
    Personally I love me a tube amp but also think models can sound pretty good. ime if you run them through a tube power section they sound amazing. I do agree that clean tone gives a much better impression of what the pickups actually sound like, but I think your tone here was a couple tweaks away from being pretty solid even without tubes in the mix (and had you not revealed that it was a kemper) - think your levels might have been a hair hot somewhere - perhaps into your interface. Just my 2 cents, probably not worth 1.
     
  6. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    This!
    I’d recommend no effects on the demo, too.
    Not even reverb.
    Level the field, use the same fresh, new strings, and set the guitars up similarly, too.
    Use the same (moderate) volume and tone control settings.
    I want to hear the guitar, not the amp’s effects or overdriven tones.
     
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  7. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    sweet guitars and good playing but as has been said- if there are differences between them they are hard to hear if not a clean amp
     
  8. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    I don't think you can judge these guitars by tone on a good recording. Just about any guitar can be made to sound good with the right equipment and techniques.

    The real differences can be found in playability, something that's difficult to demo in a video presentation.
     
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  9. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Should have been titled, “How Distortion Renders an Electric Guitar Comparison Meaningless.”

    Then at least it would have been informative on some level.
     
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  10. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

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    Nothing against the Kemper itself. The dude's patch was awful.

    The modeler was just doing what it was told.
     
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  11. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Most of what I care about in guitars and amplifiers revolves around distortion and overdrive sounds.

    I'd say this video would have been every bit as meaningless and useless if he would have played a riff and then strummed a few chords and then, drumroll... played a little lick, through a princeton reverb or whatever tube amp you want to name.

    This video seemed to be like somebody showing off a bunch of vintage strats, and not very closely at that.

    At least it wasn't somebody rambling endlessly...

    I've never get much out of most of the comparison videos I see on youtube, and rarely watch them. I just kind of skipped through this one too honestly.
     
  12. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    On the other hand ALL guitars can have great playability if you set them up right .
     
  13. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Not really, unless your definition of a setup includes swapping out parts (including the body or neck), refretting or major electronics mods.

    Guitar manufacturing was very inconsistent in the 70's and even somewhat into the 80's and 90's. That's something we overlook today because just about any new guitar, even a cheap one, is basically pretty decent.
     
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  14. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    What does the body or electronics have to do with playability?

    Neck shape preferance is very subjective.

    My "definition" of a set up is the only definition that exists:

    1.Cut the nut properly
    2.Adjust relief
    3.Adjust action
    4.Set intonation
    5.Fret leveling and dressing (if the above don't result in a perfect playing guitar)
    6.Set pickup height
     
  15. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    People often refer to late 70's Fenders as "boat anchors". Guitars that are uncomfortable affect playing ergonomics.

    Faulty electronics cause a guitar to be unplayable.

    Warped necks, improperly placed or poorly seated frets affect playability. Instability in the neck joint causes playability issues. As I mentioned, this is a lot less common today. However, it can make restoring old guitars to playable conditions difficult or impossible, requiring more work than a simple setup.

    Design issues cause playability issues. Bad tuners (not as common today), bad bridge designs, headstock angles can contribute to this. These can often be dealt with using replacement parts but this is also beyond a setup.
     
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  16. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    right on... didn't think is was bad... just seemed to be some unintended clipping there.
     
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  17. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Only thing I think that was "Bad" about the era was the years they coated guitars and necks with a 2 part thick coating, like plastic, that eventually often came off in patches.... What was that.. early 80's? I looked at a vintage sunburst Strat from that era in a pawn shop a few years ago. Especially the neck was terrible with 1-1.5" chunks of finish that came off and left bare wood with a tactile step up to the finished portions.. It was dirt cheap, but I guess it's very hard to remove that finish.

    I had a 71/72 hardtail that was a great guitar. That's when I gave up the Marshall Stack and the Guild Bluesbird and started playing "glitzy shows" with the hardtail and a new Twin reverb.
     
  18. otstratman

    otstratman TDPRI Member

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    Every era of the Fender Stratocaster had good examples, great examples, and poor examples. For instance I owned (2) 1975 Fender Stratocaster's one white and one black. Those didn't work out for me. This was because I was too young to understand how these specific 1975 models worked and needed to be set up. I then bought a Fender AVRI '62 Stratocaster but again I didn't know about what a great set up could do for a Stratocaster. I then waited patiently for a "brand new" 1987 Fender "American Standard" Stratocaster because of the Eric Johnson ad which promised improved tuning and sound. Well, that didn't work out for me but then I saw a "used" 1987 Fender AVRI '62 Stratocaster which was owner by a skilled Luthier. Once I played that Strat I finally got it. I was like wow!! Strat's rule. All this time it was the set up which I just never understood. So whether it's a 1960 Fender Stratocaster, a 1973 Fender Stratocaster, a 1987 Fender Stratocaster, or a "brand new" 2019 Fender Stratocaster the magic lies within the build quality and the set up.
    So the 1970's Fender Stratocaster's had some undesirable changes such as the one piece bridge and tremolo block. I suppose that's the reason you never ever see Fender using that bridge design on any of their 1970 Reissue Stratocaster's. I'm not so sure about the finish? I do believe that less finish can equal better tone/sustain but when amplified how can you really be 100% certain? The large headstock may have actually given the Stratocaster more headstock heft and more tone/sustain? I don't think the (3) bolt neck is a factor or the bullet truss rod. I will say without a doubt some of the coolest looking Fender Stratocaster's were the ones made in the 1970's. That big ole headstock with the thick black "Fender Stratocaster" logo is killer. It let the world know "I'm playing a Fender Stratocaster"!
     
  19. lost sailor

    lost sailor TDPRI Member

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    If I tried, I could make my'72 sound that bad --- but I won't
     
  20. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Meister

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    I didn't listen to the OP's video, but, based on many Youtube videos that I have listened to I would say this...start with a pleasing tone. If you demo'ing an overdrive pedal and your starting sound is crappy then the OP can't be heard in it's best light. When demo'ing a guitar, or multiple guitars for comparison, start with a great clean tone first, and THEN OD sounds, and try ALL of the pickup settings...
     
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