Finding a Hardtail Strat?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by ADAP7IVE, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I'm always very skeptical of claims about "tone" but I have owned a couple of hardtail strats and they don't sound the same as a blocked trem strat. You might think it's a better or a worse sound, but I thought they sounded much better actually. They are also simpler and lighter.
     
  2. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I built a warmoth HT strat for about $800. it's as solid as a rock. I like it better than most fenders I've played, cause I got the neck size and frets I wanted.
     
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  3. ladave

    ladave Tele-Holic

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    I was just browsing Warmoth site the other day, planning a Tele build and a hardtail strat body caught my eye and I bought it. Really looking forward to this project.

    Being able to build exactly what you want is why I chose to go this route. Chunky necks with rosewood board are not easy to come by on production Fenders. So I will build it. Well assemble it I mean.

    I'm a little concerned though that this thing is actually going to be too light. It's extra light swamp ash body, and when you consider the lack of metal in the bridge... this thing might be under 6.5 lbs!
     
  4. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Strat neck, pickups, pick guard, electronics, and hardware (trem bridge) add about 3.4 lbs. to the weight of an empty wood body.

    With the hardtail bridge, perhaps add about 3 lbs to the weight of the wood body to arrive at the total guitar weight.

    6.5 lbs would be about the weight of a '69 Tele Thinline. Nice! Just don't put heavy/locking tuners on the neck or you will get some dive.
     
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  5. ADAP7IVE

    ADAP7IVE TDPRI Member

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    Reading this, I've decided to make this my next project. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Sent from my SC-01G using Tapatalk
     
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  6. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Do you mean a '69 Thinline Tele? If so... I put this one together and love it - about 6.3 lbs.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    I found my 1983 hardtail Stratocaster while googling for something else. A highly reputable shop was selling it, so I ordered it sight unseen.

    I'd consider getting a hardtail body and making a partscaster. I also have a telestrat hybrid guitar (strat shape, tele routing), with a body from guitarbuild in UK. They have many stock routing options and custom routing is also possible. Prices look reasonable. They sell them unfinished.
     
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  8. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    All the strats I've had in the last 15 years are hardtail. I built three using U.S.A. custom 3 piece bodies and a Callaham Bridge. You must get one of these bridges.
     
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  9. ADAP7IVE

    ADAP7IVE TDPRI Member

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    That's a beauty, but I meant building my own hardtail Strat.

    I found a nice MIJ TL52 Special Telecaster, so I got that one. Pics to follow in the morning (it's 21:30 here).

    Sent from my SC-01G using Tapatalk
     
  10. metale

    metale Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    More difficult to find than the Robert Cray strat, but there was also the Tom Delonge stratocaster, in which one one could put another pickguard and pickups.
     
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  11. eddy b.

    eddy b. TDPRI Member

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    01333041-5269-4CB2-99C9-9F7B3BB3D051.jpeg I did just that. A friend sold me his Tom Delonge Model Strat and then I just put in a pickguard with three hot noiseless pickups. It’s a great guitar with some serious near tele twang!!!!
     
  12. ladave

    ladave Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the info. The body I bought is 3lbs 6oz, so I'm looking at under 6.5lbs, which seems too light. I guess we'll see. Definitely don't want neck dive and realize it's a real possibility. Probably should have planned a little better.
     
  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I prefer a hardtail Strat but IME five springs with the claw tightened all the way is the same as blocking the trem, though that's not quite the same as a real hardtail.
    On a recording you'd never hear hardtail vs five spring decked trem, and playing you'd never detect the difference between bolcked and just decked with five tightened springs.

    But I also prefer a different bridge from what comes on trem fitted Strats, so I waited for a nice light one piece alder body around $130 and gave it a simple tung oil finish, then made a three saddle bridge plate that fit the three screw string through hardtail Strat bridge drilling.

    I think the Robert Cray Strats are hard to find because Stratosphere buys 'em all and parts 'em out!
    Expensive parts but worth it if that's what you want.
    I lost and won (Stratosphere) auctions for a Cray CS Strat bridge pickup, those are known as great sounding pickups. Overall it's a really good stock Fender model and happens to have your preferred bridge. Worth shopping for a deal on.

    There was also a cheap Squier hardtail Strat and those bodies are all over ebay for like $120. Just put in "hardtail Strat" in the guitars bodies and the pop up.
    Might be 1 5/8 thick though, maybe even plywood.
    But when we choose cheap stuff we might have to settle for cheap stuff!

    Knowing my options I lean toward mid priced.

    There's also a body maker who pissed off some people when he got behind but is back in business now, making reputedly decent bodies in the Northwest US and selling them raw and cheap.
     
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  14. Bruxist

    Bruxist Friend of Leo's

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    In 2015, they had a run of 70's style hardtails as part of their "10 for 15" limited edition run promotion. Basically, it was just an American special in hardtail. They had them in black.

    I think only a thousand (half black and half TSB) were made and they sold out fast. Faster than anything else from that promotion.

    You would think they would get the hint.
     
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  15. DugT

    DugT Tele-Holic

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    Another option is a Nashville Tele or an Ibanez Talman. Here is a photo of my MIJ Talman. It is the guitar on the right. 201811235Ds-3407.jpg
     
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  16. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    A true HT Strat is a different beast than a blocked one. I know this first hand. A true HT Strat is basically a Tele string through setup, on something that is otherwise a Strat.

    You can assemble a decent one, pretty much to spec, for that price.

    Try Guitar Mill for the body. A HT Strat is among their standard offerings, so you might find one in their pre-built section for a very reasonable price. I got mine, under 4 lb., for $160. It's a gorgeous, relatively lightweight body that I will be painting myself. If you want to add paint at Guitar Mill, I think it's very reasonable. Under $300, I think, and unlike MJT, you can get a brand spanking new finish from them.

    You can find a nice finished neck for $300 or less, probably with tuners. The remaining $200 or $300 budget can go into the other parts.

    Also note that the Wayne Kramer model (discontinued) is a hardtail, and sold for about that new.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
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  17. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You could look out for an 83 HT...:cool:

    feels like a tele and a strat.....at the same time..:D

    #Hardtail-83.JPG

    hardtail strat1.jpg
     
  18. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    My '83 HT Stratocaster sounds "softer" than the strat shaped partscaster with tele hardware. Not sure if it is just different pickups and wiring, or if the tele bridge also plays a big role.
     
  19. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    The suggestion of a Deluxe Nashville is a good one... you get the hard tail and bridge, the Fender neck, option to have Strat neck and middle pickups (arguably the best 'essence' of a Strat) AND a Tele bridge pickup (arguably the best 'essence' of a Tele). That's how I set this one up...

    Fender CS Fat '50s neck and middle pickups, Dimarzio True Velvet Tele bridge pickup:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    Another argument is that the strat neck pickup is the 'essence' of a strat - and the tele bridge pickup in a tele bridge plate is the 'essence' of a tele.
    (some don't care for the 2 and 4 positions on a strat, but find a bridge and neck combination useful)
     
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