Guitar Quirks - Little Things That Should Not Throw You Off But They Do

11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
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Mar 21, 2003
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I know I'm in a minority with this, but - Bigsbys - they look like steampunk door knockers to me.

I'll see myself out...
I have to admit that I have a sort of love/hate thing with Bigsbys that's prevented me from ever owning a guitar with one.

I started my heaviest period of playing in the 80's, and anything with a Bigsby on it back then just looked like an antique (in a bad way, for the most part), at least to me. The one exception that I remember to this day, that has everything to do with sound, and nothing with appearance, would be Mike Campbell's Bigsby use on You Got Lucky.

Anyway, I love Teles, but have always loathed the bridges required to work with a Bigsby. They both look and feel all wrong, to me. While I'm honestly not really that conservative about what I think makes a Tele the thing that it is, I do simply consider it to be a hardtail guitar.

I'm not even that much of a trem user, but I really very much do prefer an actual cylindrical shape bar (with its small diameter) over the Bigsby's butter/pallete knife, probably because I primarily just end up wrapping my middle and ring fingers all the way around it, usually.

So I guess I'll see myself out right behind you!
 

11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
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Have a two hole pickgaurd (volume and one tone) for a Strat, to get rid of the volume knob placement issue, but I have gotten used to the location now and don't want to do the work!
I had a 2-knob Strat pickguard that was cut for H/H. Not only was the vol knob moved down, but the tone knob was moved up, with a decent amount of space between the two of them. I really liked the location of those knobs, and got used to it very quickly.

I'm just not much of a humbucker user, at least not with Strats, so my H/H Strat is no more.

Since I'm primarily a Tele player, I rewire my Strats with a 3-way switch, and don't use the middle pickup at all. On my last two Strats, I've rewired each of the tone controls specifically to the neck and bridge pickups. This actually gives them the edge over my Teles, since I can set the tone controls to a specific spot for each pickup, and mostly leave them there.

Anyway, regarding the H/H Strat pickguard, I discovered after the fact that finding them cut for just 2 knobs is kind of less common, which IMO doesn't make much sense.
 

NickDG

TDPRI Member
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Aug 2, 2016
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Not such a problem it throws me off, and maybe its my advancing age, but I find the tuning knobs on my Strat are too close together. Turning one without slightly nudging another is like a game of . . .

jglkfdjlfjglfkjgfdl.jpg
 

unixfish

Doctor of Teleocity
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I had a 2-knob Strat pickguard that was cut for H/H. Not only was the vol knob moved down, but the tone knob was moved up, with a decent amount of space between the two of them. I really liked the location of those knobs, and got used to it very quickly.

I'm just not much of a humbucker user, at least not with Strats, so my H/H Strat is no more.

Since I'm primarily a Tele player, I rewire my Strats with a 3-way switch, and don't use the middle pickup at all. On my last two Strats, I've rewired each of the tone controls specifically to the neck and bridge pickups. This actually gives them the edge over my Teles, since I can set the tone controls to a specific spot for each pickup, and mostly leave them there.

Anyway, regarding the H/H Strat pickguard, I discovered after the fact that finding them cut for just 2 knobs is kind of less common, which IMO doesn't make much sense.

I have had thoughts of an S-Type with three mini toggles for the pickups - just on-off - and no pickup selector. I'm not sure that would be better or worse. A master volume and a master tone would be enough though.
 

SixStringSlinger

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Traditional Strat wiring. With a master volume and 2 tone controls on a 3-pickup guitar you're either leaving a pickup without a tone control or having two of them share 1 control while another gets its own...no way makes sense to me. That's part of why mine has a master volume, master bass cut and master treble cut.

Epiphone headstocks on Les Pauls and SG's. I just don't like how they look. They look fine on the semi- and hollow guitars, and of course the Explorers and V's keep their original shapes.

Headless anything. Don't think I'll ever see one I like the look of.
 

Festofish

Friend of Leo's
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+1 reverse headstock! I took a chance on a new Chapman baritone. What a fantastic guitar! I’d have another or maybe a Solar but they’re both reverse only headstocks. I’m 4’11”! I have T-rex arms! What a PITA to tune! Again…fantastic guitar otherwise.

#2 finding my pinky folded under the neck after 30+ years! Aaaah! I’m sure it’s the guitars fault.
 

11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
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Mar 21, 2003
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Near BWI Int'l
I have had thoughts of an S-Type with three mini toggles for the pickups - just on-off - and no pickup selector. I'm not sure that would be better or worse. A master volume and a master tone would be enough though.
That reminds me that in the 90's I had replaced all 3 knobs in a Strat with 3 mini-toggles, with no volume or tone controls whatsoever. I think the longer-term goal was to then drill holes for a master vol and master tone somewhere in between the toggles, and probably just use significantly smaller knobs.

Going by memory, it actually worked out kind of well for some things. It's ultimately how I discovered that I really like using the neck and bridge pickups together - I think that sounds 1000% better than the middle pickup by itself does. Having said that, I think the Strat's middle pickup by itself lacks all the glorious overtones you can get from the neck pickup, and falls short of having the snarl and bite of the bridge pickup, making it a horribly tepid compromise of either one. I have no doubt I'm in the minority there, though.

My guitar buddies hated playing my Strat when it only had the 3 toggles in it. They thought I was nuts for not at least adding a volume control. It was just a phase for me, as I've always seen a Strat as an experimenter's platform - I just honestly can't use a 100% stock Strat.
 

brookdalebill

Tele Axpert
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The volume knob placement on a strat.

The lack of space between the tele selector switch and volume knob, Really? There's penty of room on the control plate, why are they jammed up to one another?

This could become a Monty Python-esque skit based on the Inquisition.

The only thing I don't like about stock Strats is the volume knob position. ...And the middle pickup is placed just right for me to tear my quicks when 'Wilko-ing'

The -TWO- things I don't like about stock Strats are the volume knob and middle pickup position!...And tuning up when the trem is floating...
Yup!
I do own one.
It’s got a light, one piece swamp ash MJT relic body, and a 2006 Fender 62 Hot Rod Strat neck.
The neck is a large C shape, slab board with 9 1/2 inch radius.
It will eventually get staggered, locking tuners and a self-lubricating nut of some kind.
It addresses almost all of the issues I have with the venerable quack-o-caster.
It’a a hardtail, so no built-in spring reverb, it has a cool old Harmony volume knob, noiseless Kinman pickups, a 5-way with master volume, placed out of the way of my picking hand.
The master volume is also a switch that gives me the outside two pickups, and all three.
It will eventually get a different bridge plate, saddles, and a Glaser B bender.
Obviously, it’s a work in progress.
image.jpg
 
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11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
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Mar 21, 2003
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Near BWI Int'l
Epiphone headstocks on Les Pauls and SG's. I just don't like how they look. They look fine on the semi- and hollow guitars, and of course the Explorers and V's keep their original shapes.
You know, I have to admit to this as well.

I got a ~$100 GC special Epiphone LP quite a few years ago, and IMO it looked especially odd since the body was so thin, and it had a wraparaound bridge on it.

The tuners on that LP were pretty bad, so I redrilled it for the sealed type. In doing so, I discovered just how soft the headstock wood was, because it started to 'crater in' around the tuner nuts (which I honestly didn't think I was cranking down that tightly). As a result of that, the black headstock finish actually looked like it was made of vinyl or something.

So at some point, I ended up removing the tuners, stripping the headstock, and filling in the sunken-in parts. When I did that, I chopped off the excessive part of the headstock, too. Then the next problem was the exposed grain, because it was almost like particleboard or something - just not really good for sanding nicely.

...It was actually some years later that I broke down and got a decent handheld woodworker's scroll saw. So now the headstock is pretty nicely cleaned up, but I ended up being excessive with the amount that I removed, so the average Gibson owner would probably hate how mine looks. It doesn't matter to me, since I've never been concerned about trying to fool anyone.

This reminds me that I have a Dean Evo neck on a LP Jr double-cut parts build that also just looks like there's too much up there on the headstock. I think that after messing around with the Epi headstock, I just don't want to bother any longer.
 

JIMMY JAZZMAN

Tele-Afflicted
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Mar 26, 2019
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The PRS "birds". I'd be rolling, getting down on a good riff and then I look down the the fretboard and bam;
what bird should I go to next. They should have used different animals, you know like goats for "G", alligators for "A",
bears for "B", donkeys for "D" and an elephant for "E". Of course "F" could be a problem. Any takers? Ha, ha. Gotcha.
 

11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2003
Posts
13,199
Location
Near BWI Int'l
The PRS "birds". I'd be rolling, getting down on a good riff and then I look down the the fretboard and bam;
what bird should I go to next. They should have used different animals, you know like goats for "G", alligators for "A",
bears for "B", donkeys for "D" and an elephant for "E". Of course "F" could be a problem. Any takers? Ha, ha. Gotcha.
What happens if you tune down to like E flat or C sharp? :D
 

dougstrum

Friend of Leo's
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Oct 6, 2015
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blu ridge mtn cabin
Hey @unixfish bet it's long scale vs short scale more than the block inlays that throw you off.

For me switching from tele to a big jazz guitar I have to watch when I move up the neck not to land a whole step off🙄
 




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