Hardtail Strat

MTPoteet

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I've primarily been a Strat player most of my life. I don't know how that happened, it just did.
I've had/payed most major brand/models in my day and just ended up with Strats.

I have never used the wang bar and have often thought about getting/building a hardtail Strat,

Then I thought, I'll just play my Telecaster!
 

Controller

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Go with what works for you. I started with a Strat and loved it compared to the rubber-necked SG I had for years. Then I tried a Tele, and it was all over at that point. Sold the Strat.
 

fretbuzzard

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Yeah, hard-tail strats are unique beasts. They do not sound at all like teles, and honestly they sound quite different from standard strats with the bridge decked. All of those springs and that big ol’ steel block actually do effect the sound. For me, even if I’m not using the trem, I prefer strats with their bridges set to float. It’s a key part of the sound I love from strats. Robert Cray disagrees…
 

gridlock

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I owned an American Standard Hardtail Stratocaster and wish that I never sold it.

I also never even installed a whammy bar on my Strats and all of mine are decked.

My American Standard Stratocaster was a great guitar that still sounds like a Stratocaster.

I’d definitely buy another hardtail Stratocaster and they seem to be priced a little cheaper than a traditional Stratocaster.
 

Will V.

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It’s a matter of personal preference, but it’s hard to argue with the tones that Robert Cray and Nile Rodgers get. I believe Billy Gibbons has used a hardtail Strat also but not sure which tracks.

I’m kind of taken with them and building a hardtail partscaster right now. Although I still love my other Strat with the usual floating bridge.
 

wraub

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One of my Strats is a hardtail that also only has one pickup, a bridge humbucker.
It's like a Strat-shaped LP Jr. :D

edit-pic
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boris bubbanov

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I found that, at least on some S hardtail builds, the sounds were less jangly. When the springs are present on a trem Strat, they tend to generate a sort of on board reverb unit. The difference is subtle, and less evident the louder you turn it up and add other "stuff" like pedals.

I think the reason the two approaches are not well known/understood, arises from the other changes so many folks add on to hardtail S builds. The difference strictly associated with the change to the bridge/trem and the addition of the cavity, get lost in the other changes.
 

wraub

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I found that, at least on some S hardtail builds, the sounds were less jangly. When the springs are present on a trem Strat, they tend to generate a sort of on board reverb unit. The difference is subtle, and less evident the louder you turn it up and add other "stuff" like pedals.

I think the reason the two approaches are not well known/understood, arises from the other changes so many folks add on to hardtail S builds. The difference strictly associated with the change to the bridge/trem and the addition of the cavity, get lost in the other changes.
Definitely agree- the springs and other hardware really add something extra to the sound. Not necessarily better, but definitely different.
 

bgmacaw

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I have 2 hardtail Strat-oids, a SX with a TOM bridge and a Carvin Bolt kit with a typical string-thru-body bridge. As you can see, the pickups and wiring aren't that standard either so they don't quite do a traditional Strat tones although the SX is probably the closest vs using coils splits on the Carvin. On the SX, I also wired it master volume/tone and added an "always on" mini toggle for the bridge pickup.

hardtailstratoids.png
 

FSRCustomTeleHHGT

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I wish a HT Strat sounded like a tele. The one thing I hate about a Tele is the slab body. The one Tele I have that doesn't have a slab body (the one in my avatar) also doesn't sound like a Tele. I never even bother putting the trem arm on my Strats and would block them all off Clapton style if I could be bothered. I've got a Squier 51 which has a Tele neck FWIW. It also doesn't sound like my CV50s Tele. MAYBE it would if I replaced the bridge and pickup with the one on my CV 50s Tele. But I'm not that talented mod-wise, which is why I keep the CV 50s Tele in spite of its weight and slab body. Again, I wish I could replace it with a nice, lightweight HT Strat.
 

Fendereedo

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I played Strat's forever. Then one day I woke up and insisted on buying a Tele..... the world tilted on it's axis, my life would never be the same again 😱
 

Killing Floor

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Fender Mod Shop. Fender will build a MiA Strat with your choice of neck and electronics and about 30 color options. Hard tail is an option for Strats. It’s about $200 more than a stock MiA Strat. Comes with hard case and warranty and it’s 100% a Fender with a serial number but it’s yours.
Takes about a month to get. I’ve done it a couple times and would do it again. Totally worth the touch of personalization.
 

knavel

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To me the quintessential hardtail strat sound is Dick Dale. I have a 1959 hardtail strat and it is the finest surf guitar there in (IMHO). The finish is like it is because when my brother and I got it from the original owner in the late 1980s he had put on a candy apple red overcoat in the mid 60s. We could see the sunburst in the neck pocket so spent a hole summer buffing away the CAR. Then we found that the original owner had started to sand the top before the refin :(. The back of the strat is pretty good though.

There seems to be a better appreciation these days for HT strats. I remember for most of the first 20 years or so of the internet they were mocked with the name "hard sell".

@OP - We have a lot of Teles/Esquires from the 50s - 2021. The HT strat and Tele have nothing in common other than who made them. The HT strat is actually even quite different than my normal 1971 strat.

IMG_0317.JPG
 
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widefault

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I think I'm up to five string-through hardtails now.

Aria Pro II, before clean up and setup.
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A weird no-name
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Another Aria, before clean up
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An early 80s lefty Korean copy with a one piece "ash" body
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And another early 80s Korean copy
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Also had one of the Squier Affinity Hello Kitty models, which I was surprised to find are string-though
tFrjr7U.jpg

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That one went to a new home after it was sold for three times what I paid!
 




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