Scored a near new MIM strat. Help me get used to playing it!

41144

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Vive la difference etc ... A Strat's a Strat not an SG etc.

Sustain is a 'personal' thing too, I might think the sustain I can get from my Strat is fine .... someone else might think it sucks etc.

As others have pointed out pedals are often deployed with all manner of guitars for added sustain ... and surely the EHX Soul Preacher is a 'cheap' quick fix there.

Or, trade for the Fender "Ed O'Brien" Sustainer Stratocaster .... providing the two MiM specs match in other regards?
 

Whatizitman

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Can’t believe I forgot to post a pic 😍

8405FE25-43C9-45A6-A028-FAF0D5F30BFC.jpeg
 

adjason

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Nice looking start- I know the older ones had ceramic pickups and the newer ones are alnico. Yours looks newer but I am not sure and have not played the player strat that has alnicos. I say play some definitive strat songs and see how it sounds- Dire straits or sweet home alabama. How does it sound there? I really love a strat for rhythm work with the middle and bridge combo. But in general prefer a tele for everything else
 

Tone Quest

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Congratulations on your MIM Strat. I love mine, but I did change the pickups for more output. Lace Sensor Purple in neck, Lace Sensor Lt Blue in middle and a Seymour Duncan Little 59 in the bridge. I get a lot of sounds with this combination.
 

SpeyFly

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My only suggestion is, put away the Les Paul/Gibson type guitars for a while, just play the Strat.

Over the years I've owned 4 Strat's and could not bond with them, totally different beast than a Gibson type guitar. Now, I'm on my 5th and for the last 2 weeks it's the only guitar I've picked up, my others are just sitting there staring at me. In the old days (late 60's and early 70's) I concluded that only great guitarist's could play a Strat and play it well. This time I'm determined to learn how to play a Strat.

I picked up a 17 year old 50's series MIM "Case Queen" that had never been played so I too am going through the process of learning to play a Strat.

Congrats!
 
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richiek65

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Well, it's difficult to say. Strats do take some getting used to playing, but that's more mechanics.
Low output vintage style picks are clean/plinky and can lack sustain at lower volume for sure. The strange thing to me is this is my issue with Humbucker guitars!
I prefer hot strat pickups and Tex Mex at $75 a set are perfect for me.
My 1998 MIM Strat is my #1 gigging guitar, albeit there isn't much left stock at this point. But I bought it stock, and bought it because it resonated strong against my chest unplugged.

The problem is, not all similar guitars sound/feel the same. I played a Custom Shop Strat once that was the worst chunk of "dead wood" I've ever played.
+1 on the Tex Mex, esp on the bridge PU
 

Willie Johnson

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Go nuts, you can do whatever you want to a Strat. I think I'm going to HH-ify my American Standard that goes kind of unloved and sits in the case. Ordered an uncut Strat pickguard for $10 for when the time comes to do it up.
 

jrblue

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You can easily get a MIM Strat to sustain. The issue might possibly be the current setup (PU height) and possibly be how you are using the guitar tone and volume knobs, but it's almost certainly downstream from the guitar in your signal chain. Others are offering some good and easy suggestions, and there are many more. I can get all my Strats, on of which is MIM, to sustain with the amp alone. Add one of a zillion overdrives or boosts and it's even easier. There are a billion hard rock albums based around sustained Strats. I bought a MIM Strat to use as a beater and to my surprise -- shock, really -- I found it brilliant both in terms of playability and sound. The only thing I hated was the too-bright finish, but I deglossed that nicely (and slightly, nothing crazy) with micromesh. It's an awesome guitar and I assure you that it sustains beautifully. I'm sure you know that most Strats, stock, need to be at 9 or 10 - 10 is best -- on the volume knob to really sustain or drive their best, particularly without pedals. I like to use my volume knob, and not just to clean up the signal, so it takes me a lot of fiddling with treble bleed, pickup height, and amp settings to be able to really use the volume knob without having the tone and response change too drastically. Tryng to get a stock Strat to sustain on 7 is tough without a pedal to boost the signal. Finally, the tone controal work. Lots of players dial back the treble and increase volume to get a thicker sustained tone without ripping your ears -- unless you want to rip, that is. Enjoy your Strat. Not only are they way different from the Gibsons I mostly played -- I think they're way better, musically, for me anyway.
 

Bourbon Burst

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I play clean and use a BOSS EQ-200 equalizer with all of my guitars. Strats can be spikey so I roll off high frequencies. The EQ-200 also has a level slider. It’s a great clean boost. A quality equalizer with a level slider may be all you need. Don’t give up. I have two Strats, one a CS ‘69 and the other an American Standard with Ultra Noiseless pickups. They’re different as night and day but both are great guitars.
I currently have a Strat Plus with the Lace Sensors. I was thinking of getting another Strat that is more traditional. My favorite Strat tone is early Gilmour. Is the CS 69 the way to go? I could just get another pickguard with those loaded on there.
 

JL_LI

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CS '69 are low wind pickups. They're traditional sounding Strat pickups and pretty low noise too because of their low output. I don't know if the pickups are available as after market pickups from Fender or are only available in a CS guitar.
 

dreamingtele

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I'm new to the strat world. I absolutely love the neck! I've never felt a neck so comfortable and playable.

That's where the fun ends, and the work begins, though. I'm coming from a lifetime of a tele with stock hot pickups, and gibsons and epiphones with humbuckers and p90s. Basically set up to rock in some form or another, I guess.

I really didn't think I would be stepping into another world. Boy, was I wrong.

I'm having difficulty getting used to the pickups in particular. But the frets might need a little dressing, too. Basically, there is almost no sustain higher up on the neck. I first tried raising the pickups, but that didn't help. Stratitis and all. I lowered them to back around spec or lower, and it's better that way. The output is just so low that I can't drive the amp the way I'm used to. Adding a lot of drive with pedals adds some compression/sustain. But sounds like mud.

I'll continue to dial in the relief, string height, and/or frets if need be. But I'm assuming at this point that the sustain and output aren't going to get significantly better just by getting a few high frets leveled out (it doesn't need a full dress).

Is this just the nature of strats? Current MIMs have vintage style, lower output pickups, right? I'd rather not go down the pickup rabbit hole, if I can avoid it. Nor do I want the guitar to only be for clean quack. OTOH, I would like to expand my playing into more appropriate strat genres. Any suggestions?

I felt what you said there. Hahaha

I recently bought a strat to try it again for the third time. I never liked strats but I like the tone and I like it when other people are playing it, but not if I’m the one playing.

This one was different. Really nice neck, lovely pickups and it was light too! Its one of those 2012-2017 American Standards that are very nice.

I was head over heels on it for a while. And even made a thread about how much i’m loving the experience..

However, ive also found what youve found. Pickups wont drive the amp hard enough, and i have to adjust pedals.. however, for clean tone, its just basically divine.

Anyway, a unicorn guitar basically appeared out of nowhere and even if I love the strat and I think I was able to find a good one, it was the first to go. My point is, I guess I really am not a strat-guy after all.

But I learned the formula that will make me keep one though - but after I’ve bought the guitars I want first. Hehe

Enjoy the new strat! I hope you keep it!
 




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