What Strat has been your favorite? pics, stories, lets talk about them....

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by FortyEight, Jul 15, 2021.

  1. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Afflicted

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    I know most of you have multiples, if you had to pick one, what has been your favorite strat? The proverbial which one would you grab out of your strats if you could if the house was burning.

    I'm turning 50 in January and I think my goal is to save my gig money and get a "decent" strat. I mean it's not a certainty. But that's probably at the top of my list. I used to not like strats when I was younger but after learning how much flexibility they have with just little tweaks.... I think right now my crappy Starcaster is my top guitar. Although for some reason I do feel like I can play my Tele a bit faster and more accurately with scales. And sometimes barr chords are easier on my Tele in the F and G range. But my Starcaster is 1/12 and my Tele is a 1/9.5. So I THINK if I had a 9.5 radius on a strat I would feel the same way about it. Plus I think I would like it better cuz I didn't really realize this tell like a week ago if you compare a strat and a Tele, the strat's neck is a bit shorter or... closer in. I guess the body is a bit shorter top to bottom....

    Anyways.... So yeah, I'd like to hear what model you guys like the best. Another thing to add might be how you have the pups and electrics set up. There are so many ways people can do strats. I didn't even really realize this until this year. LOL. I'm not a 2 and 4 position guy. But a strat that can blend the bridge and neck is really good to my ears. I had a Squier bullet that all I did was swap the positions of the bridge and middle and it was like..... AAAAAAAHHHHHH, now that I like a lot. I also like the neck and bridge on it's own.

    Pics would be good. :)
     
  2. BB

    BB Poster Extraordinaire

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    My strat story. My beautiful 81 Ibanez AS200 was stolen in 1982. I had a gig that night and a friend offered me the use of his sons Fernandes strat.

    I had played strats and teles before, but being a Gibson type guy, never really took the time to bond with the strat neck/frets.

    That night at the gig, I started to fall in love with that Fernandes. I used it until insurance money came through and then bought a new Ibanez AM205, one of the first smaller bodied semi hollows. While I was a nice guitar, it was no where near the quality of the AS200. I wound up trading if for a Gibson Firebird to quell my Johnny Winter love. While the Firedbird was cool, I did not bond with it.

    Since I managed a music store, the boss gave me the OK to use any guitar of our used inventory.

    Flash forward a few months when I was offered a job at another music store for more $. As I was cleaning up the mess left by the previous manager and doing an inventory, I stumbled upon a Fender style case stuffed away in a back closet. Inside was a beautiful Sunburst strat body/neck/pickguard with one pickup. 2 tone sunburst body with maple neck, correct F headstock, vintage style tuners, soft V neck profile and no logo of any kind.

    I promptly bought a set of Duncan vintage strat pickups and proceeded with solder them in and set up the guitar. It was an amazing player....fairly light, resonant and I simply fell in love with it.

    It was my #1 for over 20 years and used for every gig I did. In the last 35 or so years, It's been through many pickup changes.

    In 2002, I build my tele, (which has been my#1 ever since) so the strat has been in its case for more than a few years.

    Right now it sports a sewt of Dimarzio Class of 55 pickups, but it needs some wiring issues worked out. Since I've been dealing with some chronic pain/brain/dopamine issues the past 5 years, I have done little to no guitar work. I'm hoping to feel good enough soon to get it up and running again. It's just a beautiful playing/sounding instrument.

    From the bit of research I've done, I think it may be a Tokai with no logo. I do know it's a late 70's, early 80's MIJ guitar, but that's about it. I will say I have yet to play a 'real' strat that plays/sounds as good as this one does.
     
  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I grew up playing Strats, and Les Pauls.
    They were the “rock star” guitars of my youth.
    I got my first Strat in 1972, when I was 14.
    It was an L-plate 63-64 sunburst, with a brown pebble grain case.
    It wasn’t my first Fender, I had a same era L-plate sunburst Jazzmaster first.
    I got it on 1970, when I was 13.
    I had to have a Richie Blackmore guitar, I loved MIJ-era Purple, so I got a Strat ASAP.
    Over the next 50 years (yikes), I’ve owned dozens of Strats.
    I own 5 now, three hardtail partscasters, and two “real” Fender Strats.
    The real ones are a 2006 sunburst EJ, and a 2009 1962 AV Hot Rod, both with Kinman Woodstock noiseless pickups.
    I love/hate Strats.
    I love the comfort, balance and upper fret access.
    I hate the buzz/reverb of the springs on tremolo models, and the grossly over-used positions 2 and 4 on the switch.
    Thanks for listening.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021
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  4. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    My favorite strat was stolen many years ago. it was a Japanese Squier that I initially was luke warm on. But then I stripped the (to me) thick finish off the fingerboard and replaced the pickups witha set of Fralin vintage hots. And man did that thing come to life. Within 6 months, it was stolen by baggage handlers on a business trip (I was forced to check it at the gate). Got an hour out, flight had to come back. By the time we landed and were being sent to another airline to catch their flight, the guitar was gone.
     
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  5. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    I have a love hate relationship with Strats. I love how they sound when I listen to them, but hate how I sound when I play them.

    I've owned 4 strats over the past 25 years or so. Still own two both of which are made in Japan.

    This is my favorite by a wide margin. It's a CIJ 57 reissue from 2006. It has the best playing neck of any guitar I've ever owned or played and that includes a 58 Tele and 59 Gibson ES225 both of which have wonderful necks.

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  6. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    I don't want to derail, but other than being noiseless, what is your take on the Kinman Strat P/U's?
     
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  7. BB

    BB Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd like to know also BDB. I've never used Kinmans myself, but several of my Aussie friends rave about them. I'd love to try a set someday.

    I did like the Dimarzio vintage style Area's or VV's (can't remember, it was a while back) I tired many moons ago. While I don't generally use noiseless pickups, I have a feeling the Kinmas would be the boot scootin' boogie!
     
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  8. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I really like them!
    They sound great, far better than any other noiseless pickups I’ve experienced.
    I require my guitars be noise/hum free.
     
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  9. BB

    BB Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's good to know Bill. I know they are spendy, but once you find a set that meets your needs, no need to experement!

    One of my Aussie friends has had Kinman built strat for 20 some years. I have not played it, but he say's it's the best strat he's ever played. He's a great player, so I trust his words. Never knew Chris made guitars, but I guess he did in his early days.
     
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  10. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Tele-Holic

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    My mutt.

    Srv neck, Eric Johnson body,
    54 style plastics . And Virgil arlo 54 pickups.

    it will make a fender purists head explode.

    but it’s all my favorite things in one Strat. And it sounds stellar.
     
  11. Hey_you

    Hey_you Tele-Afflicted

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  12. Otisblove

    Otisblove TDPRI Member

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    I started playing guitar in 1987. My dad bought a Made in Japan Dakota red Strat at a pawn shop and gave it to me around 1998 or 99. I never got on with it and sold it on eBay to a guy in Australia.

    My FAVORITE Strat I’ve owned is the second one I got. I bought it 6 or 7 years ago from Midwest Buy and Sell in Chicago. It’s a sunburst 1998 American Standard with a maple fretboard. When I bought it, it had a Fender Custom Shop pickup, a Fralin pickup and a Dimarzio Yngwie Malmsteen pickup.

    Even though the swimming pool route had copper shielding, the wiring in my house at the time made the pickups hum so loudly I took them all out. I think I broke one and sold the other two on eBay.

    At the time I bought it I just knew I wanted a Strat. It’s the first guitar I took the pickguard off of and really looked underneath. I looked up the pickups on the internet to see what they were. I’m still not sure which CS and Fralin pickups they were. Wish I’d held on to them, but then again, they led me to noiseless pickups and soldering (which I’d never done in my life).

    I learned so much with this guitar. Replaced pots (first time), replaced the jack (first time), put a dowel rod in the strap button hole (first time-it was loose), replaced the tuners with locking tuners (first set of locking tuners and first time swapping out tuners).

    I’ve tried Dimarzio Areas, Gold Lace Sensors, Fender Vintage Noiseless, Fender Gen4 noiseless, Kinman Gilmours, Tonerider Alnico 4 humbuckers and finally Kinman P90’s in it.

    Most of the pickups I bought used. Some I sold and some I still have in other guitars or in a drawer.

    Somewhere along the way I bought a sunburst Classic Vibe Strat that I liked the finish of more, so I painted my American Strat my favorite color, shell pink. I didn’t strip it, just painted over the sunburst poly with nitro. (By this point I’d stripped and refinished two cheap guitars and found that stripping guitars sucks and I’m not a patient guitar refinisher.)

    As I read this, I can see how crazy I am. I must really like this guitar to have gone to so much trouble. Or I realize no one would ever buy it if I tried to sell it.

    The day I bought it and now.
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  13. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Afflicted

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    I like the pink. A lot.
     
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  14. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    I've had a love/love relationship with strats. They're not the only style of guitar I like (and I love teles just as much) but I could hardly imagine being without one.

    Not counting a 1-humbucker "contemporary strat" in my youthful metal days, my strats have been:
    - a 1979 boat anchor
    - a 2011 American Standard (modern 9.5" spec)
    - a Classic Player 60s (12" radius)
    - an American Vintage '65 aka 'the Wolf' (full vintage spec, still with me)
    - an American Vintage '56 (full vintage spec, still with me)

    No contest, the two American Vintage strats are the best I've ever had and both keepers. Between the two, as of now, I'd pick the Wolf: it has been with me for longer, seen more action, and it's everything I could ever want in a strat. But the '56 is just as nice: a little more classy, a little less mean, a little more "swing", a little less rock.

    If you're afraid of the radius and vintage frets (and you shouldn't be), go for an American Original – 50s or 60s depending on aesthetic and neck preferences.

    If it's out of your budget (but for the best strat it's worth making a little investment :D) consider the Vinteras. The Vintera 50 is damn nice if you like substantial necks.

    Happy quest!

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  15. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Ι have had a,bazillion of strats throughout the years ,my absolute favorite is my 1991 strat plus ,no strat I have ever played or owned ,including many 50s and 60s, even comes close,there she is resting between my two other keepers ,an amazing 1993 am std with stock flatpoles and a late 60s totally handmade copy a good friend made for me

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  16. Lucius Paisley

    Lucius Paisley Tele-Afflicted

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    "The proverbial which one would you grab out of your strats if you could if the house was burning."

    It would obviously be the one I got this week.

    IT'S BRAND NEW!
     
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  17. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Afflicted

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  18. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Holic

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    My favorite is a '99 Fender Am. Std. Strat bought new and played regularly for the last 22 years. It's 6.82 lbs, has a clear gloss swamp ash body with maple fretboard, that as Chuck Berry would say, "rings like a bell." I only have one other S type guitar. A 2017 Carvin hardtail, and it's a good one too.

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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021
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  19. goonie

    goonie Friend of Leo's

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    I have a couple. A pretty Daphne Blue MIM body/MIJ neck partsy which one of my daughters has adopted, so will make that official at some stage, next birthday I guess.
    The other one isn't going anywhere ... my Hot Rod '62 in oly white. It was a 'Friday afternoon' guitar I picked up cheap used, which had an issue with the truss rod (all fixed now), and a minor glitch with the paintjob.
     
  20. gimmeatele

    gimmeatele Tele-Afflicted

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    IMG20210716120842.jpg this is one of my three strats, and American special, and much the favourite, although it did take some bonding with, as I was not entirely sure I liked the Texas special pick ups, but for rock and blues it can really blast it out, and this and a Tele are my rock gig guitars.
     
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