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Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by sothoth, Dec 16, 2019.
Same reasons I like/buy any guitar:
- Looks good
- Plays good
- Sounds good
One of Leo’s greatest blunders was when he called a vibrato a tremolo.
I currently own two Strats. I'm always fighting to optimize the tone of all 5 positions. I love the floating bridge.
I think it's actually pretty tricky to get a traditional Strat sounding really, really good, both distorted and clean. Ditto for
a Tele, actually. The challenge is that lighter wound pickups sound really wonderful and chimy when played clean,
but don't sound as good distorted. Hotter wind pickups sound wonderful when distorted but not as clear and bell-like
when playing clean. Finding that optimal middle has been tricky for me. And I've gone down the road of SSH instead of
SSS, too. Obviously using a mid-boost either built into the guitar or in pedal form can help one get there. But chasing that
optimal balance has been a bit of a Holy Grail for me when it comes to Strats and I still haven't cracked the code. I think
where I've ended up is if I'm playing mostly dirty tones I typically will use something with PAF style humbuckers in it, and
if I'm playing mostly clean then I'll use single coils. P90s might be some of the best "do it all" pickups I've found yet,
but not for getting those classic Mark Knopfler-esque "quack" tones.
I love my American Standard Telecaster (more than my strats... I think... yeah... more...) and will almost certainly insist on being buried with it but only after (sacrilege alert) I improved upon the original Telecaster design by cutting a huge chunk out of the front of the sucker.
Purists are welcome to their opinions but I never could understand how anyone makes do with those slab bodies. I have an ESP Les Paul type that I improved in a similar manner and even my Squier Affinity Starcaster (Semi-Hollow, BRILLIANT GUITAR although I did swap the pickups and installed locking Grovers) is now better thanks to similar hackage.
When it comes to Fender I'm pretty much a Tele guy but I do own one Stratocaster. It's an early version of the Eric Johnson Signature. I picked it up while cruising through a guitar center and just couldn't put it back down. It was new and near perfect to my likes. Down the road I changed out the original white parchment pick guard, (saved it), when it turned an ugly tan / brownish yellow color as it aged. I replaced it with a purple pearl because my wife loves purple and she lets me buy a lot of guitars. The only other mod was replacing the original saddles with graph tech saddles because I like the way they take the edge off the highs and produce a smoother tone. I also don't care for a floating trem because I don't think it transfers string vibrations to the body the same way a flat mount bride does. On every Strat I've owned I always tighten the springs down to bring the bridge solid to the body. I can still go down but not up with the bar and get a much better tone, (to my ears). Other than that it remains stock and I love it. ..... just not as much as I love my Teles.
Classic sound, but really it’s the headstock...
I used a block of wood to block my strat for decades with no problem.
I built one that I decked by tightening the spring and claw screws, no problem there either.
I have one that has a free trem, roller nut, locking tuners, etc...that can bend up or down with surprisingly no problems.
It’s different from a tele and very versatile. In some cases I can get my strat to sound teleish, but it’s harder to get my tele to sound like a strat.
Clapton , Hendrix, SRV, Knopfler, etc cant be wrong. I really like the comfort of them and that middle and bridge combo is really nice to play
If you have to ask, then you've never spent quality time with a quality strat. Yeah the trem can be a pita and setup is a chore. But they put out the best sounds I've ever heard.
I like the body shape, perfectly ergonomic for me.
I like the middle pickup and the bridge/ middle.
I think they look sexy.
Lastly, I learned to play on one, and used strats exclusively for like 25 years before trying other things.
So I guess I’m just comfortable with them.
however, I haven’t picked one up in ages.
All my strats ended up in need of work or just had broken strings,
Then I got to raising kids n stuff so I play a lot less.
I’ve been using an esquire, les Paul junior, Jaguar, and a couple acoustics for the last few years
I have 18 guitars of various types and out of those 18, 7 are Strats.
A) It sounds magic, and no other guitar can be made to sound exactly like it. I love the many sounds of the tele just as well, but the “strat sound” is a must have for me.
B) I think in terms of design the strat is an absolute masterpiece and the only guitar that (for different reasons) looks as good is the tele.
C) It’s the comfiest solidbody guitar I’ve ever held in my arms, IMHO light years beyond anything that Gibson has ever come up with, and even slightly comfier than the tele.
In my world, the strat is one of two “must-have” solidbody guitars the other being (… you guessed it…) the tele.
I stayed away from Strats for ages because I thought they were a bit boring but maybe 10 years ago I played one for the first time in ages and knew I needed one. The middle pick-up is great and they are so comfortable to play. They just hang so well on a strap. I do quite like a Trem, too. I prefer modern-voiced pick-ups though with a hotter bridge. The 2008-2012 Am Std pickups are wonderful.
That's funny. The Tele is the classic example of an unergonomical guitar.
In my opinion only a LP is worse (talking about the classics), the Tele is at least fine when sitting.
The thing I like about strats is the sound, I really DON’T like the body. Give me a tele body every time . Strats slide off your leg, I don’t need contours, but I do like the pickups and pick guard and they sound great. Almost as great as a Tele.
Personally I think the tele body style is the perfect guitar shape , standing or sitting. I sling it low so it’s not like I need the contours and I’m still thin so a belly cut isn’t necessary and what I really won’t like it the upper horn and I will never buy the argument that it gives more upper fret access. When going to the upper frets my thumb is behind the body not hanging out in the cutaway. So I check that off the list. I don’t use the term so I just remove the bar but leave it floating. But I do like the sounds . That alone is the reason to have one. But if push comes to shove, I’ll take a tele every time .
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In my music I play a lot of arpeggiated chord progressions, and when I do I live on position 2. It adds a beautiful spark to the high notes without being abrasive. Brilliant.
I honestly can't decide if I DO like my strat or not. I like it a lot when I'm playing by myself, and it's comfortable, and I can get some great tones out of the neck pickup. Mine plays very well and stays in excellent tune even using the whang bar.
I don't like a strat trem as much as a Bigsby, I still don't think I have ever heard a strat bridge pickup I love, and I think the control scheme is asinine. I think the 2 and 4 positions are a niche sound at best that doesn't fit into my preferred sound and style. And while I love the shape and think it's a beautiful classic, at this point in history it doesn't excite as much as a lot of other older designs just because it's so common.
Blasphemy! Heresy! Infamy!
Sorry, haven't read this thread all the way through, but you know you can buy a hard tail strat, right? Fixed bridge, no whammy bar. They're out there to be found, just have to look.
My Tele is my go-to jazz guitar. My Strats (yes, plural) are my blues machines and my Les Paul is my rock tool. Couldn't part with any of them.
I never really wanted a strat. I wasn't against it, just not really for it. One day I was rambling around on ebay and saw a red 2011 MIM strat up for auction so I put in a low-ball bid and forgot about it. Two weeks later I got an email "You won!!!"
Turned out to be a 2011 MIM neck on a 1999 USA body. Might be the best neck I've ever played. It's got vintage noiseless pickups. I love it for the neck and for the 2 & 4 positions, and I really like the color.