Why So Few Hardtail Strats?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Jbnaxx, May 17, 2021.

  1. Jbnaxx

    Jbnaxx Tele-Meister

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    I had a cheap Squier Bullet Strat with one humbucker and the sound rocked. Everything about it was super cheap.... the body was like plywood, the hardware was the cheapest, but the sound was there. I gave it to my granddaughter and I still get to play it from time to time when we jam.

    I have always wanted another (better quality) hardtail Strat with the standard three single configuration. There is only one in the Fender line...... Squier doesn’t offer one at all.

    Am I the only hardtail fan?
     
  2. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I love a floating vintage or two point trem, but I also like a solid hardtail Strat - I'm putting a hardtail Strat partscaster togther to scratch that itch :)
     
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  3. guitarmikey

    guitarmikey Tele-Afflicted

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    What about my partscaster (on the right)? Note the Tele bridge…


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  4. fleezinator

    fleezinator Tele-Meister

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    I decked my Squier as I don't use the trem very often on it. I like the subtle added pitch consistency when bending.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  5. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    There's a new Squier Bullet hardtail Strat, better specs than the older one you mentioned. They also recently added a hardtail Strat option to the Mod Shop line-up.

    Overall, I think Strat players tend to prefer trem tails and have tended to vote that way with their money. Of course, it is relatively easy to deck and/or block a trem so people do that often.
     
  6. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Afflicted

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    There's a Robert Cray Strat at my Local Music Go Round that's been sitting there for months. I haven't had a chance to play it yet but it's a hardtail. I also would like one in theory. I'm not sure what it really does to the sound. My guess is it would make it better, but I don't have any experience. I've been a hardtail player forever. LP's and Teles. I do have a Cheaper strat now and am learning to like the sound. But it sure is different than the other two mentioned. And I think a lot of it has to do with a bridge that moves.
     
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  7. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Market, demand and supply. It's more easier to deck a floating whammy bar system, remove the arm and let it reside flush with the body, and act like a "faux" hardtail than trying to make a whammy bar system out of a hardtail.

    Frankly, I don't think the timbre is affected that much really. The main thing with strats and the spring at the back, is that you retain some of that twang and resonance from the springs, even if the systems are decked and non usable. I know a lot of fellow players that has one strat with floating trem, and the others where it's all decked. They can't stand the out of tune while doing country bends, double stops, and general going out of tune... mind you, ONE strat with functioning whammy, but the rest where it's basically decked with all 5 springs tightened hard. No string snap will ever be enough to move the bridge the slightest.

    Hardtails doesn't have that twang.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  8. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    I prefer the sound of a decked Strat over a hardtail. My opinion carries a lot of weight with Fender, so that could be the reason why there are so few hardtail options.
     
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  9. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    If it should strike my mind, whenever I ever saw any major famous old stalwart in the rock business - now, major world famous acts - it's very few I've seen which actually make ample use of the whammy on their old vintage strats. I can only recall 2-3 people. SRV, Ritchie Blackmore, and Hank Marvin. The rest doesn't even fit their arm in. Clapton, Eric Johnson uses it only at the end of the shows where he don't mind it going out of tune...he has better "full contact" with the bridge system blocked. Rory Gallagher, Robin Trower, yada yada yada I could namedrop all day.

    Whenever live, if they had to play a tune which contains lots of divebombing and whammy bar, they put their old trutstfuls down, and picked up a more modern one from their stands, with Floyd Rose, or any other of those locking nut, or more "in-tune" systems. Or mongrel, frankensteins parts strats with HB pickups and so on.

    Mind you that D Gilmour has modded systems too, not stock. And changes guitars too, although strat is is main axe. And when he used to use his old black one, he barely touched his whammy at all.
     
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  10. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

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    I built a Hardtail strat from parts on Warmoth last year - I absolutely love it!

    My main guitar for about 25 years was a Strat with a blocked trem (wood bar and tightened rear springs) which has a very unique tone a bit like 'Brownie', but I prefer the sound of the full HT setup, much fuller to my ear.

    Can't recommend Warmoth enough.
     
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  11. knavel

    knavel Tele-Meister

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    I have a 1959 hardtail Stratocaster. It's the finest surf guitar I've heard. My 1971 strat with the tremolo is a different beast.

    Worth seeking out a HT. You get the best of strat and tele in one package!
     
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  12. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I keep my "tremolo bar" on my two Strats. I have no idea why. I rarely touch them and I am terrible at using them.
    Clapton as the tremolo cavity while Cray's does not so it's a true hardtail.
     
  13. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Afflicted

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    They're easy enough to build. Here's my latest effort-

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  14. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, very easy to assemble from parts. All four of them were.
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  15. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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  16. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have been looking for a lefty hard tail for some time and cant find one any where.
     
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  17. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I build mine about 9 years ago. Along the way I converted it to master volume and tone. It sounds like a strat to me.

    I suppose they'd make em if more folks wanted em.

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  18. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Generally I like the tremelo Strat even if I dont use the Trem. But I have had a hardtail Strat I bought in 1970. It was good. They are lighter weight. In some ways they dont seem as resonant generally as a Trem model. But that's not based on anything other than playing a few.
    I missed buying one at the pawn shop a few years ago, It had just come out of the back. It was a 3 bolt neck so I was of the mindset to not buy it because everyone was still dissing them at the time. BUT, when I played it unplugged the thing just vibrated! I shouldn't have hesitated. It was offered to me for $500. Gone next day.
     
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  19. Speedfish

    Speedfish Tele-Holic

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    My Wayne Kramer signature strat is decked.
     
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