Elite Strat.

nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 600Member
I was in Dawson's the other day and got to play an Elite Stratocaster. I haven't played a real Fender Strat in a while but I was quite surprised that, to me at least, it sounded really bright. Is it me? Does anyone else thing they don't sound as warm as they could?

Comments

  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,790Member
    To be honest, I haven't played very many genuine Fender Strats, although I've had the odd try out - usually friends' guitars that they've asked me to do work on. There have been so many versions of the Strat, and I'm sure the sound does vary a fair bit. Jocko has a very nice American Standard ash-body burst finish (picture please Jocko).

    The walnut partscaster I made I wouldn't say is at all thin, and has good warmth to the tone also. I think the pickups in that are a lot of the reason - they have alnico 2 magnet poles, and are wound to around 7.4K on the neck/middle and 8.5K on the bridge, although they are tapped and can be switched to a lower output. But most of the time I prefer the "hot" output - it just sounds fuller, and yes, warmer.

  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,871Member, Moderator
    Oh, go on then.
    image
    I don't find my Strat exceptionally bright. I has a wonderful range of tones, especially now they include a tone control on the Bridge pick up. Perhaps it depends on the strings.
    I always use Fender Super Bullets - Light 3250L 9-42
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 813Member
    I think an essentially bright guitar is easier to tame than one that just can't get there. They do have tone cut controls after all. My middle tone control tends to reside around '3' much of the time and the neck tone on '10' but they are variable.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 600Member
    Megi said:

    (picture please Jocko).

    …and as if by magic…
    Jocko said:

    Oh, go on then.

    :-)
    ESBlonde said:

    "I think an essentially bright guitar is easier to tame than one that just can't get there. They do have tone cut controls after all. My middle tone control tends to reside around '3' much of the time and the neck tone on '10' but they are variable."

    As I thought, it's probably me then. I didn't use the tone controls, so perhaps that's the answer. A brighter guitar would be a better option - it's easier to take off the treble than add it. My Rickenbacker 360 is never too bright for me, so really it is probably my age and lack of high frequencies in my hearing!!

    I think I was expecting a more 'buttery' tone from the neck pickup, so wondered if it was the Noiseless pickups. I'm also probably finding that I do prefer slightly hotter pickups that have more upper mids because of the extra windings, even when used clean.
    The Irongear Pigirons on my No. 2 sound like what a single coil should, to me anyway.
    But if I was really in the market for a US Strat I would be playing a few to find one I liked.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,871Member, Moderator
    The pick ups on my Strat are Custom Shop Fat '50s.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 600Member
    Jocko said:

    The pick ups on my Strat are Custom Shop Fat '50s.

    Do they sound like this?
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,871Member, Moderator
    Seems a pretty fair representation of the sound the pick ups make.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 600Member
    Very nice indeed! I could live with that.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,226Member
    I've never much liked the standard wiring that means a single coil bridge pick up on a SSS Strat can cut glass with its over-bright treble and can't be adjusted for tone. I see Jocko mentioned the benefits for his Strat with it not being wired this way.

    Before I got old enough to start losing some upper register in my hearing I found it almost painful to hear a Strat in the upper registers!

    Now I think about it, nearly all the guitar players I liked to listen to when I was young didn't play Strats. So just a case of me and my ears, but I can understand how someone else might find a Strat too bright if their ears are a bit sensitive to treble.

    Interested to see what Megi said about preferring hot output on pickups. I've not really had experience of hotter pickups in single coil pickups, but where I've had them in p90s and humbuckers I've ended up replacing them due to problems with getting good natural sustain - despite attempts at lowering pickup height to try to reduce the damping effect on th estrings of the stronger magnetic field.

    Again probably just my ears - I had stock P90 pickups on a PRS that were hotter ones and I really grew rapidly to loathe them - yet I saw at least 95% of on-line comments about them to be in their favour. The relief to replace them with Vintage Alnico 2 P90s was massive!

    One players great pickup is another players pain in the ears (anag). :smiley:
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,790Member
    Mark P said:

    I've never much liked the standard wiring that means a single coil bridge pick up on a SSS Strat can cut glass with its over-bright treble and can't be adjusted for tone. I see Jocko mentioned the benefits for his Strat with it not being wired this way.

    Before I got old enough to start losing some upper register in my hearing I found it almost painful to hear a Strat in the upper registers!

    Now I think about it, nearly all the guitar players I liked to listen to when I was young didn't play Strats. So just a case of me and my ears, but I can understand how someone else might find a Strat too bright if their ears are a bit sensitive to treble.

    Interested to see what Megi said about preferring hot output on pickups. I've not really had experience of hotter pickups in single coil pickups, but where I've had them in p90s and humbuckers I've ended up replacing them due to problems with getting good natural sustain - despite attempts at lowering pickup height to try to reduce the damping effect on th estrings of the stronger magnetic field.

    Again probably just my ears - I had stock P90 pickups on a PRS that were hotter ones and I really grew rapidly to loathe them - yet I saw at least 95% of on-line comments about them to be in their favour. The relief to replace them with Vintage Alnico 2 P90s was massive!

    One players great pickup is another players pain in the ears (anag). :smiley:

    It does seem to be true about pickups being so much a matter of personal taste Mark - I think a lot of it is down to the amp and other gear a player prefers, and how that works with the guitar. Saying that, the "hot" strat pickups in my walnut partscaster aren't really all that "hot" - 7.5K instead of 6K-ish isn't a huge difference. And the alnico 2 magnet poles are fairly gentle.

    When you look at humbuckers designed for heavy metal use, with powerful ceramic magnets and both coils wound to the limit, that's what I'd call properly hot. So if you played it, I reckon you'd be fine with the tone from my strat. :)

  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,871Member, Moderator
    The good thing about the tone control on the new Strats is it has an indention at the treble end (my mate bought a second hand Strat and thought it was a dodgy pot). In that position the tone control is switched entirely out of the bridge pick up circuit, so it performs exactly as an older model. Turn it back and the tone circuit switches in and away you go.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 600Member
    "One players great pickup is another players pain in the ears (anag). :smiley:"
    So true! That's why people like Seymour Duncan make so many different pickups, many being just EVER so slightly different from the next.
    It all depends on what you want to hear. One person says 'muddy' the other says 'warm'.

    I suppose it was my expectations of the Strat that were upset. But that's ok. I have other guitars and am certainly not in the market for another. Yet. I think.
    Jocko said:

    The good thing about the tone control on the new Strats is it has an indention at the treble end (my mate bought a second hand Strat and thought it was a dodgy pot). In that position the tone control is switched entirely out of the bridge pick up circuit, so it performs exactly as an older model. Turn it back and the tone circuit switches in and away you go.

    Oo interesting. The model I tried had a blower switch which I really dug. Push the button and no matter where your other controls are set, you are instantly switched to bridge pickup, bypassing the volume and tone. Very handy.
  • SilversharkSilvershark Posts: 20Member
    I play a '94 AS Strat (albeit a lefty) that has a TBX tone control which affects just the middle and bridge pickup. So when the bridge pickup alone is selected you have direct tone control via the TBX. As far as I'm aware this was the standard configuration for AS Strats at that time. I'm not sure whether this is what you refer to here.

    I can confirm that "it does what it says on the tin".



  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 600Member
    How does a TBX differ from a normal capacitor-loaded tone control? Does it not affect the neck pickup at all?
  • SilversharkSilvershark Posts: 20Member
    edited February 11
    No, it doesn't affect the neck pickup at all. For a good description take a look at this reference (page 10 according to PDF, page 8 according to the page number).
    https://support.fender.com/hc/en-us/article_attachments/207321703/American_Standard_Series_Guitars__1987__manual.pdf
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 600Member
    Thanks for that. It explains it really well. Now I want one!
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