Thinking about strat that doesn't sound stratty

JohnnyHardtail

Senior member
Messages
358
I used to put a few tiny spots of silicone under the pickguard so it was almost glued to the body. I never did an A/B test to know if it made a difference. However it's not only the effect of the Pickguard. It's also the routing of the body for the oversized pickup route, the large control route and the trem cavity if the body has one. In my mind, a Fender guitar with minimal pickup routes, simple control route, and no trem cavity is called a 'Telecaster'. IMO that style of guitar is brighter sounding due to the design of the body, if everything else is equal. Eliminating the tremolo springs will also have an effect because they are Ferrous material and influence the magnetism in the pickups especially with true single coils.
 
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johnnyj

Active member
Messages
45
I agree there is a difference, but if playing high output pickups I think the biggest risk is having a tone that is too fat and muddy. Without a pickguard there's one less thing to influence the tone. If we look at Stratocasters there is an enormous range of pickups between vintage single coils, blade humbuckers, stacked humbuckers, and even EMGs. Mark Knopfler played a lot of different combinations in his Strat style guitars, and many did not have anything like a vintage sound.

I'm pleased to hear your perspective and experience. Thanks.
not sure if i understand you right. you can mount any pickups meant for a strat direct mounted as well. i think generally the pickguard vs no pickguard thing is way less relevant than the pickup choice itself. if you dont like fat and muddy pickups, there are alot of options. personally i had f.e. very good experience with the dimarzio air classic bridge. this is a really nice humbucker which is very dynamic and not fat compared to other humbuckers. if you want to go half the way from a strat single coil to a mild humbucker, what i also can warmly recommend is the lawrence wilde S45l. you could use this in a SS or SSS routing, they sound really nice and are also rather low output. very clean and pleasantly bright without sounding too much like a humbucker. here is a good demo video of them:
 

Street Avenger

Senior member
Messages
2,250
I used to put a few tiny spots of silicone under the pickguard so it was almost glued to the body. I never did an A/B test to know if it made a difference. However it's not only the effect of the Pickguard. It's also the routing of the body for the oversized pickup route, the large control route and the trem cavity if the body has one. In my mind, a Fender guitar with minimal pickup routes, simple control route, and no trem cavity is called a 'Telecaster'. IMO that style of guitar is brighter sounding due to the design of the body, if everything else is equal. Eliminating the tremolo springs will also have an effect because they are Ferrous material and influence the magnetism in the pickups especially with true single coils.
The bridge, pickups, and ash body (where applicable) are what make a Telecaster bright, not pickup cavity routes.
 

JohnnyHardtail

Senior member
Messages
358
The bridge, pickups, and ash body (where applicable) are what make a Telecaster bright, not pickup cavity routes.
I don't agree. The Tele neck pickup has metal cover and the bridge has much higher inductance than a strat pickup. A Telecaster is a brighter guitar with warmer pickups.
 

Hendrix

Senior member
Messages
709
I don't agree. The Tele neck pickup has metal cover and the bridge has much higher inductance than a strat pickup. A Telecaster is a brighter guitar with warmer pickups.
Tele Bridges Pick-up is the main factor, followed by bridges (tele mount is on the bridge with magnetic metal)
If the wood is the same, then there are various other differences, and the combined recipes make the difference.

 

triple jim

Active member
Messages
49
I have several necks with 1-3/4" nut width. One is a 24.75" scale conversion neck on a Strat type body and the others are on Strat and Tele bodies. I don't find that the scale length makes any significant tone difference. It's mainly whether the pickups are single coils or humbuckers. The shorter scale does make a difference in feel, both from the string tension and the fret spacing.

This one has the 24.75" scale neck, and has switching to make the humbuckers into single coils. In humbucker mode is sounds like a Les Paul, and in single coil mode it sounds like a Strat.

warmoth-usacg_strat.jpg
 

bruzanhd

Senior member
Messages
179
I have several necks with 1-3/4" nut width. One is a 24.75" scale conversion neck on a Strat type body and the others are on Strat and Tele bodies. I don't find that the scale length makes any significant tone difference. It's mainly whether the pickups are single coils or humbuckers. The shorter scale does make a difference in feel, both from the string tension and the fret spacing.

This one has the 24.75" scale neck, and has switching to make the humbuckers into single coils. In humbucker mode is sounds like a Les Paul, and in single coil mode it sounds like a Strat.

View attachment 59259
Walnut body?
 

RyanC

New member
Messages
11
I have several necks with 1-3/4" nut width. One is a 24.75" scale conversion neck on a Strat type body and the others are on Strat and Tele bodies. I don't find that the scale length makes any significant tone difference. It's mainly whether the pickups are single coils or humbuckers. The shorter scale does make a difference in feel, both from the string tension and the fret spacing.

This one has the 24.75" scale neck, and has switching to make the humbuckers into single coils. In humbucker mode is sounds like a Les Paul, and in single coil mode it sounds like a Strat.
Interesting-

My EC1000 has coil taps and is HSH, but with LP style wiring and a switch to turn on/off the middle single coil. For me, it sounds maybe stratty enough all things considered- but a real strat has the spank that that the EC1000/LP style guitar will never have.
 

triple jim

Active member
Messages
49
My EC1000 has coil taps and is HSH, but with LP style wiring and a switch to turn on/off the middle single coil. For me, it sounds maybe stratty enough all things considered- but a real strat has the spank that that the EC1000/LP style guitar will never have.
The specs of the humbuckers used makes a difference. Mine has PAF style pickups, so when split, only about 4,000 ohms.
 

PFDarkside

Senior member
Messages
109
Yes, and on top of that, a Humbucker is a bar magnet with steel poles, a traditional Strat or Tele had pole piece magnets. So you’ve got a different magnetic field (just because the HB is split doesn’t change the magnetic field) and a different wind.

Seymour Duncan makes the StagMag, basically two Strat pickups on a Humbucker base for those that want the split tone to be Strat-correct and have the compromise be on the Humbucker tone.
 
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Street Avenger

Senior member
Messages
2,250
Interesting-

My EC1000 has coil taps and is HSH, but with LP style wiring and a switch to turn on/off the middle single coil. For me, it sounds maybe stratty enough all things considered- but a real strat has the spank that that the EC1000/LP style guitar will never have.
Coil-split. Turns one coil off. Guitar pickup coils are never "tapped" (part of a coil used).
;)
 
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