What is it about strats?


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What is it?  I was a diehard LP guy from about 17-24, then I got a tele and played that for a change of pace.  I never understood the appeal of the strat, be it its shape or tone.  A few years ago I played a friend's strat for awhile and began to tolerate it, especially for clean sounds.  Last year I built a warmoth strat and have never looked back.  I am 32 now - is it because I am older and more "mature"?  Or is it because I am a better player and can "tame it" better now?  I have built another strat HH style for LP type sounds.

So what makes strats so special?
I LIKE 'em, but... I cannot play one well. I don't know if it is the standard control configuration or what, but I struggle with a Strat. I do want to try another Strat done with different control configuration, and... a hardtail.
BB in SC
Because it was a warmoth, not because it was a strat! I was playing my thinline today, thinking what a nicer guitar it is than the LP custom I owned in the 80s that I cherished in my mind all these years. Build a W LP next!
Same thing happened to me recently. For whatever prejudicial reasons I've avoided the strat. Shit, I made quality time with a Hagstrom for 2 years, but somehow I couldn't get my head around a strat. Then three years ago I was noodling with a cheap Squire one at a guitar store, and even in such a degraded form, there was something to be said for it. Then I saw a korina body in the showcase and you know the rest.

I think it's because we've heard the sound of that instrument all our lives. The same can be said of the Les Paul, too. Those tones are there in our collective rock unconscious, and when you spend a little time with either instrument, there's that "aha!" moment that gets you.
You know, it's funny. I LOVE the strat sound - maybe it is part of the rock unconscious. But I cannot stand playing mine (a fender). Don't like how it sounds -- thin and metallic -- or how it feels. Maybe it's this particular guitar, but I'm just weary of doing a strat build. I know I need to give a warmoth strat a shot, but I'm scared
I often have wondered what the appeal is with strats, why do people spend big bucks on them? I have played quite a few strats (never owned one though), i HATE them with a passion. I don't like the sound of fender single coils (actually I don't like single coils much full stop), and don't like the style even more. Its probably just my personal tastes. If someone gave me a new fender strat i'd probably just dump it or give it away, or put it on ebay.
I feel the same about tele's too.
I often visit my local muso shop and play a few of the top of the line strats just to try and find something that I like about them,-  I guess the build quality is one positive.
Yet I love fender amps, i think fender guitars are overrated big time and fender amps are massively underrated.

I've always been a fan of the strat. For me, I think it came just from that being the most visible guitar around. Plus, even though it's been around since the 50s, it still doesn't look like a traditional guitar. If you put a Les Paul next to a classical guitar you can see a natural progression. If you put a Strat next to a classical guitar, the Strat will look like something from another planet. So, I don't know what it is about them, but they look cool, sound cool, and feel good. I'm so glad I found Warmoth. Growing up I could never afford a genuine Fender Stratocaster. My first guitar was some no name SG-style knock off and from there I started playing Squiers. The cool thing is, towards the end of college I started saving up cash, found Warmoth, and said, "Screw Fender. My first real strat is going to be my own custom Strat!"  :headbang1:. So, I've never had a Fender, but I do have a kick ass Strat.

However, I gotta admit the Les Paul has really grown on me. I've never owned one, but played a couple at music stores.  I never liked the control configurations (don't like the PU selector up high) or the size, but thanks to Warmoth I'm going to order the parts to my first Les Paul pretty soon 'cause I'll finally have a chance to have an LP the way I want it. So my first custom LP will also be my first LP ever.


"I don't like the sound of fender single coils (actually I don't like single coils much full stop), and don't like the style even more."

Yeah, it's wonder they ever let Hendrix/Beck/Clapton/Gilmour/SRV/et. al. make records playing shit guitars like that....
I'm not really sure what the whole 'strat appeal' is personally.  I mean, Gilmour and Malmsteen are the two main reasons why I would ever want a strat at all, but I guess from a personal standpoint, I shied away from the strat because EVERYONE seemed to have one.  Besides, I've always been drawn towards more 'atypical' guitars, such as explorers, V's and other odd shapes...
Kluson tuners suck.
Little bent-metal bridge saddles suck.
The original, famous "vintage" bridge is too wide and/or the neck's too narrow, so the string fall off the edges.
The whammy won't stay in tune.
There's no tone control for the shrieky bridge pickup.
The original, famous "vintage" neck is way too curved-radius so you can't bend strings.
The original, famous vintage frets are way too small, like a ukulele.
The top control knob scrapes the skin off my little finger when I'm highly-stimulated.

As Jack mentions, it's too bad all those guys were saddled with such a loser guitar, or they might've amounted to something. I always get into trouble when I say stuff like,
"Hendrix & Beck & Page & Clapton would've used good JBL speakers if they hadn't been getting Marshall amps for free, and Jim Marshall used the cheapest distorty 30-watt speakers he could buy in bulk so people just got used to the idea that speakers were supposed to sound farty & bad and now "vintage" Greenback Celestions are supposed to be great speakers..."

So I won't even bother to say anything bad about the Stratocaster, oh no not me. :hello2:
neilium said:
jackthehack said:
"I don't like the sound of fender single coils (actually I don't like single coils much full stop), and don't like the style even more."

Yeah, it's wonder they ever let Hendrix/Beck/Clapton/Gilmour/SRV/et. al. make records playing shitee guitars like that....




That would not constitute an appeal to authority;  it is a series of examples showing that the model is not unworkable.

Besides, except for being pressed into service as proof, an authority can be informative
An example that comes to mind is that most people are willing to learn the status of their health (or a subset thereof) from a doctor, serving the role of information provider.  (It would be fallacious, though, to assert that it cannot be disputed that you have X condition, because the doctor said you did, and that proves it.)
Regardless of what anyone here says, a lot of the greatest music ever recorded was done with Strats (as well as LPs and Teles), so someone likes them...

I for one, like them...  They feel good in terms of the contours and such and if you don't like the tone, it's not always the PUPs, could be possibly the technique and/or amp combination.
Being full scale, they sparkle a little more (makes them popular, but that's not always what you want).
They are pretty lightweight.
The arm and belly contours really do make a difference.  Having now played a Strat and a Variax for 4 years, I get an irritated spot on my right forearm from scraping across the edge of my Les Paul.
They are capable of dramatically different sounds.  There just doesn't seem to be any way to get that voicey, 2-pickups-at-once-on-a-Strat sound from a Les Paul.
(JMHO, of course.)
The Strat shape has always seemed perfect to me.  I agree that original Strat fretboard radius was too small, frets too thin, and single coil pickups can be a bear.  That's why I dropped humbuckers in Felix The Strat (Duncan Jazz neck, Custom bridge) and used the megaswitch for PRS wiring.  I still think of the Stratocaster as THE electric guitar.  So much has been copied or inspired by Stratocasters.  And, of the 12 (I think) Warmoth builds I want to do, all but four will use Strat bodies.

Here is Felix the Strat (a Pewter Fender American Standard Stratocaster I bought in 1987 or 1988):
Not only is the Strat a beautiful looking guitar......

To my ears, it's the swiss army knife of electric guitars.

There are sooooo  many sounds one can get out of a Strat.

From twang...to metal...to warm jazzy tones....they're all in there!!

I just love the shape! very sexy, very female!
Feels great to hold, and sounds great as well. when it comes to tone, I think that most warmoth addicts look past that now :) we just change pickups and woods until it doesn't sound anything like a strat anymore.

There was another thread like this about Les Pauls, and what I think you guys have stumbled upon is the reason for us all being Warmoth-aholics.  If there was a single guitar that did everything for everybody, we would all have one and Gregg and co. would be out of business.  We like what we like for reasons as diverse as the selection of woods, hardware, routing options, etc available from the big W.  I love MY Strat, the one I built, but the very reason I built one was because I couldn't go down to my local shop and get exactly what I wanted.  Personally I can't stand Explorers and Vee's, but that is for me personally playing one.  I don't hate watching some other guy rock out on one, if that is what gets him going.