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  1. #101

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    I agree with everything you say except that Wes didn't get a muddy sound. On most of his albums his sound is bright because of the corn or callus on his right thumb.

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  3. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    I agree with everything you say except that Wes didn't get a muddy sound. On most of his albums his sound is bright because of the corn or callus on his right thumb.
    True, he definitely had a nice clear sound, but on that one album "Guitar On the Go", it sounds like there was a pillow covering up the mic on his guitar. Granted it may have been the recording rather than Wes, but I don't like the sound of the guitar on that one recording.

  4. #103

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    You are correct..."Guitar on the Go," Montgomery's last Riverside album, does sound somewhat muffled to me, too. I went back and listened to the whole album. Hadn't done so in years. I do concentrate on Wes' Riverside output, rather than his later, Verve, output, but I tend to listen more to 'Boss Guitar,' 'Portrait of Wes,' 'So Much Guitar,' and 'The Incredible Guitar of Wes Montgomery.' On those albums Wes gets a nice, bright tone, IMO.

  5. #104

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    I use a strat all the time. I play contemporary jazz, aka: Russ Freeman, Larry Carlton, Craig Chaquico etc..my favorite strat is the 3rd from the left in the back row. A Custom Shop 54' reissue NOS. The big beefy neck feels real good. And it sounds amazing through my 65' Twin Reverb.
    Fender Stratocaster for Jazz?-fenders2014-jpg

  6. #105

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    I don't like strat's for Jazz only have heard two that I like the old Jimmy Smith video I apologize I don't remember the name of the guitarist excellent player. The second is Chris Crocco he plays a stock 90's strat with the Lace Sensor pickups and vol and tone all the way up. Now a strat with a hard tail should sound good, but the cavity in the body and the vibrato adds a plinkiness to the sound and just rolling off the tone sound dull to me. I say use a tele or get a hard tail strat.

  7. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by docbop
    I don't like strat's for Jazz only have heard two that I like the old Jimmy Smith video I apologize I don't remember the name of the guitarist excellent player. The second is Chris Crocco he plays a stock 90's strat with the Lace Sensor pickups and vol and tone all the way up. Now a strat with a hard tail should sound good, but the cavity in the body and the vibrato adds a plinkiness to the sound and just rolling off the tone sound dull to me. I say use a tele or get a hard tail strat.
    Quentin Warren

    Also:


  8. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyin' Brian
    Quentin Warren

    Also:

    Sounds nice I'm guessing he's got a light touch I watched that and another video of his and couple times he digs in it was more strat-ish. His sound is a little thin for my taste like to hear him with heavier set of strings, but I do like the clarity he's getting. Like his playing thanks for posting.

  9. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by docbop
    Sounds nice I'm guessing he's got a light touch I watched that and another video of his and couple times he digs in it was more strat-ish. His sound is a little thin for my taste like to hear him with heavier set of strings, but I do like the clarity he's getting. Like his playing thanks for posting.
    Here he is with Chet Baker...of course we really don't know what he's playing but there's some wonderful things happening.


  10. #109

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    I love Strats, but I agree that the Telecaster is a better jazz guitar, at least for me. Not a lot better, but slightly better. It has a thicker, meatier sound than a Strat, and I like that for jazz.

  11. #110

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    I play jazz on a strat. I don't accept the notion that a guitar jazz tone has to be dark and muddy just because that was typical in the past.

  12. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by Playerizor
    I play jazz on a strat. I don't accept the notion that a guitar jazz tone has to be dark and muddy just because that was typical in the past.
    I agree, though I don't think it was so typical in the past. Just think of Charlie Christian, Barney Kessel, Oscar Moore, Tiny Grimes, Tal Farlow, Jimmy Raney, Grant Green, Skeeter Best etc. None of them had muddy tones. Some who comes to mind having a dark and muddy tone are Jim Hall (after he replaced the P90 on his 175 with a HB) , Pat Metheny (sometimes) and Wes (on the some of the early Pacific records and also a few of the later ones). But they are a minority.

    IMHO, a Strat with the right setup can have a great jazz tone. For one thing, the neck PU is placed just right to get that warm and rich tone (NOT the same as dark and muddy!) we associate with jazz guitar.
    Last edited by oldane; 01-03-2015 at 02:38 AM.

  13. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldane
    I agree, though I don't think it wasn't so typical in the past. Just think of Charlie Christian, Barney Kessel, Oscar Moore, Tiny Grimes, Tal Farlow, Jimmy Raney, Grant Green, Skeeter Best etc. None of them had muddy tones. Some who comes to mind having a dark and muddy tone are Jim Hall (after he replaced the P90 on his 175 with a HB) , Pat Metheny (sometimes) and Wes (on the some of the early Pacific records and also a few of the later ones). But they are a minority.

    IMHO, a Strat with the right setup can have a great jazz tone. For one thing, the neck PU is placed just right to get that warm and rich tone (NOT the same as dark and muddy!) we associate with jazz guitar.

    My use of the word muddy might have been a bit harsh. I just get frustrated by some of these guys that believe the ONLY jazz tone is a tone that was created 50 years ago.

  14. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by Playerizor
    I play jazz on a strat. I don't accept the notion that a guitar jazz tone has to be dark and muddy just because that was typical in the past.
    Dark and muddy are two different things. To me muddy is lack of note definition and to me more common with people that roll off the tone control on guitar and amp. Also early Jazz guitarist weren't that dark because of the CC and P90 style pickups. Sound got darker when the humbucker was introduced. Things continued to get dark as improvement in amps and speaker got better. Also I attribute some of the dark sound to record producers trying to make Jazz records to pull in the Pop market. The took the edge off of the sound to be the smooth jazz of the day especially with Cool Jazz came cool timbre in the mix.

    For great example of bright guitar sound in earlier jazz check out Grant Green he loved a bright sound. For me the sound like is a full sound has bottom end, still has and enough brightness for clarity, but not rockish or jangly.

  15. #114

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    I harp on this a lot but...

    A lot of those classic jazz tones are a lot brighter than people think. Sometimes I think thete's not a lot of listening going on and more passing "information" by heresay.

  16. #115
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    Dave Cliff (UK):

  17. #116

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    Mr. b has an extremely valid point there: A lot of those classic jazz tones are a lot brighter than people think. Sometimes I think thete's not a lot of listening going on and more passing "information" by heresay.

    I was at a major guitar show once, someone recommended that I check out a new jazz guitar maker, don't remember his name. His instruments were fabulous. Heaven to hold and play. He suggested that I plug one of them into an amp to fully appreciate the guitar.

    He didn't have an amp, so he said I should plug into the guy's amp across the way. The guy across the way was a jazz amp
    spkr. cab maker. Won't mention his name.

    So there I am, digging this guitar, playing my best stuff (and I know a few things about playing guitar). Tone is great, guitar is great. The guy who is making the cabinets comes over, and, while I'm playing !!!!! turns the tone on the amp way down, and says some thing like : "there, that oughta get you there" !!!! Like......who asked you - you deaf jerk.
    I'm sitting there now with MUD coming from this beautiful guitar!

    These guys not only turned me way off, but lost potential $$$.

    The point is: who is to say what something should sound like? I had a great tone going. I like Wes, and GB, so I was not bright , but expressive, warm, clear and a bit funky. IOW: my tone

  18. #117

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    Yeah...classic jazz tones are brighter than people acknowledge. Also, jazz is most assuredly about vocabulary. You can play jazz on ANY guitar.

  19. #118

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    I have a great sounding strat... just ooozes strat tones. That said.. I cant get an inspiring jazz tone out of it (but it will do everything else great).

    That said.. I watched the DVD Solo Flight: The Genius of Charlie Christian this week and there is a VERY brief clip with Eldon Shamblin playing a strat.... sounds pretty tasty.

  20. #119

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    Yeah...classic jazz tones are brighter than people acknowledge. Also, jazz is most assuredly about vocabulary. You can play jazz on ANY guitar.
    Amen to that. Yeah, like someone should have told Charlie Byrd you can't play jazz on an acoustic.

    I even play jazz on my Gibson SG, which hardly anyone considers to be a typical jazz guitar. Granted, I don't play it as much as the Strat, but it sounds great playing jazz.

    If you've got jazz in your soul and in your fingers, any guitar is a jazz guitar. I do wish more big name jazz players played Strats, though.

    I'm waiting to see someone play traditional jazz on a Flying V.
    Last edited by shamu1; 01-03-2015 at 01:02 AM.

  21. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by shamu1
    Amen to that. Yeah, like someone should have told Charlie Byrd you can't play jazz on an acoustic.

    I even play jazz on my Gibson SG, which hardly anyone considers to be a typical jazz guitar. Granted, I don't play it as much as the Strat, but it sounds great playing jazz.

    If you've got jazz in your soul and in your fingers, any guitar is a jazz guitar. I do wish more big name jazz players played Strats, though.

    I'm waiting to see someone play traditional jazz on a Flying V.
    Well, jazz blues is traditional jazz too!!




  22. #121

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    Ha - of course if you ask us guitarists to comment on 'correct' sax , cornet, trombone, jazz tone, then we might all be a whole lot more circumspect and less opinionated.

  23. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by shamu1
    If you've got jazz in your soul and in your fingers, any guitar is a jazz guitar. I do wish more big name jazz players played Strats, though.

    I'm waiting to see someone play traditional jazz on a Flying V.
    I saw that. Not professionally though. My guitar teacher years back would just grab anything off the used wall, tune it, and belt out the most amazing stuff. Flying V, Steve Vai 7string, SG, PRS, you name it. He didn't care. A guitar was a tool. Nothing more. He owned some nice stuff for gigs, but at the store it was whatever made sound. It was kind of funny for me becuase at the time I thought you should only play certain styles on certain guitars. Now I know better.

  24. #123

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frethack
    I saw that. Not professionally though. My guitar teacher years back would just grab anything off the used wall, tune it, and belt out the most amazing stuff. Flying V, Steve Vai 7string, SG, PRS, you name it. He didn't care. A guitar was a tool. Nothing more. He owned some nice stuff for gigs, but at the store it was whatever made sound. It was kind of funny for me becuase at the time I thought you should only play certain styles on certain guitars. Now I know better.
    We guitar players often get locked into focusing on "gear" way too much.

    I know that I quote Metheny way too much but he always seems to make sense.

    "I’ve gone through different thinking about that (gear). Certainly there were years when I was really concerned about the string, the pick, the guitar, until I realized that those are minor elements.

    It’s like asking a guy who just built a house, “Which hammer did you use? Was that a Gibson or a Fender hammer?” The truth is it really doesn’t matter. In my case, I would say 98% of it is conceptual.

    This was brought home when I was on tour in the former Soviet Union in the 1980s. I wanted to have my own stuff, my amp, my everything. Then I was thrown into a situation where I had to play on a stage in front of lots of people with a beat-up guitar and an old amp.

    That night I went back to my room and there I was playing on TV and I realized it sounded the same. It really doesn’t have to do with the stuff, it is more about the conceptual part of music."

    I realize that he has used and uses more "stuff" than many players, but I believe that what he's saying is that if it's not in service of the music, it doesn't count, and that ultimately we sound like ourselves no matter what.
    Last edited by Flyin' Brian; 01-05-2015 at 12:16 AM.

  25. #124

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    Flying Brian - +1. Like what's the best vehicle to take your stuff to and from the gig? I'm sure we could start a whole new thread based on which brand and what model. Something reliable is probably the answer to all questions (?).

    Interestingly, most pro players I have met over the years years seem to turn up with the guitar that goes with them on air trips and an amp that is borrowed on the night, and then another set-up which is their gear they transport by car/van to the gig (local gigs) - better guitar and their own amp. And the, studio/home/photo session, equipment that's their best stuff for the least risky environment.

    But what I have also noticed is pros have great cases - Hiscox and Carltons - that are top of the range stuff. Nobody travels much with a standard case. So budgetting for a great case may change your guitar choice if you gig and travel a lot.

    So for travelling, a solid guitar is easier and more 'bomb proof'. So if you take that on board it becomes a choice of Tele, Strat, SG, Firebird, PRS, etc. for your long distance gigging guitar. Fenders are the easiest to repair regarding finding someone to do the work - so pick the Strat or Tele according to which you feel is more comfortable to play and there's part of the answer.

    For me, the Strat is Leo Fender's second go and deluxe version of the Tele - it's more comforable to play and better balanced in the hands. So I kept the Tokai 1984 version of a vintage Fender (the Tokai had some SD Alnico 2 replacements thatsounded very sweet as well). The Tele was an easier sell as well and if I had kept it I would have wanted those alnico PUs installed again and I could have never fixed the neck with thise big frets (the Tokai has retro small frets which are great to play and a dream to slide and bend chords). I have the trem blocked with a piece of oak - so no issues there.... ... ...

    Stratocaster or Telecaster?? - - its a really close call IMO. If you want more flexibility in how the guitar is going to get used earning a living, the Srat probably wins out as it has more gigging applications and more sounds - especially if you start to change the PUs for stuff like the Lollar Charlie Christian or a Seth Lover hum-bucker in the neck position and a rail in the middle or bridge like Mike Stern.

  26. #125

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    let me see your jazz strats. i am deciding how i should go about giving my stratocaster a better jazz sound and i need ideas. what are some good jazz sounding pickups that will be a good fit for a strat? sorry if this threads been started.
    Last edited by blues442; 08-04-2015 at 01:54 AM.

  27. #126

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    I see the light blue lace sensors seem to be the best for jazzy tones. does anyone know if there are any other lace sensor pickups that are particularly good for a jazz setting?

  28. #127

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    Seymour Duncan mini humbuckers

    Fender Stratocaster for Jazz?-untitled-jpg

  29. #128

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    help selecting a jazz oriented stratocaster?

    Check out this thread. FWIW, I've kept my American Std stock. This is what it sounds like, through a MicroCube and a cellphone (it's better through a better signal chain)
    Summertime in Ft. Tryon Park:


    John

  30. #129

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    Quote Originally Posted by blues442
    I see the light blue lace sensors seem to be the best for jazzy tones. does anyone know if there are any other lace sensor pickups that are particularly good for a jazz setting?
    I have Alumitones on my Strat (Deluxe). Good low end and very low noise.

    Fender Stratocaster for Jazz?-jazz-strat-jpg

  31. #130

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    thanks for your answers guys.
    Does anyone know how one would go about getting a charlie christian pickup into a strat? I believe i've seen it somewhere. I just believe that modifications might have to be made.

  32. #131

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    I'd love to hear a strat with CC pickups !

    The lollar CC pickup sound amazing with a telecaster

    (maybe the amazing sound comes from this great player).

    They apparently also build the CC with a humbucker housing

  33. #132

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    Here's mine. It's a Mexi R Cray model, the only way to get a reasonably priced hardtail as far as I know. Guitar isn't my first instrument but I dig solid rhythm, like Freddie and Eldon Shamblin as well as Oscar Moore's take off and 2 part stuff.

    That said. I wanted my Strat to play like an Archtop. I rewired it to master Vol + Tone and plugged the extra hole. Just happened to have these little plastic plugs in light grey which blends nicely with the Inca Silver. I also used a bit longer wires on the switch and rotated it 180 so the switch was also out of my way. I mainly use the neck pup.
    The pups are Van Zandts.
    Strats are really comfortable and can do anything.
    Attached Images Attached Images Fender Stratocaster for Jazz?-img_0421-jpg 

  34. #133

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    Very cool. I have little knowledge about the functions of certain things on a guitar. So what purpose does the new master and tone control serve?

  35. #134

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    Typical Strat wiring is master Vol and 2 tone controls over the 3 pups. I simply wired it to be 1 vol and 1 tone for all switch selections. It has a 5 way switch and uses a good '50's .05 cap on the tone control. I got the aftermarket knobs cause I didn't need glasses to see the settings! It gets a good Jazz tone, not typical but sweet.

  36. #135

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    It's odd the pups are the same age but the neck cover hasn't aged like the other two?

  37. #136

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    Pete Biltoft at Vintage Vibe Guitars also makes strat blade pickups which are single coil, and very quiet, and definitely the cure for anyone who thinks strats sometimes sound thin. This guitar previously had a toggle switch for a "bridge always on" option, but I ditched it, and rewired it conventionally, as the straight 5-way strat wiring setup sound plenty thick with these pickups.

    They're kind of a cross between single coils and humbuckers, but still have single coil definition Have them in a partcaster strat with a fat maple neck, and a hardtail. Picked them up 2nd hand for $125 or so. New they would be a bit more, probably $225 for the set.
    Last edited by goldenwave77; 08-05-2015 at 07:25 AM.

  38. #137

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    Strat mod with 3 p/u's and pots like this:

    Volume as master volume with treble bleed
    1st Tone as master tone
    2nd Tone as bridge p/u blend with neck p/u and all 3 pickups depending on p/u selector position.

    How about push pull pots:
    1st Tone engaged as tone bypass
    2nd Tone engaged as tone cut for reduced lows

    Forum member Oldane has the best jazz strat ever. It has a CC Rider h/b pickup only.

    If you go the single pickup route like Oldane then the pot mod would go like this:

    Volume as master volume
    1st Tone as bass frequency boost and cut
    2nd Tone as treble frequency boost and cut.

    Simple!
    Attached Images Attached Images Fender Stratocaster for Jazz?-jazz-rats-jpg 
    Last edited by jazzbow; 08-05-2015 at 09:28 AM.

  39. #138

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsbyguy

    That said. I wanted my Strat to play like an Archtop. I rewired it to master Vol + Tone and plugged the extra hole. Just happened to have these little plastic plugs in light grey which blends nicely with the Inca Silver. I also used a bit longer wires on the switch and rotated it 180 so the switch was also out of my way. I mainly use the neck pup.
    The pups are Van Zandts.
    Strats are really comfortable and can do anything.
    Interesting approach. I dont use the blended pickups although I have tried. A three way switch and controls like yours might be my solution. I wonder who makes a two hole pick guard? It would give me an excuse to start messing with pickups.

  40. #139

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    I don't like blade pickups in the neck position. I can't ever get a good string balance out of 'em. YMMV.

    OTOH, a p90 in the neck position is a thing of beauty

  41. #140

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    Man lots of awesome strats in this thread

    I´ve posted mine before on the forum, here it is again. Coolrails in the neck and that is pretty sweet for jazz. I´ve used this guitar alot since i modified it and use it for lots of projects right now, finishing recording a pop/soul/jazzy album and I mainly use the strat for that project and also use it for jazz-only gigs.
    Attached Images Attached Images Fender Stratocaster for Jazz?-strat-jpg 

  42. #141

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    This is my poor old strat. I've had it for almost 25 years and it has been languishing in its case for as long as I can remember. I don't even know if the electronics are in working order.

    Fender Stratocaster for Jazz?-2015-08-07-08-50-48-jpg

    But it was my first electric and I will never bring myself to sell it, so I plan to jazzify it... some day!

  43. #142

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    My current Jazz Strat is this Korean Squier that was redone in Daphne Blue over White, and is slightly road worn. I have ceramic single coils in her with CTS 250K pots.

    Fender Stratocaster for Jazz?-2015-08-06-20-54-20-jpgFender Stratocaster for Jazz?-2015-08-05-20-42-39-jpgFender Stratocaster for Jazz?-2015-08-05-20-43-25-jpg

  44. #143

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    Hopefully nobody will mind if I shift this thread from Charlie Christian Pickups to Partscasters? I've been shopping for a Jazz Strat a couple of weeks now (previous thread) -- played most of the decent ones in town. One that floated to the top is a relic'd partscaster that a local guy puts together & sells via a local shop. $800

    Money wise, it looks like a loser -- what is the resale value?, but it plays and sounds above or equal to American Standards that run $1200ish. I'm torn. I kinda want it, but I'd hate to take a big hit out of the box. . .

    How does one value a well done partscaster? the parts cost plenty-- I definitely don't want to start from scratch!

    I'm pretty sure I can search out a used American Standard for $800-900 locally, but this one could work for me. . .

  45. #144

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    I have an american and I've played mexicans. i believe the greatest difference lies in the stock pickups. someone told me the mexicans' stock pickups are a lot cheaper. So, if this guy put in some nice ones, then i say why not get it.
    Last edited by blues442; 08-08-2015 at 07:46 PM.

  46. #145

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    the shop clerk thought the pickups were texas specials, but he was just "the Saturday guy" and didn't know much. I'll go back next week to get a better story on the guitar from one of the guys I know better.

    The builder has a number of guitars there -- mainly tele's -- and they all play great.

    I agree pickups are a huge part of the equation, but doesn't strumming a strat unplugged tell a little something too? Dead pickups suck, dead guitar sucks too. I guess I'm getting spoiled in my old age.

    There was a day when a squire bullet strat rocked my world

  47. #146

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    I never expected neck pickups on a strat to sound as smooth and Jazzy as they do... Hate to Mention John Mayer... But he kills it with a strat!

  48. #147

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    There are so many pickup combinations on Strats its difficult to specify the "Strat" sound. Even when they have what look like identical singl coil pickups there can be different magnet specs and different winding resistence. My strat has the APS2 pus and they are low resistence like 1950s models and somewhat similar to an early Rickenbacker 330 I had - so they can be jangley and/or nail that Buddy Holly strat sound. And combine that with a guitar that has very good sustain from the maple neck and ash body and there you have the components to a good sounding strat.

    However a friend has one with the Tezus Fender pus that sounds very muddy as the pus ate overwoulnd to make them more powerful and bluesy. Sounds like a very different instrument. Strats are pretty modifiable - as the pus are bolted to the scratchplate and not the body it would be completely feasable to create a new scratchplate with one Charlie Christain in the neck position and go with that - any hacking of the body would be hidden by the scratchplate - in fact some strats have what is called the swimming pool underr the plate - a large rectangular routed out hole that could take any sort of combination of pus.

    I think a Lollar CC single pu Strat would be a very interesting instrument to play. Would depend on how radical you feel before you spent the money.

    Whether you play HBs or Single Coils has a lot to do with the context you play in. Soloing with HBs sounds classic and easy to listen to. However lots of players prefer P90s and single coils as they are more trebley and cut through the mix - i.e. county players who use the neck pu in bands - playing that without the rest of the band sounds incredibley edgey - but great with the band.
    Last edited by ChrisDowning; 10-17-2015 at 02:42 AM.

  49. #148

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    Somebody was talking about flatwounds in this thread. I seem to remeber that is was like everyone played flatwounds in the beginning of the 60s and so a Strat would arrive with flatwounds on. Then in the London Blues scene I was told my tone would be better if I used round wounds and I set iff to find some having used flats since I started playing at 11 years old 6 years earlier. The sounds of guitars in that era were from Chet Atkins, Hank Marvin, The Ventures, - now I think of it even blues players from the USA sounded like they used flats.

    So I would conclude that flats and overwound or humbuckers would make a Strat sound very jazzy. But I am beginning to think the real reason the Strat isn't played is just it's image. So many think it just looks wrong. And I completely understand that. A non cutaway f hole guitar looks the part in a way that abred strat doesn't. (Probably why I have never owned a painted guitar.)

    I think the Tele and the Strat are interchangeable once you have messed about with the electrics. But if Lady Gaga could sing great jazz, would you still buy a ticket?

  50. #149

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    Yep. The 60s were the years of the flat wound string. My first electric, a Hagstrom I, came from the factory with them. It was a '65. Say, have any of you played chord melody--like Johnny Smith --on a Strat? It sounds beautiful.

  51. #150

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    Pretty much the way I was taught to play the guitar back in 1959. I learn froma book called the McNeil Modern Method that after teaching you the single notes around the first position went straight into what we would now call the CAGED set of chords in each key.

    I think the Strat sounds good for chord melody because the single coils give it an airy tone that allows each note inthe chord to ring out - whereas the humbucker blurs the individual tones of a chord into a more round single sound. And it is also way easier to mellow the strat tone than to try to brighten up a humbucker. The bottom end is also far clearer on the Strat whereas a humbucker can be like a double bass if you are not careful - something you might get away with solo, but sounds all wrong in a mix with other bassy instruments like piano, bass, and tenor sax.

    Anyone tried a Strat with a Lollar CC in the neck?