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ShinyHighlander
post Jul 28 2008, 08:27 AM
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Hi Everyone! I am thinking of buying a strat. Problem is just that there are so many to chose from. So I was hoping you might give me some tip of nice strats that are worth checking out. The price range should be from 1000-2000 dollars. I mostly rock/metal but I´m also into neo classical stuff. Thanks in advance.
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 28 2008, 11:32 AM
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I suppose you wanna buy American Strat..

Here are some names of their products so you can differentiate them more easily:

- Standard: standard "stock" features strat, 3 singles, alder body, maple or rosewood fretboard.
- Fat Strat: A strat with a HSS or HSH Fender pickups configuration. All the rest is stock.
- American Series: Same as first two basically, but manufactured in latest years and have some improvements, like Delta Tone circuit (on the second tone pot, there is a "clik" taht removes it from the circuit and boost up mids and volume just a little - not too useful).
- Deluxe Series: More expensive version of stock strats. Same wood, more complicated electronics. With these ones you can make series or parallel connections between the coils, and have a lot more tonal diversity. Unfortunately, these strats, considered by many and me too, don't carry that "real" strat vibe anymore. Nevertheless they do sound like a strat.
- Reissues: Most expensive factory strats, built to original specs of old strats from 50s, 60s, and 70s era. IMO these have the best strat tone of all, and usually are great straight from the factory, because most parts on them are hand built. They are the most expensive ones too.
- Signature: built by specs of great players, such as Eric Johnson, Malmsteen etc.. They are great, but I don't recommend these, they are often not too great sounding (for the price which is around reissues, more or less), and most of them don't fit most people, because they are too customized already. But hey, if somebody likes it, it is still an awesome guitar. I include here tribute Strats too, although they are often more expensive and rare.
- Anniversary Editions: Editions that come out after certain amount of years, like 50years ann. strat that came out after 50 years of strat existence, or 60 years ann strat that came out in 2006 after 60 years of Fender company existense (I own one). They are standard strats, but payed more attention to details, and usually given better pickups and electronics. They also have some unique features that standards don't have, and their price is going up faster. Their price is between standard and reissue strats, around deluxe strats.

- Fender Custom Shop: a company within fender that builts hand made models. Basically a factory within a factory that can make some custom works on strats (and charge it considerably more of course). THey have their own array of models, but often the price os over the top. If you wanna collectable or one-of, this is the way to go.

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Jul 28 2008, 11:35 AM


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Rooks
post Jul 28 2008, 11:37 AM
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If that text aint in the wiki yet, maybe it should be ..StratFAQ tongue.gif


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ShinyHighlander
post Jul 28 2008, 11:53 AM
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Very good information Ivan smile.gif I checked around on Fenders web site and I noticed that the american standard series only has single coils while for example the vintage series has two single coils and a humbucker as bridge pickup. But how much does the choice of pickups affect the sound. I understand my question is quite diffucult to answer but i´d like to something like what types of pickups fit for which type of music etc.
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ZakkWylde
post Jul 28 2008, 12:01 PM
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For Rock/Metal you'll definitely need a humbucker in the bridge so you'll have to go for a fat strat. Or buy something else than a strat like an Ibanez Rg...


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Fran
post Jul 28 2008, 12:15 PM
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QUOTE (Rooks @ Jul 28 2008, 12:37 PM) *
If that text aint in the wiki yet, maybe it should be ..StratFAQ tongue.gif


So right!, there's already an awesome stratocaster entry, but some of this info could complete it even more smile.gif


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fkalich
post Jul 28 2008, 12:16 PM
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QUOTE (ShinyHighlander @ Jul 28 2008, 05:53 AM) *
Very good information Ivan smile.gif I checked around on Fenders web site and I noticed that the american standard series only has single coils while for example the vintage series has two single coils and a humbucker as bridge pickup. But how much does the choice of pickups affect the sound. I understand my question is quite diffucult to answer but i´d like to something like what types of pickups fit for which type of music etc.


I have an American Standard Strat, the 50th anniversary one. I think it is just a basic strat.

I have several guitars. I don't expect the Strat to do anything but be a Strat, which is unique. No Ibanez sounds like a Strat. Nothing sounds like a strat but a strat.

I would get a Standard American, and look for a good deal. Mod it if you want later. But mine is stock, I doubt I will change anything I have other guitars, Gibsons, even a Parker. But the Strat is unique in sound, very unique.

I feel the action on a Start has to be higher than on other guitars, fret buzz makes it sound like crap. But that is fine, I look for the sound, I don't ask my strat to be anything but a strat.

I would not get noiseless pickups, not the deluxe. I want the pure strat sound.

Actually my favorite Fender is my telecaster. It is discontinued now, American model with one humbucker and the normal tele bridge pickup. It has a switch that combines the inner coil of the humbucker with the bridge single coil, and that is the sound that really is cool. But I like the strat also, nothing sounds like a strat, did I tell you that nothing sounds like a strat.

Listen to Carlos, the young guy from Argentina. He gets a pretty pure strat sound most of the time. I think his is the same as mine, even color, American standard.
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Praetorian
post Jul 28 2008, 01:07 PM
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I have a strat that I got on kind of a whim and wasn't sure if I was even going to play it much since I had just gotten a brand new Ibanez RG4EX. Truth is...I play it a lot more than the Ibanez now! I love playing the Fender. It just has such a good feel and sound to it. I do wish however that it had a humbucker since I enjoy playing blues as well as has some hard core metal. I solved it though, by getting a DiMarzio Super Distortion S pickup for the bridge position that is a humbucker pickup in a single coil setup!

This post has been edited by Praetorian: Jul 28 2008, 01:07 PM


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OrganisedConfusi...
post Jul 28 2008, 01:44 PM
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I'm just about to buy a Fender Stratocaster Koa smile.gif



This post has been edited by OrganisedConfusion: Jul 28 2008, 01:45 PM


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 28 2008, 01:46 PM
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QUOTE (ShinyHighlander @ Jul 28 2008, 12:53 PM) *
Very good information Ivan smile.gif I checked around on Fenders web site and I noticed that the american standard series only has single coils while for example the vintage series has two single coils and a humbucker as bridge pickup. But how much does the choice of pickups affect the sound. I understand my question is quite diffucult to answer but i´d like to something like what types of pickups fit for which type of music etc.


Actually your question is pretty easy to answer.

Single coil pickups have distinct twangy sound to it, with bell-like harmonics. Good for lot of styles but not very good for anything that has too much distortion. There is a lot of noise on them, and they can't handle distortion too well. I don't say people don't play them at all with a lot of drive, it's just it is hard to achieve a well defined tone.
Humbuckers are way better in that area. But humbucker can't give you that spankin' twangy, bell-like sound. They are more flat, and can handle distortion good, you can hear every note nicely etc.

For your style I recommend buying any strat you like how it sounds. It is the wood, quality of details and the feel on the neck that you should look after. Bare in mind that all new standard strats are ALL drilled down to HSH configurations - EVEN those with SSS combo. This means that you can easily put a regular type humbucker afterwards, you will just have to replace the pickguard that's all.





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ShinyHighlander
post Jul 28 2008, 04:15 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Jul 28 2008, 02:46 PM) *
Actually your question is pretty easy to answer.

Single coil pickups have distinct twangy sound to it, with bell-like harmonics. Good for lot of styles but not very good for anything that has too much distortion. There is a lot of noise on them, and they can't handle distortion too well. I don't say people don't play them at all with a lot of drive, it's just it is hard to achieve a well defined tone.
Humbuckers are way better in that area. But humbucker can't give you that spankin' twangy, bell-like sound. They are more flat, and can handle distortion good, you can hear every note nicely etc.

For your style I recommend buying any strat you like how it sounds. It is the wood, quality of details and the feel on the neck that you should look after. Bare in mind that all new standard strats are ALL drilled down to HSH configurations - EVEN those with SSS combo. This means that you can easily put a regular type humbucker afterwards, you will just have to replace the pickguard that's all.

I am not sure I understand what HSH and SSS mean? Does HSH mean you have a humbucker as neck pickup, a single coil in the middle and another humbucker at the bridge? And is SSS just three singlecoils?
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OrganisedConfusi...
post Jul 28 2008, 04:17 PM
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QUOTE (ShinyHighlander @ Jul 28 2008, 04:15 PM) *
I am not sure I understand what HSH and SSS mean? Does HSH mean you have a humbucker as neck pickup, a single coil in the middle and another humbucker at the bridge? And is SSS just three singlecoils?

That's exactly right. Can have other combinations of course also smile.gif


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Gerardo Siere
post Jul 28 2008, 06:31 PM
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With $2000 go inmediately for a used Suhr or Vigier, I´ve got a Vigier still do´t believe how lucky I´am. More cheaper you can go for a Strat Carvin.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 28 2008, 08:24 PM
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QUOTE (ShinyHighlander @ Jul 28 2008, 05:15 PM) *
I am not sure I understand what HSH and SSS mean? Does HSH mean you have a humbucker as neck pickup, a single coil in the middle and another humbucker at the bridge? And is SSS just three singlecoils?


You got it mate wink.gif


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ShinyHighlander
post Jul 28 2008, 09:57 PM
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The reason why im in to strats all of a sudden is probably because i saw Iron Maiden live at Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg a few days ago. So to give you some idea of what type of strat im interested I will provide you with a link to a guitar lesson with mr Adrian Smith. If anyone can tell what strat that is I appreciate that much. Please enjoy smile.gif

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu5v7J7kMp8
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black and white
post Jul 28 2008, 10:05 PM
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I have an EC signature from the custom shop and it sounds great to me. I have had two strats in years past and this one blows the others away. The price was much better than listed on most websites. For me, I have alway love the slim neck to this guitar. It is very easy to move along the fretboard which I find very helpful. Just a nice feeling instrument. Ivan mentioned the custom shop and I think that they have a lot to offer and prices are better than one might expect if you hunt around at many US dealers. My custom shop EC strat fit your budget.

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fkalich
post Jul 28 2008, 10:17 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Jul 28 2008, 07:46 AM) *
Actually your question is pretty easy to answer.

Single coil pickups have distinct twangy sound to it, with bell-like harmonics. Good for lot of styles but not very good for anything that has too much distortion. There is a lot of noise on them, and they can't handle distortion too well. I don't say people don't play them at all with a lot of drive, it's just it is hard to achieve a well defined tone.
Humbuckers are way better in that area. But humbucker can't give you that spankin' twangy, bell-like sound. They are more flat, and can handle distortion good, you can hear every note nicely etc.

For your style I recommend buying any strat you like how it sounds. It is the wood, quality of details and the feel on the neck that you should look after. Bare in mind that all new standard strats are ALL drilled down to HSH configurations - EVEN those with SSS combo. This means that you can easily put a regular type humbucker afterwards, you will just have to replace the pickguard that's all.


Noise, well true. With a few caveats....

1) If you use the two combo positions, you effectively have the humbucking efffect. So if noise is horrible, you can just do that, the bridge and middle combo is good.


2) They have other noise for a reason. It is not so much the pickups, but the lack of much metal shielding. They could put shielding on everything, but much of the reason you have the Strat sound is because they leave it off, the shielding dulls that out. That is why no other guitar sounds like a Strat.

3) If you set your action up so you don't have fret buzz, you can put more distortion on it. Fret buzz and distortion on a Strat sound like crap, the harmonic nodes of the vibrating string are so out of tune with each other. Well that is the case with all strings, when you have fret buzz. But because of the clarity of a Strat, it really stands out. Well, for the most part it sounds like crap, you could do something strange with it I guess if you tried. But for most things, it sounds like crap to have distortion way up and fret buzz on a Start. Until I learned that, I thought I could not use distortion much. But I raised the strings, and now I can put more on.


edit: I would look on thefenderforum.com. The world of strat people going back decades will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about Strats. I bought a Standard American based on advice I got there. I would go that way. You will be satisfied, put the rest towards a Les Paul. Or if you have a Les Paul, a Firebird or SG. Or if you have those, a Tele. Or if you have those, a Parker. Not in any order. That is what I have, 3 Les Pauls, Tele, Strat, Parker, SG, Firebird. I am very satisfied. You really don't need more than 8 electric guitars I feel.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Jul 28 2008, 10:22 PM
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ZakkWylde
post Jul 28 2008, 10:25 PM
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QUOTE (ShinyHighlander @ Jul 28 2008, 10:57 PM) *
The reason why im in to strats all of a sudden is probably because i saw Iron Maiden live at Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg a few days ago. So to give you some idea of what type of strat im interested I will provide you with a link to a guitar lesson with mr Adrian Smith. If anyone can tell what strat that is I appreciate that much. Please enjoy smile.gif

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu5v7J7kMp8


Iron Maiden use modified strats with floyd rose tremolos and a humbucker in the bridge. There was a limited signature run by fender of these strats but they are sold out and might be hard to get. The specs are:

Floyd Rose tremolo
22 fret maple neck
Seymour Duncan Sh-4 (Jeff Beck) humbucker in the bridge, middle and neck coils are seymour duncan hotrail coil sized humbuckers

...So you can basicly buy a hss strat with a floyd rose and replace the pickups and you'll have the strat of your dreams

This post has been edited by ZakkWylde: Jul 28 2008, 10:27 PM


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inertia
post Jul 28 2008, 11:36 PM
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The deluxe with the S-1 switching make it quite versatile, I have one and when you engage the S-1 it makes the pickups a lot hotter, plus I really dig the noiseless pickups. I think you would be well to try a standard and a s-1 to see if makes a difference for you, I can definitely get a nice tone out of it for blues and classic rock, and with the s-1 it sounds great with high gain, it's a fuller sound, I actually prefer this to the HSS model
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fkalich
post Jul 28 2008, 11:43 PM
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QUOTE (inertia @ Jul 28 2008, 05:36 PM) *
The deluxe with the S-1 switching make it quite versatile, I have one and when you engage the S-1 it makes the pickups a lot hotter, plus I really dig the noiseless pickups. I think you would be well to try a standard and a s-1 to see if makes a difference for you, I can definitely get a nice tone out of it for blues and classic rock, and with the s-1 it sounds great with high gain, it's a fuller sound, I actually prefer this to the HSS model


I am sure they are great guitars. but they don't sound like a true strat. just the way it is. only way you get the real bona fide strat sound is with a real bona fide strat with the standard stuff. which is what I wanted. if I want something different, I pull out a different guitar.

Listen to Kris, and listen to Carlos. Regarding sound, case closed, you don't get the pure strat sound with the noiseless pickups.

I am not saying that they are not great guitars though, just don't see the point, if you have several other guitars. I would get a Parker for that type of thing.

My Tele has s1 switching. But I was careful to get the tele with the standard pickup at the bridge (which is the one that really is important for a tele), so I could get the authentic tele sound if I wanted it. The S1 switching is nice, I know that. But if I could not have made it sound like a true tele, I would not have been satisfied.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Jul 28 2008, 11:47 PM
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