Brass saddles were a popular mod in the 70s and 80s and are claimed to improve sustain and thicken up tone. From upstart beginnings in the early 60s, Eric Clapton soon established himself as one of the decades’ most lauded players. Optimising your pickup height settings may not be the magic bullet, however it’s absolutely essential to get all three balanced. Drive done, level up, tone on 12 o'clock. I’ve had many pickups in and out of that guitar, and done many crazy mad science wiring schemes to force it to submit to my will. It was recorded in 1960 and Hank Marvin would have played his late-50s Strat through a Vox amplifier – either an AC15 or one of his newer AC30s. Maple necks are generally associated with bright tone. The September 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now. However the guitar may feel harder to play, so try to find a compromise setting by trusting your ears and your fingers. So, what he did was to hook up the tone control next to the volume control as a garden variety 250K tone control on the overall output of the guitar. Billy Corgan’s first great tearing of the script led to a bold and ambitious album that put the guitars up front and loud. You are most likely to hear these as an atonal honk when playing the low E and A strings above the 12th fret. Try holding a chord with one of the in-between settings selected. This great all-round amp can do surf, blues, country, funk and classic rock. For matching output to work, you need the single coils to be close in output to the whole humbucker. Just a hint can add a 3D quality to picked arpeggios. Hendrix and Gilmour fans may wish to experiment with plain enamel wire. 1. LoL! The neck and middle pickups are Texas Special, so I installed a SD Custom Custom on the bridge, is double output than the Texas and share similar midrangey flavour. Lowering will tame the aggression and provide a smoother, sweeter and clearer tone. The ‘67 Fender Stratocaster helped birth an entire subculture of guitar modding. Now with the FAT 50's pickup's I am able to play my Strat along with my Les Paul's and my Strat fits right in with my overall sound. You might try it again and switch the hot/ground of the 59. Maybe it’s the Strat’s clear and defined tonal character that makes it the most common choice for echo obsessives. . Take a look at the tone chart, starting with the Strat pickups. Let’s dive in…. You'll get a nice fat sound, especially if you use your Keeley BD-2 to boost it. It helps make chords sound more in-tune. They work superbly with Strats because they overdrive easily and the absence of bright caps keeps things smooth – allowing you to dime the treble and presence controls without the ice pick top-end. Few of us will ever get the chance to play one of these, and the 12 or so existing examples are destined to spend eternity circulating through the hands of wealthy collectors and celebrity players such as Joe Bonamassa, Eric Johnson and John Mayer. Jimi’s guitar stays firmly locked on one side of the mix through most of this section, however there is a modulation effect on the guitar and we think it’s almost certainly a Uni-Vibe. A good rule of thumb is Mesa/Boogie's middle EQ slider, which sits at 750Hz - just high enough to give your guitar sound an emotionally charged vowel content and not so high as to make it honky or harsh. If your Strat has humbuckers, a locking vibrato or other major mods then obviously some of this won’t be applicable – but equally a lot of it will. Setting a pickup high emphasises treble and increases output level. Lemme tell y’all a story ’bout a man named Jed . It’s also fun to ride the volume control to create swells into a heavy reverb effect. Finally i put the original bridge singlecoil back again to get that natural overall stratfeeling, and now every position works. Fender has always used 250k pots in Stratocasters, except for a brief period in 1954 when the very earliest Stratocasters had 100k pots. The Marshall JVM 210H is said to be the apex of guitar amps, the holy grail of grain––the sound everybody is striving to get with other tube amplifiers. With your bridge pickup adjustment complete, switch to the neck. Although it must be said, buying electronic components, lumps of metal and so forth is a lot less exciting than waiting six months for a set of boutique pickups recommended by some random forum dude to arrive from the frozen wastes of Alaska. An original ’56 Strat might be a stretch but a Champ is still the cheapest tweed. Even smaller versions are now available from Dunlop, Fulltone, Sweet Sound and TC Electronic. Great versatility but when I used it in humbucker on drive it just comes up flat. It might cause phase problems depending on what the other 2 pickups are. That way, each individual coil will play nice with the middle. Hank Marvin must have been the first with his echo-drenched melodies and The Edge put his own spin on things 20 years later. Many Strat players use a cranked Fuzz Face with the guitar’s volume rolled back to tame the sizzle – it’s super touch-sensitive and more articulate that way. Hitherto we’ve confined our discussion to things you can do to your current Stratocaster, however there are some aspects you might want to consider when buying a Strat. The secret to the fat sound is in the coil. You could try paper/oil, ceramic or modern film capacitors to discover which you prefer, and while you may discern some subtle difference in tone and response between the various types, it’s the value that’s paramount. Now this may sound idiotic to some, and obviously the easy aswer is, buy a les paul. © 2020 is a member of the media division of BandLab Technologies. Yes, this includes the lower output humbuckers, and yes, this is true even if the DC resistance is the same or close to the same. Of all the classic Fender amps, the 22-watt Deluxe Reverb has just the right levels of volume, clean headroom and overdrive onset to be usable in most modern playing situations. I don’t know if you can get my email from this board, if not I can give it to you and share my diagrams. Likewise, 300k and 500k pots – both common fitments – sound quite different in a Les Paul or ES-335. She performed a heartfelt rendition of Alice in Chains' Black Gives Way To Blue. I have a guitar with the more classic ’59 vintage humbuckers for a more classic tone and I have a tele for those tones you can only get from a tele. We’ve tried these in a 1954 replica and there is a very noticeable sweetening of the treble and a smoother quality to the tone overall. Remember that SRV detuned a half step, which would have made the 0.012-gauge sets he preferred when his fingers were sore feel more like 0.011s. Lots of the old blues players liked to max out the reverb on their Fender amps, too. This switch he dubbed the “blow” switch. Bodies with a lighter weight tend to resonate more freely. Nowadays he’s seldom seen with them, but the man who finally killed the three-way switch will forever be associated with a red, maple ’board 1961 Stratocaster. In other words, top quality pickups should be regarded as a finishing touch rather than a miracle cure. What I really like is how quiet the FAT 50's are and the output. In the other position, the switch kicked in the other humbucker coil and ran the humbucker past the five-position switch to the top of the volume control. Scatter winding is a staple of most boutique pickups and heavy formvar wire is recommended for pre-CBS tone. You can always unsubscribe (so you won't receive any more e-mails) by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of each e-mail. Later, Gilmour began using various Electro-Harmonix Big Muff pedals for their smoother and more velvety sustain and it’s a favourite of alt-rockers, too. Relatively few of the boutique winders are able to replicate this 100 per cent convincingly, but House Of Tone certainly can. All rights reserved. Maybe it’s the amp’s thick and chewy midrange, the natural compression of cathode-biased EL84s or the joyous chime of the Celestion Blue alnico speakers, but the combination of a Vox AC30 and a Stratocaster has been a genre-hopping dream team for countless guitarists over the years. While you are changing blocks – or merely changing strings – try Eric Johnson’s trick of removing the paint from the top of the block for direct metal-to-metal contact. Hi i’ve been searching high and low for the right pickup for the bridge on my Strat ultra. That may seem like a statement of the obvious but Stevie Ray Vaughan’s reputed predilection for ultra-heavy strings has led plenty of us to ponder the optimum pain to tone ratio. The value of the tone capacitor is another often overlooked feature. Plug a good Strat into a tweed Deluxe and you might suddenly find that you don’t need stompboxes at all…. That’s what your amp’s tone controls are for. Set your amp at a medium volume with a neutral frequency response and switch to the bridge pickup. It’s thought to have belonged to Browne’s guitarist, David Lindley. Go too low and reduced sensitivity and low output may become issues. This means you’re going to be looking at getting, at minimum, moderate output singles for the neck and middle. Until 1973 the slugs were staggered, however, Monty’s and Lollar have both told us that flat slugs provide the most even string-to-string response. You and I are interested in matching the output of the single coils with the split humbucker, which means you will need a humbucker wound to approximately double the wind of your middle single coil. If you are combining with Fender’s pickups, reverse the hot and ground of Fender’s pickups and use this diagram: What I did differently is to install a 3PDT switch that get rid of the SSS setup just giving me the humbucker sound alone, also bypassing the tone control to avoid muddiness. Here’s the thing: for a notch position tone to work, you need to split the humbucker, and you need one coil of the humbucker to be close in output to the middle pickup. Most modern overdrive pedals offer some variation on the Tube Screamer circuit, but also check out the Boss OD models and Yngwie Malmsteen’s favourite DOD 250. Bold As Love features some stellar examples of Jimi’s playing and tones, however we’re going to focus on the psychedelic solo that finishes the track. The swooshing and swelling of stereo image is confined to the drums and the cleaner rhythm guitar part. Nevertheless, in this tone quest, addressing the system as a whole is more likely to produce the desired results than a potentially dispiriting and financially ruinous cycle of smaller upgrades. And when he switched back to strat mode, the five position switch was right where he had left it. If you match your single coils to the split humbucker, they won’t be as powerful as the full humbucker. . Later ‘maple necks’ from the Hendrix era had glued on maple boards. All three pickups have height-adjustment screws and they’re there to optimise tone and balance the levels of the pickups. There is however, a basic formula you can follow to get in the ballpark of SRV’s tone. I want to load a 3 pup telecaster with hot rails in the bridge, an SSL-1 in the middle and a Big T ( by Lindy Fralin ) in the neck position. The Proco RAT 2 (or how to make your strat or tele sound fat) – Updated February 17, 2010 romain 3 Comments I would like to introduce this “Timeless Classics” series about effects with a pedal that I discovered quite recently (about two years ago) after trying and owning a lot of distortion/overdrive pedals: The Proco Rat-2 . One of his baby sister’s tweenie girlfriends from school suggested that to be, like, rilly, rilly, totally authentic he should bypass even the volume control in “blow mode” and run the ‘bucker straight to the amp, but by that time he was used to it as-was and didn’t want to take it apart again. The Ibanez Tube Screamer circuit has long set the standard because it bolsters the midrange and rolls off the top end to keep treble sweet. If you match your single coils to the full humbucker, they will overpower the split humbucker. That’s why the mighty Boa thinks he meant basically without making other such changes. hi guys i'm new here and i'm also new to playing electric guitars. Now check the chart again for humbuckers wound to double that value: around 12 – 14k. Here, were looking at what you can do with a Strat with stock features. Hey everyone. Why have it if you only use one coil? Fenders in general, and Strats in particular, tend to fall into the latter category. The height of the pickups relative to the strings is crucial to dialling in your tone. You could simply use a volume pedal too. They no doubt have their adherents, but the cheap alloy units that replaced the bent steel saddles of the pre-CBS era are considered to be the worst for tone. Choose one and live with it. It’s up to you whether you prefer to block it off, have downward movement only, or float it for up and down pitch shifts, however what you choose does have some bearing on sonics. If you don’t like this, maybe a Fat Strat isn’t for you. The High Output pickups replaced Fender Custom Shop Fat 50’s. Strat bridges with detachable blocks can also be modded. tone forum. If you ever feel the need to even things up, simply install a jumper wire to allow the bridge and middle pickups to share the same tone control. If, however, you are ready to commit to one path and choose your pickups accordingly, read on. Stratocaster necks have almost always been maple but they’re often designated as ‘maple necks’ or ‘rosewood necks’ depending on the fingerboard. Do Fender’s American Professional II instruments set a new standard? With that combination it’s hard to go wrong, but the real magic (besides Hank’s special touch) comes from the effects. When he fancied a change of direction the young Clapton didn’t do things by halves, and for the Derek & The Dominos album he ditched the Marshalls and the Gibsons to rock up with a 1956 alder-bodied Strat called Brownie and a Champ, likely of a similar vintage. In contrast, floating the trem tends to open up the sound and allow the treble harmonics to ring a bit clearer. Would that cause any phase problems? It improves definition and clarity while providing a smoother vibrato feel. The latest guitar news, reviews and features delivered to your inbox. This is based on a firm belief that the starting point for tone is a Strat that is properly set up and sounds good acoustically. I’ve lamented the loss of the notch position quack. Live — THE WORLD'S LEADING VIRTUAL GUITAR SHOW —, Ry Cooder’s original Coodercaster is now on sale for $150,000. Just Humbuckers. Potentiometer values have a big influence on tone, too, because they effect the resonance peak at the cutoff frequency. You can darken, brighten, smooth out or add edge to your tone simply by altering component values or fitting a shield. Long before pedal overdrive, players used boost pedals such as the Dallas Rangemaster and the Hornby Skewes to force amps into overdrive. It’s odd how some guitars seem to sound best with lightweight aluminium hardware while others benefit from heavier metals. If you need convincing, consider how the bridge pickup of vintage-style Strat sets usually sounds disproportionately bright compared to the middle and neck. . The 100-watt Super Lead might be the obvious choice but the inherent brightness can render a Strat’s bridge pickup a no-go zone. Having swapped rosewood and maple necks on an alder-bodied Strat, we feel the board material has more impact on feel than tone. You might be safe if you go a bit higher to the JB, Duncan Distortion, or Original Parallel Axis as well. All things being equal, a Strat will sound brighter with a 0.047uF tone cap than it will with a 0.1uF. It is tele wired so the mid position is neck/bridge. When we consider Strat electronics, one aspect is often overlooked and it plays a subtle yet important function in the vintage tone equation – from the late 1950s until 1967 Fender used a 14-gauge aluminium shield under the pickguard. We’ve played great sounding Strats with poly finishes, and poor ones, too. Although he started off with Memory Mans, the advent of digital delays such as the Korg SDD-3000 and TC 2290 – often used simultaneously – allowed precise syncing of delay times with tempos. In fact a Strat with a clean amp and a ton of reverb is just about all you need to play surf guitar. I thought a way to improve the setup including a triple shot ring, although that idea is on hold at the moment. More interesting is the effect aluminium has on Strat tone due to ‘paramagnetism’. So long as you are not buying some fancy relic’d replicas, tone capacitors are cheap and easy to find. Throw in a germanium Fuzz Face and a Marshall, and go crazy. There’s also the issue of output; specifically the difference in output between the neck and middle singles and the bridge humbucker. Think the point was meant without making such mods…. Perhaps some more explanation is in order. The clean and bluesy tones are great. Set them too low, and your Strat will sound dull and lifeless. Primarily designed for clean headroom, clarity and high volume, these amps compress and overdrive very nicely, too. However if you’re struggling to bend a full tone and your fretting hand cramps up after a few minutes, your guitar may indeed sound great, but you won’t. But it's more likely what you're hearing is the extra breaths or short sounds that people with low breath capacity make. However it can be the most expensive, and often the cause of greatest frustration. Another great thing about these amps is that they carry two of the effects that Strats love best onboard – spring reverb and tremolo. But since they were more of a 50s feature, when bright ash bodies combined with bright under-wound pickups, we suspect the maple board is the least of it. The Little 59 and the Cool Rails will match well with a moderate bridge ‘bucker, while the Hot Rails will hang with pretty much any high-output pickup. Vote now! Set too low, the strings will choke out against the frets when you bend them, and this is most apparent on B and top E strings. Some claim it improves sustain – Clapton is a fan. Knopfler’s parts were probably recorded through the bright channel of a brown tolex Fender Vibrolux amp that may have been fitted with a 12-inch Fane speaker. Since modern Fender Strats have 9.5-inch radius fingerboards and vintage spec is 7.25 inches, the unwound strings must be set higher for optimum Strat tone than they might be on guitars with a flatter fingerboard radius. Here’s a Part 1 guide to the man jokingly dubbed Slowhand. Either way, you can’t deny the appeal of a guitar that combines the feel and mechanics of a Strat with the chunky kick of a bridge position humbucker. Like EVH. The intermittent chorus effects would have been done with a Roland Jazz Chorus amp or with a Roland Dimension D processor. What Jed did was to match the bridgiest coil of the HSS H to his single coils. He also pioneered the use of complex delays for building atmospheric rhythmic patterns. He also removes lacquer from the neck pocket and the area beneath the bridge. which one should i get? For a Strat to sound its best, the strings must be able to ring cleanly and this is achieved through adjustments to the truss rod tension and saddle heights. By checking the boxes you agree to receive the following from us via e-mail. He almost never used the tone controls on his strats because he had never really figured out what they did. It’s hard to hear everything that’s going on because of the heavy effects, but we think it’s probably incorrect to say tape flanging was used on Jimi’s solo. Jed had never understood what good that third knob was on his strat. Does anybody have a wiring diagram with a split coil humbucker connected to a push/pull pot? From 2020 with love: the best guitars, amps, pedals and accessories of the year. Even if you aren’t experiencing fret noise, you may notice that the tone becomes warmer and fuller as relief increases. With Strat hardware there are three areas of interest – the vibrato block, saddles and springs. The Edge picked up the baton and developed the theme. New strings sound superior to older strings that are lubricated with fat and finger dirt. Fuzz Face circuits with germanium transistors work for early Hendrix tones, but Floyd fans may prefer the later silicon transistor Fuzz Face that David Gilmour used on The Dark Side Of The Moon. That quacky tone is a favourite of many Strat lovers, and they insist that their fat friend be able to crank it out. The January 2021 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! It is loaded with the Lace Sensor package that came with the guitar. The most important thing is that the finish should be thinly applied, irrespective of the material. In 1964, the Strat’s 10th anniversary coincided with a change in cap value from 0.1uF to 0.047uF. Finally, one day, I came to a simple and liberating realization – a moment of clarity, if you will. Just throw a Tubescreamer in the loop. The idea is quite simple: if you want a guitar part to sound fat, record it a second time to an additional track. Heavy steel blocks were used in pre-CBS Strats and you can buy UK made replacements from Kevin Hurley or Wudtone for a variety of bridge types and screw spacings. 10. Adjusting them is the only way to explore the full tonal potential of your pickups and after tweaking, your pickups may actually sound better than ever. You can get beautiful mid-scooped early John Mayer tones, while pumping the midrange and the input with a Tube Screamer gets you close enough to SRV, too. But I’m sure some other will work out solutions with volume or clean boost pedals. Just like an electric guitar, an electric bass can also sound big — but the way to get that sound is not the same. Alternatively, check out Wudtone’s ‘Whacker Plate’ – a 0.5mm sliver of stainless steel that sits between the body and bridge plate to enhance bridge-to-body contact (see our review of various Wudtone Strat upgrades on p88). 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