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Calling Strat Players - Bright Switch lesson for a new Strat player.

richb

Inspired
I have always loved the sound of strats, so after 30 years of player H/B's I pulled the trigger on a lovely EBMM Cutlass. When I flip thru factory presets, 9-10 times I can tell the Bright Switch is on, without even looking. For example, Patch 4.1 Super Verb, is a very close starting point for me, for the tone I want to build on, and, the Bright Switch is on. I feel like when I turn it off, I lose some the wonderful single coil "snap" in positions 2-5. If I leave it on, the bridge p/u is just too bright. I'm guessing theres a correlation somewhere between the Bright Switch, and the knobs for Treble, Bright, Bright Cap and perhaps even Presence? If any of you Strat players out there can offer a Strat rookie some advice, I would appreciate it.
Thanks
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Admin M@

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Getting the bite without the icepick is a classic challenge for all single coil players. I don't think there is a blanket solution -- you're on the right track working with Treble, Bright (knob), Presence, and the Bright switch. Don't overlook the Graphic EQ in the amp block, and above all, the importance of choosing an IR that works for your guitar. PS: a cutlass is not a Strat ;-P
 

Matt_B_77

Power User
If I had that issue I would change pickups. Sometimes it's best to start at the source but then again I don't like most Strat bridge pickups. I wouldn't go with a humbucker, just something with less treble. The middle and neck, I like 'em bright.
 

Knobs McGee

Inspired
I've played a variety of strats and strat-like guitars (as well as H/B guitars) for years and I still struggle with the same issue.

My current rig is the closest I've come to getting around it. I have a Taylor Solidbody loaded with EMGs and an EMG device called an RPC, which boosts the highs while reducing the lows. I dial the presets in to sound balanced with the bridge pickup and then dial in a suitable amount of the RPC when using any of the other positions. It's not perfect but it's the closest I've come so far.

BTW, the RPC will work with passive pickups if you're interested.

I've never figured out guys like Steve Morse who will switch from S/C to H/B, bridge to neck, during a solo and it always works. Maybe it's in the fingers.
 

2112

Fractal Fanatic
The guitar's tone control can be a big factor on Strat style guitars; there's usually a sweet spot around 7 on the control that can remove some of the ice-pickiness.

Another suggestion would be to play around with the dynamic presence control; since the bridge pickup will more than likely have a hotter output, wind the dynamic presence down a bit so that it rolls off more presence when you're playing on the bridge pickup .
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
Two things that can help:

1. Roll off the gtr tone control.
2. Use a longer gtr cable. Sometimes a 20ft cable is just right to cut the ice picks and lower the res frequency.
 

richb

Inspired
Two things that can help:

1. Roll off the gtr tone control.
2. Use a longer gtr cable. Sometimes a 20ft cable is just right to cut the ice picks and lower the res frequency.
"Cable Length" is interesting. I have plenty to choose from. Thanks!
 

richb

Inspired
If I had that issue I would change pickups. Sometimes it's best to start at the source but then again I don't like most Strat bridge pickups. I wouldn't go with a humbucker, just something with less treble. The middle and neck, I like 'em bright.
Matt, I considered an HSS set up, but there are so many Strat players out there who great great tone in the bridge, that I want to see if I can meet the challenge, myself.
 

Matt_B_77

Power User
Matt, I considered an HSS set up, but there are so many Strat players out there who great great tone in the bridge, that I want to see if I can meet the challenge, myself.
I'm primarily a HB but I like bright ones (PAFs, 500k volume with treble bleed and no tone control) so I like single coils too. I just like them a little darker then vintage style ones me that's all. A side-by-side single sized humbucker sounds different than a stacked humbucking single coil.

I would try dropping a PEQ in the front of your chain, go to the highest bands, set it for shelving then start rolling the frequency down to see what happens.
 

MikeyB59

Power User
I often find the bright switch too bright. You can dial in the amount of brightness with the bright cap value, so you get some brightness, hopefully without icepick.
 

Bones43x

Member
The key to a Strat is the separate tone controls so you can back the bridge down to 7-8 and set the next to preference. I have Dimarzios in mine, though...VV '54 Pro in the bridge, and Area '67s in the middle and neck. My Strat has the stock no-load tone pot for the bridge, and I don't see how anyone could run that wide open.
 

Geezerjohn

Fractal Fanatic
You can try a few things. Roll off the tone knob to reduce the icepick. The pick you are using can contribute a lot of icepick. I use Gravity Pick Gold. Has a nice pick attack but not so much chirp, especially in the higher registers. I have a couple of single coil guitars, including my signature model, loaded with Lollars. I have to roll back the tone on the bridge pickup on all of them. I have my single coil guitars wired so that one tone control is for the bridge pickup only. The other tone control is for the neck and middle pickups. I get a nice even tone across all three.
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
You can try a few things. Roll off the tone knob to reduce the icepick. The pick you are using can contribute a lot of icepick. I use Gravity Pick Gold. Has a nice pick attack but not so much chirp, especially in the higher registers. I have a couple of single coil guitars, including my signature model, loaded with Lollars. I have to roll back the tone on the bridge pickup on all of them. I have my single coil guitars wired so that one tone control is for the bridge pickup only. The other tone control is for the neck and middle pickups. I get a nice even tone across all three.
Tone controls wired the same for me too.

With the bridge tone down around 6, I can get a phat dumble thing going on.

Kinman pups.
 

Admin M@

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Now study the effect of relative pickup heights on positions 2 and 4: LOW middle, LESS LOW bridge... and vice versa, or both low, both high.
 
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