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Long time Strat owners (a little input please)

6L6C

Power User
Looking for some feedback from guys who have basically lived with their Strat.

On another thread I started a few months I got my first Strat, although I have played for over 30+ years
Well I have been really enjoying my Strat since then!

http://forum.fractalaudio.com/lounge/74832-my-first-strat.html

The reason I am seeking advice although I have played many Strat’s through the years (other peoples) it’s not the same as living with your own and I am kind of new to the Strat (as an owner)I am getting the itch to change things to some degree. First thing is a treble bleed circuit I use them already in my Ibanez guitars and also my Music Man JP BFR. For my Gibson’s I use 50’s wiring. The Strat was a bit of a tough call although it does loose highs when you roll the volume pot down I found it a bit pleasant as opposed to my others: Music Man BFR being the worst offender of the bunch turn that down to 7 or below you had dark thick mud.

Pickups: this is the real reason I am writing! Keep in mind I don’t want to turn this into a Super Strat, already have a few of them I call them “Ibanez”. I love the pickups currently in the guitar, they are Fender custom shop (overwound a bit I guess). But in the back of my head “some nice stacked humbucker’s might be nice”.

Just pretty much want to bounce my random thoughts off you guys.
thank's
John
 

scorch

Experienced
I've played strats for a long time. I've got three of them now. A clean strat, a fat strat and a hot strat. The clean strat has Kinman Blues set. Been in there for about five years. They're noiseless but very stratty sounding. I recently replaced the bridge pickup with a SD Screamin' Demon (single coil size but humbucking). I've never liked the strat single coil bridges. Too thin and spikey.

A buddy came over a few weeks back and brought a strat he just loaded with Zexcoil pickups. Very different technology. Each string has its own coil. He had a vintage neck and middle with a bridge that's voiced to sound like a PAF but with a switch could make it sound much strattier (is that a word?)

Anyway, I was VERY impressed. I think I may pick up a set. His Zexcoils sounded more authentic than my Kinmans and VERY quiet.
 

BBN

Fractal Fanatic
I've been playing Gibson's most of my life (Les Pauls, RD's, Explorers), but have had the recent itch over the past couple years to play some beat up strats.
I have built a few parts-casters and I have found that a single coil is just tough for me to live with. Some of my parts-casters, I turned into Super Strats by putting Humbuckers. But the Strats that I wanted to keep 'looking' like strats, but with a beefier tone, I've gone for the Duncan 'Everything Axe' set. All single coil sized pickups, but the neck and bridge are junior sized humbuckers. JB junior in the Bridge, '59 mini in the neck, and a duck bucker in the middle.
This combo works outstanding for me. Still has a little of the Strat quack in the neck and bridge....but mixed with a beefy humbucker tone. And the middle pick up (duck bucker) is total strat quack. Really like it.
 

funny_polymath

Fractal Fanatic
I have one Strat with a treble bleed, one without. I am thinking of getting rid of the treble bleed as I don't like what I perceive as a change in tonality.

As for stacked HB pups, I'd recommend the Zexcoil Juicybucker. I have one in my bridge position, with a coil tap on a push-push pot, and with the 'tele-strat' or 'Robbie Robertson' mod that lets me use a bridge/neck combo (in HB or split). Very versatile setup.
 

6L6C

Power User
Thanks guys the Zexcoils have been on my radar for a while.
Kinman Woodstock, that’s a new one to me and have checked out some YouTube videos, also sound real good. Or as good as YouTube compression will allow.


I have one Strat with a treble bleed, one without. I am thinking of getting rid of the treble bleed as I don't like what I perceive as a change in tonality.

I am going to try some different wiring instead of the treble bleed like I was originally going to do, it works so dam good with the Gibson’s and easy enough to do. In case you are interested—
Gibson

John
 

funny_polymath

Fractal Fanatic
Sure - how do you do it?
Thanks guys the Zexcoils have been on my radar for a while.
Kinman Woodstock, that’s a new one to me and have checked out some YouTube videos, also sound real good. Or as good as YouTube compression will allow.




I am going to try some different wiring instead of the treble bleed like I was originally going to do, it works so dam good with the Gibson’s and easy enough to do. In case you are interested—
Gibson

John
 

Sted

Inspired
I use an EJ strat, have had it many years and its a little beat up now! It comes stock with the tone wired to the bridge, I think this is essential although in a two guitar band that visceral bridge pickup can be the difference between cutting through and getting lost in the mix. I went to a little '59 for a while in the bridge but I always felt I was trying to make it into something it's not, I put the stocker back in and was very happy to have that sound back, plus you mess with the in between position which is the totally unique strat sound.
I do feel the pickups are underpowered though, even for a strat this is extremely spanky and is very reluctant to drive an amp, great for RHCP, Floyd stuff etc where there are a lot of layered effects and drives though, in that scenario all that head room is a god send.
 

xrist04

Fractal Fanatic
+1 on the Kinman Woodstock Plus pups, with the Kinman K9 solderless harness. Brilliant in so many good ways.
 

GM Arts

Power User
Very happy with my long term strat and its new Zexcoil pickups with my novel switching scheme.

But first, I've always used a treble bleed circuit, set for no tone change as I roll off volume. Obviously this can be adjusted for more or less highs at lower volumes with simple component changes.

The Zexcoil set I use is their Fat Vintage Set which is a vintage single 5 at the neck (think traditional vintage tone), vintage single 2 middle, fatter than normal, and "fat single special" at the bridge, advertised as even fatter agian, but still bright due to its location on the guitar.

I also have a mini switch: In one position it gives a traditional 5-way selector switch. In the other position, the single pickup selections have a "mild sweet switch" applied which gives PAF-like tones, just taking off the bright note attacks. Also includes neck+bridge (with sweet switch) and all pickups (no sweet switch) in the other 2 selector switch positions. So all up, 10 great tones for me :)
 

Hellbat

Fractal Fanatic
I love my Select Strat. It's got some pickups in it that are unique to the line. They sound amazing but are in no way noise/hum cancelling. Since my main practice space is very EMF/EMI noisy that makes me not play it as much as it deserves. What I'm thinking of doing is buying a loaded pick guard and setting up some kind of quick connect to the output jack. That way any time I want to put the guitar back to stock it's just a matter of swapping out the pick guard.

Here's some porn...

strat_amp_2.jpg
 

6L6C

Power User
I love my Select Strat. It's got some pickups in it that are unique to the line. They sound amazing but are in no way noise/hum cancelling. Since my main practice space is very EMF/EMI noisy that makes me not play it as much as it deserves. What I'm thinking of doing is buying a loaded pick guard and setting up some kind of quick connect to the output jack. That way any time I want to put the guitar back to stock it's just a matter of swapping out the pick guard.

That pretty much sums up my feelings also with mine and like you I really do like the pickups I already have in my Strat.
And would/will do the same thing just prepar another pickgaurd.

Beautiful top on that Strat BTW!

John
 

simeon

Axe-Master
yes, lots of choice in this area...kinmans and zexcoils are definitely worth looking into and i'd also suggest checking out the dimarzio "areas" and "virtual vintage" series.
 

funny_polymath

Fractal Fanatic
Is the 'mild sweet switch' a bunch of capacitors, or something else? Thanks.
Very happy with my long term strat and its new Zexcoil pickups with my novel switching scheme.

But first, I've always used a treble bleed circuit, set for no tone change as I roll off volume. Obviously this can be adjusted for more or less highs at lower volumes with simple component changes.

The Zexcoil set I use is their Fat Vintage Set which is a vintage single 5 at the neck (think traditional vintage tone), vintage single 2 middle, fatter than normal, and "fat single special" at the bridge, advertised as even fatter agian, but still bright due to its location on the guitar.

I also have a mini switch: In one position it gives a traditional 5-way selector switch. In the other position, the single pickup selections have a "mild sweet switch" applied which gives PAF-like tones, just taking off the bright note attacks. Also includes neck+bridge (with sweet switch) and all pickups (no sweet switch) in the other 2 selector switch positions. So all up, 10 great tones for me :)
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
I have Kinman's and one of their K harnesses.

Very stratty for noiseless pickups. You do give up some quack in positions 2 & 4 for the tradeoff of less noise.

What took my strat to next level was I had it Plek'ed and refretted and a bone nut installed. And then a really great setup for intonation. Turned into a monster guitar.

I can live with the lower pickup output of the Kinmans as compared to active EMG's or stacked humbuckers. Those hotter pickups give a good first impression but they don't give that sweet clean tone that I like from a strat.

Here is what my Strat sounds like clean with the AxeFx Vox model: http://forum.fractalaudio.com/axe-fx-ii-recordings/78450-ac30-tb-clean-my-blue-rainbow.html
 

MisterE

Fractal Fanatic
This is what my Larkin sounds like:
A quick noodle, one take, starting with the volume turneed a bit down to get a cleaner tone and gradually turning it up.
89+-+geertstratsidetreb.jpg
 

Hotplate

Power User
I haven't tried all the various brands mentioned here but I tend to like a Strat to be fairly traditional other than a treble bleed cap on the volume and the lower tone knob wired for just the bridge single coil. I find the bridge pickup on a Strat to be the most challenging. I've played a few vintage Strats that had particularly nice sounding bridge pickups- never owned one though. I'm using an LsL CVS right now and I like it fairly well as stock- pretty good pickups. I don't do anything more than rock/classic rock type stuff on a Strat- prefer my Les Paul in that direction.

I don't like how the noise canceling pickups I've tried or played through tend to affect some of the strat sounds (2 and 4 positions sometimes). But I haven't tried them all yet- curious about the Suhr models. If I were constantly gigging a Strat I would probably want to go down that road though. I tend to play Strats or single coils in general more so these days... just not gigging currently.
 

funny_polymath

Fractal Fanatic
That is one of the prettiest strats I've ever seen.
I love my Select Strat. It's got some pickups in it that are unique to the line. They sound amazing but are in no way noise/hum cancelling. Since my main practice space is very EMF/EMI noisy that makes me not play it as much as it deserves. What I'm thinking of doing is buying a loaded pick guard and setting up some kind of quick connect to the output jack. That way any time I want to put the guitar back to stock it's just a matter of swapping out the pick guard.

Here's some porn...

strat_amp_2.jpg
 
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