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School me on Strats

Chewie5150

Power User
I am looking to add a Strat type guitar to my arsenal...i believe a thread I posted somewhere , Cliff or Matt perhaps said everyone should have a single coil pickup guitar in the collection. All i have are humbucker guitars but my ears yearn for the sounds of Knopfler, Gilmore and the like. I imagine Bilbo telling Gandalf "mountains, Gandalf, Mountains!"

I don't know much about Fenders in particular and I'd like to spend about $700-900 (i'm using USD as most here are from the States). Any tips you can offer would be appreciated in terms of what to watch for and what to avoid. ARe there any 'bad years' in models for instance? I'm sure a guy could find a decent MiM strat also for cheaper yeah? would an HSS strat defeat the point of getting a single coil guitar? Please share your thoughts and words of advice!
 

skunc

Experienced
HSS would defeat the purpose.
I am a guitar snob. I shouldn't even offer advise. BUT, I have tons of Strats over $1,500.00+ and my favorite go to strat is a parts guitar that is worth maybe $400 on a good day. So my judgment is a little off?

https://reverb.com/item/35744621-fe...acquer-candy-apple-red-w-tweed-hardshell-case

https://reverb.com/item/36331704-fe...caster-lacquer-2018-sunburst-w-fender-gig-bag

https://reverb.com/item/35612255-fender-classic-50-s-sunburst-stratocaster-w-hardshell-case

If I could have only one Strat this is where I would be. 21 frets, 6 point trem. This is pretty close to the original 50s experience (in the price range). You may have a little money left over if you want to upgrade the pickups. (after the initial 6 months)

Don't buy into the "nitro or die" stuff.
Keep it simple, keep it stock for at least 6 months.
I would avoid the Vintera series.
 
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mr_fender

Fractal Fanatic
If you're looking for variety and single coil sounds, I'd stick with the classic three single coil configuration, especially if you've got plenty of other guitars with humbuckers.

Hard to go wrong with an American Std. Strat of any year. MIM Strats are good bang for the buck, and if budget is a concern take a look at the Squier Classic Vibe Strats as well. They are surprisingly good for their price point.
 

Project Mayhem

Experienced
If your goal is classic Single coil tone...you owe it to yourself to check out the PRS Silver sky...instant hall of fame classic single coil sound. Not saying it’s for everyone, but I’ve had and have a number of fenders, and there certainly some good ones to be found...but the prs is extremely consistent from guitar to guitar.

edit: missed the price range, my bad. Some nice Japanese strats in that range, but they don‘t pop up that often.
 

Chewie5150

Power User
Thanks everyone that gives me a solid place to start. There's a used fender american special strat with the texas specials for $700 (USD). From what i looked up the Special strats are now the performer series. I looked at the player series online at my local guitar shop and they are about $700+(USD) new. Here's a pic of the special strat. From one pic there's some buckle rash on the back but otherwise looks in very good shape
 

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Andy Eagle

Experienced
That's nice but don't expect anything from the trem. Sounds fine but a very budget OEM build. The one conciliation is there are plenty of upgrades that will fit directly for sometime in the future.
 

Budda

Power User
Player series are imo on par with older usa standards. I toured two hss models for a year.

I would look for a used or discounted new fender player series.

G&l gets great rep but Ive only ever held one.
 

TG3K

Power User
I'm a big fan of buying used MIM Strats and then dropping in various loaded SSS pickguards from 920D Custom (Sigler Music). I end up with guitars that sound and play great, typically for around $500. (I don't use the tremolo on any of them.) I rotate between 5 of them. To really round out your collection, I'd also recommend something with P90 pickups, or a close equivalent like the Duncan Phat Cats. I have a semi-hollow PRS SE Custom 22 with Phat Cats that has become my #1 gigging guitar.
 

pauly

Fractal Fanatic
Hi Chewie,

(just based on my experience)
Also, look at Telecasters.
I have an american strat and tele, and I just cannot like the Strat - I know I should - I know everyone does, but it shits me to tears! When I play it I invariably mess with the volume pot accidentally, and I just don't enjoy playing it - I don't like how it feels, nor how it sounds. It's setup perfectly I might add! The Telecaster, on the other hand... well I can pick that up and lose hours.

Thanks
Pauly


I am looking to add a Strat type guitar to my arsenal...i believe a thread I posted somewhere , Cliff or Matt perhaps said everyone should have a single coil pickup guitar in the collection. All i have are humbucker guitars but my ears yearn for the sounds of Knopfler, Gilmore and the like. I imagine Bilbo telling Gandalf "mountains, Gandalf, Mountains!"

I don't know much about Fenders in particular and I'd like to spend about $700-900 (i'm using USD as most here are from the States). Any tips you can offer would be appreciated in terms of what to watch for and what to avoid. ARe there any 'bad years' in models for instance? I'm sure a guy could find a decent MiM strat also for cheaper yeah? would an HSS strat defeat the point of getting a single coil guitar? Please share your thoughts and words of advice!
 

Stratman68

Axe-Master
IMHO, I would stay with USA Strat, just not the high end, too expensive. The one you posted looked nice and yes they a re now the perfomer series. You can change out the trem really easy. Many of the Strats on Reverb have the Make Offer" option. You can do fine with the $$$ you have allotted.
Texas specials are what they put on the SRV Strats. Not the custom, the regular SRV. You can by loaded pickguards all day for Strats < $100. So that's not a biggie at all.
 

Harm

Inspired
I am looking to add a Strat type guitar to my arsenal...i believe a thread I posted somewhere , Cliff or Matt perhaps said everyone should have a single coil pickup guitar in the collection. All i have are humbucker guitars but my ears yearn for the sounds of Knopfler, Gilmore and the like. I imagine Bilbo telling Gandalf "mountains, Gandalf, Mountains!"

I don't know much about Fenders in particular and I'd like to spend about $700-900 (i'm using USD as most here are from the States). Any tips you can offer would be appreciated in terms of what to watch for and what to avoid. ARe there any 'bad years' in models for instance? I'm sure a guy could find a decent MiM strat also for cheaper yeah? would an HSS strat defeat the point of getting a single coil guitar? Please share your thoughts and words of advice!
[/QUOT

to Keep my long post short: I am an Ibanez lover. I love hsh guitars. BUT my strat always feels like a homecoming.IMHO: strats are awesome to adjust to taste. Make sure you.buy a guitar that feels great to play and don’t worry about the rest. I bought a fender elite strat.Played sooo nice but sounded not so good. I tossed in a duncan SSL1 in the middle and the neck and a jb humbucker (single coil size) in the bridgepos and I keep getting goosebumps when I play it. At home I use the neck pup all the time (srv glassy blues sound) wether you shouldchoose a humbucker in thebridge pos depends on what you want to play with it.

Harm
 

Rick

Fractal Fanatic
I, like you, am a largely HB player. When I get the desire to go single coil, these days it’s a PRS Silver Sky, but that’s not in your range. The only Fenders that have remained in my guitarsenal for the long term are a couple of 1990s American Standards, which I believe are among the better guitars Fender has made. I have one Strat that I converted to a Gilmour model with help from Overdrive Custom Guitar Works (https://www.stratcat.biz/4035.shtml), and one Tele that has a Duncan mini Humbucker in the neck. Both are great guitars and there are always several similar ones on Reverb well under $1000. I can recommend those!
 
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