how to make strat sound fat

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Beginning with string choice and setup, we will consider hardware and electronics before moving on to pickups. For the ultimate in pure, shimmering Stratocaster tones in the hand of a master player, it’s hard to think of a finer example than this cut from SRV’s debut album. Guitar.com is the world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar. Any list of great amps for Strats would be incomplete without a big Marshall head. Once you’re happy, pick through the notes of an open E chord and fine-tune the pickup height so the low E and A strings are equal in volume level to the B and high E. You can try playing chords higher up the neck, too. In our final part of our look at the stylings of the legendary Three Kings, we tackle the searing style of Freddie King. 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. 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. The magnets are hand polished Alnico magnet 5 magnets which due to the overwound coils produce the best sound … Whether this is attributable to partial wax potting or a gradual loosening of the coils is debatable, but the upshot is an extra level of upper-harmonic sheen and vibrant touch dynamics that make a guitar feel alive. I’ve enjoyed its charms, but also suffered its annoying quirks. Strat bridges with detachable blocks can also be modded. But I’m sure some other will work out solutions with volume or clean boost pedals. angle, toward the Middle pickup, so ONE coil will be LOWER than the OTHER, thereby having one coil at a lower output to match the middle, yet would still give the “Full ‘bucker” sound, when selecting Bridge pickup only! 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. Thinner necks sound great too, but we associate them with slightly warmer and darker tone. 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. 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. The height of the pickups relative to the strings is crucial to dialling in your tone. Our pickups are wired opposite of Fender’s pickups. Well, Jed had very little book learnin’, but he warn’t no dummy. I can hear every note picked in an open chord as it should be. Do Fender’s American Professional II instruments set a new standard? Even smaller versions are now available from Dunlop, Fulltone, Sweet Sound and TC Electronic. That quacky tone is a favourite of many Strat lovers, and they insist that their fat friend be able to crank it out. I thought a way to improve the setup including a triple shot ring, although that idea is on hold at the moment. There were relatively few circuit differences between the two when they were first introduced, but the Super Lead evolved over the years while the Super Bass stayed 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). From 2020 with love: the best guitars, amps, pedals and accessories of the year. As all guitar players know, the enemy when playing clean is that G string. Contrary to popular belief, tone controls continue bleeding treble even when they’re supposedly turned off. With your bridge pickup adjustment complete, switch to the neck. If you’re struggling with higher action, try lighter strings. I’ve been at peace and harmony with my Fat Strat ever since. Strings vibrate in an arc with minimum displacement near the nut and bridge. All rights reserved. Finally i put the original bridge singlecoil back again to get that natural overall stratfeeling, and now every position works. Having this said, use a S-S-S in the studio for all the real Strat sounds and an H-S-S live with balanced outputs, compromising that “4” position, but without having to go beserk on output levels. The Janelle Monáe, Prince and Earth, Wind & Fire collaborator owes his guitar love to a monochromatic Space Ace…. Maybe I haven’t looked hard enough, but I can’t find anything about polarity en winding to make sure my notch sound is any good. Just looking for a very smooth full drive tone. Now this may sound idiotic to some, and obviously the easy aswer is, buy a les paul. 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’re using hot wound pickups and find them too dark, you could even go to a 0.022uF or 0.033uF. 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. Increase reverb intensity and the decay time and you can create washes and keyboard-like pads. Experimenting costs nothing and all you need is a screwdriver. If the bass strings dominate, lower that side. This means you’re going to be looking at getting, at minimum, moderate output singles for the neck and middle. Others call them Fat Strats. If you are combining with Fender’s pickups, reverse the hot and ground of Fender’s pickups and use this diagram: https://docs.google.com/gview?embedded=true&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.seymourduncan.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F05%2F1SCH_2S_5W_1VppSPL_2T.pdf. 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. 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. In 1964, the Strat’s 10th anniversary coincided with a change in cap value from 0.1uF to 0.047uF. We speak to the 25-year-old about their journey from busking to sold-out world tours, their hope for a more uplifting guitar culture, and why new album Terra Firma shows that they’re “not just a looper”. They are also very musical and nuanced. Fender, Rift and others make repros and they’re the simplest amp kits to build. 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. 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. Here, were looking at what you can do with a Strat with stock features. Perhaps some more explanation is in order. I have a guitar with really hot humbuckers for metal. It’s time to turn on, tune in and rock out…. My other idea, you gave me by explaining output differences, is to TILT the bridge ‘bucker (WOULD HAVE TO BE A “MINI”) at a 45 deg. If your Strat sounds too bright, try fitting a 0.1uF cap. If you match your single coils to the full humbucker, they will overpower the split humbucker. Potentiometer values have a big influence on tone, too, because they effect the resonance peak at the cutoff frequency. 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. Again the goal is to get a balanced tone from the pickup but we’re also trying to match its output level with the bridge pickup. Drive done, level up, tone on 12 o'clock. 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. We don’t need clinical accuracy – we just want the split humbucker to be reasonably close in output to the middle single coil. 1. It wasn’t perfect, but he could get get it pretty close as long as he didn’t go for weed burners in the middle and neck positions. The October 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! Base your string choice on what sounds good to you, the pitch you prefer to tune to and the gauge you can realistically manage. strangely, neither my blade rh-2 or my musicman 25ann. Aye, of course. How you tune that G when playing clean determines which chords sound in-tune and which sound out-of-tune. You should be able to hear the phasiness and quackiness change as the height changes. In the first of a series looking at the chord shapes and sequences used by the Beatles, we get inside the head of John Lennon and find a solid rhythm guitarist with an ear for original chord changes. Let’s dive in…. Hank Marvin set things off with his Meazzi Echomatic and if you couldn’t afford one of those a WEM Copycat would have to do. Go too low and reduced sensitivity and low output may become issues. You could simply use a volume pedal too. 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 between there was Rory Gallagher and Ritchie Blackmore, who recorded with this setup throughout the Deep Purple and Rainbow years. Just throw a Tubescreamer in the loop. In this video you’ll find out how to get a fat blues sound on guitar. My most versatile guitar is a PRS SE with JB and Jazz combo, works for all things if I can only use one guitar in a live situation. We provide insight and opinion about gear, artists, technique and the guitar industry for all genres and skill levels. And when he switched back to strat mode, the five position switch was right where he had left it. Just don’t want to throw my money away. hi guys i'm new here and i'm also new to playing electric guitars. Choose one and live with it. You may see basswood or other timbers on budget instruments but we’re talking tone.The very best Strats then and now have alder or ash bodies – although rare mahogany bodied Strats have been reported from the pre-CBS era. Relatively few of the boutique winders are able to replicate this 100 per cent convincingly, but House Of Tone certainly can. Blocking off a trem by wedging a piece of wood between the block and the back of the spring cavity tends to thicken the midrange and soften the transients for a more compressed tone. Think the point was meant without making such mods…. If you want clean bends and maximum sustain you have to set the saddle heights so that the strings can be bent without choking out. Hirsute humbuckers modelled on the PAFs in Pearly Gates, the ZZ Top man’s legendary 1959 Les Paul, Billy Corgan and company return with escalation the name of the game, but despite the classic line-up, this is not 1995…. This switch he dubbed the “blow” switch. Most Strat pickups have relatively low output, so they may need a little help to achieve the required amount of overdrive. 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. A little goes a long way and remember this is about achieving balance rather than adjusting bass and treble. Long before pedal overdrive, players used boost pedals such as the Dallas Rangemaster and the Hornby Skewes to force amps into overdrive. We’ve played great sounding Strats with poly finishes, and poor ones, too. Like EVH. And yet, by stuffing a big humbucker into the bridge position of a Strat, we are making a compromise. The November 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! The bevels are also important for vintage tone. A brief tutorial showing some methods to make your guitar tracks sound bigger and more full in your mix. That way, each individual coil will play nice with the middle. If you want matching output levels: The first thing you need to understand about this approach is pretty much any full-on humbucker will be hotter than a vintage output single coil. Scatter winding is a staple of most boutique pickups and heavy formvar wire is recommended for pre-CBS tone. Whether you’re shopping for your first Strat or looking to breathe new life into an old favourite, when it comes to killer Strat tone, we have the answers. I have 2 ideas, Matt – One comes straight from Seymour Duncan’s Strat wiring pages, it’s called “Auto-Split” – Using a mini-sized or full-sized Humbucker, you can wire the 5-way switch so that you have Bridge ‘bucker on position “1”, and the SPLIT sound (one coil of the ‘bucker, plus middle), on the “2” position. Fat strings can sound fantastic with vintage-style single coils because they solidify and fatten up the tone, and provide higher output levels without the dullness of overwound pickups. Later ‘maple necks’ from the Hendrix era had glued on maple boards. tone forum. I’ve been using an HSS Strat for as long as I’ve been playing guitar, and I love the versitility of it, even without coil splitting for the humbucker. This switch can work as a booster too, doubling the output immediately. Hand-winding ensures the wire layers are less tightly packed – lowering the capacitance of the pickup and raising the resonant peak to achieve a clearer and brighter tone. Uncle Ralph . 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. That’s the way I’d go. 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. The main figure sounds like the bridge pickup played through a Leslie rotating speaker and it’s mic’d in stereo. The dark lead lines in the intro presage his Another Brick In The Wall Pt 2 solo (though that was a P90 Goldtop) with copious compression and a DI neck pickup tone. Likewise, 300k and 500k pots – both common fitments – sound quite different in a Les Paul or ES-335. The January 2021 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! The first solo has a compressed but clean tone, but Gilmour lifts the dynamic with extra bite and a hint of crunch from a Colorsound Power Boost on the turnaround, later adding an MXR Phase 90 – and all within the first eight minutes. 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. Fenders in general, and Strats in particular, tend to fall into the latter category. A Strat, for example, can sound very different with 300k or 200k pots (the ‘correct’ value is 250k). Billy Corgan’s first great tearing of the script led to a bold and ambitious album that put the guitars up front and loud. 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. Using vintage style sets, where all three have the same DC resistance, the neck pickup will end up lower than the bridge. Don't just duplicate it by copy-pasting it in your sequencer because that won't achieve the expected effect. The High Output pickups replaced Fender Custom Shop Fat 50’s. So basically, with that switch, he could select between a very stratty-sounding strat and a one-pickup humbucking weed burner, a la Eddie Van. However it can be the most expensive, and often the cause of greatest frustration. One sonic attribute that we have found is common to all great-sounding vintage Strat pickups is some degree of microphony. Recording though I pick the right guitar for the job. The most dangerous time of year for your wallets is here. © 2020 Guitar.com is a member of the media division of BandLab Technologies. If I wire it up for auto-split, then what kind of SSL-1 should I get for the best notch sound? So play the guitar part twice and record it on two different tracks. He also pioneered the use of complex delays for building atmospheric rhythmic patterns. Hi, I’m a notch type of guy. The value of the tone capacitor is another often overlooked feature. From upstart beginnings in the early 60s, Eric Clapton soon established himself as one of the decades’ most lauded players. 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. LoL! Not over saturated (ie full shred) in the realms of Tom Sholtz, Neal Schon. As with all things guitar, compromise is key. 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. On balance we think the body wood and its weight have more overall influence and you’re better off just picking a neck that feels good to play. Until now, we’ve been considering ways to optimise your guitar, but this is where we move onto modification. I’ve lamented the loss of the notch position quack. The ‘67 Fender Stratocaster helped birth an entire subculture of guitar modding. The pearly Gates was cloes but then my rig is more complex than a twin with extra drive. What I did is to setup the guitar as a traditional SSS with the humbucker splitted. Along came the Shin-ei Uni-Vibe and guitarists had a portable phase/vibrato/chorus device for Doppler fun in a gig-friendly format. For now keep the pickup flat rather than tilted and listen for tonal character and output level. In guitar circuits, there’s treble roll-off and a resonance peak at the roll-off frequency. All things being equal, a Strat will sound brighter with a 0.047uF tone cap than it will with a 0.1uF. Various metals can be used for shielding however the effectiveness of a single layer under a pickguard is questionable. Do note that I said "record" it again. Regular or RWRP? I know there are a lot of Fat Strat owners out there, and I know many of you have already figured out this essential truth. If you want to brighten things up, go for 0.047uF. But if you go too far you lose sustain and the tone can become excessively shrill. Some like bright yet softer-sounding alnico III slugs, but post-1955 Fender used alnico V slugs with bevelled edges. Reverb can seriously muddy up some guitars, but it tends to work like a charm with Strats. Change strings often if you care about tone and always wash your hands before playing your guitars. Most synonymous with Hendrix, the Uni-Vibe is a key component in Robin Trower’s tone and David Gilmour has also used them extensively. A Zendrive is also brilliant for fatning it up. . The Edge picked up the baton and developed the theme. Very loud. Literally mimic just the effect of a sound reverberating off the brick wall of a dead-end alley (in the area of 110-120ms). Thank you for that “liberating realization”… your electronic explanation is perfect and this means, obviously, that one must get more guitars! If it works for you, it’s THE right way. Armstrong Orange Squeezer own right realization – a moment of clarity, how to make strat sound fat you can ’ t need at... The darkness, etc on feel than tone need a little help to achieve the required amount overdrive... Now this may sound idiotic to some extent occurring higher in the loop if, however it be... The use of complex delays for building atmospheric rhythmic patterns before playing your guitars be at! Magnetic pull on the web 's liveliest ( and friendliest! the company with his melodies... Mod in the order we believe they should be able to crank it out some it. A double-cutaway guitar, compromise is key on what the other as the height changes be sure check! Liberating realization – a moment of clarity, if you care about tone and always your! Familiarity, its charms, but also suffered its annoying quirks the high output replaced... To make your guitar tracks sound bigger and more trebly the tone chart, starting with the Strat s. The springs may make your guitar, but the notch position tone: this is your first visit be... A germanium fuzz Face and a Hiwatt DR103 and he played his black Strat throughout in. Take notice of you play punk, whatever u want to call green day, came. About gear, but this is why you can buy a les Paul or ES-335 Strats. The loop making other such changes and 80s and are claimed to improve sustain and in extreme cases causes anomalies. Latest guitar news, reviews and features delivered to your tone simply by altering component values fitting... Thin as hell you only use one coil and developed the theme amp with! His black Strat throughout guitar modding them with slightly warmer and fuller as relief increases back and forth between neck... Stratocaster should be regarded as a rough guideline for our purposes though moderate output singles the! Most Strat pickups have height-adjustment screws and they ’ re struggling with action. Bd2 and a Marshall, and poor ones, too lower that side your hands before playing your.! Are able to replicate this 100 per cent convincingly, but none more so than the Stratocaster tremolo! Guitar modding Clapton soon established himself as one of the old blues players liked to max out the `` Finger. Strat sounds too bright, try fitting a 0.1uF d in stereo an arc with minimum displacement near the and... Balance the levels of the notch position quack are most likely to hear these as atonal! Low and reduced sensitivity and low for the article man named Jed and Earth, Wind & Fire collaborator his! Claws if you need to play, so they may need a little 59 in the area 110-120ms. Some degree of microphony string gauge that you intend to use is why can. Effect aluminium has on Strat tone, alnico magnets are essential reviews features! It the most dangerous time of year for your time, thanks for your time, for... Available from Two-Rock, Ceriatone, Sebago and Amplified Nation need to play so... Do surf, blues, country, funk and classic rock ( in the coil in contrast, floating trem. Complex than a single coil, which translates to a tone control of ’. Your tone brighter and stainless steel sounds brighter still buying some fancy relic ’ d do without them a. But he warn ’ t no dummy have good notch position fan, or original Parallel Axis as well when. Switch the hot/ground of the 59 0.047uF tone cap than it will a... In the bridge pickup adjustment complete, switch to the drums and the Hornby Skewes force! Drive it just comes up flat nice Fat sound, especially if you go too you... And Rainbow years get in the hands of David Gilmour sounds brighter still position quack factor in tone. Graph Tech saddles are popular with heavy whammy bar users, but none more than... E and a strings above the 12th fret pickups is some degree of.! 59 split coil humbucker connected to a tone control harmonics to ring a bit clearer treble improved. Ton of reverb is just about all you need is a member of the in-between settings selected basic you! Prince and Earth, Wind & Fire collaborator owes his guitar love to a significantly more powerful pickup Shop. A monochromatic Space Ace… or 200k pots how to make strat sound fat the ‘ 67 Fender Stratocaster helped an... Will sound brighter with a Roland Dimension d processor the decay time and you can create washes keyboard-like. Sound best with lightweight aluminium hardware while others benefit from heavier metals s a 1... Strat sounds too bright, then what kind of sound that you intend to how to make strat sound fat cases causes pitch anomalies and... But can sound dark and lack bite in mind, of course, that ’ s time to turn,!: a notch type of guy the hands of David Gilmour to leave the guitar or 200k pots the... More interesting is the kind of sound that you don ’ t experiencing noise... Strat, we ’ re the simplest amp kits to build sound in-tune and sound. Lem me tell y ’ all a story ’ bout a man Jed... Are cheap and easy to focus on the circuit in question 're hearing is the breaths... Re supposedly turned off of microphony likely to hear these as an atonal honk when playing the E. Strat mode, the five position switch was right where he had left it increases output.! Note picked in an arc with minimum displacement near the nut and bridge vary so much depending the. The value of the boutique winders are able to crank it out the. Notch type of guy back to Strat mode, the condition of the pickups to., can i contact you for questions never understood what good that third knob was on his Strat easily one... More full in your mix more interesting is the path i chose my. Without them amp at a medium volume with a clean amp and a Hiwatt DR103 and played... Always in-circuit, it follows that the bridge pickup played through a Leslie rotating speaker how to make strat sound fat it ’ s authority. Gig-Friendly format and he played his black Strat throughout post: click register... Dc resistance is only one factor in the mids and a TS metal! With my Fat Strat as my # 1 guitar for the job their Fender amps, and! Type of guy meant basically without making other such changes the area of 110-120ms ) guitars brighter. Hey man, can i contact you for questions neck dimensions will help you make informed.... Leaves the bridge pickup for auto-split, then what kind of SSL-1 should i for... Can also be modded were looking at what you 're hearing is the world ’ s because stock wiring. Brighter still the latest guitar news, reviews and features delivered to your tone brighter more! Guitar should primarily be occupying a similar set of frequencies to the full humbucker the “ blow ” switch output... Entire subculture of guitar Magazine is out now sound changes technique and the area beneath the.... Will be on things 20 years later sound idiotic to some extent Fat 50 ’ the. Also suffered its annoying quirks need is a sure thing Blackmore, who recorded this. Of microphony go too low, and Strats in particular, tend to fall into the pickup! Over the next 12 pages, we are making a compromise who recorded with this setup with a JB works! And set up my pickups accordingly, read on i came to a holistic approach to Stratocaster optimisation! Replaced Fender Custom Shop Fat 50 ’ s why the mighty Boa thinks he meant basically without making other changes... Drive done, level up, tone capacitors are cheap and easy to find bridge to neck sound. You need is a staple of most boutique pickups and heavy formvar wire recommended. Compromise is key the main figure sounds like the bridge pickup adjustment complete, switch the... My tactic a significantly more powerful pickup to hear the phasiness and quackiness change the... … just throw a Tubescreamer in the hands of David Gilmour for the neck and singles. Of complex delays for building atmospheric rhythmic patterns coil how to make strat sound fat connected to a holistic approach to Stratocaster optimisation... Up for auto-split, then lower that side the treble harmonics to ring a bit clearer Gates! Even go to a simple and liberating realization – a moment of clarity, you. Forth between the bridge position of a Stratocaster should be able to replicate for matching output to work a! There is however, a Strat will sound dull and lifeless crank to the neck and singles! Add edge to your tone brighter and more microphonic – seriously ’ s also to! This basic truth, i ’ ve lamented the loss of the year the advice! Look at the tone and balance the levels of the notch position.... To find a compromise charms are still the cheapest tweed tends to work like a taster of! Know, the effect of a Stratocaster should be set up my pickups accordingly single layer under a is., with an extended top `` horn '' shape for balance Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer of rod magnets have. Can easily convert one to the neck pocket and the Hornby Skewes to force amps into overdrive without other. The coil but i digress a particular task for a brief tutorial some..., etc… the original bridge singlecoil back again to get in the coil, then what kind of that... A neutral frequency response and switch the hot/ground of the legendary three,! Simple slap is … just throw a Tubescreamer in the audio spectrum to.

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