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Old September 23rd, 2009, 09:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hardtail Strat

I am looking to get a hardtail strat, any ideas or recommendations? Anything that I should stay away from? I need some guidance.

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Old September 24th, 2009, 05:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I cant tell you whats good for you but for me buying a cray strat seemed to beat the purpous the strat feel and sound . I just block mine off with anything metal that i can find so that everything my strings vibrate off is metal .
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Old September 24th, 2009, 06:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The key is to get more volume and sustain and off course staying tune ... for me the wood block works but but the metal sockets I crammed in between the bridge top really brought my guitar to life while the wood just dulled my sound ...
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Old September 24th, 2009, 07:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have 8 Strats and 7 of them have blocked trems. I am really interested in a hardtail.
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Old September 24th, 2009, 06:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I cant tell you whats good for you but for me buying a cray strat seemed to beat the purpous the strat feel and sound . I just block mine off with anything metal that i can find so that everything my strings vibrate off is metal .
Eric Clapton said the same. "without the Trem it doesn't sound like a Strat". I had a 1979 Hardtail many years ago and it did sound different. As I recall, more "honky", and almost Tele like. Never went out of tune though!
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Old September 24th, 2009, 09:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I am really interested in a hardtail.

A) MIM Artist Robert Cray, or the CS version but play them first in person. Lots of shoulder, but not a very deep neck. Strange neck shape, IMO. Great pickups.

B) Check out G + L Legacies, S-500s and Comanches in Hardtail form. The Saddle Lock bridge is a sweetie, as is the PTB system. I've got an S-500 Hardtail, Alder body and ebony fretboard, wonderful. There's stuff on You-Tube of Mr. Glen Campbell tearing it up on a Comanche Hardtail.

c) Make you own S style hardtail with parts from USA Custom Guitar. I have a 3 piece alder and a 3 piece ash hardtail Strat in various stages of completion. Use a bridge from Bill Callaham.

Aside from what Mr. Clapton has said, choices of amps, of pickups, and the neck on the guitar (not to mention individual technique) make huge differences that can swallow any difference that could be associated strictly on the hardtailed versus blocked trem factor.
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Old September 24th, 2009, 09:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Fender has made a lot of "strats" that don't sound anything like what a "strat should sound like.

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Eric Clapton said the same. "without the Trem it doesn't sound like a Strat". I had a 1979 Hardtail many years ago and it did sound different. As I recall, more "honky", and almost Tele like. Never went out of tune though!
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Old September 24th, 2009, 09:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Old September 24th, 2009, 09:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I haven't seen one in person, what's the price?

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Old September 24th, 2009, 10:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I had a '79 Hardtail and they do sound different. But it's a good difference. I recommend Strat lovers give a hardtail a try.

There were a lot of 'em made in the late 70's and early 80's but they've gone up in price and can be hard to locate. The Robert Cray model is probably the most common one that is easily available.

Or, you can buy a Strat body and neck and build your own. Heck one of your existing Strats could become a donor to finish out a hardtail body. And, all you'd need to buy extra would be a bridge.
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Old September 24th, 2009, 11:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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My PartsCaster or FrankenStrat or whatever you want to call it is a hardtail, either late 60s or early-to-mid 70s body (depending on who you talk to) and I think it sounds like a total Strat. Everybody who hears it does, too. At Guitar Center in Hollywood, ears perk up as if somebody had blown a supersonic whistle in a dog pound when anybody rips off a lick or two on it. If you want the tremolo, it's just a stomp switch away with most amps, as with mine, but the axe itself has the sustain and ring or a full-blood Strat, whammy or no. It just has that unmistakeable, Strat vibe.

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Old September 25th, 2009, 01:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I haven't seen one in person, what's the price?

Best Buys seem to have them; check their website for MAP.

This has a Highway One Upgrade neck on it, and an alder hardtail body that is basically a Highway One body except it is:

Cut for a Hardtail and has a "Modern" American Series left over bridge on it;

Comes in Satin Black or Satin White.

It has some distortion style Dimarzio single coil sized pups, noiseless.

This mean really huge frets, BTW. And, best I know this is nothing like what Billy had ever used, at least historically. Not sure what he's doing now.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 12:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Fender has made a lot of "strats" that don't sound anything like what a "strat should sound like.
Yeh I was already aware of that!
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Old September 25th, 2009, 03:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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you could check out the Tom Delonge strat model too, those are hardtails. Either Fender or Squier.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 06:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I have to agree with fenderkev. I owned a beautiful sunburst hardtail w/maple fret. But the beauty was only skin deep because it sounded nothing like what I expected. It just sounded very flat. Not that Strat sound that I expected. So I sold it and never looked back. Bought myself a Lone Star instead.
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Old September 26th, 2009, 12:03 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I have a Robert Cray body on my Partocaster. I tried several pick-ups including HW1 and Tonerider City Limits both are pretty hot and over-wound and can really pump out the sound. But to my ear, the hardtail just cant put out the sound nor sustain of my trem bodies. I'm not saying the hardtail does not sound as good, just that it seems to be less resonate and tone-full. My theory is the the alder body soaks up some of the sound before it gets to the pu's.

But I must say the RC violet body is absolutely beautiful!
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Old September 27th, 2009, 01:47 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Okay, Bundini, I'm going to compare. I have a hardtail and I'm building a trem body so I'll let you know the results of my independent test flights, assuming I get the trem body completed this decade.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 12:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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anymore hardtail info?
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 01:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Well i found out that fender offered an american series with a hardtail in '05
They are discontinued.

Robert cray - Buy Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar | Solid Body Electric Guitars | Musician's Friend
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If you really got money - 1957 Fender Strat/Hardtail - Saint Paul - Musical Instruments - 1957 hardtail strat
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 02:24 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Yeah Fender Used to offer a hardtail American Series/Standard option up until maybe 2-3 years ago, I used to have one:

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