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I think I got it! :o

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by draelyc, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. draelyc

    draelyc Strat-Talk Member

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    I think I’ve finally got the setup Minute Rice Perfect(tm)!

    It’s been a long road, as this is my first Strat and it thus came with some quirks I haven’t experienced with my Hamers or my Ibanez — not the least of which was the Atrat’s having a lot more points of adjustment, but also the much smaller radius and other things.

    As with all things, it’s been a bit of a compromise. I’m losing a bit of tone quality, I think, in favor of playability. But I think the tones are still passable, even in the upper registers, where the tone loss is most apparent—at least on the clean channel. With overdrive, the loss is negligible, IMO. But y’all tell me what y’all think!



    If these tones pass muster, then she’ll be a keeper.

    And I’ll have to get myself some paisley vests, feathered boas, and pirate shirts — y’know, the basic Strat Pimp Chic ensemble:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. CephasG

    CephasG Strat-O-Master

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    I think you have nailed a great tone. Great playing too. Not too shabby, brother, not too shabby! :thumb:
     
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  3. draelyc

    draelyc Strat-Talk Member

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    :eek:

    Thank you!!!
     
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  4. Yves

    Yves Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yeah, sounds good. Can't hear any fret buzzing in the high, low or middle.

    Good work.

    Ha! Ha! Never saw that pic of EC before. I bet he must love it when someone pulls this one out on him!
     
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  5. Deebs3

    Deebs3 Strat-O-Master

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    That was the cover for Uncut magazine many moons ago.
     
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  6. CyFan4036

    CyFan4036 Strat-O-Master

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    Sounds like your high notes are choking out.
     
  7. draelyc

    draelyc Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks, y’all!

    They are a bit. That’s the compromise I was talking about between tone quality and playability. All my other guitars have 14” radii, compared to the Strat’s 9.5”, and I’ve had a devil of a time getting the Strat to feel good under my fingers.

    The question is, is it passable or abominable?

    Of course, it shows up most glaringly in exactly this kind of setting, through a pristine clean channel with no boost or of going on — which is why I did the vid this way. Prolly about 70% of the time I’ve got some kind of of or distortion going on, which greatly lessens the problem.

    But for this tone test vid, I wanted to highlight any shortcomings.
     
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  8. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

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    I don't have choking or fretting out on any of my 9.5 radius boards or the 7.25 one's I have owned in the past. My action is right at 4/64 (Fender recommended specs) so definitely not high action. I would get it checked to see if it needs a fret level. I don't think using distortion to "cover up" an issue with bends fretting out is a good way to solve it. What about one day when you decide you want to play something clean up above the 14th fret? To me a fretting out issue is never passable because it can be fixed easily unless the neck is warped or twisted.
     
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  9. draelyc

    draelyc Strat-Talk Member

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    Those are good points. I’ve got the high E set slightly below 4/64” — it’s just too tight for me otherwise. Like I said, it’s a compromise. But maybe it’s too much of one?
     
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  10. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

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    Below 4/64 is pretty low. What is your relief? Fenders IME like a bit of relief and action. My EJ Signature has a 12 inch radius so I can set it up a bit flatter and lower action but I find right between 4/64 and 5/64 is perfect for me. I like the note to bloom when I hammer on and this requires a bit of height under the string.

    When you say it's too tight do you mean for bends? What other guitars do you have? Are they shorter scale than Fender's 25.5? If so drop down a gauge on the Strat. I use 10's on my Fender guitars and 11's on my Gibson's. This makes the strings feel very close on bends since the Gibson is a shorter scale.
     
  11. draelyc

    draelyc Strat-Talk Member

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    I’ve got two other 25.5” scale guits, both with much flatter radii — 14”. If I had my drothers, I’d set the Strat like them: 5/64” on the low E and 3-64” on the high E, but the structure of the guitar seems like it won’t let me do that. :). And yes, I’m talking about bending. I’ve got chronic wrist pain, so that’s why I set my guitars the way I do. But I’m new to Strats, so part of what I’m trying to figure out is whether a Strat is for me or not. I already use a 9-46 hybrid gauge set of strings, so I really do not want to have to drop down to 8s. :-/
     
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  12. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

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    Another thing that can contribute to stiffer bending feel is the tension on the tremolo. Are you floating the bridge or is it decked? How many springs are in the cavity? My EJ's came with 5 springs and decked and were stiff as hell to bend. For a time I floated them (about 1/8 inch) with 3 springs and that was super easy to bend. Now I have settled on 4 springs with between 1/8-1/16 float and it's still as easy to bend as my ES 335.

    In the end though many Strat players find a slightly higher action (especially on the unwound strings) and a bit of relief (about 0.10-0.12) makes the guitar play best as far as notes ringing out and not choking on bends. I would make the two E strings action about 4/64 and then follow the radius for the other 4 strings and see how it does then on bends. You should be able to get 2 or more step bends with the notes still ringing clearly with no buzz or choking.
     
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  13. draelyc

    draelyc Strat-Talk Member

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    I'll give that a try. I just got a radius gauge in the mail that I'd ordered a couple days ago. I'll tweak the trem claw a little more, too.

    Bottom line is I gotta get it to feel good, or I just won't end up playing it. :(
     
  14. aviamsi

    aviamsi Senior Stratmaster

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    It looks and sounds great. nice playing too :)
     
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  15. draelyc

    draelyc Strat-Talk Member

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    Thank you!

    I think I’ve got it sounding a little better on those upper frets now, too, and it’s still pretty slinky. ;)

     
  16. BuffaloHound

    BuffaloHound Strat-Talker

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    That is better, but it seems like the choke out is still there when you bend on the dusty end of the guitar. Have you tried the 3 fret rocking technique to check for fret levelness? Maybe its just one high fret and would be a reasonable DIY project.
     
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  17. draelyc

    draelyc Strat-Talk Member

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    I don’t know what that test is. Is it just using a straightedge to check the levels of the frets?
     
  18. draelyc

    draelyc Strat-Talk Member

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    Also, if I were to have the frets levels & crowned, would I be crazy to ask the guy to file down, say, the highest five frets a little lower than the others? Would that create new problems I’m not aware of?
     
  19. BuffaloHound

    BuffaloHound Strat-Talker

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    Yup.
    This isn’t a super accurate way to do this since your neck will be bowed from string tension. But tune to pitch and use a straight edge that will only cover 3 frets at a time. There are tools for this but your debt card will work fine as a rough estimate. Using the short side of the card on the higher frets and the long side of the card on the lower frets, place the card on only 3 frets at a time and rock it back and forth. Check it up and down the neck. Check it out while using both the fatter and skinnier strings as a straight edge to keep it straight. Try to rock the card back and forth, but ideally you shouldn’t be able to on any 3 frets. Post your results.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
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  20. BuffaloHound

    BuffaloHound Strat-Talker

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    If you end up taking the guitar to a tech don’t tell him what to do, tell him what your problems are and let him figure out the correct adjustment.
     
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