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The Journey Never Stops

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Strat-Slinger, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. Strat-Slinger

    Strat-Slinger Senior Stratmaster

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    I've been through a lot of different turns... corners... rides... phases... etc... with how I've set up my Strats over the years... One thing for sure... it's always an adventure to say the least...
    When I first started playing guitar... many moons ago on an Ibanez Blazer (hard tail Strat copy.. it was actually pretty decent!).. like many beginners, I preferred a lower action with a decked bridge (the 1st bona fide Fender Strat I got had the bridge decked) and light strings (EB Extra Slinky's)... then... over the 1st say... 12 years of playing.. progressed to higher action and heavier strings... Super Slinkys... then Regular Slinkys... then Power Slinky's...
    I stayed on the Power Slinky's (11-48) the longest... about 14 years steady playing that gauge.. with a fairly high action in the 3.5 mm range...

    then... one day...

    I decided to go Gibbons-Esque and start lowering the string gauge and action... And.. I wanted to get all modern and float the bridge (hey, after all... lots of rock n rollers as well as all the big hair 80's band guys did it... so I must be missing something, right?...)... and the journey continued.. back to 10's... 9's... 4 32nd's action and a step 1 1/2 step pull up on the float.. went this direction for about 3-4 years on the 9's with the floated bridge... blah, balh,... etc...

    and... then... I realized... I really don't like lighter strings... lower action and a float on the wham-o bar...
    So now... I'm back up to 10's (D'Addario 10-42 XL's these days...)... progressively lowered the float to whole-step pull up... then 1/2 step pull up... to all my strats having a fully decked bridge... and action in the 2 to 2.5-ish mm range... and I'm thinking about moving back up to an 11 gauge set....

    Any one else go through this LOL... now, don't get me wrong... I have no regrets whatsoever about all the differentials in experience-ville with my guitars and their respective setups over the years (been playing 30+ years now)... but, it's kind of funny... I'm finding that having the lower action... the lighter strings and the float on the bridge actually have contributed to making things harder to play than easier LOL...

    I don't know... maybe I'm just a freak... but hey, it's all about the journey and where it's gonna take us in the long run...
    just felt like sharing... and crap, it's been a while since I've posted out here... hope everyone is doing well and enjoying their Guit-Fiddle Journey...
    Rock... n... Roll!
     
    Yves likes this.
  2. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Strat-O-Master

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    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    CHARLOTTE, NC
    The great thing about guitars is that they allow to do any kind of setup with any gauge of string that you want.
    And going from one extreme to another only take a matter of minutes.
    Personally, I like anything from 9's to 10.5's, usually D'addario EXL, and I have always preferred a very shallow relief and comfortable low action.
    So, do what you need to do to keep yourself happy. Nothing else really matters.
     
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  3. Buster Jingles

    Buster Jingles Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    55
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    Mar 24, 2019
    Location:
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    I tend to have heavy string phases and light string phases. I like a wound G string sometimes. When going into the studio i tend to have a few guitars with different gauges of strings. When on the road ill have 10-46 in the beginning and get heavier as the weeks go by. By the end of a tour its all heavy strings and blood on the pickguard. I like to have myself lower in the stage mix, it makes me play harder less restrained. After playing 1 hr plus shows every night the flesh around the nail of my right forefinger is reduced to ground beef. There's a lot of blood.
     
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  4. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Feb 8, 2014
    Location:
    Minnesota USA

    I can’t recall when it happened, but my basic formula has worked well for decades:

    Strings = D’Addario EXL110 .010-.046

    Picks = Fender Heavy

    Action = Medium High

    Tremolo = Floating (about midway)

    In fact I use the same strings, picks and general setup on all my solid body guitars and am quite satisfied with that (although I use Heavy “Gibson” picks on my Les Paul ;) )...


     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
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  5. Yves

    Yves Most Honored Senior Member

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    Location:
    London
    I just imagine being one of your acquaintance and you spotting me in the crowd at one of your gigs, inviting me to join you on stage for a couple of numbers, and handing me over one of your chopper with a setup like this...Nice!
    Happened to me number of years ago. I played the one number and pulled through, then kindly declined doing anymore.
    Though, I now got one of my own set up pretty similar. A 7.25 radius with 11s, high action and floating bridge. You just reminded me it's been a case queen for the last 4 months or so.
     
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  6. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    47
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    Location:
    austin texas
    There are benefits to exploring different setups as they enhance certain playing styles.If you wanna shred then the light strings/low action will help.If you want a cool Blues tone then maybe heavier strings and slightly higher action will give you more 'fight' and enhance the tension that makes Blues picking cool.I have pretty much stayed on 11-48 gauge since I started learning to play because of the Blues Rock style I play.Use whatever serves your music the best.
     
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  7. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    55
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    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    It’s cool that you can take this journey without switching guitars too. You might need to swap nuts depending on your string gauge changes but the guitar can float or be decked and supports whatever gauge and action you like. They’re remarkable guitars.

    I tend to play 10-52 on my 24.75 scale guitars (80’s Ibanez artists). I’ve always had that gauge but I have really low action. No buzzes or anything. I don’t know if they’re as low as shredders like but they’re lower than my Strats and Telecasters.

    I’ve been playing EB Hybrid Slinky 9-46 on my Strats and Telecaster, except for the EJ Strat. It has 10’s on it at the moment. That’s what it came with and it feels just as slinky as my other Strats but faster and easier to play. I keep thinking about going 10-52 on a Strat to see how I like it. I’m due for new strings so maybe I will.

    Enjoy the journey!
     
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  8. Strat-Slinger

    Strat-Slinger Senior Stratmaster

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    Feb 9, 2013
    Location:
    Somewhere in Space
    I guess it's safe to say... we're all enjoying the ride... and I'm not the only one who's gone thru various phases, etc.. of guitar setup hysteria...

    Yeah, Stratocasters are extremely versatile in regards to going from one extreme to another... and hey, knowing how to do setups on my own fiddles is by all means a HUGE plus... very liberating, indeed...
     
    Andrew Wasson likes this.
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