2019 Player Stratocaster too bright / harsh / spiky

Chevy

Strat-Talk Member
Nov 16, 2012
82
Canada
Recently got a 2019 Player Strat, totally stock. It has some nice classic tones, which I was looking for, but it's got a biting top end that I just can't seem to tame. Trying it on several different amps to be sure, and the problem follows the guitar. (I used to have a '62 reissue USA Strat that had a much fuller bodied tone with none of the spiky top end.... sigh. But that one didn't have the very clear classic sounds of the Player that I was looking for.)
I've used a graphic EQ with some success, but the offending spiky frequencies aren't eliminated without scooping out too much top end.
Any suggestion? Pickups seems to be the obvious answer, but then may lose those classic clear tones I like.
 

Siameser

Strat-Talker
Feb 27, 2021
116
Muskegon, Michigan
Try the tone pot?:)

I swear, every time I pick up my Strat, it sounds different to me. Some days it's spikey, and some days not. American Pro II.

After watching videos from Tom Bukovac and Tim Pierce on the merits of the Boss GE-7 Equalizer pedal, it's become a staple on my pedal board (one of 3 or 4 pedals). I take just a smidge off the two top bands, leave the mids alone, and boost the two bottom bands a minute amount. Of course boosting the bass isn't the thing to do, but for home playing I like it. The net effect, along with boosting it's volume slider a bit, is it gives my Strat some oomph like a humbucker while retaining the Stratiness. YMMV.

Oh, and roll off the tone pot as needed. I used to be an all knobs on 10 player, but now I almost always use some tone pot.
 

Chevy

Strat-Talk Member
Nov 16, 2012
82
Canada
Yep, me too with the pots on 10... tone pot works, or course, but I don't want to lose the high end chime and sparkle....
 

rocknrollrich

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 8, 2016
7,269
philadelphia
Yep, me too with the pots on 10... tone pot works, or course, but I don't want to lose the high end chime and sparkle....
There is a parametric eq pedal (the freq out I think it's called?) that would allow you to pinpoint that one narrow frequency, and notch it out, leaving all of the others intact.

Edit
It's not the freq out pedal. That's a feedback inducer.
But there is a pedal that does what I described. I just don't know the name of it. If I find it, I'll post a link
 

Chevy

Strat-Talk Member
Nov 16, 2012
82
Canada
Are you talking about the bridge pickup specifically?
All the pickups. Rarely use the bridge.

You try turning the tone down? Or maybe change the pot altogether for an adjusted resistance value?
Turning down the tone defeats the high end shimmer and chime.

I'd appreciate anyone chiming in about changing the vol pot to 250K... what exactly does that do for the tone ?
 

stevierayfan91

DEEPLY SHY.
Feb 20, 2011
12,244
Private.
Turning down the tone defeats the high end shimmer and chime.

I'd appreciate anyone chiming in about changing the vol pot to 250K... what exactly does that do for the tone ?


Hi, @Chevy


If an SSS Player Strat, the stock volume pot is likely already 250 K ohm.

I am a bit puzzled would not try rolling the tone pots down a smidge to see if helped smooth the highs some ?
 

crankmeister

Most Honored Senior Member
Jul 9, 2020
6,321
Republic of Gilead
Turning down the tone defeats the high end shimmer and chime.

I'd appreciate anyone chiming in about changing the vol pot to 250K... what exactly does that do for the tone ?
There's a lot of information online about the how/why of different tone pot values and why p90s and humbucker usually use different values.

But again, are talking about the bridge pickup specifically, or all of the pickups? Because the bridge pickup on an SSS Strat is just kinda famously ice-picky.
 

budglo

Strat-O-Master
Nov 21, 2009
653
ohio
Some strats I run the tone control wide open when playing clean , some I don’t. On my player SSS I back off on both the volume and tone knobs. They are just hotter pickups than vintage sounding ones.
 

Chevy

Strat-Talk Member
Nov 16, 2012
82
Canada
There's a lot of information online about the how/why of different tone pot values and why p90s and humbucker usually use different values.

But again, are talking about the bridge pickup specifically, or all of the pickups? Because the bridge pickup on an SSS Strat is just kinda famously ice-picky.

All the pickups seem to have the same unwanted high-mid (or low top end) bark.
 

Chevy

Strat-Talk Member
Nov 16, 2012
82
Canada
You need to look at your whole rig. Some guys change speakers, some buy curly cords. There are a lot of things you can try. I'd honestly look at everything else before I did any guitar surgery.

Understood, but my previous guitar, the '62 reissue USA strat, hardly had any of this issue with all my amps and speakers. But this guitar has several times the issue.
 


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