2019 Player Stratocaster too bright / harsh / spiky

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Chevy, Sep 12, 2021.

  1. Chevy

    Chevy Strat-Talk Member

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    they are quite low
     
  2. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two. Platinum Supporting Member

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    +1

    Quickest and easiest. I start with mine most of the way down and bring them up a little at a time to find the sweet spot.
     
  3. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Strat-O-Master

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    Some guitars are bright, and really nothing you can do about it.

    play before pay….

    I have two of the same exact guitar, same year, same color, serial numbers are close, one is perfect and one is an ice pick….

    ice pick was the backup guitar for about 20 years or so…nothing really changes that overall tone, it’s just bright, no matter the pickups or adjustments, pots, caps, does not matter , it’s just bright.

    it has something to do with the guitar body, the. Bright follows the body…
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
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  4. Chevy

    Chevy Strat-Talk Member

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    This I can totally accept, but totally don't understand, really. I mean, it's an alder body and maple neck, which make 95% of the guitar. Same as my '62 reissue Strat. Yet totally different character. You would think 2 alder bodies weighing the same might sound the same....

    When you live in the boonies like I do, all you can do is ship something in and hope for the best.
     
  5. K-Line

    K-Line Strat-Talker Vendor Member

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    Look at the cap, .047 is nice. You could even try a .1. Check the pots, they may be running high. You may just need a set of pickups that are less bright. Maybe something with plain enamel wire in the upper 5 to low 6K range.
     
  6. W-Tig3r

    W-Tig3r Strat-Talk Member

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    • Change the tone capacitor to a Paper in oil .047 and you'll get a much smoother sound. In my opinion all Strats should have Paper in oil caps to tame that harsh high-end.
    • 250k pots is important
    • Maybe try new higher output pickups? Fender Fat '60s pickups for example are perfect for taming the harsh high-end while still retaining the magic.
     
  7. LilybugPapa

    LilybugPapa Strat-Talk Member

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    Back the volume pot off to 8…. Lower the pickup height.
    My pickups are nearly decked and I rarely have my volume knob above eight. I have vintage’59 pickups in mine and they are very bright. When I back the volume off from ten there is a small loss of ….. icepick.YMMV
    You said it has an upper mid “bark”. That upper mid push is what some love about strats. That could be that the pickups are too high. OR …I have no idea what you mean
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021 at 6:52 PM
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  8. thegrasshopper

    thegrasshopper Strat-Talk Member

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    Your strat has maple fretboard, I've struggled a lot with maple fretboards. For me, the combination of fretboards wood + type of pikcups is the key here. Maple tends to harsh while rosewood sounds sweater, but with less quack. I would said that is the maple freboard what makes the guitar too harsh

    IMHO, your options are:

    • Different pups: overwound and alnico 2 magnets darkens the sounds. I think you should try the Custom Shop Fat60 which I know works really well on maple fretboards. The darkness of the pups compensates somehow the brightness of the fretboard. But, you have to bare in mind that for some people is not the typical "strat" tone, what for me... humm... there are a lot of strat tones...
    • Higher capacitor values: above 0.047 uF. You could try an extreme value of 0.1 uF as @K-Line has suggested. Also important, is the tone control active for the bridge pickup? Some strat configurations does not have tone control for this pickup and they sound very very harsh
    • Low pups height: you mentioned they are already quite low
    • Replace the neck for a rosewood fretboard: it will have a great impact on the overall tone.. but it is an expensive change and you might not be willing to take apart the original neck

    For me is almost imposible to have anything in a single strat, among my guitars I have:

    - Custom Shop with rosewood and CS Fat60 pups -> really thick, good for rock but dark, with less bell tone. I've changed the capacitors to 0.022 uF to get it brighter, the difference was quite noticebale
    - Custom Shop with maple and CS Fat50 pups with 0.047 uF caps -> good amount of low end but less than the other, bell tones but too harsh, specially with hi-gain setups
    - I've also have one Eric Johson, MIM strats: maple alwaus sounded quite harsh to me

    I switched the pups between the CS strats and I got a good compromise, but for me, what you gain in some aspetcs you might lose it in others...
     
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  9. Leofender

    Leofender Strat-Talk Member

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    Try providing more information as many replies to the post have suggested.
    Which volume settings
    What pups does it have
    what tuners are at the headstock
    what size strings
    what pup height
    what bridge type
    what tremelo type
    what nut type
    what size capacitors
    what treble bleed circuit

    Hopefully that will help you with definition of the problem. There are many very knowledgeable people here, but they need to have specifics.
     
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  10. Helter Skelter

    Helter Skelter Strat-Talk Member

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    The cheapest thing you could do, a part from roll the tone down is try out different capacitors. Maybe try matching the cap that is in you 62 :thumb:
     
  11. Yonatan

    Yonatan Strat-Talk Member

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    Play a Tele for a bit, then go back to the Strat, it should sound about right.
     
  12. fenderampfan

    fenderampfan Strat-Talk Member

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    I don’t understand all the replies to turn down the tone pot when the tone pot does not even control the bridge pickup?
     
  13. budglo

    budglo Strat-Talker

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    But it does on the Player Series. One of the upgrades when they discontinued the Standard series. That’s why.;)
     
  14. mike58

    mike58 Strat-Talk Member

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    If you do have a tone pot wired to the bridge then consider a cap change to sweeten the sound not dull it. The value is really low like 0.0068uF or 0.001uF. The value just takes the edge off , thickens things up without dullsville.
    But if you have gone from a rosewood board ‘62 reissue to a maple neck … game over , they are like chalk and cheese.
     
  15. Piranhakeet

    Piranhakeet Strat-Talk Member

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    Turning the volume pot down a touch usually does the trick for most people. I usually run strats at about 8 on the volume and tone for the "classic" strat sound, but your results may vary.
     
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  16. Siameser

    Siameser Strat-Talk Member

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    Not necessarily. "Defeats" or "kills" implies a total elimination of shimmer and chime. It's a pot, not a switch, so you can use as much or as little of as you like. Not saying you should like and use the tone pot, but my own experience is that I can use just enough to tame the spike.
     
  17. GlockandRoll

    GlockandRoll Strat-Talk Member

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    Does it sounf harsh when played acousticly also? I've seen guys replace the whole loaded gaurd to try to help wood that wouldn't sing. Sounds crazy, but no guitar that sounds good plugged in doesn't sound good unplugged.

    The strings are the singers, the pickups are the microphones.

    With that said, try a different pot, play around with tone caps on alligator clips even. You might have a 500k pot that is mislabeled even.
     
  18. aadvark

    aadvark Strat-Talk Member

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    So, HAVE you tried lowering the pickups?
    .... then, just find the sweet spot with your tones and volume, set you're amp right.... and forget about it.

    If you get the volume pot and tones just right, it can be magical.... and spikiness will be gone, it's a different guitar to the 62. just get to know it and tame it. Don't give up, but don't obsess.

    try a different pick, different strings. A different touch.

    If all else fails, try caps, pots and pickups in that order.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021 at 9:26 AM
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  19. db0967

    db0967 Strat-Talk Member

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  20. franblanc

    franblanc Strat-Talk Member

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    Lower the pickups one quarter turn at a time.You have too much signal strength and the worst frequencies are coming in bursts. If that doesn't work try a 0.047 uf capacitor in place of the 0.022 uf on your tone pot. That should cut some treble. What you can do is wire in a second 0.022uf in parallel with the existing capacitor. That way you can test out the sound without soldering any changes. This will give you a total tone capacitance of 0.044 uf (microfarad) or 44 nanofarads.