Anyone ever play a BLACKTOP?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by chrimturn, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. chrimturn

    chrimturn Fire in the Wire Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Has anyone played a Blacktop? Curious about this MIM strat. I've got an HSS (two Texas Specials and a Duncan Pearly Gates Plus) and love the idea of an HH strat. Would more than likely change out the stock PUPs. Kind of hesitant about this series at first...but have noticed that the price has gone up $200. Some unknown force keeps drawing me towards this guitar.

    Any details and opinions appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yeh tried some out in my local music shop a while back when they first came out. They had 3 of 'em which all went fairly quickly. Really its an MIM Std Strat with extra routing in the body to accept the 2 humbuckers. As with most newer MIM Strats I've tried they were well made, though could have done with a little bit more setting up. Didn't like the pups at all, but then I use Noiseless stacks so am not the best judge of humbucking pups.
     
  3. Kryger

    Kryger Strat-Talker

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    I own one blacktop strat. Check my profile picture haha. I love the thing. Its pickups are pretty dark, the maple neck plays great; feels great. Body is cut to look more like the MIA counterparts. Only issue that you will find with these guitars is that the volume/tone pots suck. They do not taper well at all, so you can forget beautiful volume swells. Its a cheap fix if you know what you're doing.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. MrPoppa2

    MrPoppa2 Senior Stratmaster

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    Maybe you could try the Squier Bullet HH, the config is the same as a Blacktop, but with lesser quality pups. All that being said, I like mine, and see no reason to mod it, the sound is great and the quality is great as well. The HH is often on sale at GC, I paid $99.99 for one, a steal! Just sayin! ...............poppa
     
  5. chrimturn

    chrimturn Fire in the Wire Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yeah, thanks for the info. My local GC didn't have any in stock. Said they were sold out.

    Planning on using my 96 Lonestar I mentioned previously for more of a classic rock feel. My style is heavily influenced by a Gilmour/Knopfler combination. Would like to get one of these Blacktops and set it up to for the Page/Slash side of me though. Something a little harder with some grit to it.

    As much as I love to make her sing, I still gotta unleash the beast every now and then.

    Thanks fellas
     
  6. NCStratDude

    NCStratDude Banned

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    Fender Blacktop Stratocaster HH - YouTube

    I like blacktops a lot. I tried talking a friend of mine into getting one so I could mess around with it whenever I wanted. hehe. He ended up getting a modern player which is also another fine instrument.

    The coil split at 2:05 sounds great too. Very versatile guitar!
     
  7. dkelban

    dkelban Strat-Talk Member

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    I have one, and although I love the Les Paul-like distortion and sustain, I find both the tuners, bridge, trem arm, and smoothness of the neck and ease of string bending, FAR superior in my $1200.00 1993 Strat ultra. I think the bending issue has to do with the neck feeling slightly different, and the much better fit and finish of the frets in the strat ultra. Oh well, the blacktop sits in my closet. You always get what you pay for, lol. Someday I'll learn that, maybe.
     
  8. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Most GCs got that initial batch, and they didn't sell very well so I don't know how many follow up orders were placed.

    Of the entire Blacktop line, I liked the Strat version the best. You can put your choice of loaded pickguard on there, not too bad.

    Btw, would someone correct me sharply if I am wrong but I think that ALL Blacktops have loaded pickguards shipped whole from China. Their pickup supplier there could be putting those pickups into pickguards with all the goodies, and sending them to be slapped into guitars whose necks and bodies are done in and final assembly done in Ensenada.

    No one ever talks about this. Why?
     
  9. Drake4life

    Drake4life Strat-Talker

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    Would it matter or make a difference? Fender never actually posts notes about their OEM pickup manufacturer. I'm a blacktop fan - maybe because I had the hsh one which came out a year or two after the initial batches in 2010. As with everything, things evolve and improve.

    I have seen guys feel good about getting mia, mim, mij, and mic and bless them for it. At the end, it is the music you play. If you know your 4 chord progression then more power. But a 4 chord progression on any guitar is a 4 chord progression. ;)
     
  10. rider7

    rider7 Senior Stratmaster

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    I would get a Blacktop because of the swimming pool route. The Sonic Blue is really nice. A blacktop Strat should be great for mod.
     
  11. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Hmm.

    Many other models, traditional models, some member of the Board opens his up and shows us in detail every single little thing. Even guys with Classic Vibes do this. But the Blacktop guys are embarrassed or something. Sphinx like. They aren't fully participating members of the Board.

    You ask them a simple question and they always dodge you. I'm feeling disrespected, basically. I prove all the technical information I can and I get nothing in return.
     
  12. Drake4life

    Drake4life Strat-Talker

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    Well, let me check my old blacktop parts. I swapped pickups out the first chance I got. Just gotta find where i put the stock ones.
     
  13. Drake4life

    Drake4life Strat-Talker

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    The bridge and neck pickups from the blacktop say BHK. Which means they are chinese because BHK are also found on pickups from epiphones.

    The pots for tone are 500k so they were always wired to be more like a les paul than a normal strat.
     

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  14. Michael919

    Michael919 Senior Stratmaster

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    I really liked the necks on the few I played. Someone mentioned that it's the same as a MIM Standard, but the Blacktop's have a 22 fret neck. I got on better with that neck than with the Standard. Nice guitars and the PAF-style, covered humbuckers look nicer on a white pickguard than regular, cover-less humbuckers, IMO. I'd be happy to own one.
     
  15. htwheelz67

    htwheelz67 Senior Stratmaster

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    The neck on the blacktop is probably the best part, when I was building my last strat, I wanted a neck like on my MIJ contemporary strat 22 fret, I went to GC and played like 25 strats and the blacktop neck even though 9.5 radius vs 12" radius felt closest and was the most comfy to play, I bought one form staosphere on ebay, probably one of the best MIM necks there are, I like them better than the deluxe player,classic player as they are 12" radius but too fat in some places and only 21 frets. You combine that neck with an Am spaced bridge and its fricken perfect. As far as the blacktop strat, they are great for the price, the pickups are OK, the neck is muddy, I ended up putting my blacktop neck on a squier fsr, hsh classic vibe flametop strat and it BLOWS the blacktop away, in tone, in playability, in looks, in every way, with the Am spaced 2 pt trem it was like the Blacktop neck was made for it, (used to be rosewood stock) the maple just changed the tone and playability to perfection. After selling the neck and locking tuners it cost me 369.00[​IMG]

    Unlike the Blacktop the stock tonerider pickups are friggen perfect A-2 humbuckers and you have the middle A-3 "surfari" and pos 2 and 4 quack like a S/S/S strat. I got my squier for 289.00 demo model instead of 399.00 once again I will say if you can find one (discontinued after a year) buy one and swap a blacktop neck on it and you will have a smokin guitar for cheap that will blow any blacktop, any MIM's and Am std's away. I am still blown away by this combo, many players ask me what it is? I tell them its a Mexican custom shop special order one off model, body is basswood, flame maple veneer, tonerider ac-2 humbuckers, tonerider surfari A-3 middle, full sized pots, real fender 5 way superswitch. You would have to spend over a grand to get this off the shelf if you can.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  16. RockerXDX

    RockerXDX Senior Stratmaster

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    I love humbuckers.. Can't tell you about the Strats but teles I've played were baaaaadddd. Like worse than any squier affinity. No strength, no "oomph". Weak sounding, really thin, sounded like it had 1 single coil. I've played about 12, that was the worst. The best wasn't very humbucker heaven like my Gibsons.. I personally don't like them, some do. It's really dependant on you to go and try one. I don't discourage getting one I know a lot of people who love them. And I also know a lot of people who agree with my stance on them. You have to play to decide the opinion varies too much. Good luck :)
     
  17. Fernandomania

    Fernandomania Senior Stratmaster

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    I've played more blacktop basketball than blacktop Strats but I've tried out the blacktops in the store. It can be hard to tell at the music shop rather than on your own equipment but I didn't really like the pickups. I usually compare humbuckers to my Les Paul and these fall short.
     
  18. Drake4life

    Drake4life Strat-Talker

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    I agree the stock humbuckers fall short. Which is why I swapped them out. But I bought it for the neck. It is the shreddiest strat neck I played or that could be my perception and anti-vintage stance.
     
  19. The Outlaw

    The Outlaw Strat-Talker

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    i hated the pickups when i first got it untill i eq'd the amp specifically to the blacktop then they became a fast favorite. the wiring sucks though. i like to adjust my drive with the guitar vol and with the blacktop it just goes from great to muddy as you turn down the vol. i think after a harness upgrade it'll be great.

    i have the silver floyd version but would love to get the regular blacktop strat end tele also in the same color. the necks are possibly my favorite out of any guitar i've played yet. frets were even nice and level from the factory with no dead spots.

    this is my exact guitar i just havent taken any of my own pics of it yet.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. RockerXDX

    RockerXDX Senior Stratmaster

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    I think the other MIM are better or FSR. I'd get a CV, FSR, (switch out pups) or Modern player (HSH)