[blank] Makes the Greatest Tone Difference In Stock Strat.

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Rounder44, Apr 19, 2020.

  1. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Buried alive in the blues Gold Supporting Member

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    The basic problem with this argument is that gear proponents ("Tone is NOT in the fingers") argue with proponents of the player's skill ("Tone IS in the fingers") as if the two were mutually exclusive.

    They're not. Both the player and their gear work in the service of the player's intention. If you don't hear the sound you like, you'll fiddle with the knobs on the guitar and the amp,, and come up with a reasonable approximation of your sound.

    No one is saying it's JUST the player. The question was, "Was the most important aspect for tone?", and the correct answer is, "the player." That doesn't mean that guitars and amps don't sound different, because they do.
     
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  2. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Senior Stratmaster

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    I would say first set your pickup height and then toy around with different string sets. You'd be surprise how much you can shape the tone with tweaking string gauges. Hendrix is a good example. I think his was a 10-38 mix?

    I'm responding to the question in terms of baseline tone. Assuming volume and both tones set at 10, get it where you like it. Then you can toy with knobs, amp settings, effects etc.

    EDIT: Also be prepared to fall in love with one setup (floating vs. decked, low pickups, etc.) and then 6 months later try something new and swear that it's the best thing ever. Currently considering going from floating to decked on all my strats.
     
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  3. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    As far as I'm concerned, turning the volume and tone knob don't change the tone of the guitar. Any position you turn the knob to is just part of the tone of the guitar. Flipping the switch from neck to bridge isn't changing the guitar, it's just using a different setting on the guitar. Turning down the tone knob is just using another tone that was already available, it doesn't change the tone of the guitar.

    Also, phrasing, timing, vibrato, the notes you choose--that's just playing. That's not the tone of the guitar, and shouldn't be confused for it.

    And the choice of amp, speaker, and the position you turn knobs on the amp--is all tone of the amp, not the guitar. Guitar cables, pedalboard and effects are also not the tone of the guitar.

    The things that change the tone on the guitar are pickup height, choice of strings, the saddles & nut, the choice of pots, caps, and pickups, the physical construction (body, neck, shape etc) and the physical setup. Without a soldering iron you're limited to saddles, strings, the nut, tuners, and physical setup.

    If your setup sucks, the guitar is unplayable and the tone will be effected. A buzzing fret is immediately audibly noticeable, and that's a sound you might choose to play some day. But IMO playability does not equal tone.

    Within this limited definition of the guitar's tone, the thing that makes the biggest difference IMO is the strings. Thomastick-Infeld flatwound chrome 13s are about as far as you can get from steel-wound .008s, and the difference is...it's a lot. And if you are not limited by magnetic pickups you get into phosphor bronze and 80/20 vs nickel vs. nps vs. NYLON. The string is where tone starts, and variations in the string can make big variations in the tone.
     
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  4. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    This is a really good point of view and much along the way I consider the relationship between musician and gear.
     
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  5. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    Pure unadulterated BS. Leave it to a lawyer to come up with this crap. :D
     
  6. marksound

    marksound Strat-Talker

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    Did I accidentally log into TGP? :whistling:
     
  7. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    No, you just read a closing argument trying to convince someone that what they hear isn't what they hear. BS, MS, Ph.D. Bull S____, More S____, Piled High and Deep. :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2020
  8. Rufustelestrat

    Rufustelestrat Senior Stratmaster

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  9. gentlyweeping

    gentlyweeping Strat-Talker

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  10. Lost Sailor

    Lost Sailor Strat-O-Master

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    Good stuff Fezz, I also modified the wiring so the tone control works on both middle and bridge pickups on all my Strats.
     
  11. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    All of mine have a master tone and a blender. It's what I decided on after decades of experimentation.

    So my Strats...even my 65...have a 3 way switch wired like a post 67 Tele. The blender is for the middle pickup. Just in case I need those sounds. I found that I never used the middle by itself, and since I started my Fender journey on a Telecaster in '71, missed the B/N combo.
     
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  12. CyFan4036

    CyFan4036 Senior Stratmaster

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    It's all talent. When I first started playing I had a $1500 Gibby and I couldn't make it sound any better than the Epi I had. Now I can make a Squire Bullet sound good. All talent!
     
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  13. optofonik

    optofonik Strat-Talker

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    Trem block?
     
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  14. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Most Honored Senior Member

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    I would point out that strings can and often do make a difference. Coming from playing classical, I can tell you that just about the only way to get a different tone, outside of nail shaping vs no nails, is trying strings made of different materials and construction.

    This holds true for electric guitars as well, to a point anyway. We all seem to default to one brand of strings made of the same stuff over and over. While I think that turning knobs on your guitar and amp will affect a greater change, strings do have an effect on this before it ever hits the amp. I use three different kinds of strings on my electrics. Pure nickel, nickel plated steel, and cobalt strings. The all sound different.
     
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  15. CyFan4036

    CyFan4036 Senior Stratmaster

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    That is so true! I use different strings on different guitars for this very reason. Great point!
     
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  16. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    I never use the middle pickup on a Strat. And I too like the B/N combo.
     
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  17. LordOfPudding

    LordOfPudding Strat-Talker

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    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned it...
    but the most carefully guarded secret is

    You gotta make a good TONE FACE.

    Gary Moore had a great tone face.
    You can, too. It just takes practice.
    And a mirror. :):rolleyes::p:D
     
  18. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    iu.jpeg iu.jpeg


    I can hear the tone just by looking at the pictures.:D
     
  19. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    Let's not forget about Carlos. :D

    iu.jpeg iu.jpeg iu.jpeg
     
  20. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    Metamucil can help with that.