Got my Strat straightened out...

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by gwjensen, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. gwjensen

    gwjensen Senior Stratmaster

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    Haven’t been playing it… seemed off, not connecting with it… Decided to do something radical for the hell of it and replaced the 10s with 11 flat wounds. BIG mistake… Worst tone I’ve ever heard bar none. I could tell just from playing it acoustically that it was crap. Not just dull or dark. I was expecting some of that, but in a good, jazzy sort of way. This was just plain awful…

    I’d be curious to know if anyone else has tried flatwounds on their Strat and what they thought….

    Anyway, I couldn’t get the 11s off fast enough, but all I had in the string box were 9s... Didn’t feel like running back to the store for 10s, so on they went... I also didn’t feel like screwing around re-floating the trem, so I blocked it with a small Zippo lighter and added two springs.

    Viola! Plays and sounds like a charm. Seems that 9s are perfect for this guitar. I don’t miss the float, although the bridge is ever so slightly off the body. Since there’s negligible float, the 9s feel like 10s with the float, tension-wise.

    I tried decking the bridge with just the springs, but the metal lighter adds a bit of brightness, I think… The springs with the block have very little tension, but I think the tone is a little more… springy… could just be my imagination… I always thought you had to float the bridge for a proper Strat tone, but this sounds great to me… I’m in love with the Strat again!

    The guitar is a 2014 MIJ Ltd. Ed. 54 Strat with a fat V neck and modded with Fralin Blues Specials, a modded 5-way switch (neck/bridge in position 4), a series/parallel button, and bridge tone control. Lots of tones and great pickups if you like your Strat tones on the beefier side.

    Anyway, that’s my Strat story.

    IMG_0519.JPG IMG_0517.JPG
     
  2. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Most Honored Senior Member

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    and ...

    Voilà

    :D
     
  3. gwjensen

    gwjensen Senior Stratmaster

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    What? you mean one of these?

    viola-cantabile-gamba-model.jpg
    :D:D
     
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  4. Boognish

    Boognish Senior Stratmaster

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    Now go play that bad boi!
     
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  5. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    That's quite an experience! Maybe I should go with the Zippo idea, too!
     
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  6. Robins

    Robins Dr. von Loudster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    But that zippo can hurt you seriously --- downstairs.
    Some guitars love 9s strings like my Antigua as another example.
    It is funny how different the "same" guitars can respond different to little changes.

    All the best,
    Robin
     
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  7. PCollen

    PCollen Senior Stratmaster

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    We all have had our moments of insanity from time to time.
     
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  8. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Glad you found a sweet spot.

    I've been using flatwound 9s on mine i for a while. Sounds nice .
     
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  9. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    I have never had a floating bridge. (EC and Kramer are blocked) I have never yearned for a whammy so EVH and Dick Dale are both safe from me.
     
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  10. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Most Honored Senior Member

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    I have 10-46 flats tuned town a whole step on a Strat and I like them fine, but as you said, they sound nothing like rounds or half-flats. 10s aren't easy to find either, but Curt Mangan has them.

    Maybe you'd like half-flats, AKA half-rounds. I love them. They sound like rounds but have the easy-on-frets and non-squeak surface. D'Addario has them in 9s, 10s, and 11s. That's all I've been buying lately, but I may try some of these because of the price, and see if they're as nice as the D'Addarios:

    https://www.stringsbymail.com/sit-s...light-electric-guitar-strings-9-42-15804.html
     
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  11. midwestfisherma

    midwestfisherma Senior Stratmaster

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    Dude you're on fire!

    Fire.jpg
     
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  12. GorillasInTheFist

    GorillasInTheFist Strat-Talk Member

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    What brand of flat wounds did you use? D’addario Chromes, Pyramids, & Thomastik are the ones to get.
     
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  13. Sarnodude

    Sarnodude Senior Stratmaster

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    cool.. a tone lighter
     
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  14. esseff

    esseff Strat-O-Master

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    Luv the Zippo idea.
    I always block mine but I use blocks of hardwood parquet. Perfect thickness and just cut to length.
    .
     
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  15. gwjensen

    gwjensen Senior Stratmaster

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    D’Addario Chromes... maybe the 11 gauge didn’t seat well in the nut. The G in particular just sounded bizarre...
     
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  16. gwjensen

    gwjensen Senior Stratmaster

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    That would be ideal, but i’m too lazy... I also thought about shoving stacks of coins in there... I would think metal would have a different effect, for better or worse.... or not... maybe Eric Johnson could weigh in... :)
     
  17. gwjensen

    gwjensen Senior Stratmaster

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    Well I did make sure it was dry... now I’m thinking I should take out the insert so that it’s hollow... might get some echo? This could turn into a thing...
     
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  18. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Strat-Talker

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    I didn't get the part number on that Fender lighter mod :whistling:
     
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  19. gwjensen

    gwjensen Senior Stratmaster

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    I could try the 10 half rounds.... I wouldn’t mind a slightly more rounded tone.... the D’Addario Chrome 11s were just terrible, even acoustically, especially th G. Could be that the nut cant accommodate 11s... that G had a weird low sitar type tone, only worse.
     
  20. knh555

    knh555 Most Honored Senior Member

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    How does lighting that thing up affect the tone?
     
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