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NGD Hardtail

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Blind Radish, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. Wrighty

    Wrighty Most Honored Senior Member

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    Never, ever, played an HT. Is there one in the current Fender line up?
     
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  2. Blind Radish

    Blind Radish Strat-Talker

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    You can buy a 2019 Cray ...
     
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  3. Wrighty

    Wrighty Most Honored Senior Member

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    And that’s about it? Sure there’s options at the cheapo Squier end?
     
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  4. guitarchaeologist

    guitarchaeologist Papa Americano Silver Member

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    I believe so. I have seen exactly one Custom Shop hardtail; a '56. She was a beauty! I'm sure there were more made, but I've only seen the one for sale.
     
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  5. BuddyGuy

    BuddyGuy Strat-Talker

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    I own two Robert Cray models.
     
  6. Tim S

    Tim S Strat-O-Master

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    I bought a Cray body at Stratosphere and slapped a Jimmie Vaughan neck on it.
     
  7. guitarchaeologist

    guitarchaeologist Papa Americano Silver Member

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    Does that make it a Robert Vaughan sig model???
    I had an U.N.C.L.E with one of those.
    Made for a helluva (Napoleon) Solo LOL

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
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  8. archetype

    archetype Senior Stratmaster

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    IIRC those pickups are unique to the RC. Folks say they're very articulate with good note separation playing chords. My guess is that they're reveal everything bad about my playing.
     
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  9. Tim S

    Tim S Strat-O-Master

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    Stranger than that, I used a Rainbow Pack of Lace Sensors. So picture Robert Vaughn in rainbow lace??
     
  10. RaySachs

    RaySachs Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    That's kind of funny - I'd done that too maybe a year ago or more... Well, I bought the neck there and stuck it on the Cray I already had. And had this same discussion of a Robert Vaughan model. But over time I didn't love that combination for reasons I'll never understand - I loved that neck on other guitars. So I put the Cray neck back on, had a bone nut put in it, and had it pleked and INCREDIBLY well set up and changed the wiring to my preferences. And it was perfect. And then, not being able to leave well enough alone, I tried a Roadworn 50's Strat neck in it. And I LOVED that combination and used it for several months. But being a 7.25" radius, it was a little bit more persnickety than the 9.5" Cray neck and was acting up.

    And so within the last couple months, I put the original Cray neck back on and I've decided I'm not messing with perfection anymore. I sort of prefer a soft-V and I sort of prefer a maple fretboard, but this Cray neck and body seems to be a marriage made in heaven. I've tried all sorts of other much more expensive strats and I prefer this to any of 'em. So I'm sitting tight with this now. Hell, I might even buy another used one, maybe another color, have it set up just like the first one, and just hold onto that as a backup. Or maybe just buy a body and put the roadworn neck on that one, have IT set up and re-wired, and have two almost identical guitars but with different flavors in the neck...

    Right now my second electric is a Roadworn Tele, but I never play it - I'm ALWAYS picking up the Cray. So I should probably just have another of the same for a backup rather than something different that I obviously don't like as much. I've been playing strats for 40+ years and this one is my favorite by far...

    -Ray
     
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  11. RaySachs

    RaySachs Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    I've read, and I have NO IDEA if this is accurate or just something I'd like to believe, that Fender uses the same Custom Shop pickups on the MIM production model that they do on the Custom Shop Robert Cray guitars. I'm guessing neither of these models are really big sellers, so it probably makes some economic sense to do that rather than a whole other production run of pickups for a sparsely selling model.

    I don't even want one of the CS guitars because they have a 12" radius and I've never played a 12" Fender neck I haven't hated. But if the pickups are the same, the MIM, really well set up, is probably the best of all worlds for some of us.

    Oh, and I don't sound any worse with these pickups with any other - but that bar isn't very high, or low as the case may be...

    -Ray
     
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  12. archetype

    archetype Senior Stratmaster

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    In Fender's marketing copy they never state any difference in pickups between the MIM and MIA guitars. It's always mystified me as to why the CS has a 12" radius fretboard.
     
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  13. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Mouth draggin' knuckle breather Silver Member

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    I've never even tried a hardtail...but, I've wondered if it sounds different than a tremolo equipped Strat.

    Congratulations!
     
  14. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

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    Not very, that's for sure. I have both. Other differences are much more important than whether it's a hardtail or not.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
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  15. RaySachs

    RaySachs Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    Maybe it's what Robert likes playing these days? I'm sure he's probably playing CS rather than MIM guitars. But they have all of these 9.5" production necks that need to be used... I dunno - just a guess.

    A lot of people claim that the only pure strat sound is with a floating trem. That it sounds less stratty with a decked trem, less yet with a blocked trem, and even less than that with a hardtail.

    I can't say there are NO differences, but I don't think they amount to much. The Cray still sounds like a strat to me, a somewhat darker, bluesier strat, because that's what I'm sure he was going for, but definitely like a strat. I played mine back to back with a PRS Silver Sky for a few days not long ago. The Silver Sky has very different pickups, arguably better, definitely more balanced from position to position. It's a decked setup out of the box. It sounded less like a strat than the Cray. It quacked less to be sure. It sounded great in the bridge and middle pickup positions, better than almost any strat I've played, but to my ears, not as good in the 2 and 4 positions, and different but no better in the neck position. To my ears, I prefer the hardtail Cray because the 2, 4, and 5 sounds matter a lot more to me than the 1 and 3. That said, the way I have mine wired with no-load pots definitely quacks a bit more than the stock Cray setup.

    -Ray
     
  16. Tim S

    Tim S Strat-O-Master

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    It’s refreshing to bend a note without having the other strings going out of tune. :D

    But tone-wise, I can’t hear any difference. Maybe a bit sharper attack and better sustain. But nothing dramatic.

    How about you other Cray owners?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
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  17. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    The only difference I can tell between a hardtail and a trem is that the hardtail stays in tune.
     
  18. JP68

    JP68 Strat-Talker

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    That is one beautiful guitar. Congrats!
     
  19. Tim S

    Tim S Strat-O-Master

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    @Blind Radish
    Rosewood looks so nice with that body. Is that a 2 piece body?
     
  20. Blind Radish

    Blind Radish Strat-Talker

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    It appears to be.