Patience makes Perfect!

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by EricMD4692, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. EricMD4692

    EricMD4692 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
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    A month or two ago I started playing guitar again. I have my Strat and being home more started picked it up. It’s been so long and it feels great to play again, especially through the sweet Pro Junior! But something isn’t right. It’s out of tune! The intonation is off, there’s buzzing in weird places. What happened to my baby! I stay up all night trying to set it up and I got the action all low and neck pretty straight and I got the bright idea to deck the Trem thinking it will make my Strat sound more snarly than plinky.

    I raised the pickups to get some free gain and let her rip in the morning! But low and behold, I had tried so hard but had, frankly, done a horrible job. I didn’t let that dissuade me from playing the guitar though and certainly didn’t stop me from thinking about how to fix it. I tried different volume and tone settings on the amp. I used the different pickup positions, started playing with the tremolo arm.

    I dug the tuning stability The decked Trem offered and didn’t mind only downward vibrato. It even sounded cool to me to leave the backplate off. (Probably makes no difference though it certainly let me continuously adjust the claw and springs.) On the other hand I didn’t dig how twangy and sharp my guitar sounded. I thought the bridge decked would accentuate low end from the body and and add sustain but my tone was sharp. Speaking of sharp I had to press so incredibly lightly on my fretboard or I would play sharp notes all the way up the neck.

    I thought my neck was straight, but I put the strings too close to the the the pickups and the frets! Another few nights tinkering away, going so far to replace the old rusted saddles, swap in an big brass Trem block (cause I’m a non-conformist), and realigning my pick up pole pieces, I actually straightened the neck and raised the saddle heights as far as they can go and loosening the claws to just slightly float the Trem.

    I am simply blown away and what all this hard work got me! My Strat sounds and feels exactly the way I wanted it to! I’m so blown away by the free ringing strings, real sustain and the right twang! I thought this was going to be too high but after the neck set into the truss rod adjustments and notes weren’t bouncing off the next frets it was unbelievable. The bends are surprisingly harder but I can bend high up on the neck and get the sweet lead sound to last.

    My rhythm chords and sound out with out any transients from fret buzz and the pick ups have fallen a GREAT deal. All I lost was the buckets of ice flowing from my once again wonderful sounding instrument! I get all the definition, and grit I want out of my set up and the positions are so much better blended. I can get my guitar sound go all over the place.

    take the time to love on your instrument! Let it respond to you. When you tell it you want to do something you have to listen to it tell you how to make it happen. Especially if, like me, you find yourself becoming familiar with the term GAS during these strange times. Getting to know a different side of the gear you have can be so much more fulfilling than shopping. And you may just find something inspiring and rewarding.

    TL;DR Really set your guitar up and listen to how it wants to sound before you go banging on it. Your soul will thank you.
     
  2. Groovey

    Groovey Dr. Stratster

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    Great news! Let's see a pic of this beauty.
     
  3. EricMD4692

    EricMD4692 Strat-Talk Member

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  4. Blackmore Fan

    Blackmore Fan Senior Stratmaster

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  5. EricMD4692

    EricMD4692 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
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    I’m figuring out how to record her this week! If love to share how she sings!
     
  6. HighwayStar106

    HighwayStar106 Senior Stratmaster

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    I had a similar experience recently. My MIM Strat wasn't feeling or sounding as good as it should have been, so I wasn't playing it much. I tightened the truss rod a little, adjusted the pickups a bit, cleaned the strings... and it's my favourite guitar again.
     
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  7. jtoomuch

    jtoomuch Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    South Florida
    Nice looking Strat.
     
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  8. arcticstrat

    arcticstrat Senior Stratmaster

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  9. EricMD4692

    EricMD4692 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
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    Thanks! It not only looks good but plays like a dream now! If only my chops were up to par.
     
  10. Groovey

    Groovey Dr. Stratster

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  11. stevierayfan91

    stevierayfan91 DEEPLY SHY.

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    Hi, @EricMD4692


    Glad you got your Strat dialed in for comfy playing :)
     
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  12. Hydr0

    Hydr0 Senior Stratmaster

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    good stuff man...all that hard work and learning about set ups will continue to pay dividends in perpetuity. Enjoy, great guitar too!
     
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  13. Mike_it_up

    Mike_it_up Strat-Talker

    Age:
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    Glad you gotter all set up, nice guitar! I've been on a set up kick as well.
    My strat, tele, and Jackson guitars have all had a fret dress, meticulously cleaned and set up to perfection.
    Only 2 more guitars to do, my PRS and my Godin
    They all play and sound so much better, I agree, Know your gear, and love your gear
     
  14. Lost Sailor

    Lost Sailor Senior Stratmaster

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    Just keep playing, you'll get it back.....And that is one beauty - I always liked that color