SG to a Strat

wish

New Member!
May 21, 2022
6
Australia
Hi folk, 50 years ago I bought an SG and even though I changed my wife once, I never changed my guitar… but this weekend I’m off to the big smoke to buy myself a Strat!
Would you believe I have never played a Strat so I’m hoping I’m going to get some sort of a thrill. Over those 50 years my music taste has changed a little and now just want to play lead on the forever classic songs bought during the 50’s, 60’s etc…a bit of Shadows type sound which I’m not getting with the SG. Every now and then I still get a gig at a pub or dining room somewhere so there’s a little bit left for an oldie.
Just hoping someone may like to steer me in a direction or maybe look out for whatever when going through the huge range of Fenders. Budget is going to stop me at the $2k area (Australian) so I am going to give the real nice ones a miss. I am looking for that real nice clean sound rather than a dirty SG even though it’s not doing a bad job with the right settings.
Thanks for any suggestions
Cheers from down under.
 

ThreeChordWonder

Senior Stratmaster
Dec 2, 2020
3,397
Cypress TX
Player Series SSS and go up from there. Absolutely nothing wrong with the Player or Player Plus series-es whatsoever, really. HSS would, perhaps, be more versatile, but for classic Strat tones, go for the SSS.

AUS$2K is about US$1400, and I presume you're taking including Australian sales tax, so your budget should stretch to either.
 

RaySachs

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 25, 2017
1,812
Philly area
I’m not gonna advise you on what strat to buy - you have to play a few and see what feels right. But as someone who’s two electrics are an SG and a Strat, I’ll tell you you’ll have to be looking at the neck a lot for a while. I play the strat 90+ percent of the time and the way the SG is configured, when I grab the SG, I have to look at the neck a LOT to get my bearings. When I think I’m reaching to play something in A, I find myself in B, when I go for E, I find myself in F# or G a lot. The location of the neck relative to the body is SOOOO different - it’s not an easy transition. I’m sure the same will happen in reverse order too.

But Strats are wonderful - well worth the effort…

-Ray
 

Stratoman10

Dr. Stratster
Silver Member
Aug 24, 2015
14,751
Va. Beach, Va
Im pretty happy with my 1999/2000 American Std Strat. I not changing it. I also have an SG and think they. Bought it new and yes they feel different. For me it was the big neck and frets, 2012 SG, but nothing you s&old get hung up on

I think they still go at around 800 USD. At least last I looked but not sure how that translates to Aussie money.
 

wish

New Member!
May 21, 2022
6
Australia
There seems to be a huge variety of pickups, presuming I am looking for the basic single coil?
Vintage noiseless?
Alnico 5?
Yosemite single coil? Etc etc
 

jvin248

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 10, 2014
5,433
Michigan
.

+1 get a Player Strat in SSS. That will get you all the classic Strat tones and playability for the best value. If you get HSS you'll find tone overlap/redundancy with your SG plus you'll miss a few key Strat tones.

Spending time adjusting pickup heights (generally lower), pickup bass/treble tip (neck tip treble higher, bridge pickup tip bass higher), is more important than all the pickup choices and pickup swapping.

+1 on the chassis ergonomics. SGs put the nut the furthest 'to the left' and Strats put the nut the furthest 'to the right' of any guitar pair (Explorer is a little more to the left than SG). Due to bridge placement relative to the thigh cut out when sitting and the strap pin placements when standing.

You'll also need to learn how to pick the Strat strings so you don't hit the volume knob. Some players move the volume knob to the first tone knob hole, then make the second tone knob a master tone. That way you can more easily pick strings from the neck to the bridge just like a Tele. Watch old Hendrix videos and you'll see he would constantly hit a typical Strat volume knob placement -- and that is how he got more tones.

The best pickup tone on a Strat is the neck pickup. The unique tones on a Strat are 2 and 4 switch positions, 'Quack'. If you feel the bridge pickup is underwhelming, then get a 'reverse\Hendrix' pickguard ($10-$25) so you can put the bridge pickup at the opposite angle and you'll get a lot beefier bridge pickup tone.

You may need a boost pedal of some sort if you are directly switching between the two guitars, at least many players have complained of this problem ... or lower the pickups to the trim rings on the SG to weaken them up to play better with the Strat single coils. Then adjust your amp louder for both guitars.

Later on, when you get the modding itch, you can install the Armstrong Blender on your Strat so you can blend anywhere between stock SSS and stealth Les Paul HSH. That's where you can get the 'versatility' card filled out while keeping all the classic Strat tones that are the reason for having a Strat.

This is a Strat I play frequently, Reverse angled pickguard and the Armstrong Blender. Since this photo I've swapped in black pickup covers and moved the volume knob to the first tone pot hole, then have a stacked pot for tone+blender in the third hole.
img_20190714_105810.jpg


.
 
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ThreeChordWonder

Senior Stratmaster
Dec 2, 2020
3,397
Cypress TX
There seems to be a huge variety of pickups, presuming I am looking for the basic single coil?
Vintage noiseless?
Alnico 5?
Yosemite single coil? Etc etc
The Alnico 5 staggered pole piece ones in the Player series are pretty darned good as they come. I swapped out the ones in my Player HSS for Seymour Duncan SSL-1s in the middle and neck, and wondered why I bothered. As people will tell you, keep the pickups low for classic Strat tones.
 

nullaccount

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 12, 2022
1,362
Florida
Hi folk, 50 years ago I bought an SG and even though I changed my wife once, I never changed my guitar… but this weekend I’m off to the big smoke to buy myself a Strat!
Would you believe I have never played a Strat so I’m hoping I’m going to get some sort of a thrill. Over those 50 years my music taste has changed a little and now just want to play lead on the forever classic songs bought during the 50’s, 60’s etc…a bit of Shadows type sound which I’m not getting with the SG. Every now and then I still get a gig at a pub or dining room somewhere so there’s a little bit left for an oldie.
Just hoping someone may like to steer me in a direction or maybe look out for whatever when going through the huge range of Fenders. Budget is going to stop me at the $2k area (Australian) so I am going to give the real nice ones a miss. I am looking for that real nice clean sound rather than a dirty SG even though it’s not doing a bad job with the right settings.
Thanks for any suggestions
Cheers from down under.
You seem like the type that likes to get something good and stick with it. I’d recommend a used American Original ’60s. A little over budget but you’ll have it the rest of your life. It has the Pure Vintage 65 pickups. Great neck. Check out any reviews.
 

Hanson

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 3, 2016
1,605
Mesquite, Texas
I’m not sure what the used market is in Australia, but an American Made Standard 2012-16 is a great place to start. Here it’s fairly easy to find a lightly played, in excellent condition guitar that has been sitting in someone’s closet.
 

nullaccount

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 12, 2022
1,362
Florida
The next best, and many would say just as good but cheaper, is the Vintera (vintage era) 50s or 60s Stratocaster Modified. The “modified” means it has the 9.5-inch radius rather than the 7.25- inch radius fingerboard and more modern tremolo system. SGs have a 12-inch radius fingerboard so you’d notice quite a difference with a 7.25-inch radius.
 
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crankmeister

Most Honored Senior Member
Jul 9, 2020
5,659
Republic of Gilead
There seems to be a huge variety of pickups, presuming I am looking for the basic single coil?
Vintage noiseless?
Alnico 5?
Yosemite single coil? Etc etc
I was just taking inventory of my Strats yesterday and playing through them for the first time in a while. No pedals, just straight into a 5w tube amp. I have a Player, a ProII and a partscaster with 57/62 pickups. The 57/62s lent themselves much better to the old, vintage sound — I really like surf rock.

I don’t know much about the different Alnico types, just that some are more vintage-sounding (lower output) than others. But I do know that my partscaster initially had Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups and I couldn’t wait to get them out of there — dull, flat, nothing vintage about them to my ears.
 

nullaccount

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 12, 2022
1,362
Florida
Also, whatever you get, consider getting 9-42 strings, maybe 10-46. If you’re used to an SG with 10-46, it’ll feel more like 9-42 on a Strat.
 

John C

Most Honored Senior Member
Silver Member
Jul 17, 2012
7,914
Kansas City
Agree with all the suggestions - start with a Player and try as many as you can find, and stick with the SSS versions as you have the humbucker tones covered with your SG. As I'm not sure about prices in Australia just keep working your way up through the models until you hit your max budget. I went through this when looking for a Telecaster back in December - started with the Player and worked my way up through the American Ultra, but went with the American Performer as it was the one I liked the best.

That being said when I was on a Strat hunt in August I wanted to keep the price around the Player Strat price - I was coming off a 3-year "retirement" (2015-2018) due to some hand issues, and I was working my way back up to 25.5" scale, starting with a Mustang (24" scale), then a Les Paul Tribute model (24.75" scale), and this would be my first 25.5" scale length guitar since coming back so I was keeping to that budget. At that time I didn't find any Player Strats that suited me and wound up buying a Schecter Nick Johnston Traditional strat-style guitar instead; they have a roasted maple neck and locking tuners stock, but they are made in Indonesia. Not sure of Schecter's pricing in Australia, but at that point in time they were the same price as a Player Strat - now they are $50 more than a Player Strat here in the USA. So that was my "gateway drug" back to the world of Fenders/25.5" scale length guitars.

There seems to be a huge variety of pickups, presuming I am looking for the basic single coil?
Vintage noiseless?
Alnico 5?
Yosemite single coil? Etc etc

Pickups are persona preference. I typically don't go for noiseless pickups but then again when I was starting out back in 1979 I wound up getting a Fender instead of a Gibson, which set me on the single coil path.
 


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