Tell me about the Deluxe Roadhouse Strat. Yes or no?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Handsome McClane, Nov 21, 2020.

  1. Handsome McClane

    Handsome McClane Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    Hey people,

    I've got a '96 Hot Rod Series Lone Star Strat. It's got the SSH configuration, two Texas Specials and a SD Pearly Gates Plus in the bridge. The neck is great, but I've never been enamored of the bridge humbucker and sometimes it feels limiting. When I want to play my Strat I want it to sound like a Strat in every position.

    Been looking at some of the Strats people are scoring here lately, and it got me thinking that as far back as I can remember, I always wanted an Olympic White Strat with a maple fretboard. Probably my earliest guitar obsession and I've never had one in the 40+ years I've been playing.

    So tonight I'm perusing various sites, looking for an Olympic White Strat with a maple fretboard and a Modern C neck shape. I just happened across the Deluxe Roadhouse Strat, and it fits my list to a T.

    To make it clear, if I do this, I will have to sell my US Lone Star. There's no keeping both.

    So does anyone have a Deluxe Roadhouse Strat? And how are the electronics and pickups? They're listed as "vintage noiseless".

    Thanks!
     
  2. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.

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    I have a Roadhouse but it's the 2013 model that had TX Specials and the V6 switch. Great guit.
    I can't comment on the newer ones with the noiseless.
     
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  3. Handsome McClane

    Handsome McClane Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    There are a few older ones out there with the Texas Specials. I may end up going that route.
     
  4. Lonn

    Lonn Mod Admin Staff Member

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    I prefer the older ones with the TS pickups.
     
  5. TimJ

    TimJ Strat-Talker

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    I’m very biased here as it’s my favourite configuration for a Strat.

    - SSS but with midboost to approximate humbucker tones (I either have the boost all the way on or all off, I don’t bother with the notch positions)
    - flat radius
    - large headstock

    so basically late 60s/70s look with modern add-ons.

    I own 5, 2 Texas Specials (TS) and 3 Vintage Noiseless (VN) ones.

    In terms of the TS vs VN models, I think it depends on what’s most important to you tonally. The only other difference is that the VN era ones come with a heel cutaway, but that makes no difference to me.

    The VNs are lower output than the TS pickups, but neither in my mind have 100% of that true Strat shimmer, if we’re talking clean tones.

    The VNs give a slightly more hi-fi approximation of a clean Strat, whereas the TSs are a little bit too mid-range chunky for, say, a chimey Knopfler tone.

    You could argue that, given you’ve already got a midboost built in, that the VNs are the more versatile option since you can approach that low-output Strat tone more closely (but perhaps not 100% get there) - whereas the TSs are already fairly mid-heavy.

    Obviously if the noiseless thing is important to you then that’s a factor.

    I own more expensive US-made guitars also, but would happily use the Roadhouse versions in preference.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
  6. Blue Beagle

    Blue Beagle Strat-O-Master

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  7. Silverman

    Silverman Strat-Talker

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    For some reason, the MIM deluxe strats all tend to be quite heavy. For example, the deluxes currently listed on sweetwater all weigh in at over 8 pounds.

    Also, I found the active pickup settings on the roadhouse strat to be a bit useless.

    Those caveats aside, mine was an excellent playing guitar - I just wasn't a huge fan of the pickups.
     
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  8. JP68

    JP68 Strat-Talker

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    I have a 2017 Deluxe Roadhouse in 3TSB, it was my first Strat after playing a Tele all my life. I love the fretboard. The active electronics are pretty uninteresting to me. In fact I pulled the battery out and never use them.

    The VN pickups are nice. Some people call them lifeless, and they don't have the extra air around them that a single coil does, but the term I use for them is "precise." They're very clean. On their own without comparing them to a single coil, they have their own thing going on that's quite nice. And they're quiet.

    The fit and finish of my Deluxe Roadhouse is nearly as nice as my MIA Strat for half the price. They're good guitars.
     
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  9. DaveFreytag

    DaveFreytag Strat-Talk Member

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    I have the same 2013 model. I put a Hot Rail in the bridge and lost the girly .009 gauge strings in favor of .010’s, and absolutely love it. The Texas Specials in middle and neck are keepers too.
     
  10. stilesg57

    stilesg57 Strat-Talk Member

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    I have the same guitar, a ‘97 in sienna burst ash w/ maple board. Couple things:

    1) you can try swapping the magnet on the PG+. A UOA5 will have the feel of an A2 while rounding off the top peak of the highs and the boomiest parts of the bottom in the stock A5’s frequency range. It’s how I currently have mine set up and it’s impressive how much better it is for what I’m looking for (and how much better it matches the TS singles).

    2) There are LOTS of cool pickups that fit a humbucker slot and everything fits the swimming pool rout. I had a BG Pups Pure 90 in my Lone Star for almost a decade and that fits the guitar perfectly; enough drive and grind in the bridge to keep up with the TS’ heat while still being a single coil. I switched it for the original humbucker with the UOA5 mag swap for a couple reasons but none of them were sound-related.

    You can also fit a mini hum or Tele bridge pup in there with a new pickguard.

    3) if you decide it’s gotta be a traditional Strat single, just put one of those in. New pick guard, re-wire some stuff, you’re all set.

    4) if you still want to sell it, let me know the color and fretboard :D
     
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  11. Handsome McClane

    Handsome McClane Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    I just bought a new Deluxe Roadhouse from Sweetwater. Weight is 8 lbs, 1 oz. I'll be getting it next Saturday. I'm going to hang onto my old Lone Star for a little while so I can A/B them for a bit.

    Here's a photo they sent me of my new guitar:
    [​IMG] Update:
     
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  12. SlyStrat

    SlyStrat Strat-Talker

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    I never buy a guitar because of the pickups in it.
    Thats just stupid.
     
  13. Handsome McClane

    Handsome McClane Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    Unless a) you don't care about cost or b) you're using boutique pickups and just automatically yank the stock ones, it should be part of the equation. Pickups determine most of the sound of a guitar.

    In my decision to buy the guitar above I looked at getting a Player Series with the features I wanted and then calculated in the cost of a set of Vintage Noiseless vs the Deluxe Roadhouse which comes with them already. It was cheaper to buy the Roadhouse than the Player + the new pickups.
     
  14. systolsys

    systolsys Strat-Talk Member

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    Do you like the sound of the Texas Specials or not? If not, the vintage noiseless are a more traditional strat tone. Sweeter. Less SRV. But the Roadhouse has an in-built pre-amp with a six-way voicing switch. That's basically the selling point for the Roadhouse. Maybe it makes the noises you want.

    I think my Lonestar is from 2014, and came with a Fender humbucker rather than the PGP. I swapped out the bridge humbucker on mine for a SD JB. It still doesn't sound like a Strat. But it works well with the 250k pots. I prefer it to the original humbucker. The PGP+ was a specially wound pickup for Fender by Duncan - it's a little hotter than the stock PGP. If you don't want it, put it on ebay.
     
  15. Deafsoundguy

    Deafsoundguy Strat-o-hackster Silver Member

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    Great looking guitar! Love the cream colored pups against the pick guard color. I don’t even care for light colored fretboards and I still love it. HNGD!
     
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  16. Handsome McClane

    Handsome McClane Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    Thanks. It was on a truck in Ohio last night at midnight.