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To Hardtail or not to Hardtail

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Jackobeam, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. pblanton

    pblanton Strat-Talk Member

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    Apr 14, 2012
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    Colorado Springs
    Unless you prefer the look and feel of a Strat. Telecasters are nice; I own two, but it's a cutting board with a neck. A Strat on the other hand, is curvy, and sexy and smooth, and ... what was I saying? :rolleyes:
     
  2. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Silver Member

    Age:
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    At your age
    Anything
    Your little heart desires...
    You have 40-50 years to correct it...
     
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  3. BuddyGuy

    BuddyGuy Strat-Talker

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    The answer to this question is easy. Just ask yourself who the best guitarist is and does he use a hardtail. Since the best guitarist is Robert Cray and he uses a hardtail, you can get one or two of his signature models.
     
  4. driesenries

    driesenries New Member!

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    Feb 24, 2012
    Location:
    Haarlem Netherlands
    I own a 74 hardtail. Super lightweight (3.1kg!!!!) and all original except a refret job. I also own a stock AV62ri with a blocked trem and an old 1000x modified and refinished Japanese reissue with ali-express/china pickguard, pickups, electronics and a blocked trem. They all sound like strat! However, the Japanese sounds close to a real vintage 50-ies strat and the AV62ri as a very modern strat hahaha.
    The 74 Hardtail is a different story. Vintage but FAT. By far the best of 3 in both sound and playability.The other two are for giging, but the hardtail is for studio work and promotional work. IMG_0621.jpg IMG_1908.jpg IMG_1960.jpg
     
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  5. Jackobeam

    Jackobeam Strat-Talker

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    What a great answer!
     
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  6. Gregorski

    Gregorski Strat-Talker

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    England
    Asked my question before I saw the colours. I love lake placid blue and based On these pics I’d take that. Sunburst is boring for me. I also love metallic Sherwood green but that guitar isn’t quite the shade of Sherwood green that I’ve seen On others. A nice Sherwood green with mint guard and rosewood is awesome. I think this one is faded Sherwood green
     
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  7. Jackobeam

    Jackobeam Strat-Talker

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    all rosewood.
     
  8. Gregorski

    Gregorski Strat-Talker

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    If the Sherwood green looked like this then I’d choose that over the blue

    12800C0F-2751-4BC1-91EB-6E1C54ECFC12.jpeg
     
  9. dspellman

    dspellman Strat-Talk Member

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    Mar 24, 2013
    Location:
    Los Angeles

    I'm not sure that a strat with a hardtail is really a strat.
     
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  10. andiemac

    andiemac Strat-Talk Member

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    eugene oregon
    The Stratocaster Tremolo is one of the best things about it! It's easy to set-up, just follow the link below for excellent instructions. If you don't have a tremolo, you don't really have a Stratocaster capable of it's incredible range of sounds. Can't imagine why you would want a hardtail ever!

     
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  11. andiemac

    andiemac Strat-Talk Member

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    Here's why you shouldn't buy a hardtail custom shop: This is my latest Strat.... (I've retired my '54 which my son will inherit:) It's a Warmoth body (tobacco sunburst ash just like my '54), Warmoth roasted maple neck (never needs finish and plays like a dream), Callaham Tremolo Bridge,(with the medium tremolo bar and set-up in the style of Carl Verheyen) Hipshot locking tuners and a pickup set from Vintage Vibe Guitars (I ordered mine already installed in the pickguard)…if you can’t assemble and adjust everything yourself, find a guitar tech (they’re everywhere…this is my road guitar (along with an identical Telecaster with the same components except it’s equipped with standard HOT! Tele pickups with a 5-way switch from Vintage Vibe)easily the hottest most versatile pair of guitars I’ve ever owned, and I’ve played just about everything… no photo of the Tele…. and Frudua has an excellent tremolo set-up video:

     

    Attached Files:

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  12. mark1406

    mark1406 Strat-Talk Member

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    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney
    Hardtail Strats are underrated. They do have a different timbre to my ear than Strats with the vibrato bridge.

    I think they have advantages such as staying in tune better, you have screw the arm in and out when using the guitar, none of the issues such as replacing blocks with brass or vintage correct.

    Ultimately which one sounds the best both acoustically and electrically?

    Regards

    Mark
     
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  13. Tdurden032

    Tdurden032 Strat-O-Master

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    Jan 5, 2020
    Location:
    St Louis
    Just my two cents, but I have “blocked” the two squires that I have, and to my ear, I think that the resonance on both has been greatly enhanced. I use my fingers solely for bending all over the place and historically I’ve had very little bar usage, but I understand that I’m a little it of an anomaly in that regard.
     
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  14. Greg_Delta

    Greg_Delta Strat-Talk Member

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    Hardtail

    Something happens to the sound when you route out that wood for that trem....
     
  15. Zeekrider

    Zeekrider Strat-Talker

    Age:
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    I'd go for the trem and probably deck it, in any finish other than sunburst (which I think is boring-ugly and way overdone, except for the Sienna SB).

    (I have a '76 hardtail and 3 trem Strats. Trem is decked on them, but there if I want it.) There may be a slightly more "springy" tone from the Strats with trems, but the difference is not very noticeable.
     
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  16. espyhop

    espyhop Strat-Talker

    Age:
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    May 29, 2020
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    Dayton, Ohio
    I’d try a hardtail first, if possible, before dropping a lot of money on it. I tried the RC Strat and really didn’t like it. I also have a Nashville parts Tele that I primarily use for stage use that almost gets semi-decent Strat tones, but I rarely use the Strat positions on that.

    IME, the tremolo is an essential part of the classic Strat sound. Even unplugged, it’s easy to hear how the tremolo plays into the overall sound.
     
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  17. kdines

    kdines Strat-Talk Member Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
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    Dec 12, 2019
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    San Diego
    Ha - nicely done! I’m a big Robert Cray fan and hope I finally get to see him in concert after being rescheduled to November (Coronavirus).

     
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  18. guitarchaeologist

    guitarchaeologist Papa Americano Silver Member

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    Location:
    Charleston to Texas to Turkey
    I don't think I'd call them afterthoughts as they were released from the beginning... starting in 1954. Low-production, sure. The trem was one of the big selling points of a new Strat, but Leo knew there would also be a market for a hardtail.
    I, like many other hardtail owners that have commented here, find little tonal difference between our hardtails and equivalent tremolo guitars... just Stratty goodness without a trem.
    :)
     
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  19. adrianb

    adrianb Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
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    Jan 1, 2012
    Location:
    here.
    My Squier with a 6-screw bridge easily goes out of tune with moderate (up/down a semitone) bar usage, so i just use it for gentle vibrato. Stays in tune that way and i get the benefits of a vibrato bridge. I don't think Leo Fender ever meant for the traditional 6-screw bridge to divebomb anyway -- without tuning issues, that is.

    Hey those screws look interesting! Have you tried installing those in a Strat with the stock bridge?
     
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  20. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Senior Stratmaster

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    May 1, 2014
    Location:
    Greece
    Realistically..i dont think it matters that much....i like hardtails more and if they are not i block them but you can set up your strat to float just as well....i personally dont find a use for it though.....unless you make a conscious effort to use it in order to make cool licks that require its presence....99.9999 percent of the time all i see is folks ....wiggling it randomly just cause its there.....that makes it lose its appeal pretty damn fast at least for me.The tone of the strat doesnt suffer or thrive with it existing or not....thats for sure.
     
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