I’ve been mainly a Strat player since 95 - Prior to that I played a
Tele. The thing I’ve noticed with Strats is you have to “fight” them a bit. They are not easy guitars to play. It took me a long time to warm to playing my Strat, but I stuck with it, and now it is my “default” guitar. I’ve been going through a similar “getting to know you” stage with my Duesenberg (which I’ve had since 2010)… So maybe it’s just me…
However, one common thread with Strat players is that they all have very individualistic tones - “You know immediately who it is after one note” kind of tones… Eg. Hendrix, Gilmore, Beck, Knopfler, SRV, Trower, Johnson, Gallagher etc…
My personal theory is there might be a connection between that struggle and the strong personality manifest in those styles, or at least why players of that ilk tend towards Strats… Perhaps easier to play guitars tend to “homogenise” the sound produced somewhat?.. Dunno… Just some ponderings…
Nothing at Fullers, I checked there. The only authorized G&L dealer in town appears to be Southpaw, which does me no good. I will have a look at Rockin Robin’s website though. But clearly, the selection of available Fenders dwarfs that of G&L, and that’s not likely to change.
Edit: there is a single G&L tele style guitar at Rockin Robin’s, but that’s it (at least on the web inventory anyway). Hermes doesn’t list their inventory on their website unfortunately.
I don’t believe anyone was claiming that noise would be eliminated in these new models, just “improved”. I don’t attach a lot of significance to that. But we shall see.
Andrew, interesting insight on your Strat struggle. I’d always heard/read the opposite, that a big attraction of Strats is how easy they are to play. I reckon I’ll find out for myself before too long, I am taking the afternoons off this week and am off all next week (although I’m the “manager on duty” while the others have a real break), so I hope to get over to my FNGS and try a few out just to get this process underway…
Fenders always sound a little hollow to me. I HAVE one (because I got an American Standard for pretty cheap on a trade) but I’m not super fond of it.
I think it needs some different pickups. It always feels like I’d instead just like it to sound like a different guitar. Maybe some humbuckers will help that.
I’d love to get an awesome tele but, you know, dollars. I was going to custom order a G&L ASAT a while back but the day I walked in to do that someone brought in a PRS McCarty from 2000 that played fantastic and sounded like it wanted me to take it home.
I hear that… it’s something one must keep in mind: when you go out looking at guitars because you think you will be buying one soon, you’re just really likely to come home with one. It’s like going to look at a litter of puppies when you’re thinking of getting a dog. You will be bringing one of those home!
Step one of any acquisition is now complete, with a reorganization of my music closet… There is now ample space for at least a couple more guitars in there.
View from outside, before & after. That’s a big gobo I have leaning against one half of the closet, I am constantly having to shift it from side to side to get at stuff. So that’s now out in the main room acting as an absorber in front of a window, the only spot in the space that didn’t already have coverage (you can see some of the wall-mounted treatment). The other thing I’m relocating is the five-guitar stand that’s leaning to the right in the before picture. I never use it, so it’s going.
Views from inside, before and after: major clutter reduction! That’s the P-bass in the big flat case, and the mandolin is the small guy. Much easier to get at everything now. And my wife can use the white shelf unit that I’ve replaced with the new one. Now that I can put guitars in both side alcoves, voila!
Aww… that is Mister Moose, The Magnificent, 1997-2009. One of the greatest lifeforms I have ever encountered. That’s his blue collar hanging just below-right of the photo… That picture is one of my favorites because it really captured his deep gaze when he would look at me. I can really remember our connection when I look at that face…
Woah…I just realized the pic in the closet was of a dog. I did not know what Electriclight was refering to until you talked about the photo. All this time I thought it was an abstract painting…the ears were the hands, the nose was the mouth and it reminded of the scream by edvard munch…ok I am back on track…
Strats are very, very useful guitars, and the fight to play them is what makes them unique. I have had some bad ones, one in particular where the neck would go out of alignment while you were playing it, and you had to yank it back into the slot to keep the high E string over the fret board.
One guitar you should try is a used Eric Johnson model, that you’ll see once in a while for about $1000. Most of them are very well built and solid feeling. The main thing about a Strat to me is how the neck fits your hand. The EJ version I played fit very deep into my palm, but was not wide, kind of like the handle on a baseball bat. That put my fingers, which are not long, right where they needed to be, and you could kind of feel how EJ could make those vertical runs due to the string spacing. I played it through a Fender amp at low volume, and the tone was very bell-like and articulate. Beautiful guitar for the money.
I have a Standard that I love playing, so don’t discount looking at one of those too. You would need to be very selective with the Standards, but if you find a good one and replace the pickups you have a tremendous guitar for the money. There are probably a billion used Strats on the market, and to me, finding a tobacco burst with a maple fretboard with bruises all over it would be a lot more fun than whatever Fender does to reinvent the wheel after 60 years.
This may be so; however, that’s not what I’m after here. I am looking for a finished instrument that I have settled on after playing many, so that I know exactly what I’m getting. If I instead commit to building something from parts, I’m stuck with the product even if I hate it. Even though I am an experimentalist by vocation, I’m just not interested in diving into home-building instruments just yet-- maybe after I retire and have ample time. For the remaining ~10 years I have left, my day-to-day will remain extremely hectic and busy and my spare time very scant. I do in fact have an interest in trying that out, but not til I’m done working.
I do appreciate all the different perspectives though! Lots of things to consider.
Rosewood or Maple?
Which pickups? is a big decision too.
Im medium to below average player these days but the Squiers and MIM are great. The MIM have the good tuners and the Squiers often dont (some might). If its a US made goal, Ive never heard them sound better or play better but there is a huge resale bonus and around here used is still $650, $500 if desperate. Ive had a few US strats nothing bad to say…except my Roland/Fender does the single coil “sim” without the noise.
I always thought it’d be fun to buy parts of various US strats and build one up though, Custom Shop-ish. Of all the guitars the Leo invention is probably the easiest to build one piece parts.