SRV Tone Turd?

Discussion in 'Fender' started by The_Nuge, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    Hi!
    I got a 2nd hand Eric Johnson last week, which is absolutely fantastic:thumb:. It's got snap, chime and sound really quite creamy overdriven!
    Last night I compared it to my Fat 50s equipped SRV, and the SRV is an absolute tone turd in comparison :eek:. I sounds OK clean, but using the same OD settings as for the EJ, it just gets fizzy and muddy.
    Why is that? is it the wood? The electronics?
    Another thing is that the volume control on the EJ is really useable, whereas the SRV is just dead below 8.
    Better post some pics, otherwise no one will read the post :D

    EJ:
    [​IMG]

    SRV:
    [​IMG]

    What can I do to improve the SRV?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
  2. Zarg

    Zarg Senior Member

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    I'd take a shot at replacing the pots and eventually the switch on the srv
     
  3. edguidry

    edguidry Senior Member

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    First, evaluate both guitars side by side, unplugged. Is there a major difference between the two unplugged?
     
  4. edguidry

    edguidry Senior Member

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    Is there a difference in pot values between the two? Because otherwise this sounds like a totally futile effort.
     
  5. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    On the Fender wiring diagrams, both have 250k pots. The EJ has a 0.1uF cap, whereas the SRV has a 0.022uF.
    The SRV doesn't sound "dead" unplugged btw!
     
  6. RangerJay

    RangerJay Glam Bastard Premium Member

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    The EJ has the bridge PU wired to the tone knob. The default config for the SRV does not, AFAIK.
     
  7. Petergrifindor

    Petergrifindor Senior Member

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    I have both guitars and love both of them, but they are very different animals.

    You can remove the Texas Specials and put a set of EJ pickups on the SRV.
     
  8. Crotch

    Crotch Delete My Account Entirely Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member

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    I think the EJ is a better guitar imo. Also I agree with the poster above. I have had Texas Specials in 2 of my Strats and have removed them immediately. I love SRV, but if Fender thought the Texas Specials were a tribute in anyway they desecrated his memory because I think they're worse than Squire pickups. I'll go so far as to say I think they're the worst pickups Fender has ever made. (Rant over) :)
     
  9. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    Hi!
    Agree with the Texas Specials - that's why I've got Fat 50s in the SRV!
    I managed to de-turd the tone somewhat by altering the pickups heights (matching the EJ), and that helped a lot! Lowered the neck a bit further, and now the tone is quite good clean and moderately overdriven. With lots of OD, it's still quite fizzy though.
    Next time a string change is due, I might swap the pickguards complete with everything to see what that does!
     
  10. RangerJay

    RangerJay Glam Bastard Premium Member

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    The folks who make the 920D loaded pickguards have one with EJs, and it doesn't cost much more than buying the pickups alone. I put one in a Classic 50s Lacquer Strat and it kicks butt now.
     
  11. zeneffect

    zeneffect Senior Member

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    before replacing anything, I would play with the pickup heights.

    Next step would then be to look at the wiring scheme and rewire

    After that, then I'd start looking at replacing the pickups. Go with what doesn't cost anything FIRST to eliminate any possible unnecessary expenditure.
     
  12. kfowler8

    kfowler8 Senior Member

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    You're going to see a far greater difference in changing the pickups than any change to pots or caps. I'd start there.
     
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  13. Cozmik Cowboy

    Cozmik Cowboy Senior Member

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    1) Nothing wrong with most Squier p/ups.

    2) Worst Fender p/up was the lace-like abomination on the early '80s Strat Elite. Period.
     
  14. guidothepimmp

    guidothepimmp Senior Member

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    Texas specials are a bit hot for my liking. The fat 50s sound awesome in my strat.

    I have some charvel branded single coils from the 80s that also sound great.

    My absolute favourite single coil though is the irish tour by bk
     
  15. Crotch

    Crotch Delete My Account Entirely Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member

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    I stand by my comments. And I'll just say once more how bad Texas Specials suck
     
  16. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    I think the Fat 50s have potential - I put them in the SRV after having heard the in a friend's CS. What's the wiring in yours?
     
  17. DarrellV

    DarrellV Murry Chrirstmers to earl! Silver Supporter Premium Member

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  18. ezra1

    ezra1 Senior Member

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    I never liked Texas Specials in anything but the SRV Strats.
    You might have to lower the pups considerably. I hear lots of mids in those.
    And it sounds like you have a bad volume pot that needs replacement.
    I played an maple board EJ strat 2 weeks ago and really liked the pickups, but not so much the neck profile.
    But if given more time it could grow on me.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
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  19. NotScott

    NotScott Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    I have a 99 SRV and several other Strats. I do not own an EJ though, so take my opinions for what they are worth.

    First, the Texas Specials that came on my SRV sounded very good. I have heard that they have changed a bit over the years but, that may be just Internet legend and posters trying to justify their love or hate for the pups. My theory is that some guys try to crank up the gain on Texas Specials trying to get that SRV sound and when it turns to mud, they blame the pups. However, the SRV sound is a combination of heavy strings, dropped tuning and serious talent. Gain won't overcome those three parameters.

    All that being said, I replaced my Texas Specials with a Van Zandt Vintage Plus set because to my ears, nothing else gets that SRV sound so right. I do keep all of my Strats wired like vintage guitars with 250K pots. However, I use .01 PIO tone caps, 5-way switches and Fralin bass plates on my bridge pups. I also keep my SRV tuned down 1/2 step.

    As for your issue, I would swap pickguards between guitars. It is fast, easy and may answer all of your questions immediately. But if not, Strats, more so than any other electric guitar, benefit from a good setup from a tech that KNOWS Strats. If the pickguard swap doesn't work, find the best Strat tech you can for a setup.
     
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  20. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    I had planned to swap the pickguards, but "forgot" the other day when I changed strings.... Oh well, next time round!
    BTW, the EJ is still the best sounding Strat I've ever played!
     

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