Strat Mods to Improve Primary Tone

Discussion in 'Fender' started by FLICKOFLASH, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. FLICKOFLASH

    FLICKOFLASH V.I.P. Member

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    I am thinking once you get your pickup heights set to make shims blocks for under the pickups to make contact with bottom of PU to body. Same theory Eddie Van Halen uses with screwing the PU direct into the body
     
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  2. Iceman0124

    Iceman0124 Senior Member

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    Something I may add here, in fact it might be from this site that I first learned it, couldnt find it in a search though.

    Basically its a simple luthiers trick that works on pretty much all bolt on's to improve tone and sustain, results will vary I'll go into that later.

    The simple process is simply setting the guitar up to your liking, and tune to pitch, then loosen the neck plate screws 1/4 to 1/2 max! turn each, you should hear some creaking and popping, then tune the now slightly flattend guitar back up to pitch, and retighten the neck screws, check tuning and your done!

    Theory behind this is simple, the string tension forces the neck even tighter into the pocket, tighter the pocket, more contact between guitar and neck+ more tone transfer.

    On some guitars the diff for me was night and day, some it did very little, necks with rounded or beveled pocket edges wont get as much from it as theres less wood to contact, but its still worth doing. Brand new guitars usually dont take very strong to it either, as they still have some natural settling annd whatnot, its still worth doing, but as it ages and goes through multiple climate changes, thats when this trick really shines. My practice and my go to luthier fully agrees with me is whenever you do a full setup on your bolt on, do the trick if you feel like it, (cant hurt anything), but after a month or so of good play and everything is settled down, do the bolt the trick and it will usually make a big impact.

    Thanks to whomever posted about it first here whoever you are! You can find lots of info on it over the intraweb as well, all you need is 2 minutes, a screwdriver and the ability to tune...as stated, some of my bolt ons got little from it, some got a world of good.
     
  3. yllsacky

    yllsacky Senior Member

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    goo ikea !!
     
  4. Bluesjam

    Bluesjam Senior Member

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    Thanks Flick, a good thread. Info that will be copied and saved.
     
  5. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    you are right there
     
  6. alpinestudio

    alpinestudio Senior Member

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    David Gilmour's red strat. Keeps the cover on, perhaps to store the battery for the EMG's in there? That's the only pro off the top of my mind for that specific guitar.
     
  7. FLICKOFLASH

    FLICKOFLASH V.I.P. Member

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    :thumb:
     
  8. Rich

    Rich Non sequitur Premium Member

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    I replaced the stock trem block in my 57 RI with a Callaham and it made an appreciable difference. It's kind of difficult to describe but the overall result was that the higher frequencies sounding a little more refined and smoother; it wasn't that there were less high frequencies, more like a slight shift.

    Callaham Vintage Guitars and Parts (Strat Parts)
     
  9. Rich

    Rich Non sequitur Premium Member

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    Double post
     
  10. lexluthier

    lexluthier V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    I usually wire my Strats this way. That way you can roll off a little bit of the edge on the bridge pickup, which can be kind of ear piercing at times. Just having the tone control in the circuit warms up the bridge pickup a bit anyways.

    I believe EJ wires his up the same, but without the link to the middle pickup. Just neck and bridge.
     
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  11. lexluthier

    lexluthier V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Take this one step further. Take your trem baseplate and trem block to machinist and have him surface grind both mating surfaces.
     
  12. BUDOKAI

    BUDOKAI Senior Member

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    i didnt even know he had a red strat:shock:
     
  13. overdriver

    overdriver Banned

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    My thoughts on most of these little changes.:rolleyes: snake oil . The power of suggestion is an amazing thing!
     
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  14. Ejecto

    Ejecto Senior Member

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    As is a good ear.
     
  15. jomo

    jomo V.I.P. Member

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    Great thread indeed. I always take the back covers off my strats, I thought it was my imagination. :thumb:
     
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  16. b-squared

    b-squared Banned

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    Couple of things that made a big difference on my Strat:

    - Titanium trem block and string saddles. Decreases weight, and increases sustain. Funny thing is, when you have these on you can go up a string gauge, but it feels lighter.

    - The nut and string tree on mine are made of fossilized Mastodon ivory...literally hard as rock. :D

    I'll have to try the back cover thing. :D

    BB
     
  17. overdriver

    overdriver Banned

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    If a person has been or is a hard rocker, IMO they are lucky if they have any hearing left at all.
     
  18. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

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    Ah... I just love old wives tales. :thumb:
     
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  19. oldaxeman

    oldaxeman Senior Member

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    I never had great "hearing" any test I took for hearing says i have a significant high frequency hearing loss, but i find it weird as hell that I can hear a string out of tune, or hear a good guitar compared to a crappy one and know the difference right away. So I think "hearing" on my part is a lot mental and even less physical than some might think. I know i always had a deafness around motormouth women. :lol:
     
  20. oldaxeman

    oldaxeman Senior Member

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    Oh and thanks BB i have an old strat copy I was thinking of messin with to see if i could get it's tone better :applause:
     

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