Biggest complaints about consistent Fender Stratocaster features? Wanting to learn for a build I'm planning.

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What are your Strat complaints right now that Fender hasn't been bothered to fix? If you could tell Fender to change something and start building Strats with that change in mind, what would it be? Alternatively, what do you hear people complain about on Stratocasters consistently?
Don't care what the complaint is, just complain. Manufacturing process, electrical components, hardware, let's hear it. I have a couple of ideas, but I would like to hear what everybody is thinking.
 
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Leee

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No option for P-90s.
So, back in 2006 I did it myself.

Also, used the Switchcraft toggle for a Gibson SG instead of the three-way or five-way selector switch.

I’ve owned a lot of Strats, this one is my absolute favorite.

D89829DB-CB21-41F0-A090-B60896EE64B7.jpeg
 

Leee

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Honestly, the only ergonomic complaint I have ever had about a Stratocaster is the output jack.

I know it is traditional and part of the “style” of the guitar, but I would prefer the jack being on the edge of the body like a Les Paul.

Straight or L-shaped cable end wouldn’t matter that way.

Oh, and Schaller locking tuners should be on every damned one they build.
 

Knoby

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Volume knob too close to bridge pickup.

Vintage trem.

Square neck heel.

Pretty much everything that every other modern strat has fixed. Nothing new.
 

NotScott

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I didn't want to spend a gazillion dollars on a Custom Shop Fender so I built my own that solved my issues:

1) The volume control gets in the way of the trem and picking and the middle tone control is useless. So I deleted the middle tone control and moved the volume control into its place.

2) The modern wide-flat neck profile is annoying so I used a neck with a 50s Tele boatneck profile.

3) I love Strat pickups but they can get noisy and the damn middle pickup just gets in the way of my picking so I removed the middle pickup and installed Filtertrons instead of single coils.

4) The modern, 2-point trems sound like azz and look goofy so I went with a vintage recreation by Wudtone.

Overall, it really is amazing how much Fender got right with the original Strat back in the 50s. Much like Gibson, they should have left it alone without all of their "improvements".

a9a6ptL.jpg
 

Deftone

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Basswood or Mahogany body
Floyd Rose trem
Volume knob too close
Humbucker in the bridge
Neck could be thinner

My various solutions...


'79 Strat with Warmoth Basswood body...
20210105_154008a.jpg

'91 MIJ "'50's Hot Rod Reissue" Strat....
20211224_164431a.jpg

American Guitar Foundry Mahogany body USA Charvel neck.....
IMG_2032a.JPG


Or the ultimate solution.

Jackson Dinky with Butala Customs Basswood body.....
Dinky1.JPG

'86 MIJ Charvel Model 2....
Model 2.JPG
 

Leee

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I deleted the middle tone control and moved the volume control into its place.
I ordered a Mahogany Strat body from Warmoth, and did the same thing.
It’s basically a Les Paul Junior in a rear-routed Strat body.
Single P-90, and a volume and tone control.
Hardtail bridge.

Also ordered a Mahogany neck with Gibson scale length.
All painted trans red, except the gloss black Strat-shape headstock face.

I removed the middle pickup and installed Filtertrons instead of single coils.
I gotta get me some Filtertrons.
Which ones do you prefer?

Overall, it really is amazing how much Fender got right with the original Strat back in the 50s. Much like Gibson, they should have left it alone without all of their "improvements".
Indeed.
The Strat in ‘54 and the Les Paul in ‘56-57.
 

Leee

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The very first brand new electric guitar I ever shopped for and chose myself was this 1993 American Standard.
It has the TBX tone boost thing that I pretty much ignore, and the only mod it has ever received was the Fender logo locking Schaller tuners.

Just can’t beat it.
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NotScott

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I ordered a Mahogany Strat body from Warmoth, and did the same thing.
It’s basically a Les Paul Junior in a rear-routed Strat body.
Single P-90, and a volume and tone control.
Hardtail bridge.

Also ordered a Mahogany neck with Gibson scale length.
All painted trans red, except the gloss black Strat-shape headstock face.


I gotta get me some Filtertrons.
Which ones do you prefer?


Indeed.
The Strat in ‘54 and the Les Paul in ‘56-57.
TV Jones is the place for 'Trons. I prefer his Classic in the neck and a Classic Plus in the bridge but Tom and his son are happy to discuss your tonal goals and hook you up with what is best for you.
 

ArchEtech

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More ergonomic neck heel. No neck plate. Suhr does it right. Neck angle to avoid string T. True Floating trem non locking trem. Two knob configurations. That’s about it.

If you go too much past that then is it really a fender Stratocaster?

In a strat style I like, no pickguard, bound board, neck through, locking tuners, floating trem with lockout or string through body hardtail, S\S\H pickups, locking tuners, recessed Dunlop strap locks. Solid rosewood, or wenge neck……
 

Deftone

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I should also add I prefer Jumbo frets.

Really impressed with the Warmoth strat body I got. Sounds fantastic and the quality is top notch. if I did it again I would probably go with Mahogany, although I prefer Maple necks. I think they are more stable than Mahogany, definitely stronger. Plus I think the combination of Maple and Mahogany sounds amazing.

My '79 LPC has a Maple neck, I wish all my LP's had Maple necks.

I can play any neck profile and thickness without too much trouble, but for me personally the flat and wide Charvel Model Series necks, the Jackson Necks, and the Ibanez necks are the easiest for me to play. Might just be familiarity, as a Model Series Charvel was my one and only guitar for many years.
 

Brek

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I didn't want to spend a gazillion dollars on a Custom Shop Fender so I built my own that solved my issues:

1) The volume control gets in the way of the trem and picking and the middle tone control is useless. So I deleted the middle tone control and moved the volume control into its place.

2) The modern wide-flat neck profile is annoying so I used a neck with a 50s Tele boatneck profile.

3) I love Strat pickups but they can get noisy and the damn middle pickup just gets in the way of my picking so I removed the middle pickup and installed Filtertrons instead of single coils.

4) The modern, 2-point trems sound like azz and look goofy so I went with a vintage recreation by Wudtone.

Overall, it really is amazing how much Fender got right with the original Strat back in the 50s. Much like Gibson, they should have left it alone without all of their "improvements".

a9a6ptL.jpg
you need more toys.
 

Weaseldust

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strats only have one good feature and that´s ergonomics. It´s only Hendrix that kan make it sound REALLY good in kind of standard setup.

but when strats are sleepers, with hidden non-strat features like a bridge humbucker that looks like a single coil and hardtail bridge.
 

Leee

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I don’t know if I agree with that.

There are some pretty badass Strat-slingers out there, there’s been plenty of them throughout history.

One of my Strats is a hardtail, and I’m building a second.

As far as “sleeper” features go, I don’t have anything to hide.

In various Stratocasters, I have had any number of pickups.
Different types of humbuckers, the P-90s I posted upthread, and going on the shortlist now is a set of Filtertron’s from TV Jones.
 

cmjohnson

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Things I don't like about strats....where to start? :hmm:

Bolt-on necks. Maple fingerboards. Flat/scooped Fender style headstocks that require string trees to retain the strings in the nut. Hanging pickups off of a big piece of plastic (pickguard) which all but guarantees that the material the body is made of will have no contribution to the overall electric tone of the instrument. Single coil pickups.

When you cure all these problems, what do you have?

A set neck Jackson with no pickguard, and humbuckers. :cool:
 

Leee

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I need more talent.
You and me both!
When people ask if I play guitar, I just tell them I am a collector.

Removes that whole expectation that I might actually know how to play.
 
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Banastre

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Truss rod adjustment requires removing the pickguard on some models.

Other complaints not really related to your build-
-different nut, neck and bridge widths.
-different fretboard radii- 71/2, 12, 9.5, compound.
-different pickguard screw hole placements.
 

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