The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Guitars for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Fender American Original 60s Strat - Unplugged tone
Old 16th April 2019
  #1
Gear Addict
 
madhermit's Avatar
 

Fender American Original 60s Strat - Unplugged tone

Let me set the stage...
I had a hankering for a high end, well-built, no frills Strat recently so I started searching. I wanted to keep under $2500 CDN ($2000 USD) so I wasn’t looking into Suhr, Friedman etc.

So I played Professionals, Players, Performers, Originals, etc. I avoided any with ‘non-vintage’ style pickups like Noiseless, and just wanted a great classic Strat. I played back to back, over and over for a month at multiple stores, and multiple versions of each type of guitar.

I gotta say. The American Originals are a VERY well made guitar. Even unplugged they sound fuller and have more energy vibrating through them than the other lines. The Professional seemed weirdly thin in comparison. I absolutely did not expect that.

So, (those of you with actual guitar construction knowledge/experience, please don't parrot internet 'wisdom'), what I am wondering is why do you think the American Original 60s Strat sounds so much fuller UNPLUGGED. The difference is not subtle.

Someone said that they think it is because the vintage-style tuners are lower mass, as well as the vintage-style truss rod. Less mass in the neck allows for more vibration. This makes sense to me. I know PRS said he believes that less mass on the headstock is a big deal to tone.

What say thee?

Last edited by madhermit; 18th April 2019 at 10:56 PM..
Old 17th April 2019
  #2
Gear Addict
 
madhermit's Avatar
 

@ John Eppstein I would love to hear you weigh in?

Anyone else?

Bueller... Bueller... Bueller.
Old 18th April 2019
  #3
Gear Addict
 
madhermit's Avatar
 

I think I will conclude that it must be sorcery.
Old 18th April 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by madhermit View Post
L

Someone said that they think it is because the vintage-style tuners are lower mass, as well as the vintage-style truss rod.
Can't say much about the truss-rod, but although I'm more of a high-gain shredder guy vintage-style tuners always felt (and sounded, at-least with the guitars I played with) great to me.
Old 18th April 2019
  #5
Gear Addict
 
madhermit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Can't say much about the truss-rod, but although I'm more of a high-gain shredder guy vintage-style tuners always felt (and sounded, at-least with the guitars I played with) great to me.
What difference did you notice?
Old 19th April 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by madhermit View Post
What difference did you notice?
I'll probably make a fool of myself if I try to explain that

Its just one of those things I noticed as an outsider to the strat/tele realm, maybe it has to do with the transfer function the way they're stringed I really don't know. But I can say their resistance feel while tuning is very different compared to modern (even ultra cheap) tuners in my experience.
Old 19th April 2019
  #7
Gear Addict
 
madhermit's Avatar
 

Ah.
I was talking more about what was it about the sound you noticed?
Old 19th April 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by madhermit View Post
Ah.
I was talking more about what was it about the sound you noticed?
Same as your experience unplugged, with superstrats (ibanez , jackson etc.) personally I don't care much for the unplugged sound as I never strongly noticed its influence with the type of stuff I play. Likely Floyd type tremolos tone-suck has to do with that.

But with traditional guitars, its always a fun experience how small things can matter. For example; I see that the American originals have 6 screws on the trem. 2 point can be argued for better stability but I wouldn't be surprised if that also has a noticeable impact on tone.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 

They could be set up with different string sets
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Addict
 
madhermit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by numero6 View Post
They could be set up with different string sets
They were. American Professionals come with 9s, the American Originals come with 10s. It accounts for some of the difference for sure, but there is still more going on with the Original. (A friend brought over his American Professional with 10s to compare.)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by madhermit View Post
Let me set the stage...
I had a hankering for a high end, well-built, no frills Strat recently so I started searching. I wanted to keep under $2500 CDN ($2000 USD) so I wasn’t looking into Suhr, Friedman etc.

So I played Professionals, Players, Performers, Originals, etc. I avoided any with ‘non-vintage’ style pickups like Noiseless, and just wanted a great classic Strat. I played back to back, over and over for a month at multiple stores, and multiple versions of each type of guitar.

I gotta say. The American Originals are a VERY well made guitar. Even unplugged they sound fuller and have more energy vibrating through them than the other lines. The Professional seemed weirdly thin in comparison. I absolutely did not expect that.

So, (those of you with actual guitar construction knowledge/experience, please don't parrot internet 'wisdom'), what I am wondering is why do you think the American Original 60s Strat sounds so much fuller UNPLUGGED. The difference is not subtle.

Someone said that they think it is because the vintage-style tuners are lower mass, as well as the vintage-style truss rod. Less mass in the neck allows for more vibration. This makes sense to me. I know PRS said he believes that less mass on the headstock is a big deal to tone.

What say thee?
You really shouldn't need to spend over $300 or $400 for a good strat.

As far as guitar construction goes, there is absolutely no difference between a 50s strat and a modern model. Other than they may have used 1 or 2 piece piece bodies back in the day as opposed to 3 or 4 like they do today. Fender has always used the cheapest materials possible so it's unlikely that would matter. As far the sound of it unplugged being louder that could be due to many factors, construction not being one of them. Even if it is louder unplugged that will not necessarily equate to a better sound when it's amplified.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madhermit View Post
Someone said that they think it is because the vintage-style tuners are lower mass, as well as the vintage-style truss rod. Less mass in the neck allows for more vibration. This makes sense to me. I know PRS said he believes that less mass on the headstock is a big deal to tone. What say thee?
idiotic. 58 Gibson Les Paul and Explorer have the worst possible headstock designs and worst possible tuners and yet their guitars sound 10x fatter than Strats or PRS. So toss "someone"'s theory out the window.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
audioforce's Avatar
 

I imagine it probably has something to do with scale length,.... or it could be the knobs. ^



audioforce
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Addict
 
madhermit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
I imagine it probably has something to do with scale length,.... or it could be the knobs. ^



audioforce
That's it! The knobs! Never thought of that
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 
DirkP's Avatar
 

everything on the guitar that resonates or vibrates besides the strings „steals“ their energy and lets less of the energy going into the pickups. some players like this. but energy is there only once. pickups aren‘t mics.
i was a bit disappointed when fender replaced the american vintage series with the american originals. but at least they kept those brilliant pickups.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by madhermit View Post
Let me set the stage...
I had a hankering for a high end, well-built, no frills Strat recently so I started searching. I wanted to keep under $2500 CDN ($2000 USD) so I wasn’t looking into Suhr, Friedman etc.

So I played Professionals, Players, Performers, Originals, etc. I avoided any with ‘non-vintage’ style pickups like Noiseless, and just wanted a great classic Strat. I played back to back, over and over for a month at multiple stores, and multiple versions of each type of guitar.

I gotta say. The American Originals are a VERY well made guitar. Even unplugged they sound fuller and have more energy vibrating through them than the other lines. The Professional seemed weirdly thin in comparison. I absolutely did not expect that.

So, (those of you with actual guitar construction knowledge/experience, please don't parrot internet 'wisdom'), what I am wondering is why do you think the American Original 60s Strat sounds so much fuller UNPLUGGED. The difference is not subtle.

Someone said that they think it is because the vintage-style tuners are lower mass, as well as the vintage-style truss rod. Less mass in the neck allows for more vibration. This makes sense to me. I know PRS said he believes that less mass on the headstock is a big deal to tone.

What say thee?
I haven't played all the new models so I can't really say, but my guess is that the one you liked simply had a superior hunk of wood in it. I really don't know that much about minor variations between the new models.

I'm not a huge fan of "vintage style" tuners. Do they affect the tone? My guess is not much. OTOH, the vintage style Fender tuners do have the slot top (at least the ones like real vintage Klusons do), which is nice.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Addict
 
madhermit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
I haven't played all the new models so I can't really say, but my guess is that the one you liked simply had a superior hunk of wood in it. I really don't know that much about minor variations between the new models.

I'm not a huge fan of "vintage style" tuners. Do they affect the tone? My guess is not much. OTOH, the vintage style Fender tuners do have the slot top (at least the ones like real vintage Klusons do), which is nice.
Thanks for our input.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
248566 / So Many Guitars, So Little Time
5
tunesmith / So Much Gear, So Little Time
74
rectifier / So Many Guitars, So Little Time
0
Phatlipz / So Much Gear, So Little Time
1

Forum Jump
Forum Jump