Hendrix had great strat tone. The pole pieces are reversed due to the backwards stringing. It makes the tone more balanced and Hendrix-like (of course) than a normal strat. I have a 1997 Hendrix Tribute Strat. It's annoying to play because it's upside-down. But the tones are always pure strat and sound very much like Jimi when sent into a Marshall (Plexi or JCM in my case). I am always impressed with the recorded tone of that guitar.
I like Frusciante's strat tone too. It's usually the same formula as Hendrix - Strat into Marshall. Lots of strat goodness in Frusciante's lofi heroin-induced solo effort "Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt." Production is awful but the strat tones are pure. You really hear his fingers in that recording. Have a listen if you're a strat fan.
Strats and Marshall complement one another nicely. Such a huge variety of tones can be copped depending on the player. This combo taught me that "tone is in your fingers."
This is not accurate!
I emailed Nile today and this was his response:
"Hitmaker. I didn't own a Tokai then. Eddie Martinez is the first person to tell me about another Japanese co that made strat copies which then lead me to Tokai, I can't remember the other co but Fender sued them and put them out of biz- Oh Fernandez or HernandezI believe they were called. Then I got a few Tokia strats but that was after Good Times."
The Hitmaker is Niles famous Fender Stratocaster!!
While we all find our influences hearing the masters, there also seems to be
so much emphasis on copying someone else's tone rather than finding your own personal best tone as it relates to your own music.
What makes us appreciate these artists was that they chose to be leaders
rather than followers, even though I'm sure they all found inspiration from
their favorite players too.
Interestingly, Mark Knofler of Dire Straits stopped touring with a Strat in the '80s. He began using a Schecter "Strat", as he said he didn't want to lug around his vintage guitars and risk getting them beat up. He said one of his Schecters was the best sounding guitar he'd ever owned (at the time of the writing).
Mark Knopfler still uses a Strat a lot when playing electric, but it is true that he may use a Les Paul more often these days.
Personally I prefer the Strat. The way it looks, the way it sounds. Even if it is the most abundant electric guitar I don't care. It's a classic. Look at a symphony orchestra, would you say: "Don't care for at all those identical violins. Guess I will pick a flute instead, there are only two guys playing that instrument." To me it appears that the Strat along with a handful of other guitars originating in the 50's and 60's have set the standard for what an electric guitar is, the same way violins did it for classical music a few centuries earlier.
Just watched the David Gilmour Live at Royal Albert Hall DVD again.
According to Gilmourish, he's playing custom built reproductions during
the entire show and just wow the tones he's getting are phenomenal.
The bite he gets on each note and his bends are just riveting to watch.
His sense of melody and timing and the way he builds the excitement
in his leads and every single note seems to be the perfect note.
I think all of these have been mentioned, but I will second the following (in no particular order)
1. Gilmour Live at Pompeii - The Black Strat (still more or less stock) > Si Fuzz Face > Colorsound Overdriver > Hiwatts through his WEM cabs and WEM spinning speakers, Binson Echorec. Gorgeous, gorgeous use of that technology and still very clearly a Strat. Made me want to buy one after being a Tune-O-Matic and Tele guy for a very long time.
2. Jimi Hendrix throughout Electric Ladyland and the final days of the Experience on through to the Woodstock-era band. I won't rehash the rig(s), but c'mon!!
3. Eric Clapton using 'blackie' on the Layla album - to think it was recorded through a bunch of Fender Champs and similar small amps but still sounds this huge is very inspirational for me.
4. Jeff Beck ever since he moved to strats for good back in, what - the BBB era? His rig is (and has typically been) deceptively simple, but he wrings every possible thing he can out of a strat, and again, what he does you can really only achieve on a traditional strat setup.
5. Rory Gallagher - yup.
6. Ritchie Blackmore - I would say his was a very specific and groundbreaking tone for the time, and you simply couldn't do what he did or sound how he did without using a Strat. Classic strat tone.
7. Buddy Holly - Hello. He's one of the main reasons why people fell in love with Strat tone to begin with.
8. Robbie Robertson - Not my favorite player by any means, but he made a strat do some very unique things within his style and deserves mention here.
9. Big Star and the Impressions are also very, very good choices. I will also mention Ernie Isley's and (some) of Eddie Hazel's tones in the early 70's as being especially great.
10. I'm honestly really bored by SRV, but he did take many cues from Hendrix yet map out his own tonal landscapes, which is admirable.
And despite how BRILLIANT the rest of the show is, Jimmy Page's work on the strat on the Knebworth show is kinda groady, imho.
Ty Tabor wailing in his Elite Strat >> modded Lab series amp. Terrible soudn quality but there's no denying the tone!
Check out 3'00" onwards thumbsup
??????? I used to kind of like this band, must have been studio work.
I hate to down anything but this is reaaallllllly bad tone and playing, and it does not seem to be just a bad recording...
There is so much more out there to serve as an example of "strat". I can think of 3 off the top of my head, anything by Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Malmsteen...I hear that Clapton fellow plays a decent strat as well.
Any Eric Johnson tone, particularly 'Cliffs of Dover' it's absolutely stunning.
I was digging on Eric's tone 20 years ago before anyone ever heard of him. I cannot sound anything like him but I dig the tones.
Darkside: it must be Godlike to have renderd something of such stunning quality and musicianship as to sound relevant 40 years later. I cannot think of anything else that can muster such a paradigm. I can listen to Gilmour or Jeff Beck all day. AND might I add my all time Strat God, Robin Trower, some of that old stuff is just bloody amazing tones. Ever hear a Strat sound like Bridge of Sighs? Incredible tones and still sounds great today. I have all of Trower's works in my IPOD unit, and Jeff Beck, sadly my best Gilmour stuff is on DVD.
The Strat gets my vote for the best all around, versitle, most amazing sounding guitar of all time clean or dirty.
I'm a fan of the sounds that descended from Hendrix's mellower tones. Dolly Mae...Axis...Little Wing...Castles Made of Sand...and then into SRV...and Mike Landau...and Richie Kotzen...
I was just listening to Kotzen record this morning, and while I forget the specific song on Break It All Down--there was one that I went--THAT is the missing tone from my arsenal. I know what it is...Strat, low output neck PU into a Plexi turned up LOUD to where it's just going to break up on the peaks.
Thing is...that's hard to come by at a reasonable volume. I played a Reinhart Plexi clone that had the most gorgeous clean...I turned it up loud...still didn't break...I could've gotten there, I'm sure, but it's unrealistic to think I'm turning a 100wt Plexi clone up until it starts to break on any kind of regular basis.
I see they make some now with built in Variac like circuits...I'm going to seek one of those out...see if I can get "that" tone from it.
Richie gets it pretty well these days with his signature Cornford...but, there are none to play in the US. And, well--it's a $3600 head. Yikes.
Anyway--would love to have that. Right now, I have most of what I dig between my FralinVVT and (old) BassmanRI w/NOS tubes...and a handful of OD pedals. Barber Small Fry is my current fave, but there's something kinda cool about the old Marshall BB into the Bassman, too. I would just like to have that last EL34 pushed clean sound...
Be hard pressed to down any of the current players using strats, it's all about personal tastes really. I like Strats and anyone who plays them rules in my book.
I always go back to Jeff Beck and his last DVD Live at Ronnie Scott's will remain a fav of mine, great tones on that work. Now everyone remembers Blow by Blow w the LP but Wired for me after that was the best instrumental I think I have ever heard.
Gilmour is an absolute tone monster. David gets some of the most intense fuzz leads ever, competes with Beck for some of the most intense honking ODs still played musically.
I will always have a debt to Robin Trower for his early work, like no other sparked me to play the guitar, sure there was Clapton, Beck and Page but Robin really moved me with the colors of sound he created using effects artfully. He always got a bad rap as a Hendrix clone, but really listen to those old works, really incredible and Dewar was great powerful soulful singer. Hendrix was cool and all but what Trower did 4 to 5 years after Hendrix seemed like another planet in tone and creativeness.
I dig SRV as well, my youngest daughter is named Stevie Rae. He brought the blues back for me, too bad Bonamassa plays LPs, that dude wails.
Last edited by darkhorse; 19th July 2010 at 08:14 AM..