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From a Les Paul to my first Strat
Old 8th March 2014
  #1
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Avening's Avatar
 

From a Les Paul to my first Strat

Hey guys,

So I've been a Gibson guy for quite a while. Few Les Paul's (standards and studios mainly), and SG's have been where most of my experience lies. Was in a local music store the the other day and randomly picked up a Stratocaster to play. I've never been a Strat guy at all ... never liked the way they looked or how they felt. Was very un-Gibson.

After playing the Strat (was an American standard), I couldn't stop thinking about the damn thing! So I put up an ad in my local Kijiji and sacrificed one of my Les Paul's to see if I could grab a decent Strat on a trade. Low and behold, I got a bite and ended up trading straight up for my new axe.

It's a 97 USA Lonestar with Texas specials, and an SD pearly gates on the bridge. Beautiful shape. Brought it home, hardtailed it, and installed a brand new set of locking tuners and some .11 Elixirs.

I have to say, this guitar absolutely smokes almost every Les Paul I've ever played, just on the range of tone available. Unreal. Total converted Strat guy now. I want/need more of them!!

Anyone else made the jump?

New axe:






Old Les Paul that I traded:
Old 8th March 2014
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avening View Post
I have to say, this guitar absolutely smokes almost every Les Paul I've ever played, just on the range of tone available. Unreal. Total converted Strat guy now. I want/need more of them!!
That's pretty much my story as well. A few decades earlier. And IMHO they play and feel better than many other guitars out there.
Old 8th March 2014
  #3
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BEAUTIFUL axe, but I would have killed to have the GOLDTOP! Just a personal favorite of mine.
Old 8th March 2014
  #4
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Avening's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
That's pretty much my story as well. A few decades earlier. And IMHO they play and feel better than many other guitars out there.
The contours on the body certainly lead to a comfortable playing experience. Although, this thing weighs a ton. Then again, so does a Les Paul!

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclerico12 View Post
BEAUTIFUL axe, but I would have killed to have the GOLDTOP! Just a personal favorite of mine.
Thanks

The one I traded was a Studio Tribute model, so it certainly looked the part (love goldtops as well), but it wasn't all that awesome to play. I'm from the camp that thinks a Les Paul should weigh as much as a car, and this one was chambered and light. The P90's were still killer, but from a playability standpoint, I just didn't mesh with that one in particular.
Old 9th March 2014
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avening View Post
The one I traded was a Studio Tribute model, so it certainly looked the part (love goldtops as well), but it wasn't all that awesome to play. I'm from the camp that thinks a Les Paul should weigh as much as a car, and this one was chambered and light. The P90's were still killer, but from a playability standpoint, I just didn't mesh with that one in particular.
I just don't get the whole "chambered Les Paul" thing. They're just not real
Les Pauls in my book - it's like Henry J is trying to copy the Gretsch Duo-Jet or an old cheesy Hondo II Les Paul copy.

I guess he's going after the market of people who don't understand what makes a Paul great and want lightweight guitars - if that's what the want they should get an SG. Of course Henry's been putting out a lot of bastardized versions of the LP the past several years....

A body that's too light is a recipe for neck dive - the things just don't balance right.

Congrats on the Strat - I like both Gibsons and Fenders.
Old 9th March 2014
  #6
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John, I have to agree with you on that one. It just never felt right to me. Unplugged, it was an overly bright guitar to play ... brittle, even. I've never played a Les Paul quite like it.

Plus, I've never owned a guitar that had such bad fret ends. Was like a row of speed-bumps. It was good to look at and had some good songs in it, but I'm glad to be done with it. Will NEVER own another chambered Les Paul.
Old 9th March 2014
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Congrats on the new guitar.
I also made the switch a few years ago too.

A few weeks ago I picked up a mahogany bodied Stratocaster Deluxe to help expand my collection and to have more tonal options for recording. The S1 switching on some of the Deluxe guitars offers nice options and the mahogany wood tone on my 2004 makes deep sustain a reality.

If you're planning on getting some more Strats, you might want to try a mahogany one too.
Attached Thumbnails
From a Les Paul to my first Strat-p1010004.jpg  
Old 9th March 2014
  #8
Lives for gear
I just switched the other way from Fender to Gibson. Both are good, and i'll get another Strat at some point. Right now Gibson does something I like that Fender doesn't.
Old 9th March 2014
  #9
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davet's Avatar
 

Welcome to the club. My 1969 Les Paul Standard just got to be to heavy. I still have it, but it sits in the case these days. I have a 57 reissue MIM Green Strat and a 2011 American Deluxe. The American Deluxe has Seymour Duncan Antiquity
PUPs and a blender pot. Still have the N3/S-1 pickguard stashed away in a box.

As other have said, I'd like to have that Gold Top!!

BTW, the other guitar player in our band has an SSH American Deluxe, same color scheme as yours.
Old 9th March 2014
  #10
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Wait til you try a Music Man
Old 9th March 2014
  #11
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cinealta's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avening View Post
I have to say, this guitar absolutely smokes almost every Les Paul I've ever played, just on the range of tone available. Unreal. Total converted Strat guy now. I want/need more of them!!
Welcome to Stratocaster. Glad you've joined us. Once you're hooked it becomes an addiction. An infinite palette of sounds. So many variations. Rosewood & maple necks, alder & ash bodies, 7.5 to 12.5 fingerboard radius, unfinished to nitrocellulose lacquer, every type of pickup imaginable, natural wood to all colors of the rainbow and everything in between, hard tails to floating bridges, totally accesorizable from pickguard to tuners to switches, pots and jacks. Your journey has just begun. A lifetime of enjoyment awaits. Congrats! Feel the power.
Old 9th March 2014
  #12
Lives for gear
Congrats on your acquisition
I think you need both tho..just so you can appreciate the other.

I like offset guitars at the moment
Old 9th March 2014
  #13
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Avening's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jspeed View Post
Congrats on the new guitar.
I also made the switch a few years ago too.

A few weeks ago I picked up a mahogany bodied Stratocaster Deluxe to help expand my collection and to have more tonal options for recording. The S1 switching on some of the Deluxe guitars offers nice options and the mahogany wood tone on my 2004 makes deep sustain a reality.

If you're planning on getting some more Strats, you might want to try a mahogany one too.
Your strat is beautiful! I had been eying up a red deluxe online for while, but the seller wouldn't budge on the price ... which was more than I wanted to spend. However, it was the deluxe that inspired me to go for locking tuners

Quote:
Originally Posted by LobCity View Post
I just switched the other way from Fender to Gibson. Both are good, and i'll get another Strat at some point. Right now Gibson does something I like that Fender doesn't.
I hear you. I'm just really enjoying the versatility of the strat right now. To me, the Les Paul is a bit of a one trick pony, but does that one thing better than anyone else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davet View Post
Welcome to the club. My 1969 Les Paul Standard just got to be to heavy. I still have it, but it sits in the case these days. I have a 57 reissue MIM Green Strat and a 2011 American Deluxe. The American Deluxe has Seymour Duncan Antiquity
PUPs and a blender pot. Still have the N3/S-1 pickguard stashed away in a box.

As other have said, I'd like to have that Gold Top!!

BTW, the other guitar player in our band has an SSH American Deluxe, same color scheme as yours.
Cool! I really did luck out with color IMO ... most of my trade offers were blonde's with maple necks ... which just isn't my thing. How do you like the MIM strat in comparison to the deluxe? I had thought about modding a MIM a while back ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverted314 View Post
Wait til you try a Music Man
I've played their bass guitars for years, but never tried a 6 string. Will have to give them a try

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinealta View Post
Welcome to Stratocaster. Glad you've joined us. Once you're hooked it becomes an addiction. An infinite palette of sounds. So many variations. Rosewood & maple necks, alder & ash bodies, 7.5 to 12.5 fingerboard radius, unfinished to nitrocellulose lacquer, every type of pickup imaginable, natural wood to all colors of the rainbow and everything in between, hard tails to floating bridges, totally accesorizable from pickguard to tuners to switches, pots and jacks. Your journey has just begun. A lifetime of enjoyment awaits. Congrats! Feel the power.
Thanks! I think an SSS is in order next. I love the texas specials in my guitar, so I can only assume one in the bridge would rock pretty hard. Tax season is approaching ... lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky View Post
Congrats on your acquisition
I think you need both tho..just so you can appreciate the other.

I like offset guitars at the moment
Thanks man. I've got others keeping my new strat company
Old 9th March 2014
  #14
Deleted User
Guest
I made the jump after 15 years on a Paul. That was 30 years ago.

It was a real adjustment. I had experimented with coil taps on my humbuckers and was somewhat acclimated to a single coil tone, but the real challenge was the neck. I found the Strat a bit more difficult to play.

For me, the added range of tone was addictive. I've been playing Strats and Teles ever since. I still have a few Pauls, but the only one that gets any real use is the Goldtop with P-90s. I wonder why that is?
Old 9th March 2014
  #15
Here for the gear
Great choice! I have a '99 Lonestar in the same color combo. It has seen far more gigs than my Les Pauls. Such versatile guitars. Wouldn't want to go without a Les Paul though.
Old 9th March 2014
  #16
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A Silhouette Special is your friend. It's like a Strat... buy better in every way. Sorry Fender guys.
Old 9th March 2014
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avening View Post
Hey guys,

It's a 97 USA Lonestar with Texas specials, and an SD pearly gates on the bridge. Beautiful shape. Brought it home, hardtailed it, and installed a brand new set of locking tuners and some .11 Elixirs.
Question? How did you HardTail it? Im assuming you just added a couple springs and screwed the spring screws all the way in?
Old 9th March 2014
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverted314 View Post
A Silhouette Special is your friend. It's like a Strat... buy better in every way. Sorry Fender guys.
Maybe they're just different.......

I love the MM guitars and had the SS for years. The build quality and tolerances are superb. I've never played one I didn't like.

Still, most of the time I'm happy with a "rough 'n ready" Strat or Tele
Old 9th March 2014
  #19
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Avening's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
I made the jump after 15 years on a Paul. That was 30 years ago.

It was a real adjustment. I had experimented with coil taps on my humbuckers and was somewhat acclimated to a single coil tone, but the real challenge was the neck. I found the Strat a bit more difficult to play.

For me, the added range of tone was addictive. I've been playing Strats and Teles ever since. I still have a few Pauls, but the only one that gets any real use is the Goldtop with P-90s. I wonder why that is?
Ha, go figure! Don't get me wrong, I loved the P90's ... just wasn't too fond of the rest of the guitar from a playability standpoint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G.I.B. View Post
Great choice! I have a '99 Lonestar in the same color combo. It has seen far more gigs than my Les Pauls. Such versatile guitars. Wouldn't want to go without a Les Paul though.
Awesome Really like the color of this one with the white pickups. And yes, extremely versatile! The pearly gates can scream, but the twang the texas specials has is just awesome. Especially when playing more of a dirty clean tone. Totally what I was looking for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverted314 View Post
A Silhouette Special is your friend. It's like a Strat... buy better in every way. Sorry Fender guys.
Gotta check one of those out

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanabit View Post
Question? How did you HardTail it? Im assuming you just added a couple springs and screwed the spring screws all the way in?
Nope. My strat had three springs in the back, which I loosened so they were very slack. I then measured out and cut a block of hardwood to shove behind the trem block so when I re-stung it, the tension of the strings pulled the trem tight against the block of wood and made it so the bridge doesn't move at all. It's solid as a rock. Works perfect.

Here's a video of a guy (who's rather funny) doing exactly what I did:
How to block off a tremolo - Hardtail an electric guitar - YouTube
Old 9th March 2014
  #20
Deleted User
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avening View Post
Here's a video of a guy (who's rather funny) doing exactly what I did:
How to block off a tremolo - Hardtail an electric guitar - YouTube
That would be the irrepressible Rob Chappers..... with a hand saw. Dangerous combination
Old 9th March 2014
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avening View Post
Your strat is beautiful! I had been eying up a red deluxe online for while, but the seller wouldn't budge on the price ... which was more than I wanted to spend. However, it was the deluxe that inspired me to go for locking tuners
Thanks, I'm digging it, its a lot of lotta fun.
A great addition to your locking tuners is the LSR roller nut, very smooth, very stable tuning and have a nice tone, especially with any open cords.

If you're getting into Strats heavy, its also worth checking out are the MIJ Charvel Model 1A's made between 1986 - 1988.

They're similar to a Stratocaster, but come with 12" to 16" radius necks that are a little wider, have jumbo frets and great sounding Jackson J100 single coils. They can still be had pretty cheap, but their build quality is very impressive.

Old 9th March 2014
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Maybe they're just different.......

I love the MM guitars and had the SS for years. The build quality and tolerances are superb. I've never played one I didn't like.

Still, most of the time I'm happy with a "rough 'n ready" Strat or Tele
Love me a good tele! heh

The thing with the Silhouette is they were quite under the radar on the second hand market for a while offering a ridiculous value. You could pick one up for $600-700 with hardshell case, locking tuners, DiMarzio's, and the like for less then an American Standard and IMO a better guitar overall stock for stock. I like the bridge and the neck better as well and find the body contours more comfortable. They seem to be getting more popular though so I'm not sure if the deals are anywhere to be found on them now.

OP Avening, if you love Pauls and now Strats you should really try the regular Silhouette in a Hum-Single-Hum pickup configuration. It's kind of like a cross between those two axes.

My dream guitar is an Albert Lee but they won't make them left handed.
Old 9th March 2014
  #23
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FFTT's Avatar
 

I feel a good Strat or Tele is like the perfect workhorse guitar.

You really appreciate how they are built the first time one falls over in a stand.

The quality of the neck wood and the neck contour are critical in any Fender.

For Recording, I do prefer the Gold Lace Sensors to stock American Standard
single coils.

I feel Gibsons are more specialty guitars, good for certain things, but my Strat is my go to guitar. Even though my LP has a super fast neck & Shaw PAF's, I just end up grabbing my Strat more often.
Old 9th March 2014
  #24
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FFTT's Avatar
 

The only thing better than a Strat is a Strat through a killer rig!



Old 9th March 2014
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post

I do prefer the Gold Lace Sensors to stock American Standard
single coils.
+1

Those Gold Lace pups sound good too.
I had them in a Strat Plus and kick myself for ever selling that guitar.
Attached Thumbnails
From a Les Paul to my first Strat-1.jpg  
Old 9th March 2014
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
The only thing better than a Strat is a Strat through a killer rig!



Nice!

Here's my rig with a few of my other Charvel Super Strats.
Attached Thumbnails
From a Les Paul to my first Strat-6-charvel-marshall-lexicon-rig.jpg  
Old 9th March 2014
  #27
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kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
I just don't get the whole "chambered Les Paul" thing. They're just not real
Les Pauls in my book - it's like Henry J is trying to copy the Gretsch Duo-Jet or an old cheesy Hondo II Les Paul copy.
I'd be inclined to agree, but I felt the same way about chambered Telecasters, and I found I absolutely love the sound and weight of mine.

Sure, a chambered LP is going to be a different animal, but if it's useful, then who cares?
Old 9th March 2014
  #28
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FFTT's Avatar
 

From jangle chords to crunch to leads, I think the Gold Lace Sensors give you
ideal tones without the hassle of hum.

I've had 3 producers tell me hands down, my Strat Plus was the best sounding Strat they ever worked with.

From my vintage Ampegs, my Hot Cat 100R to my Reeves Custom Jimmy,
the guitar just shines through every one of them.



My friend John does things with my Strat Plus I can't do here in this quick demo. Straight Up No Pedals or FX.



Here a completely different voicing through the top boost in my '65 Gemini I



Also No Pedals or FX.





Quote:
Originally Posted by jspeed View Post
+1

Those Gold Lace pups sound good too.
I had them in a Strat Plus and kick myself for ever selling that guitar.
Old 9th March 2014
  #29
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That's my story too. I haven't owned any Les Paul, but it was my dream guitar for a loooooong time. Because it's built like a "real" guitar to me. And it's beautiful.
But the tone I seek is another one.
Old 9th March 2014
  #30
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kafka's Avatar
I love the Les Paul Custom that I've had for 25+ years. It weighs a ton, though, and a little more acoustic tone might be welcome. Given my experience with the Tele, I can see it could work on a Les Paul. It won't sound like a Standard, though, which I'd buy well before I'd consider a chambered LP. But as long as the guitar is built well, I can see it might be a good solution for someone.
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