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Fenders
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 3:29 pm    Post subject: Fenders
Subject description: How bloody complicated can it be?
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I have never had a Fender guitar and Christmass is coming.

Now I thought this would be quite easy, a Tele or a Strat.

But there seem to be thousands of different versions, anyone got any recomendations of ones to try?

Cheers

Andy
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Mongo1



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, first question is the Tele or Strat thing.

I have both, and I love my Tele (I had it rewired for Strat pickups and switch), but when I gig I find the Strat much more comfortable and versatile. While there are people who use Tele's for jazz,blues and rock, their tone is much more suitable for country. The 'twang' of a good Tele is a real joy. Strats have a much more varied tone - Depending on the how you have it set up, you can go from a nice throaty growl, to that thin nasally 'between tone', to Clapton's famous 'Woman Tone' to that razor sharp wail on the bridge pickup. Yum....

As far as which specific guitar, there are a couple of basic questions
1) Where is it made? Fender sells stuff like Squier, which I think are currently made in Yemen by guys that have run out of explosive. Then you get into the Mexican guitars, which are made by Mexican guys in Mexico, and the American guitars, which are made by Mexican guys in California. I've played some Mexican one that are really nice guitars, and they do cost less. Your budget will be the final factor on this one I think. There are also some vintage Japanese strats out there that are really nice.

2) What options do you want? Fender made some really excellent stuff in 1958 or so, and there is absolutely nothing wrong buying a guitar with that technology. Since that time, Fender has added a lot of innovations to pickups, nuts, tuners and so on. Here are some thoughts for what they are worth.
a. I personally like the locking tuners and roller nut that Fender puts on the high end strats. If you plan to use the guitar a lot, and play it aggressively I think they're worth getting.
b. There are several types of tremelo or whammy bars on strats. The old traditional type seem to be favored by a lot of folks over the newer technology. I'd recommend that you try both and see what you like. A lot will depend on your playing style. The older types have more trouble keeping in tune if you use them a lot.
c. Fender made some of the best pickups ever - then they started making 'Lace' pickups. Personally I've had several Lace pickups fail on me, and would not be excited about buying another guitar with them. I don't much care for their tone either.
d. Some people love the 'road worn' finishes. Personally I just don't get it. My guitars all have battle scars of one sort or another and they're all well earned. Spending money so someone can hit the guitar with a belt sander seems like a waste of money to me, but your mileage may vary

One thing I can tell you - if you walk into a music store that has 10 strats, you can probably sit down and play them all and find they they all feel and sound different. If you're patient you may find one that just screams 'buy me!'. If not, you should try another store, cuz that guitar is out there.

Just my $.02
Gary
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Antimon



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

+1 for the road worn thing. Talk about pointless.

I've also glanced at the Fender sections at local music stores from time to time, but been overwhelmed by the amount. One store has something like 40-50 Fender 6-strings on the walls.

/Stefan

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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Guys, thanks for the info.

Yep I don't understand the road work stuff either, I wouldn't buy a second hand guitar that looked like that!

Locking tuners and the roller nut are also things I have picked out that would be good, along with noise cancelling pickups. The American Deluxe 2010 HSS seems a good choice to get these but I am not too sure about the humbucker at the bridge.

I went to the local guitar shop on Saturday just to have a look and they did have one a 2010 deluxe tele like this http://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/electric_guitars_detail.asp?stock=10031710411338 which was pretty nice I must admit, but I think a strat would be a better choice for me, although it was rather nice Smile

I think I am going to have to travel a bit further though to see a better selection.

choices, choices!
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Fenders are notorious for varying in quality. I have heard stories of certain Squier Strats and Teles sounding better than their higher-end brethren because they just happened to have the right combination of woods and other parts plus workmanship (even though they're factory made, there are still variances in who is handling the products as they come down the assembly line).

That said, I'd love to try the latest generation of American Deluxe Strats (most recently updated in 2010), because of updates to the pickups and the neck (compound radius of 9.5" to 14"). I really liked the 20" radius neck of the Carvin Allan Holdsworth - very comfortable for chording and of course legato lines, so any neck with a radius of 12" or greater gets my attention. It goes without saying I would not buy one without trying at least 3 of them in a store. I'd also like to try the American Deluxe Teles.

Some respected guitar makers who make Fender-like guitars:

Suhr - Scott Henderson and Mike Landau are among the players of Suhr's Strat-clone.

Melancon - Said to make a very good Tele-clone.

Tyler - Wayne Krantz plays one. They also make guitars with Line 6 modeling technology at two price points (the Asian-made ones that cost less, and the more expensive American-mades).

D'Pergo - Probably the most expensive of the Strat clone makers, but players like David Torn swear by them.

Grosh - Don Grosh used to work for Valley Arts Guitars, who made guitars for top session players in Los Angeles

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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have a plan this weekend of driving around visiting guitar shops to play some, they are few and far between down here!

20" bloody hell, I find 12" a bit much I must admit.

The American deluxe tele I played was a very nice guitar, if only it had a third pickup.

I would like a Suhr thats for sure but really I am after a Fender as I have never had one.

Tyler I would steer clear of after getting one of the Tyler variax guitars (Asian), shit quality control and the worse setup on any guitar I have ever received.

I will look into the others for future use though Smile
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm pretty happy with my Reverend Jetstream 390 for getting Strat-like tones, but one of these days I'm going to have a real Fender Strat in my collection, mainly because the guitar body really is different from the Jetstream's.

I'm more likely to get a Deluxe Strat (if I like the compound radius) more than a Suhr or D'Pergo just because they cost a lot less than the other two brands (D'Pergo costs twice as much as Suhr). The closest thing I have to a Strat, other than the 390, is a Parker Nitefly with 3 single coils, but it's a different animal too.

I do love those flat raduis fretboards - so much easier to play Holdsworth style chords. Fareed Haque insists its easier to bend Indian-style on them too.

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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Carl Verheyen offers some tips for evaluating Strats in this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZnQt9yiBMg

He mentions his tremelo setup, which is a bit controversial, but you can take it or leave it, just like opinions on noiseless Fender style pickups ("they don't sound right, like the noisy ones!").

When I tried a Deluxe Strat, I preferred its tone - noiseless pickups and all - to that of my Parker Nitefly. The Nitefly allegedly came with DiMarzio Blue Velvet pickups, which are vintage Strat style, but the combination of the composite neck, stainless steel frets, and other aspects of its design and construction yielded a more "focused" tone and superior sustain. OTOH, the Deluxe Strat had an "airier" tone and a sustain typical of a Strat. Its noiseless pickups sounded great and had the Strat character to them. The lack of noise was so dramatic that I was irritated with the noise coming out of my Nitefly's pickups. But I keep the Nitefly around because it actually sounds better than my Jetstream with some Roland VG-99 patches - those that really benefit (to my ears) from the more focused tone and sustain.

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Mongo1



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I didn't want to ask about your budget, but I can tell you if I had the money for it, I'd walk past the best Fender ever made to get an average Grosh. Good gracious those are nice.

Gary
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I am progressing further into the world of playing viola and keyboards, and besides am unlikely to have $7500 US available, but... This is the Strat-style guitar that I lust after - the Green Lantern D'Pergo made for David Torn:

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

It looks like a Strat, but has some subtle design features like the slightly angled neck heel:

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

and the extra routing for the tremelo bar so that the pitch may be raised to his specs - the rout even accommodates the bridge screws!

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

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Oskar



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm not really a Fender expert, having just a bog standard Squier Strat and a US Telecaster that's from the cheper end of the price scale. However, if you want a Fender, I'd say it's more a matter of how the guitar feels in your hands than the sound, as you can always change pickups to suit your sonic needs, plus most of your sound is in your fingers anyway.
I used to use a mid-80s Ibanez RS530, (a "superstrat" with humbuckers that are coil-tappable and a locking trem) as my main electric guitar, but lately I've got a Telecaster, as I find they feel fairly similar to an acoustic, due to their construction, which has no trem, therefore less of that "rubber band-y" feeling I get from trem guitars. My tele has a rosewood fingerboard, which makes its inherent sound slightly darker than a maple one would, but that's fine by me, as I'm not a chicken picker.
The maple vs rosewood thing is not an absolute, so others might probably have just as valid reasons for preferring maple, the important thing is that the guitar FEELS nice, as you can always make modifications like changing pickups, installing active onboard elctronics or what have you...

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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well I played a load today and basically didn't like any of the strats I played!

The Teles though I did like the feel of but not so much the sound.

Maybe this is why I have never brought a Fender before!

Tomorrow another shop that has some custom deluxe models I am going to try, let's see how that goes.
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mtvic



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Why not try a G & L guitar.
From the Wiki :

G&L is a guitar design and production company founded by Leo Fender, George Fullerton, and Dale Hyatt in the late 1970s[1]. Fender sold his company named Fender in 1965 for 13 million dollars.
He designed and produced instruments for Music Man in the 1970s through his company CLF Research. When relations with Music Man soured, G&L was created to continue operations outside of Music Man. The G&L name comes from the initials of George (Fullerton) and Leo (Fender)[2].

To me they are closer to a Fender Product than CBS Fender.
Just my 2 cents.
m

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Oskar



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Andy, I've never had the chance to play a Fender JA-90, which is a tele with two soapbars. I love the sound of soapbars, a they're single coils but with, to my ears, a nice, rounder sound than standard tele or strat pickups. At the same time, they're less prone to muddiness than humbuckers.
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Mongo1



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

One note about Fender sound - I have never been that big of fan of Fender tone when I'm just sitting around by myself. It seems kind of thin and trebly.
But - I was in a band recently - the other guy played Les Pauls. What we found was that the two sounds complemented each other completely. When I got my Strat cranked through my Mesa Boogie amp, it could cut through everything easily. His LP through a Marshall could provide really nice meaty tones, and I could play the nice 'icey' sorts of leads and rhythms. Together it was a heck of thing.

Gary
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

cheers Andy.. good luck with guitar shopping. I like strats and tele's both and don't see anything wrong with owning one of each Very Happy

It never gets played.. but my wife has a sweet 74 tele. I read this thread and decided to go grab it. 3 things come to mind right away: chicken pick'n Smile orange blossom special at warp speed and Danny Gatton (RIP)

Good luck and happy shopping.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi guys,

Thanks for all the interest:)

I have now played loads of strats from the mexicans up to the custom shops and decided I just don't like them!

I know they must be good as loads of people love em and a lot of much better guitarists than me play them but I just could not find one I like.

Some of the teles I did like though, I just wish they had three pickups Sad

The tele that I remember liking the most was the first one I played in my local shop which is a bit of a laugh as I just drove over 200 miles visiting bloody guitar shops. Did find a rather nice shop in Epsom though http://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/london_shop.asp well worth a visit if you are ever near.

So back to the local shop in the week and give that tele another go. What's the bet some bugger has brought it?
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oskar wrote:
Andy, I've never had the chance to play a Fender JA-90, which is a tele with two soapbars. I love the sound of soapbars, a they're single coils but with, to my ears, a nice, rounder sound than standard tele or strat pickups. At the same time, they're less prone to muddiness than humbuckers.


Mmm, havn't seen one of those on my travels. Just had a look on the web and they look pretty interesting.

The two tones and volumes would be very good I think.

I will seek one out.
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
Hi guys,

Thanks for all the interest:)

I have now played loads of strats from the mexicans up to the custom shops and decided I just don't like them!


What didn't you like?

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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The necks mostly, all of em just felt really clunky.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
The necks mostly, all of em just felt really clunky.


That's funny - that's how I've always felt about Les Pauls. I guess it's just whatever you get used to....

Gary
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
The necks mostly, all of em just felt really clunky.


Different Strat and Tele models can vary in neck profile - some are C shape, some are V shape, and the compound radius is on the 2010 Deluxe Strat and Tele only.

My favorite ever neck is still the Carvin Holdsworth's. Besides the 20" radius (makes legato such a breeze!) that you now know about, it has a D shape. The Parker Fly also felt really nice - their necks have a compound radius.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I just had a look at my guitars and my bet is they all must be D shapes and all have far less depth than any of the strats I tried, probably half the depth (I don't know if depth is the correct word!).

My favourite neck is on my Brian Moore i1.13 http://www.iguitar.com/i2000/i2000Models.asp?guitar=iGuitar1.13 that seems to have a 15" radius which surprises me, the depth is a little less than 2cm.

Looks like I like small necks!
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:

Looks like I like small necks!

it's easier to strangle them Wink

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
...My favourite neck is on my Brian Moore i1.13 http://www.iguitar.com/i2000/i2000Models.asp?guitar=iGuitar1.13 that seems to have a 15" radius which surprises me, the depth is a little less than 2cm.

Looks like I like small necks!

You need to get a J Custom then. The neck is 17mm at 1st fret and 19mm at 12th fret, with a 17" radius and embedded titanium rails for stability. There are quite a few other good reasons to get a JC too, if you need a superstrat... Smile

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