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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / I'll probably get flamed for even thinking this...

Next 20 Messages  
Modal Magic
Contributing Member
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MBJ, Highway Hound.

You Can't Bend It Aussie!
Feb 13th, 2012 06:31 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

... But the other day I went shopping for a compressor. To try out a Dyna Comp, I selected a Custom Shop '58 reissue played through a '57 Deluxe RI (an amp I have in my collection). The Strat had MJ frets (I think they were the Dunlop whatever fret wire that is so often mentioned on this site), five-way switch and the bridge and mid pup wired to the mid tone control. I revelled in how light it was, the resonance, OMG, simply awesome. Played great, nothing to be negative about. To me it had THE Strat tone.

Any way, I got home and decided to play my '03 HWY1 Strat. Hadn't played it for a while and decided for no reason to play it. By that time I'd forgotten about the CS '58. Any way, plugged the HWY1 into the '57 RI (just so happens the amp of the moment), and, hang on. I heard this today already!

I've always considered my HWY1 as my strattiest of my Strats collection (still do), but fair dinkum, it was like I was playing the CS '58. Lightweight, easy to play, very resonant and sounded almost exactly like the CS '58 (side by side I'm sure I'd notice differences but it was amazing how close they are). If any thing, the HWY1 is a bit more touch sensitive due to the set-up.

I'm not trying to justify my HWY1. I was genuinely surprised at how close it is to the CS '58. I've always claimed the HWY1 has the best Strat neck I've ever felt; it's lightweight, resonant, awesome fit and finish, and STRATTY, all with no mods whatsoever.

Draw what conclusions you may, but I thought I'd share this


telegib

Canada

Feb 14th, 2012 03:25 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If a guitar has that special quality to the players ear and in the players hands you will play with more inspiration and it sounds like that HWY1 fits that role.

I have a Deluxe Players Strat that sounds great and resonates better than most of my other Strats. Price doesn't always mean it will sound better.

5Strats
Contributing Member
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Edmond/OKC

Chasing Sanity
Feb 14th, 2012 07:24 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm not a CS Strat fan so you'll get no flames from me.

I could definitely afford some CS Strats, but none of the ones I've tried out over the years have seemed worth the money, even used.

My American Deluxe HSS Strats just suit me perfectly.

Rick Plays The Blues

Austria

May I try that again?
Feb 14th, 2012 10:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The Strat is a cheap design anyway, so there is no reason why a cheap Strat could not sound authentic.

The price range from Squier range up to the Custom Shop is in no way related to the sound, I think.

Me, I'd never even think of getting a Custom Shop.
I think my JB Strat was too expensive today, but I was 10 years younger when I bought it and I did not spend sufficient time to play different guitars. I still love it for what it is and does and it is my absolute number one. But for the same money or just a few extra bucks I could have had my very personal custom made guitar from a good but less known luthier, all to my specs (I am not thinking of any luthier in person, just in general).
I think that a lot of guitars are way to expensive give the fact they are finally just factory made guitars.

But a Stratocaster is a cheap factory made guitar by its origin ...

L.H.B.
Contributing Member
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the joisey flats

welcome to the zoo...
Feb 14th, 2012 12:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

modal magic, I am not suprised. There are plenty of regular production strats that are great guitars, even better than some cs ones. To me, the custom shop is about getting the right "fit" for me,ie,neck thickness,fretwire,nut width,etc.Plus, being a lefty, I don't have alot of choices. Judging by the profile of the necks on lefty strats, you'd think fender thought all lefties like small necks.

Winter

California

Feb 14th, 2012 12:55 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Fantastic!
I live in California so “Highway 1” actually means something to me, a coastal road to drive right next to the ocean. Great to read that honest comparison between guitars, thank you. I got the big headstock one, a little on the heavy side, smooth playing, and now it’s discontinued? not sure. That’s ok, I’m keeping mine.


telegib

Canada

Feb 14th, 2012 05:10 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I forgot to mention that I own a 2000 Highway 1 too that I like a lot. I did change the pups out for Lace Sensor Golds and I like them a lot but the stock pups sounded fine too. I just needed to tame the noise a little when playing the bars with bad groud wiring.

les-strat

BAMA

"Upon us all, a little rain must fall.."
Feb 14th, 2012 05:20 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Since the strat is a simple bolt-on guitar, the right wood, neck, and pickups are pretty much all you need. $300 or $3000.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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That chicken

is WRONG, baby.
Feb 14th, 2012 05:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I agree. I've played lots of MIM Strats and Teles that are as good as guitars ten times the price of a MIM. Some guitars are simply magic.

Modal Magic
Contributing Member
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MBJ, Highway Hound.

You Can't Bend It Aussie!
Feb 14th, 2012 05:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It's funny, because when I got the HWY1 Strat home after purchasing it I was disappointed because of the finish. I put it on a guitar stand and within a couple of minutes the lacquer started reacting with the rubber on the stand and melted. It still wears the scars but I polished most of it out.

It was only my second Strat, and I thought I had an AmStd. At the time they were $2000, so it reinforced my belief (prices have dropped a lot since then in Australia). I knew very little about Strats in those days!

Over time I have learnt to appreciate it's qualities. Even the not-so-cool poo brown colour looks awesome with its deep wet look sheen from giving it a buff after each play.


jillfen

cuyahoga falls, OH

Feb 15th, 2012 01:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My favorite strat is my partsocaster with a USA made Squier neck.

(This message was last edited by jillfen at 01:34 AM, Feb 15th, 2012)

talk_2_joe

England

Feb 15th, 2012 03:42 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My no. one strat (I think) is still my 1999 blonde (ash) CS '56 reissue strat with underwound fralins. It's just got such depth to the sound. Even played unplugged it seems to have a natural reverb. The one problem is the laquor on the neck is a little sticky and the frets are very small so you have to battle it a little.

I had a highway one strat and I thought the idea was great, spec was fine (although I'd have changed the pups if I'd have kept her) but didn't like the neck.

I agree that (certainly in the past, I don't knwo if it's the case so much anymore because people have got so smart and information travels so well) you can get great guitars cheap... and not so great guitars expensive.

I guess the troubel with custom made guitars is the problem with resale value. I did spend a lot on my CS reissue but it appears to show in the materials, build, sound and feel!

rfrakes331K
Contributing Member

USA

RonHalen Jokingly He Says
Feb 15th, 2012 01:02 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Modal , did you ever pick up the CS Rory Gallagher?

Rick Plays The Blues

Austria

May I try that again?
Feb 15th, 2012 10:46 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

talk_2_joe, rfrakes, I guess this is no bashing of CS Strats, just an honest discussion. Sure you get that little extra in a CS Strat compared to any of the cheaper factory guitars from Fender - question is, how much extra sound you get and this seems not to be too much. But there are good and bad ones here and there for sure.
And sure, most Rory guitars are a very good example for the feel and sound the CS is capable to realize.
But the Rory is also an example of how ugly they make their guitars look. Why that? Ok, it looks like Rory's original, but I'd never play that guitar on stage anywhere.
When have people stopped to play the hell out of their new or almost new guitars until they get looking old by being played?

(This message was last edited by Rick Plays The Blues at 10:51 PM, Feb 15th, 2012)

Chris-K

MD, USA

Feb 15th, 2012 11:10 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"The Strat is a cheap design anyway, so there is no reason why a cheap Strat could not sound authentic."

+1

Leo designed the Strat to be affordable. The classic Strat tones that we love came from affordable Strats.


BrentD
Contributing Member
***

Lansing, MI

Feb 16th, 2012 08:23 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Was the Strat really designed to be affordable, or just modular? They weren't cheap when they came out - I gather $250 plus the cost of a case was a lot of money in 1954.

Dadical
Contributing Member
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I am not a complete

idiot - I have several pieces missing!
Feb 16th, 2012 08:53 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

$250 was about three payments on a decent house in California in 1954. That would be $6k - $8k today.

strayedstrater
Contributing Member
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Garland, TX

vintage RCA output transistors
Feb 16th, 2012 09:18 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Was the Strat really designed to be affordable, or just modular?"

In the '50s, Strats were relatively inexpensive compared to Gibson's upper-end models. A Super 400 or L5CES cost a *lot* more than a Strat. Martins were expensive too. Even the high-end Harmony's and Kay's were pricey.

BrentD
Contributing Member
***

Lansing, MI

Feb 16th, 2012 09:28 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"In the '50s, Strats were relatively inexpensive compared to Gibson's upper-end models. A Super 400 or L5CES cost a *lot* more than a Strat. Martins were expensive too. Even the high-end Harmony's and Kay's were pricey."

I'll give you that, but Strats were also five times the price of a Les Paul Jr., right?

stratcowboy
Contributing Member
*******

USA/Taos, NM

Feb 16th, 2012 10:22 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

$249.00 in 1954 is equivalent to $2088.00 today.

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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / I'll probably get flamed for even thinking this...




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