FDP Forum / My Take on the New 50th Anniversary American Deluxe Stratocaster and the S-1 Switch/ 6 messages in thread.

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Contributing Member

SLC, Utah, USA

Playing Saves All Sentient Beings!
May 1st, 2004 12:43 PM        

I have devoted almost all my free time, lately, to studying this new Stratocaster I got. What I'm discovering and the conclusion I'm rapidly coming to is that this guitar is "made" for my Cyber-Deluxe and for Cyber-Twins. If you prefer single coil, as I do, to humbuckers this SSS-type may be for you. [But I expect equally great results from Fenders new SSH guitars (a hybrid) and HH guitars for you humbucker enthusiasts.] The S=Single Coil, H=Humbucker and each comes with the S-1 switch.

BUT. This SSS-type I have will satisfy to a certain degree the desire for humbucker, too: In addition to the 5-switching single coils we are all used to (and yes, they have that true Stratocaster sound and nothing was lost, here), there are 5 new settings (with no repeats) for a total of 10 switching choices.

The overall effect is that Stratocasters still have the classic sound, but they are fatter (wider range of tones), and they are a bit more like the humbucker guitars than ever before, without using humbuckers.

Here's what it all means:

As usual with the S-1 switch in the up position you have these positions and connections starting with the switch up and to the left (for righties): 1 neck, 2 neck and middle in Parallel connection, the 3 middle, the 4 middle and neck in Parallel connection, and 5 bridge.

Now, when you depress the S-1 switch into its down position something happens, never seen before in Strats short of custom modification: 1 is the neck plus middle in Series connection; 2 is the neck in Parallel connection with the Special Capacitor all in Series with the middle pickup; 3 is the middle pickup in Series connection with the Special Capacitor; 4 is the bridge pickup in Parallel connection with the Special Capacitor all in Series Connection with the middle pickup; and finally, 5 is the middle pickup and the bridge pickup in Series connection.

The best I can explain this, is that the Parallel connections are like the old 2 and 4 connections and now you are having Parallel connections with a Special Capacitor as well. In addition to that, you are getting pickups in Series Connection.

Ok, if you are still with me, what does all this mean in terms of tone? Well, the polls are still open on this, and it's still early, but here's the way I see it:

With the S-1 switch depressed and the pickup switch in the 1 position you get a darker, warmer tone than ever before. I think it is akin to the neck humbucker on Jazz guitars or the BB King Gibson. Let's say it "approaches" all that.

In the 2 position I think it "approaches" the humbucker tone in the neck of a Gretsch or a clean Les Paul, as Les Paul himself played it.

In the 3 position, its akin to a middle humbucker.

In the 4 position, something really sweet happens and this is much more akin to an acoustic guitar tone.

In the 5 position this "approaches" a humbucker in the bridge, and I believe it will be the switch position to emulate Telecaster snarl with Stratocasters.

With varying distortion added to each of these settings some very surprising non-Strat-like tones are available. Akin to Les Pauls as used on Soutern Fried Rock/Blues bands (Allman Brothers or Lynyrd Skynyrd, say).

Two more notes: At no time is there a neck plus bridge connection or all-3-pickups-at-once connections. All five of the selections with the S-1 switch involves a noticeable boost or hotness when compared with the classic 5 settings.

Now, in conjunction with all the possibilities in tone from this guitar, hook this baby up to a Cyber-Deluxe or a Cyber-Twin and you've got 5 TIMES AS MANY POSSIBILITIES as you had previously with these amp on one guitar. It only takes a second to run through them all to see what suits you when you are doing patches, but you should be able to nail a lot more emulated tones, now, then you were before. You might want to consider these, folks. And these Noiseless Samarian Cobalt pickups mean you can sit right next to your amp where you can tweak to your heart's content while playing, WITHOUT ANY HUM OR HISS! Man do I love that! I'm in a new world, folks.


P.S. Any comments, rebutals, further enlightenments, or alternate takes, welcome.


Contributing Member

I Hate You Love Me.

May 1st, 2004 01:55 PM        




May 1st, 2004 02:05 PM        

nice take~!
i m more and more sure that i'll get a 50th when i visit the US mann~~



more gear than talent!
May 1st, 2004 03:27 PM        

You explained that very well! I'am still experimenting with it,but find I still usually start out with the neck postion,but really like postion 4 with the S1 switch...But you sure hit the "nail on the head" with the various sounds I can get,without any pedals...To my ears it sounds like I can get tones "similar" to Pink Floyd to Metallica to Hendrix,thru my Marshall...Although I haven't played it much thru the Mesa Boogie yet,but I'll get around to it,I really didn't think I would be play'in the 50th sooo much,but I pick it up just about every time....I really have to give it a rest,and pick that "other one" up accasionally (the Texas special)


Contributing Member

NorthWest Arkansas

Ozark hill country
May 1st, 2004 07:09 PM        


On my 50th Deluxe all three pick-ups are ON in the 3 position (with S1 down). And the specification sheet that came with the guitar also shows this. The neck and bridge pick-ups are in parallel with each other and these are then placed in series with the middle pick-up (A/C + B). Are there 2 versions of the 50th as far as the #3 position is concerned?


Contributing Member

SLC, Utah, USA

Playing Saves All Sentient Beings!
May 1st, 2004 10:00 PM        

I received no specification sheet with my 50th American Deluxe Strat. I could be wrong, here. Now that you mention this I got a Fender Manual that was not for this guitar in specific. A black manual. What all came in your case, maybe someone pulled a fast one on me? That diagram was from Fender.com. If there is another circuitry for that Strat, I'd sure like to have that verified. If you have a scanner and could make a copy of that diagram, I'd like to see it.

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