I was a humbucker-kinda guy for years. Sparkle, chime, glassiness and notched tones? Not my thing. I needed power, aggression, tightness, harmonics, articulation! But when I finally got a great Strat I understood the attraction. Personally I still can’t cope with the standard bridge pickup in a Strat. The way I use a Strat and…
The Fender Stratocaster is a pretty unique instrument. I mean, just think: when it came out, natural finishes were all the rage, and other than its cousin the Telecaster, electric guitars contained their acoustic roots in the shapes, colors, and sounds. But the Strat changed everything. Leo Fender heard the music of the 1950s changing. He tapped into the Southern California hot rod culture for his color palette and refined his ‘easy to assemble with a versatile sound’ design in the Strat. While they were still available in natural and sunburst, he later added those colors we now call ’50s colors’ like Shoreline Gold, Seafoam Green, Shell Pink, and Daphne Blue. It is hard to imagine what they must have looked like on the walls of a late 1950s music store. With all the custom finishes available today, we have to give our thanks where it all began. This article is about the top five things I love about a Strat. Now, I’m using a pretty broad brush here, and including Strat-a-likes (I have a Warmoth, as well as an ’82 ‘The Strat’), as well as some shredsticks too, which wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Leo and his design team.
For those of you who are going with a full set of stacks or Lil’ sized humbuckers and would like to still be able to get single-coil sounds – or at least keep that classic Strat ‘quack’ in positions 2 and 4 on your switch – this is an easy way to split all three pickups with only one standard dpdt push/pull pot.
With a little creative rewiring of a standard 5-way switch, one push/pull can be used to split three humbuckers at once. This means you can have a guitar that is all humbuckers, or all single coils. It’s like having two guitars in one.