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Love thy Strat (or Jeff Beck, me and the Strat)

posted on #1
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I have had two pretty crap electric guitars before, these were semi-acoustic things I bought at the flea market - but the first time I had some money in my pocket I went and bought my Strat, in 1987. It was love at first touch so to say. I wanted to buy another semi acoustic guitar (they do look cool), but somehow i wasn't feeling it. So I asked if I could try out the Strat that was hanging from the wall, that was it! It took one touch only!

Which brings me to why I am posting this - I saw this interview with Jeff Beck, and....yes! There is not much in common between one of the greatest guitar players in the world and me, the greatest guitar player in my house - but it seems we got the same love for our Strats:

http://www.guitarworld.com/artist-news/jeff-beck-why-my-strat-always-beats-les-paul/30008
Edited by TeeGee on 13-12-2016 03:46
posted on #2
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I never tried a good or even half decent strat before, only some dirt-cheap strat copy "guitars".
Howevere, i tried a really expensive telecaster and it felt amazing..

But my "GO-TO" brand for electric guitars, has to be Ibanez, SA or RG series, i really like how they look and feel.
My picture = Faceswapping with a wax doll.. yea, creepy. <3
posted on #3
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Ok, imagine the following:
You walk into a car dealer. The salesperson approaches you and point you to a number of replicas of model T fords, some of them have also dents from use replicated. The salesperson is adamant that these cars are the ones you should have despite decades of development and improvements in fuel economy, ergonomics, safety and equipment.

Isn't that what happens every time we walk into a music store?
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #4
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nilton wrote:
Ok, imagine the following:
You walk into a car dealer. The salesperson approaches you and point you to a number of replicas of model T fords, some of them have also dents from use replicated. The salesperson is adamant that these cars are the ones you should have despite decades of development and improvements in fuel economy, ergonomics, safety and equipment.

Isn't that what happens every time we walk into a music store?


Yes, it often does. Luck had it, when I walked into the store that day, the seller wasn't too interested and let me get on with it. He simply told me I could try any guitar I wanted :).

I am involved in sales for many years, including one stint as a very successful used motorcycle sales guy. And my "trick" was to always tell a customer the truth, and never chat him into buying something that he did not want. So I did sometimes "lose" sales because I did not have what they wanted, but often they came back for something else. And I had lots of return customers, too. But, because of that I am extremely sensitive to "sales" techniques, I can smell them from miles :D So I tend to tell them I am just looking and make up my own mind. I get irritated by sales guys who are too eager to sell.
posted on #5
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When a salesman approaches me in a music store and says "can I help you" ,I always say" no, I can manage" if he makes a problem out of it I just walk out.
I don't want ANYONE around when I do testing, and certainly not a salesman, I wanne focus a 100% on the thing, and I trust my ears :) I always bring one of my other guitars ,in the same category ,to make an A/B comparison to see the new one is worth to buy.
posted on #6
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[youtube]xXlYt5JCrZw[/youtube]
posted on #7
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I've never had issues in my local music store with the salesman.
Once, i came down there.. told him i have no idea on how to set up a guitar, he asks me to come down with my guitar, he takes a look at it, and while his trying out the guitar.. feeling what needs to be set up.. the high e snaps.

All he does, is walk behind his counter, he found 6 new strings and put them on my guitar for free. said sorry for snapping my strings and just continued setting it up.

Another time, i went down there to try and find a not-so-pricy acoustic guitar for my mom, and he asked if he could help me.. i told him i like the brand Santana for classical guitars, and he found a couple different numbers of the santana guitar.. and then just left me alone to try them out, after 30 minutes or so he would come back and ask me if i need anything.

I came home with a no. 14 that day, amazing guitar and even tho it's my moms i play it every day.

As a customer i really enjoy this "down to earth" vibe they have going on.
My picture = Faceswapping with a wax doll.. yea, creepy. <3
posted on #8
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Well, from my export experience in Scandinavia it is a big NO!!! to be a pushy salesman - it turns off customers immediately. So I guess it is a bit of a cultural thing too.
posted on #9
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Sometimes you can get too much freedom in a store :)

I once was locked up in a guitar booth at Music store in Köln.
I asked a guy from the staff if I could try out a Dobro in the closed high-end guitar booth.

The guy unlocked the door for me and ……..locked it again when I was in.
The guitar wasn’t much of a case so after five minutes I was knocking on the door to let me out…….no one came!
I was pounding and yelling for more than half an hour before someone unlocked the door for me….
posted on #10
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fanne wrote:
Sometimes you can get too much freedom in a store :)

I once was locked up in a guitar booth at Music store in Köln.
I asked a guy from the staff if I could try out a Dobro in the closed high-end guitar booth.

The guy unlocked the door for me and ……..locked it again when I was in.
The guitar wasn’t much of a case so after five minutes I was knocking on the door to let me out…….no one came!
I was pounding and yelling for more than half an hour before someone unlocked the door for me….


What the actual f? Man, i would get so pissed haha..
My picture = Faceswapping with a wax doll.. yea, creepy. <3
posted on #11
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It was at the old Music Store in the center of Kôln, now they have glass doors :)
I considered to set the guitars on fire, so it would set of the alarm :)
Edited by fanne on 13-12-2016 16:31
posted on #12
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My post was actually about the strat being the model T of guitars. Designed 1954 and not changed since then. And don't get me wrong, i think it is an excellent and timeless design. But it has not evolved since then and for being a timeless design that is alright.

What's not alright is that salespeople, media and ignorant customers continue cultivating a myth in a way that is contra-productive for the evolution of the guitar as such. Instruments marketed as 54'spec or similar and demanding fantasy prices are just ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is the marketing of so called road worn instruments. Would you really buy a car with dents in it from the factory? Or take so called custom shop guitars. For me a custom guitar should be made to the CUSTOMERS specs... this is hardly the case here. Or take high end copies like Suhr. Very fine instruments but the prices they demand are downright criminal.

And the marketshare of strats (and other guitars od the same paradigm) makes it extremely hard to actually develop and market newer and better instruments.

So there is nothing wrong with driving a model T ford. But claiming that it is the best car ever is just silly.
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #13
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Word ^
My picture = Faceswapping with a wax doll.. yea, creepy. <3
posted on #14
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Let’s put it this way: if you’re making a film ‘bout the bootleg ,a T Ford is the most designated vehicle you let ride across the movie screen, however if the next month you’re doing a Miami thing, it’s kind of ridicules to let Starsky & Hutch drive this car to catch the bad guys.
What I mean is: you got to have the right tool, that fits YOUR hand, to have a specific job done.
There is no such thing as the best guitar, however there IS the best guitar for your playing style (grip and angle of your left hand, use of the thump, length of the fingers ,pick or not,one, two or three pick-ups etc.) for the specific music you play (and let’s not forget the brand of pick-ups and the amp please!)
That all been said, it can be more complicated if you want to play different styles of music. In this case you have to compromise: you can’t have 20 different guitars (from a Les Paul to a Silvertone) that all fits your hands like a glove.
I have two Strats witch I frequently use, an original ‘57er and an Elite, but use them on very different projects, cause the sound is completely different. So if you want to play 10 different styles of music, you got to have at least 40 guitars :)
Edited by fanne on 13-12-2016 21:40
posted on #15
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@Fanne: If that was true i would totally agree with you. But it is not. There has been no evolvement in the ergonomics of strat since it has been designed. On the contrary, necks and bodies are rather haphazardly shaped with large differences from one guitar to another. Which on the other hand makes it possible to find one that fits you. Something that has been exploited by modern marketing. And taking market-shares from makers that at least try so invent something new.
A strat is a t ford that is sold as state of the art, something it definitely is not. There seems to be some believe that there is some magic that certain brands possess (and that goes for amps, pickups, effects and even cables too) Nothing could be further from the truth, its just physics.
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #16
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New does not mean better always. Some things were good as they are. You can't compare guitars with a car.
And, for some reason, many of the best guitarists ever, who could afford any guitar in the world, prefer to play a Strat. So why is that? Rory Gallagher, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Robert Cray all did or still would do if they were alive. Good enough for me.
Edited by TeeGee on 13-12-2016 22:46
posted on #17
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a single comment, not forget mention that, not is it same a guitar manufactured in series, that a custom made to your measure, as is the case of many professional... in the shops is sold them replica, but never are exactly equal that them original...
the price would be excessive...
I love Strato by Fender
posted on #18
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@nilton : Must be my bad English but I don’t understand what your trying to say, please correct me if I got it wrong. I think you stated the nothing has changed on a Strat since 1954…you mean that? I can recommend a few books on the matter.
The” large differences from one guitar to another”? you mean of the same year….of course ‘since nothing has changed since 1954…? I’m confused, Fender guitars are all made with CNC machines, except for a few endorsers.
I’ve owned a dozen Strats during my career and I never have experienced any "large difference"
You’re a fan of the Mustang,I have an original ’69 Mustang ,did you ever compared it to a strat? no doubt a Strat blows it out of the water. I do like the mustang with his nasal sound, but in the last 10 years I only used it a few times for recordings.
Sure you’re not telling me you don’t hear a difference between a Peavey and a ’73 Fender super reverb or a Vox AC 30 ?? and you don’t hear a difference between a PAF ’57 and P 90? It’s all marketing?
You don’t mean that do you? If so I see no reason why to go on with this discussion.
posted on #19
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fanne wrote:
The” large differences from one guitar to another”? you mean of the same year….of course ‘since nothing has changed since 1954…? I’m confused, Fender guitars are all made with CNC machines, except for a few endorsers.

I did spot one controlled router in this video, and that one that routed TELE bodies, and i believe it was a template copy router not a cnc.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHdQLaoDOoU
otherwise manufacturing technology is were it was back in the 50's. And that is consistent what i have been told from other sources. There are HUGHE differences between different strats, believe me. And for the last decades fender have been capitalizing on this fact.

No, im not a fan of fender mustangs. I happen to own one (since 1978). Its not a high quality guitar but is has some idiosyncrasies that i happen to like. Like short scale and the ergonomics that go along with it and the sound of the almost demagnetized pickups.

I own several guitars, among others a Flaxwood and a original Parker (the new ones are only marginally better than a fender but lacking the magic of the name) all of which are far superior to a strat regarding design, build quality, versatility, playability. Both the flaxwood and the parker were scanned in a Plek machine (i do that with all my guitars) and needed no adjustment. If you are familiar with the Plek process that should tell quite a lot.

The whole thing is there is no magic in a manufacturers name or model, its just a myth. And believing that there is will result in that flaxwood, prs, strandberg and dozens of other brands cannot evolve and get us better guitars over time.
Edited by nilton on 14-12-2016 06:35
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #20
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I am certainly not a Strat addict, but I do believe it can be the perfect guitar for a certain job, and I certainly played more bad instruments from rather unknown brands and even custom made guitars from so called Luthiers, than from Fender or Gibson.
That doesn’t mean that you find in my collection of 32 guitars only Fender and Gibson. (Some might say that’s an awful lot of guitars, but I make living out of music and just like a plummer I can’t say “mmmm I can’t fix this because I haven’t the right socket wrench, but I give it a try with my Swiss army knife”)
In my toolbox you find cheap guitars like Recording King, Eastman, Gold tone and Danelectro but also a Taylor BTO, a Peerless Imperial, a few Martins, a Lowden and a hand build Tele made by luthier Steff Peirens. By the way I hope Flaxwood isn’t that sloppy with their guitars as with their webside ‘cause dealer Milestones in Antwerp is closed for more than 2 years now  ,never played one though so I can’t judge one,
I did played a Parker years ago, nice guitar, certainly recommended if you play long gigs because of his weight, very versatile… but this means also a certain lack of character, like a variax nowadays.
When buying a guitar one should consider: what I’m gonna use it for? You don’t buy a €10.000 guitar to play “stairway to heaven” in your bedroom.
So I have an acc. “The loar” and not an acc. Gibson L5 ‘cause I don’t use it very much, but I went to Spain to buy me an expensive Paulino Bernabe ‘cause that’s my main instrument.
Bottom-line I stay by my first opinion: with a Strat the risk of buying a bad guitar is less than buying a guitar from a rather unknown brand (which in many cases you can’t even give it a try), and you can’t hold Fender responsible for holding back the evolution of the electric guitar, there are plenty of alternatives.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqzEQnsSIoY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yshLWYjMijo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FE9o0kT11Xw
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