#1
Hokay, so I was thinking about strats the other day at work (who isn't thinking about strats all the time). And I was pondering the major differences between the normal vibrato style strat, and the elusive hard tail versions out there. Though I don't own a hardtail fender strat, I do rather enjoy hardtail guitars and have all of my strats blocked anyways. So who out there has ever owned a real hardtail fender strat? What made you choose that one, and how does it play sound compared to it's wiggly bretheren?
Any input is appreciated!
I only feel like me when I'm behind my ax...
#2
never owned one but i prefer the ones with trems. the hardtail strat type things i've tried have had less of that reverby bounce/softer attack that the trem ones have (and which i like). almost slightly towards a twangier, harder-edged tele type of tone. it's not a massive difference, but it's noticeable. i have a fretking tele-style guitar with middle and neck strat pickups and the difference is similar- it pretty much sounds like a strat in those positions, but with a faster attack and more of a hard edge. Again, it's subtle and it's probably one of those things that's way more apparent to the player than to a listener, but it's there.

I've never blocked my trem, but from what i hear, even blocking the trem does still sound like a vibrato strat, so I don't think i'd assume the hardtail model would sound exactly the same.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 14, 2013,
#3
My roommate had a hardtail. It's not all that different from a regular strat.
There's a bunch of wood left in, obviously, and that makes a bit of a difference, mostly in balance. I don't know if the trem hardware outweighs the wood removed (I suspect it doesn't) but the hardtail felt a bit more body-heavy and back-heavy, which makes sense given the distribution of that weight.

I routed a strat for a different trem once, and it got a little more thin sounding. And the hardtail sounded a bit thicker than the average strat. Maybe there's something to that, but it's only two data points.

I think the reason hardtails aren't too common is that it's very easy to block a trem if you decide you don't want it, so then you've got a hardtail. For most people the benefits (tuning stability, maybe a tiny tonal change, fewer moving parts, slightly lower clearance on the bridge) are minor enough that they aren't worth fussing over.

It's like that guy who watches the food network all the time and has that one utensil for serving some weirdly specific food, like crab bisque or something. There's no reason you couldn't just use a regular ladle, but someone decided to make a product that was just for people who were serious enough about crab bisque that they would buy a specialized utensil. So if you're a bit obsessive you can get one, but everyone else just uses a ladle. Or maybe I just have weird friends.
#4
that's also a good point, colin. you're narrowing your options with the hardtail version.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#5
I tighten the claw to bring the bridge against the body. Its similar to blocking but you still have the option to press down. Its the best of both worlds.
#6
I love hard tail strats, Iv been on the lookout for a Billy corgan model for a while now
#7
Lol I love the bisque analogy. (I'm a sucker for abstraction). Yeah I just thought that having more wood would (<<lol) give it a bit of a fatter tone and more sustain. But if the difference is not that noticeable then why not just go vibrato, get the best of both. LOL corgan was the reason as to why I was turned on to the hardtails. Fattest rhythm tone ever IMO. Or maybe it's just the over $9000 worth of rack gear doing the talking. The BC strat looks über cool, with the matte finish, retro 70's look. I was never a sucker for artist series guitars, though.
I only feel like me when I'm behind my ax...
#8
Honestly man, something I've noticed is that your sound/tone can sound however is does, but once you mic the amp that microphone can do things to the sound that your ears don't hear. Check it out. I dig my tone of my guitar straight into my amp and once Ii mic it and record my riffs they have a different sound to them. So if you are recording try a few mics out to see if that changes. Igot had awesome results with that. One of my fave mic for my rig is th industry standard Shure SM 57. Try a few set ups with multiple mics if you can...
#9
I didn't even realize Fender makes hardtail Stratocasters. (I mainly posted to say I loved the ladle and the crab story.) And sometimes one trick ponies are good. I don't even really use the tremolo on my Strat. (I don't have the arm though.) And when I had an Ibanez GRG with a trem I rarely used it unless I was just making noise and being loud because of how out of tune it got. A hardtail looks sort of odd on a Fender Strat to me. But the added weight must be nice for sustain and tone...
#10
I have the Corgan Strat. It is a brilliant rock guitar. I just dont miss a tremolo I guess.