#1
As the boutique brand names like Suhr, Tyler, K-line, or Anderson?

Because I've never played any of those guitars and even though I've modded my Fender Strat to the extremes (pretty much the only thing that is original is the wood, frets, nut, and the 2 string trees) I still struggle with it.

There's a higher-end Suhr at the local music shop that they just got I was going to bring my Strat and go compare at some point but I thought I might as well ask on here...
#2
"As good" is a really hard thing to pin down and is a red herring as far as I'm concerned. All Suhrs do not sound the same, and I've played several that I didn't think sounded good. They were well made guitars, and someone else probably loved the sound, but in my case making a Fender sound "as good" might be trivial, or not even desirable. So it is hard to use these nebulous terms to describe concrete instruments. A lot of new players get obsessed with the idea of turning their cheap guitar into an expensive one. I think it's more useful to think of it as turning a guitar you like into a guitar you like more. Comparing to other instruments based mostly on the price tag is just an exercise in fetishism and disappointment. Consider that you haven't even played a Suhr - why use it as the standard for measuring your own gear against? How would you even know if your instrument sounded "as good"? Would it matter?

Anyway-
Putting great pickups in a guitar goes a long way. If the base instrument is decent you might get to the point where it would be hard to tell the instruments apart in a blind test. You can of course buy Suhr and Anderson pickups, though again if you don't know what they sound like I wouldn't suggest buying them blindly assuming that "better" is something you can just buy on the internet.
There are lots of reasons beyond sound that people buy those high-end guitars, too. I think instead of trying to reproduce the phenomenon of an expensive guitar without the active ingredient of being a high-end guitar, you might instead ask different questions. "What do I like/dislike about the sound/feel/look" is a far more useful line of inquiry than "how can I turn my guitar into this other one that I assume is good but have never played."

If you've done all that modding and are still disappointed by your results, I think you have to wonder if the guitar itself just isn't good. In theoretical terms you can modify "a" Fender to sound just like "a" Suhr, but it's not impossible that your particular guitar just isn't up to the challenge. If your guitar sucks no matter what you do to it, or if you're just not a Strat person, it really doesn't matter what's possible in theory.
#3
when i was 15 i would google specs of a guitar to see how it ticks comparing to a model worth more than 500$ of a difference let's say. Whether it be fret raidus for better bends, neckthrough vs bolt on differences, it's disheartening how many stop at and assume that the pickups fix every issue with bad sound in the world cheap vs expensive guitar. Sometimes a cheap guitar will sound better than high end. I mean hell as long as it's not a plywood guitar that cannot stay in tune with the nirvana of sustain that is weightless zinc parts you'll do fine.

just remember a good amp matters as much as a good guitar, i could plug any guitar gods amp into a walmart practice amp and sound like crap.

by the way a nut is a good investment too, i suggest bone , brass or a graphtech tusq and as always whatever high end parts you don't feel do justice of the guitar in a few years take them off and put them into something else. No sense to throw away or sell for next to nothing stock parts.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Mar 24, 2016,
#4
Suhr is a fine, well made instrument at the top of the price point for manufactured guitars. I will probably never own one because I am a little scrappy and have heard a lot more amazing guitar tones off a second-hand pawn shop prize played by Rory Gallagher, SRV, Larry Carlton, or Robben Ford.

Fine-tuning a guitar so it does what you want it to do is a worthy goal. Trying to morph your Strat into a Suhr is a pointless exercise.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Mar 24, 2016,
#5
I don't think it's pointless to try to get a certain guitar closer to a certain other guitar, especially if the second one is priced far out of reach. What I think is pointless is trying to do that if you don't know or understand the useful characteristics of the thing you are trying to reproduce. If all it takes is a set of Suhr pickups, a new trem, and some neck sanding, yeah, absolutely it's worthwhile. Of course, if it were that easy in every case, Suhr would sell way fewer guitars, and probably wouldn't let you buy their pickups individually either.
#6
Plus, if you haven't managed a side-by-side comparison, how can you be sure the thing stopping you getting the sound you want is in the guitar at all?
Quote by Diemon Dave
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#7
IMO, the instrument is the lump of wood, the hardware and amplification chain - pickups, Fx, amp, speakers. I see the lump of wood as being the least important in terms of sound, and if I was thinking of spending Suhr kind of $ I would be looking first at whether I should be upgrading the amplification chain. If you've been struggling with the strat, the problems might lie with the Fx and/or amp, and comparing the two in the music shop through a different amp might give a misleading result.

I would like something like a Suhr, but it would be about mojo, not sound.
#8
I'm with colin (Roc8995). Plenty of guitarists might even prefer the sound of a Strat to a Suhr.

If you can try it yourself (the suhr I mean) then I'd do that. That'll tell you more than we can. I've only ever tried one suhr and I wasn't blown away, but then it was chambered and I'm never sure if I really like chambered guitars or not. or the setup might have been off. or I just didn't like the neck profile. etc. etc.
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?
#9
Thank you all for your opinions.

So I went and tried a HSS Suhr (this guy - http://vancouver.craigslist.ca/rds/msd/5476827165.html) anyway here's how that particular Suhr compares to my Fender MIA Strat 50 Anniversary 1996.

The Suhr was lighter, the neck felt really good it had a little bit better accessibility to the higher frets because of the the slant on the neck joint and the action was really good... and that's pretty much it, everything else is modifiable (pickups, electronics, the action... so on)

My Strat has been modified to death but acoustically it louder and has better sustain (but a lot of that has to do with string gauge and the fact that I have an aftermarket brass block trem system in it) my pickups are hotter & thicker... I'll stick with my guitar.

All and all I might as well just tweak certain things to get my Strat how I want it to sound and if I'm going to throw down $3000+ dollars for a guitar I might as well get something different than a strat variation (like PRS or Ernie ball MM)... but I wouldn't pay that anyways, I'd rather just wait to find something on Craigslist for $2000 or so than break the bank.
#10
The suhr well probably be an overall better constructed instrument out of the box but the sound of an instrument is really something different then how it is constructed. Grab a set of suhr pickups and you'll be 90 percent of the way there. Is it going to play the same? That's the more important question.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#11
I have been asked countless times over the years how do you get that sound from your guitar.Regardless of what amp or peddles if any I may be using within reason,I give the same answer.many years of playing and suffering.im not saying that you have to starve to get a good sound but if you attention is directed to worldly things then I think your playing will show the lack.some guys have the knack of just squeezing out those notes while others are occupied with changing amps,guitars etc.try the extreme settings on the gear you have before you discard it rather than just set it up the same old way every time.you might find something you didn't know was there. Anyway that's how it works for me.oh by the way I play a well set up squire srat.and it sounds as good as some the stats that I was forced to pawn over the years.neilo
#12
Quote by AcousticMirror
The suhr well probably be an overall better constructed instrument out of the box but the sound of an instrument is really something different then how it is constructed. Grab a set of suhr pickups and you'll be 90 percent of the way there. Is it going to play the same? That's the more important question.


Agreed, if my Fender was still stock the Suhr would have kicked its ass... but not by TKO, but by decision in the final round.

suhr pickups are not really what I'm interested in BUT I like the wiring and am contemplating getting one of the techies I know to rewire my setup like that.

The one thing I am certain on doing is replacing the Bridge HB with something with more mids, and maybe a little hotter & clearer, but besides that all I need to do is some fine tuning to the strat.
#13
Quote by Neilo485
I have been asked countless times over the years how do you get that sound from your guitar.Regardless of what amp or peddles if any I may be using within reason,I give the same answer.many years of playing and suffering.im not saying that you have to starve to get a good sound but if you attention is directed to worldly things then I think your playing will show the lack.some guys have the knack of just squeezing out those notes while others are occupied with changing amps,guitars etc.try the extreme settings on the gear you have before you discard it rather than just set it up the same old way every time.you might find something you didn't know was there. Anyway that's how it works for me.oh by the way I play a well set up squire srat.and it sounds as good as some the stats that I was forced to pawn over the years.neilo


Agree with what you are saying, and I think some people jump the shark (including myself at times in the past) but I'm OCD and I've been fighting with this same HB for almost 3 years... So I've given it plenty of time to be proven wrong by it.

My attention has transformed from soundscaping and sound design to trying to get everything as instinctive & responsive as I need it to be.

And to everyone else - the only reason I mentioned those guitars is because of what I've read and heard on them.
#14
Quote by Neilo485
I have been asked countless times over the years how do you get that sound from your guitar.


I've been asked that very same question, by audiences, producers, sound engineers, singers and other guitar players who gaze at both it and me in wonder.

It's usually followed up by, "Could you stop doing that, please?"
#15
^ lol
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?