Also called string height, adjusted on the Strat bridge. From what I understand, the typical way is the first knob is the master volume control, the second knob is the neck pickup tone control, the last knob is the middle pickup tone control. Higher tone cap value -> darker tone. Please note that separate manuals are not available for every instrument model. In addition to sanding we lubricate the nut slots with Stewmac’s guitar grease whenever we change strings. If you recognize any of the scenarios above, you should consider the treble bleeder kit which allows the treble frequencies to bypass the volume pot and go directly to the amp. second, you should also aim for a low action and thinner strings. They will determine how much of the original pickup signal is leaked either to ground inside the guitar or passed to the amp. Learn more about Fender electric basses. People prefer different setups for the vibrato (It is called vibrato and not tremolo, but everyone calls the strat bridge for a “tremolo bridge”. We recommend sanding one-piece maple necks with 600-sand paper to partly remove the glossy lacquer. Like water and other things in nature – current seeks to ground through the path of least “resistance”. The control pots you choose affects your tone. But first – what recognizes a good strat? Your hands and fingers should not get tired after 15 minutes of playing a mix of chords and licks/solos. Just as interesting is the fact that Fender, well aware of the widespread regard for the in-between switch settings almost from the start, let 14 years elapse before officially acknowledging them. Use a low E-string for the A nut slot, an A-string for the D nut slot and so on. It’s okay to be inspired from someone else, but you should primarily trust your own mind and ears. You should inspect the neck curve on a monthly basis and adjust the truss rod accordingly. We cannot hear any difference. Who has not upgraded their guitar with expensive aftermarket parts in the search for a better tone? Lots of guitar players with strats, teles and other brands wire their guitars after the 50’s design because of a fuller tone with more treble when the volume is backed down. If you need to tame the treble in a bright Tele or Strat, try to increase the tone cap value to i.e. Also a 250K tone pot makes your guitar less sensitive to “bad” or long guitar cables with high capacitance that kill some treble and clarity. The strategy is to aim for as little gap as possible without any fret buzz when you’re playing an open string with regular strength and pick attack. We recommend the following pickup height for hot pickups like Fender Texas Specials, Fender Fat 50’s, Lindy Fralin’s Vintage blues etc: Bass side: 3.3mm. This is the wiring diagram for Stratocaster, from premierguitar.com. Middle pickup can have less bite, more warmth and a chimey tone. If the nut slot is too tight and narrow, i.e. Read more about the 50’s wiring on http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/3_Mods_for_3_Guitars. Fender themselves changed this to 0.022uF later since many players thought the tone knob was too drastic in these strats. If the strings are too big you won’t have the necessary power, timing, control and ability to play fast, bend and apply vibrato. Since the humbuckers produce a much hotter and darker signal it is desirable to use 500K pots rather than 250K to get clarity in your tone. Adjusting the truss rod involves loosen the strings, tighten (or loosen) the truss rod, tune back the strings and measure the neck curve by looking upwards from the bridge. These guitars will eventually need a fret job, meaning either re-fretting or leveling the frets. For very bright guitars (either pickups, neck or body) we sometimes use a 0,1uF tone cap. The closer the pickups are, the higher output and more treble you’ll get. Many other great guitarists subsequently used the in-between sounds extensively, including Ike Turner, Rory Gallagher, Eric Clapton (âBell Bottom Bluesâ and âLay Down Sallyâ are good examples), Robert Cray, Mark Knopfler (a middle/bridge sound fan, as heard on âSultans of Swingâ), Nils Lofgren and others. Learn more about Fender electric basses. The result: the tone gets darker when the tone knob is turned from 10 and down. We dial in the ideal Fender amp settings using the famed "magic six" EQ, taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of the Fender models. All Rights Reserved. Good instruments can motivate us to play better and make us feel good and comfortable on stage, which is important for both professionals and hobby guitarists. For example, switching from 250K to 500K pots will mean a brighter sound. If you want more treble go for a lower tone cap value C1 (i.e. Raising or lowering the bridge saddles is much easier. Take a closer look at how this key Strat feature makes it such a versatile guitar. If we number the switch positions 1 through 5, with position 1 being closest to the middle tone knob and positions 2, 3, 4 and 5 proceeding in order toward the middle pickup, we can easily label the switchâs pickup-selection functions (see Fig. An example of that is too close pickups with a shrill and hard tone, bad intonation or worse, a loose truss rod and a neck curve that results in high action, several centimeters high. For the first 23 years of the Stratocasterâs existence, from its 1954 debut until 1977, the pickup selector was a three-position switch. The tone remains the same, as if it wasn’t there. If you want a less or more sensitive volume knob, you may change this value. One can use the guitar or amp tone controls to alter the treble, but if the speakers and guitar both are bright you may find it difficult to tame the sparkle. For softer pickups like Fender Custom ’69, you can raise the pickups closer to the strings. âContrary to a widespread assumption about the in-between positions,â Wheeler wrote in* The Stratocaster Chronicles*, âthe pickups remain electrically in phase.â, The in-between positions sound different, as Wheeler pointed out, because pickups in different positions respond differently to string vibrations, cancelling out certain frequencies when operating simultaneously. The next figure whows the the equivalent electronic circuit schema. You can experiment with different tone cap values with loose cables hanging out from your pickguard and swap different caps while you play. The pickup switch is the key to the Stratocaster’s time-honored tonal versatility, because it controls which pickups or which combinations of pickups are on at any given time. The pickup current is divided in two paths – 1) through the tone pot R2 and tone cap C1 and 2) through the volume pot R1. Fender literally wrote the book on electric basses, laying the foundation for musical innovation and evolution. To convert your Strat’s normal tone control to Greasebucket specs, you don’t need much: 0.1 μF and 0.022 μF capacitors (Fender uses ceramic-disc versions), and a 1/4-watt 4.7 kΩ resistor (Fender … You may even use wounded strings to file the nut with. Treble side: 2.2mm. If you have old, worn and uneven frets you will have to adjust the action to suit the highest frets, those who are less worn. Fender STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN STRATOCASTER; Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster FMT HH; Fender classic series’50s ESQUIRE; Fender SHOWMASTER ELITE; Fender SPECIAL EDITION STRAT PRO; Fender KINGMAN SCE 096-8010-021; Fender MALIBU S 096-8000-021; Fender … With three pickups, the Strat had a lot of potential sonic versatility right out of the box, which wasn’t entirely tapped with the three-position switch originally used (giving just each pickup individually). But sustain is not all, we’re also looking for a resonance character where the neck and body responds with desirable frequencies based on the input frequencies from the vibrating strings. Use sand paper and verify that the strings are allowed to slide smoothly back and forth in the nut slot. Personally we adjust the tension of the five vibrato springs on the back side so that there is a little gap between the tremolo bridge and the guitar body. Fender Stratocaster Wiring Diagram with Middle & Bridge Tone This Standard Stratocaster Wiring Diagram features a Neck tone (0.02mfd) and a Bridge & Middle tone (0.02mfd). The standard volume volume tone setup common to many Jazz basses allows for a fair variety in tone for a passive instrument. CYBER WEEK SALE: Save 50% on a Monthly Plan. you are using thicker strings than the nut s used to, your guitar will get out of tune when you’re using the vibrato or when bending and shaking strings. And at full volume they behave identically by circuit design. If they are too close you’ll experience that the magnet field from the pickup interferes with the string vibration and kills the sustain. The telecaster has a single volume and a single tone control. Since the Stratocaster is Fenderâs sole three-pickup guitar, its pickup switch has an important job to do. Fender.com describes their TBX tone control—which stands for “Treble Bass Expander”—as follows: “This detented, stacked 250k/1 Meg control enhances … The Fender American Elite (replaced by American Ultra) Stratocaster guitars feature an array of modern appointments offering beautiful playability and far more control over your sound. If you master the art of setup of a Fender Stratocaster, you will get yourself one of the best instruments ever made on this planet. This is the wiring diagram for Telecaster, from premierguitar.com. What better way to forget today's Chief's debacle than to finish cleaning up the wiring inside my EJ strat and contemplating tone controls. Itâs a five-position blade-type switch mounted diagonally on the lower half of the pickguard on the treble-strings side, just forward of the control knobs. We will rather share a strategy and way of thinking for how to find your own preferences. Thicker strings will have a higher tension and bend the neck more. A higher cap value means more of the treble is lead to ground and lost in stead of being passed to the amp. They discovered that balancing the pickup selector in between the notched positions provided additional sounds, typically described as thin, delicate, honky, quacky, hollow, and especially funky.â, Or, as Smith put it his book, using the switch to mix the sound of two Strat pickups produced âsnarling nasal tones that literally redefined electric guitar sound. Of this unintended âchaos of overtones,â Smith notes that, âLeo never intended the Stratocaster to produce its most popular tones.â. 500Kohm). A good setup will bring out the full potential in both cheap and expensive guitars. Setting the volume at zero means zero resistance between ground and the output jack hot tip – the volume pot at minimum grounds the signal. This should be done after raising/lowering the bridge saddles when adjusting the action. The Strat Plus was produced from 1987 to 1999 and was equipped with Lace Sensor pickups, a roller nut, locking tuners, a TBX tone control and a Hipshot tremsetter. One of the advantages with vintage guitars is the worn neck wood. This means the tone cap does affect the tone a little bit even when the tone knob is on 10. Switching. Use a fine grained sand paper. Good sounding guitars that are also easy to play can be hard to find among new guitars. We also believe that 0,047uF is a good starting point for the tone cap in Stratocasters and Telecasters. This means a higher action than necessaryon the neck areas where the frets are worn. They found that by somewhat precariously lodging the switch in one of the two âin-betweenâ spotsâbetween the bridge and middle pickup positions or between the middle and neck pickup positionsâthey could get two different dual-pickup combinations. Any potential fret buzz higher up will not be a problem for you. turning the screw < 90 degrees, can take days before you see the neck stabilizes into its new curve. Let’s list a few components and parts in the Fender Stratocaster that affect tone: In this section we’ll breefly explain how components inside the Stratocaster affects the tone. This is the starting point and from now you must adjust be ear. On the other hand, if your preferred style is Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Texas blues, thicker strings and higher action will allow for powerful bends and shakes with both sustain and volume intact – given you have the brute force and technique necessary. The guitar must be considered together with the amp and pedals. This affects your tone. The treble bleeder kit consists of a cap and resistor wired in parallel over the volume pot – from the top leg of the volume pot to the middle leg and hot tip output. Many times we find that used instruments are better to play than brand new ones, not necessarily because they are old and worn, but because they have had caring owners that have tweaked the details that make a difference. Alder has been the wood of choice by Fender for many years, and for good reason. One example is a Fender Mustang with thin strings played through a clean Deluxe Reverb reissue loaded with a … This is amp tremolo, by definition. In 1964, the Strat’s 10th anniversary coincided with a change in cap value from 0.1uF to 0.047uF. The manuals listed in this article are either current manuals created from a digital copy OR scans of the original hard copy manuals taken from our archives that have been converted into PDF documents. You will benefit from a low action when playing chords since lower action requires less finger strength. The lead circuit also has two pots, a master volume and a tone control. Pickup height adjustment is an iterative process that can take weeks depending on neck tension and potential truss rod adjustment. Fender Stratocaster explained and setup guide, http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/3_Mods_for_3_Guitars. – When you actively use your volume knob to go from cranked to clean sound (on a tube amp set in its sweet spot). At fenderguru.com we believe that 250k tone and volume pots is a good choice of clear fendery tone with just the right amount of sparkle and low-end. It is therefore important to know how the guitar works and how to improve and shape its tone. You must allow the neck wood to stabilize and help it a little bit using your hands and carefully bend or stretch it out, depending on if you loosen or tighten the truss rod. Strat style guitar wiring diagram with three single coils, 5-way lever switch, 1 volume, 2 tones. We also recommend sanding the back side of the neck to allow smooth and friction-less change of grips. What can we possibly draw from this? It offers several possibilities to easily tweak and adjust the behavior. All things being equal, a Strat will sound brighter with a 0.047uF tone cap than it will with … Without having done any actual r&d on the topic ourself, or finding other facts or proof to support, we believe that the sustain is also better with a straight neck, which gives from the truss rod and the neck wood itself. As has been noted, the tone knob simply cuts higher frequencies as it is turned down. It's confusing..... watch this video to dispel the confusion ! Still, the amp can not produce a signal that was never there from the beginning (except harmonic frequencies due to clipping/distortion). We don’t like the tremolo bridge rest firmly down against the body. work together in creating a mix of frequencies. A electric path that has little “resistance” will lead more current than a path with higher resistance. Recommended component values from fenderguru.com are 680pF capacitor and a 220K ohm resistor. 500Kohm). Otherwise the action will be changed when you adjust the truss rod afterwards. Players figured it out almost immediately. You may replace the 250K volume pot with one that has a wider taper area to avoid the sudden volume reduction. On the other hand, there are a few scenarios where you might enjoy having full treble at lower volumes: – When you play solo and licks with reduced volume and want the same tone as on full volume setting. Good sustain must be ensured by having a quality bridge (Callaham, for example) and good body and neck wood. And it is very easy to implement and roll back, especially on the telecaster. If you intend to chop Stevie Vai solos with finger tapping and melodic scales in the speed of +25 notes pr. Use sand paper or sanding files and file the nut slots carefully so that the strings are lowered. You may have noticed that the tone gets a little darker when you back down the volume on your guitar, especially for stratocasters and telecasters. If you play mostly rhythm and/or you play softly, you can have a low string action. In guitar circuits, there’s treble roll-off and a resonance peak at the roll-off frequency. Setting the volume at maximum results in 250kohm between ground and the ouput, meaning a higher voltage applied over this 250k resistance and a stronger signal going out. 18 fret or not doing any bends and shakes, you can optimize the action from a lower position on the neck. Ever since Fender introduced the five-way selector switch on the Stratocaster in 1977, guitarists have enjoyed a wealth of tones through its traditional three single-coil pickups.. Depending on how hot the pickups are (magnet strength, number of windings) you need to adjust the distance accordingly. There is no correct answer in high vs. low action as it’s highly subjective. DATE SERVICE DIAGRAMS '50s Stratocaster® 013-1002: 06/18/99: Download '60s Stratocaster® 013-1000: 11/01/99: Download '70s Stratocaster® When we adjust by ear we are playing chords and licks with the neck, mid and bridge pickup until the balance gets right. Position 2: Bridge pickup and middle pickup together, Position 4. Start with the nut, and inspect the gap between the bottom side of the strings and the highest point of the first fret (open string of course ). It will feel like your strings are thicker and harder to bend. This was the lead tone for Western Swing, and back in the good old days of the fifties there was simply no need for a tone control for the bridge pickup. It is probably the most balanced in frequency of tone woods. Or is this all a matter of personal taste and preferences – just like music itself? Middle pickup and neck pickup together. Paul Gagon was the mastermind who designed Fender’s TBX potentiometer, as he worked there from 1978 through 1984. The volume knob behaviour changes and gets more aggressive. Our personal recommendation for obtaining a rich and sustaining tone is to use as thick strings as possible, but not thicker than that. If you can live with the sudden reduction of volume with the 50’s wiring, you should try it out. So which is best, the Treble bleeder kit or the 50’s wiring? Vibrato is an adjustment of frequency. It is also important to keep the nut slot wide and smooth enough to prevent the strings to get stuck and locked. At fully counter-clockwise position, tone=0, the resistance R2 is 0 (zero) ohms allowing all the current to leak through here on its way to ground. The model also featured a warmer, darker-sounding rhythm circuit, with its own separate volume and tone control wheels on the upper horn. Our personal string gauge favorite is: 011, 014/015, 017/018, 024/026, 034/036 and 050/052 tuned down to Eb. – When you play at reduced guitar volume with pedals, such as wah wah, fuzz, boost, overdrive/fuzz, and your pedals sound best with the same full and sparkling tone as on maximum volume. But there is a side-effect with the 50’s wiring. Typical standard Fender Stratocaster guitar wiring with master volume plus 1 neck tone control and one middle pickup tone control. To our ears the tone is practically the same when you roll back the volume with these two approaches. You will lose control with the risk of missing notes and playing out of tune or time. Volume/Tone. 0.01uF) and/or a bigger tone pot R2 (i.e. When the temperature varies or if you change to a different string gauge, you might have to adjust the truss rod again. Newer necks and fretboards with glossy lacquer will create lots of friction, particularly when your hands are warm and sweaty. This is the “bass distance” we’re referring to above. Common variations are last knob is bridge tone control, and middle has none OR both bridge and middle pickups share the last knob as a tone control. The TBX is not an active system, as some believe, using a battery as found on the 25db boost on the Clapton Strats. We’d say the choice depends how you prefer the response and dynamic range of the volume knob. Start with the bass side. You can move up and down the neck fast and precisely. From an engineering perspective, the Fender Stratocaster is a guitar of all dreams. The purpose of the truss rod inside the strat neck is to straighten the neck and prevent the string tension to bend it. We like this mod since one needs no extra components to re-wire a strat or tele circuitry into the 50’s wiring design. The vintage 50’s strats had 0.1uF. If it gets too drastical, switch to the Treble bleed kit. There are also two wheels on the horn that alter the volume (nearest the slide switch) and tone, which is sometimes called a "treble roll-off".
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