Follow us on...
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Watch us on YouTube
Register
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20
  1. #1
    Unchained m e a n s t r e e t's Avatar
    Join Date
    01.03.04
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    477
    Last Online

    06.12.07 @ 05:54 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default To All You Strat Players: Pickup Hum and Action

    Just entered the world of buying my first Fender Stratocaster. Been a Gibson double-humbucker guy for 20-some years and have never had any issues with hum/noise from the pickups with Gibsons, perfectly quiet even with the gain turned way up.

    I pull this MIM Fat Strat out of the box brand new, (HSS configuration, 21 frets, Floyd) plug in, and holy shit, this thing has serious hum issues. I can turn the gain down, but then the distortion is weak. The Humbucker even hums substantiously more than my Gibsons.

    I tried bypassing the ground at the electrical outlet to no change.

    Is this common/standard for Strats to hum so bad? Do the MIM's have cheaper pickups that is causing this or what??? And do the American made strats hum this bad?

    Also, the playablity of this thing is incredibly tight. Bending strings on my Gibsons is like butter. In fact, they bend so easily that sometimes mistakes are easy to make. This Strat makes you WORK at bending strings, and even then, the bending is not all that noticable. Really a tight guitar thats not all that fun to play.

    Anyone have similar experiences with this?
    Talkin Some New Kicks

  2. #2
    Top Of The World stratogibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    03.30.00
    Posts
    214
    Last Online

    06.24.09 @ 01:54 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts


    Donor

    Default

    Tighter due to the longer scale length, you'll get used to it. No, it shouldn't hum like that. Your single coils will get some 60 cycle hum, but the HB should be quiet.

    Time to see the guitar doctor.
    You know the best tone I ever had was with that little bandmaster cranked to 10. Edward Van Halen, 1980, Guitar Player Magazine.

  3. #3
    Romeo Delight
    Join Date
    02.05.05
    Posts
    47
    Last Online

    11.11.06 @ 05:42 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    I looked for a Strat for over a year. I found that you need to get up into the $1000 plus range to get the good wood, good pickups and good neck. I finally just got a Warmoth neck and kept my 1/pu Strat with a Humbucker.

  4. #4
    Hot For Teacher Eddie's Little Monster's Avatar
    Join Date
    02.04.05
    Posts
    284
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    Hear about it Later
    Last Online

    05.25.07 @ 05:14 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Buy a Tele... The only thing fender does right for less than a $1000

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MESE:IT

  5. #5
    Eruption mk5's Avatar
    Join Date
    06.15.04
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    738
    Favorite VH Album

    5150 & 1984
    Last Online

    04.30.16 @ 03:52 PM
    Likes
    4
    Liked 20 Times in 14 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by m e a n s t r e e t

    I pull this MIM Fat Strat out of the box brand new, (HSS configuration, 21 frets, Floyd)
    Anyone have similar experiences with this?

    m e a n s t r e e t , if you bought it new, it must have come with some sort of limited warranty. I would take it to the closest Fender-authorized tech and have them check the pickups, solder joints and the 5-way switch. If after all that it is determined to be an inherent trait of the guitar, I would recommend having the pickups replaced by something a little more to your liking. Fender makes some great "noiseless" single coils and any humbucker worth its weight should be quiet as a mouse.

    Stratogibson is correct, the 25 1/2" scale length is very different from the 24 3/4" of your LPs. That small increment can take a bit to get used to.

    On a side note, I gotta say, I am impressed with a lot of people on this guitar forum. Guys like tribb, Stratogibson, cyberfiddl (when he's not jerking my chain) , and lots of others are pretty knowledgeable about guitars--this is a great resource.
    Last edited by mk5; 02.16.05 at 11:38 AM.
    How open-minded do I have to be before my brains start spilling out?

  6. #6
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    02.21.00
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,491
    Favorite VH Album

    Carnal Knowledge
    Last Online

    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Hey meanstreat, how're you doin?
    When I saw the strat post I had to get myself in on this one.
    First, what kind of amp are you using. Some, depending on how their gain circuits are set up are real bad with strats and with some noise is hardly an issue.
    Saying that, It's a Mexican strat, and although a lot of them play nicely, those p/u's aren't anything to write home about.
    JWR is right when he says you're gonna have to get into the 1000 + price range to get a real good playing strat, but that shouldn't affect your hum problem.
    Still, you can make a damn fine strat with warmoth parts.

    I think mk5 is on the money when he says to take it back first and get it thoroughly checked over, because bypassing the ground won't make any difference.
    Assuming your amp isn't the problem, it sounds like there's a bad ground somethere on the guitar itself. In the 2nd and forth positions of your switch that guitar should be almost dead quiet.
    If you really like the way it plays(doesn't sound like you're too impressed though), then changing pickups will help the sound. You can used stacked humbuckers which should be quiet but still have more of the sound you're used to.
    If you want singles then you'll have to put up with some hum in the 1, 3, and 5th switch position, depending on how much gain you want.
    As far as playability, your paul has larger frets, and a 12" radius, making for a flatter board which won't fight you as much.
    On your strat you're probably looking at around 7.5-9.25 radius, meaning your pushing the string against smaller frets, making more wood contact, and pushing uphill so to speak.
    That doesn't take into account the shorter scale length you paul has, again helping with bends.
    An off the shelf strat is a guitar that just fights you more than a paul, but personally I love strats cause there's something about the sound of a good strat that you can't get with any other guitar.
    I think one problem you have is that you have a top of the line gibson which has spoiled you to a degree cause they're made very well and play very well. From there you went to a considerably lower end fender to start and the difference is much greater than if you had built your own strat to match your paul in quality and playability. When it comes to your paul, you've been drinking champaigne, and then you went to fender, but you can't buy champaigne with beer money.
    That's where I think JWR's advice is definitely something you should think about if you really want a strat that sounds and plays the way you want it to.
    I have my strats built for my preferences and it makes a huge difference in how they play and sound. I use jumbo frets to start and have them radiused flatter. That gets them to play like a paul almost right off the bat.
    I go to jams with other strat players frquently and after trading strats for a song or two I couldn't wait to trade back. I finally stopped trading.

  7. #7
    Romeo Delight Sh4d0wzF4ll's Avatar
    Join Date
    02.06.05
    Age
    31
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    41
    Favorite VH Album

    VH1/5150/Balance
    Favorite VH Song

    Feelin'/ Humans Being
    Last Online

    03.23.06 @ 11:47 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    I've had a mexican strat for 6 years now and havent done anything to it. basic 3 single coil, 21 fret maple fretboard setup. Yeah they hum but my ampp has a ground switch that helps me out with that a little. the hum creates feedback and i use feedback in my style so it doesnt bother me. i have an 02 mexican strat that had the same setup as the 99. I put a duncan screamin demon stacked humbucker in the bridge and its decently quiet. My PRS Tremonti has spoiled me though. I love that damn guitar. Back on topic, a bad ground somewhere in the guitar sounds right to me. get it checked out. If it has a bad ground, Fender will pay for it. I used to work at a Firehouse Music down here and Fender by far had the best customer service that ive dealt with. If it is a bad ground and u get it fixed, play the hell outta that guitar and if after a few months u dont like it, get rid of it. It's all about taste. As for the tightness, the 25 1/2 scale and the frets is what does it. I personally like the tightness cause i can trem pick faster. But like i said, its all about ure taste.

  8. #8
    Unchained m e a n s t r e e t's Avatar
    Join Date
    01.03.04
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    477
    Last Online

    06.12.07 @ 05:54 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thanks a lot guys for the feedback.

    Yes it's warranted, and I can even send the thing back minus shipping. But I'm still messin around and am getting a bit more used to it.

    Tribb, your campaign/beer analogy cracks me up. And probably very true.

    But I am wondering - electronics aside - what would make an American Strat play easier than a MIM Strat when the basic setup specs are the same. Same fingerboard radius, same jumbo frets, same 25 1/2 scale.

    Also, it's amazing what a string change will do. It shipped with probably Fender strings and impossible to bend. I replaced the high end with a 9 11 and 16 - bend for miles! Now it plays like a hundred bucks (hehe). I also removed one spring from the Floyd and the feel is much better.

    The hum is a bit better today - maybe I'm just getting more used to it

    I have a Marshall and a Crate (both 212's solid state) and the hum is less in the Crate and the crunch is much better in the Crate as well.

    I have to say that I am getting more used to it as stratogibson predicted. It has a really meaty growl that my Gibsons just don't have, and a distorted twang that I can't get enough of. It's a tobacco sunburst and looks killer.

    May end up being my favorite gitter
    Talkin Some New Kicks

  9. #9
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    02.21.00
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,491
    Favorite VH Album

    Carnal Knowledge
    Last Online

    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Glad to see you're getting used to it.
    Actually, a mexican and US strat, all things like frets, radius, etc., being equal will play pretty much the same as far as playability. Neither one has jumbo frets though, unless you ordered it with jumbos.
    Taking a spring off the floyd will help, as there's less pull back, even if it's resting on the body, and also like you said, lightening the string gauge will help somewhat. Fender usually ships their electrics with a light gauge though, 9-42's).
    Usually the lower the action on a lower radius neck, the more tension you'll have, so just by raising the action a bit you'll find that the guitar fights you a little less. Higher action might not be what you're after though, so it's up to the player.

    Strat pickups distort in a different way from Gibson style paf's so I can understand what you mean about the growl. The Gibson humbuckers have a sharper attack and are voiced differently, as well as being in a different kind of body.
    I think it's just personal preferance as to which you prefer.

    The funny thing about strats is that although no two sound alike, no two play alike either. You can have 2 side by side where everything is basically the same and one may fight you more than the other.
    I guess that's where the custom building aspect comes in.

  10. #10
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    01.03.02
    Posts
    2,395
    Last Online

    12.19.16 @ 05:15 PM
    Likes
    6
    Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts


    Donor

    Default

    I think a strat is a more versatile intrument than a Les Paul (my opinion). However, it is much more difficult to get a good tone out of a strat than a Les Paul(m.o.). I think playing a strat will push the limits of your technique more than a Les Paul.
    I sold my SRV a coupla years ago and have been playing 25 1/2" scale guitars with Duncan '59 humbuckers. One is a Hamer T-51 tele. The other a Carvin bolt kit.
    I'm having my cake and eating it too.

    As for that hum, it KILLS sustain. I play some real dumps around town and sometimes the electricity just sucks.
    If you are moving from high powered humbuckers to single coils, the jump will be significant. That is why I like the '59s.
    No chains were yanked in this post...

  11. #11
    Little Dreamer
    Join Date
    02.15.05
    Posts
    5
    Last Online

    04.11.05 @ 05:05 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Strats have always picked up mains hum and radio interference. Clapton, Malmsteen and Blackmore all put replacement pick ups on their strats which were basically humbuckers designed to sound like single coils and so for all their endorsement of Mr Fender's guitars they never really used the stock versions. Robin Trower even used Gibsons on a US tour because of the radio interference.

    I put Seymour Duncan Hot rails on mine and coil tapped them (it gives the best of both worlds). Strats aren't the easiest thing in the world to play, butanyone who has heard Eric Johnson will be a convert.

    Regards

    Replay

  12. #12
    Sinner's Swing! Zahzoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    04.20.01
    Location
    3rd Stone From The Sun
    Posts
    3,495
    Favorite VH Album

    The Classic 6 Pack
    Favorite VH Song

    Take Your Whiskey Home
    Last Online

    11.04.17 @ 06:01 AM
    Likes
    85
    Liked 185 Times in 65 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tribb
    Saying that, It's a Mexican strat, and although a lot of them play nicely, those p/u's aren't anything to write home about.
    JWR is right when he says you're gonna have to get into the 1000 + price range to get a real good playing strat, but that shouldn't affect your hum problem.
    Of the Mexican made Strats... there is one model that I've found everyone of them I've played has been great. It the Jimmie Vaughan Tex-Mex Signature Strat. It's got a custom neck, soft V shape. Comes equipt with the Tex-Mex pickups... Bridge is super hot, middle is true reverse wound and it's wired from the factory with the middle pickup wide open and tone control on both the neck and bridge pickup. Nice thing is you can pick these puppies up new for between $500-$600.

    In switch positions 2 and 4 the thing is as silent as the best humbucker I've heard and still has a perfect strat tone to it. The bridge pickup output wise is about as hot as any bucker I've played as well. Very versitile guitar IMO.

    The only thing I did to the original setup was crank down the springs on the tremlo to block it off, dropped the saddle height slightly, reset the intonation and plug 'n' play.
    Woke up this mornin, got Blue Moon in your eyes...
    http://www.myretrolounge.com

  13. #13
    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
    Join Date
    01.08.00
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    4,113
    Favorite VH Album

    Cover Bands from Pasadena
    Favorite VH Song

    Babe Don't leave Me Alone
    Last Online

    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
    Likes
    29
    Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts

    Default

    This is funny, I've found strats really easy to play. I love the tone of a Paul but can't stand the necks on them...too damned flat.

    To get a great strat tone with s/s/s p/u configuration you not only need great p/u's you need an amp that likes strats. I grew up playing a strat and it sounded good through some amps and like complete shit through others. Strats even sound different throught exact models of amps. I used to use my strat through a JCM 800 and it sounded great but I plugged it into my buddy's 800 and it sounded rotten. My buddy's 800 sounds great with his Paul and my other guitars but with a strat forget about it.

    I also think you have to know how to play a strat. They're definatly different than a humbucker guitar.
    My Band
    Baluchitherium

  14. #14
    Niners Fan! SactoFan's Avatar
    Join Date
    01.07.00
    Age
    47
    Location
    The Tiki Bar...
    Posts
    9,524
    Favorite VH Album

    Van Halen 2
    Favorite VH Song

    Dance the Night Away
    Last Online

    @
    Likes
    6
    Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts


    Premium Member

    Donor

    Default

    meanstreet, return it, buy a G&L Legacy...be happy forever for less money...
    Can't stop...addicted to the shindig...

  15. #15
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    02.21.00
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,491
    Favorite VH Album

    Carnal Knowledge
    Last Online

    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Quote Originally Posted by SactoFan
    meanstreet, return it, buy a G&L Legacy...be happy forever for less money...
    That's a good point. If you're not gonna customize then an older G&L is the way to go.
    I don't think I've played a bad one yet. They play and sound like old strats, and in a high no. of cases more so than the strats fender's been putting out since the 80's.
    Leo wasn't happy with what fender was doing and designed a strat to sound and play like the originals that he designed.

    Fender p/u's shouldn't sound "hot", and mexican strat p/u's aren't wound to sound like vintage p/u's so you can't expect it to sound like an early strat.
    Even the Mexican reissues, which aren't bad instruments don't sound like their vintage counter parts.
    When I talked about building a custom strat I was talking about every aspect of it, including neck and body wood, radius, frets, pickups, and hardware.
    When you build it the finished product should sound like what you hear in your head, assuming you can play, and you're building it to realistically achieve that sound.
    Like SactoFan says though, if you don't want to build it, and you want a real vintage strat tone then you'd be smart to look at an older G&L.
    If you want it hot, then get some humbuckers, and there's no point in worrying about playing a strat neck cause any neck will do.
    It won't sound like a strat so it won't matter what guitar you put the p/u's into.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. wolfgang pickup / custom custom pickup?
    By no fret in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09.18.02, 06:20 AM
  2. Action
    By non stop talker in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 01.16.02, 10:25 AM
  3. Strat players----front or back???
    By hain23x in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 09.06.01, 06:22 PM
  4. What's a good pickup for a Strat?
    By KenyonVincent in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01.30.01, 07:58 PM
  5. I Want Some Action
    By Ashe in forum VH Songs/Albums/Videos
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 11.09.00, 02:11 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •