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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've played only high end ibanez (and my lawsuit era ibanez Les Paul) for years now. Since i sold my MIJ Tele nearly 10 years Ago.

Recently I've been really enjoying the necks on my JS guitars (I have a 1000 and a 1600).

But having played my friends Mex strat all day whilst jamming at their house today I've got GAS for a good strat. It does give you some tones that the split coil JS or middle coil Jem don't quite nail.

I think a maple necked strat might be worth it if I can find a nice one with a similar neck radius/thickness to the JS.

Anyone got any recommendations as the number of strat options are so huge it's bewildering. Or better to try suhr or an AZ? There's something about that bell like ring you get with real single coils..
 

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I'd say go to a music store and play them all, like you would for anything else. I haven't played the Suhr Strats but I had 2 Andersons and while a lot more money than a Fender I didn't like them as much. Actually, the newer Fender Strats (after say..'12? ) are great guitars. They even have Strats with sustainers now
 

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I've played the new American Ultra and American Professional series. They are both great playing guitars. The new Ultra body carves are similar to the original Jem777 (without the grip of course).
 

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I've heard a lot of really good things about the new player and ultra series guitars. The players are a great value.

If you don't mind it NOT being fender, you could always try to find a Ibanez 540 R. It Feels a lot like my JS, the body is almost the same. It's a bit heavier but It has a HSS configuration, The necks were the Ibanez Ultra which was not a 17" radius like the RG's or 540S and it's a bit chunkier. it feels a lot more like a fender. I have a 540R but I only got my hands on a body. I had a neck built for it. But it's a work horse with tones if you don't mind putting your own pickups in. I see them going for $600-1K on reverb or ebay fairly often. I have the bridge on mine coil tapped to get as close to the strat #2 position. Plus it's a vintage non common body shape. Not many people have them. I love the strat but it's the glock of guitars. Everyone and their grandfather has one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think play a few to find the right one..
I really want maple neck, not to chunky..

Good thing about strats is they're also easy to customise with spare parts.

Will probably sell a PGM or a JS before going to Japan in the spring to generate some cash to check out the 2nd hand stores for any MIJ bargains...

The ultra series sounds like a good fall back option. Will try to play test one before my trip.
 

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I went with an Eric Johnson model as not only do I like his music but I really like the flat 12" radius fretboard over the more common Strat options.

It seems well made and sounds nice too.
 

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Oh that sounds awesome. It's a strat with a normal strat scale but with a les paul radius. I'll have to look for one of those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I went with an Eric Johnson model as not only do I like his music but I really like the flat 12" radius fretboard over the more common Strat options.

It seems well made and sounds nice too.
I had thought this too. Spec looks interesting. But never seen one in a shop to try. Maple board too usually.

Did you get the semi hollow body version?
 

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I had thought this too. Spec looks interesting. But never seen one in a shop to try. Maple board too usually.

Did you get the semi hollow body version?
Yes - I liked the idea of that too after I watched some videos demoing it.

I do like it and in fact I'm now tempted to pickup one of the EJ models with a bound rosewood fretboard and a solid body as well in the future if one comes along cheap enough....
 

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I'd say go to a music store and play them all, like you would for anything else. I haven't played the Suhr Strats but I had 2 Andersons and while a lot more money than a Fender I didn't like them as much. Actually, the newer Fender Strats (after say..'12? ) are great guitars. They even have Strats with sustainers now
That's the ultimate way to find a Strat you like &desire. There are unlimited amount of Strats everywhere from <$60 to >10K$. Virtually all of them has same or very similar specs; 3 single coil pickups, 5w switch, alder or ash body, 1p maple neck or rosewood fingerboard on maple neck, 6 screwed tremolo... But result, on the other hand, varies very dramaticly.

My personal approach on the Strats are just like this;
-) 1 piece maple neck/quartersawn preferred and as chunky as you can play smooth, thickness is crucial for tone
-) rosewood board (or cocobolo or pao ferro is also preferred)
-) lightweight alder body (as light as possible)
-) Well made tremolo (steel, titanium, aluminium is okay but never go for Zinc alloy material. If the essential tone is too bright brass might be good
-) True single coil pickups; ~5,5K dc resistance for the neck, ~6K for the middle and >6,5K for the bridge. I especially like to use a real tele bridge pickup on the strat bridge. Simple yet useful mod.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'd say go to a music store and play them all, like you would for anything else. I haven't played the Suhr Strats but I had 2 Andersons and while a lot more money than a Fender I didn't like them as much. Actually, the newer Fender Strats (after say..'12? ) are great guitars. They even have Strats with sustainers now
That's the ultimate way to find a Strat you like &desire. There are unlimited amount of Strats everywhere from <$60 to >10K$. Virtually all of them has same or very similar specs; 3 single coil pickups, 5w switch, alder or ash body, 1p maple neck or rosewood fingerboard on maple neck, 6 screwed tremolo... But result, on the other hand, varies very dramaticly.

My personal approach on the Strats are just like this;
-) 1 piece maple neck/quartersawn preferred and as chunky as you can play smooth, thickness is crucial for tone
-) rosewood board (or cocobolo or pao ferro is also preferred)
-) lightweight alder body (as light as possible)
-) Well made tremolo (steel, titanium, aluminium is okay but never go for Zinc alloy material. If the essential tone is too bright brass might be good
-) True single coil pickups; ~5,5K dc resistance for the neck, ~6K for the middle and >6,5K for the bridge. I especially like to use a real tele bridge pickup on the strat bridge. Simple yet useful mod.
Tele bridge pick up?
When I get to play a strat i always seem to end up camped in neck and neck/mid position and never found bridge that usable. This is an interesting idea...
 

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I went with an Eric Johnson model as not only do I like his music but I really like the flat 12" radius fretboard over the more common Strat options.

It seems well made and sounds nice too.
That one is the shredders' strat; I'm sure the 1996 G3 Tour was a complot to expose Eric music to Ibanez fans in order to make him a sig and sell it later.
 

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Tele bridge pickups get a lot of their bite from the baseplate. Duncan makes a Strat bridge pickup called the Twang Banger that will give you most of that Tele sound. Harmonic Design makes a pickup called the STP which will do the same as well. I'm sure there are others as well.

If you are looking in Japan you should also look at brands like Bacchus and Momose as well. If I was guitar shopping in Japan for Strat I would check out the fenders but I would be looking specifically for a Japanese high end copy. FGN makes a Strat like instrument called the Odyssey as well.
 

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You don't want to get a Strat with a bridge like that one, really. The current standard 2 point trem is the way you want to go if you are going to use the trem much.
 

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There are strat die-hards that swear if you set the guitar up right, you can use the trem all you want and it will stay in tune. Then again, there are people who still think the earth is flat... :surprise:
 
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