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tone controls on a strat


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I eliminate the middle tone control on any strat style guitar that I've ever owned, and move the volume pot mid way between where it was, and the middle tone control, and make the bottom tone control work all the pickups. Mostly because the standard volume control position on the standard strat is too close to the first string for my taste in control placement. Then I glue dimes over the empty holes of the pots I have moved. Works for me. I also put Telecaster style knobs on the remaining volume/tone controls.
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I use my one tone control. Especially on slide. My setup seems pretty rare these days. It used to be more popular. I have no idea why more people do not set their strats up like this.


1) I replace the 5 way switch with a 3 way.


2) Switch is wired like a Les Paul. Neck/ Neck and Bridge/ Bridge.


3) Knobs are 1. Master Volume for Neck and Bridge/ 2. Master Tone/ 3. Volume knob that fades in the middle pickup. (standard reverse wound middle PU)


This setup lets me play all normal start PU combinations plus 2 others 1 Just Neck and Bridge (sort of Tele like) and 2/ All three ( great for slide)


You can turn up the middle pickup just enough to bring it in circuit and you will get hum canceling.


To the best of my knowledge the man who first came up with this setup was a rocket scientist named Skunk Baxter.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne


"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt


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It can be cool for dark and round tones, not to mention Clapton and Santana "woman tone".


You can take advantage of the traditional Strat's wiring scheme by switching back and forth from the neck and middle pickups with varying Tone-control roll-offs, and the bright bridge-pickup with no Tone-control on it at all, for dramatic changes in tone.


Stephen Stills used a Strat's neck-pickup (neck-and-middle?) with the Tone-control rolled off to great effect on leads and fills on "Wooden Ships"...


_________________________ [video:youtube]

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?


~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Even on standard models I find them effective, 'though they seem more noticeably so near the roll-off end.

I suspect there may be caps w/more even response available but I never bothered since less involved (& more striking) ways of creating FX were there.


Thanks, DBM, CEB & Caev for your tips...& for reminding me of that deep in the fog sound Stills conjured on that track !


[bTW, I think he's opted recently for the "CO'S" look !]


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Like DBM, I prefer a master tone on a Strat much like a Tele, Jag or Jazzmaster and I like the volume knob on a Strat moved down and out of the way. I can deal with the extra tone knobs though and I like blending the pups and working with the tone knobs on just about any configuration Strat, LP, etc. :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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