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Old 09-12-2019, 08:14 AM
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raysachs raysachs is offline
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Originally Posted by Steel and wood View Post
I'm guessing the reason why they don't make hard tail Stratocasters is because those who don't want a tremolo (vibrato) simply don't attach them.

Not convinced that a hard tail Stratocasters sound any different than one routed with springs.

Personal opinions of course.
It's a little more complicated than that. First, most people you see playing without a trem, it goes beyond just not attaching the trem bar. If the bridge is still floating, string changes, tuning stability, etc are still just as sketchy and without a trem bar to work with. So most folks who prefer no trem either deck or block the tremolo to make the guitar easier to work with. And lots of strat aficionados DO think a hardtail sounds different from a strat with a trem and some (See Clapton) thinks a strat with a blocked trem sounds different from either an unblocked trem or a hardtail.

I've been blocking my strats for 40 years, never EVER found a musically useful way for ME to use a tremolo (many are brilliant with them). I finally broke down a couple years ago and bought a Robert Cray. And everything about it other than the neck was my favorite strat ever. And the neck was very very good, just not as much to my taste as the rest of the guitar. But I tried a couple of necks and when I put a Road Worn 50s strat neck on it (maple board, soft V, 7.25 radius), it became my dream guitar. I will own this strat for as long as I'm playing any strat and, given my history as a strat guy, probably means as long as I'm alive and can still play any guitar at ALL.

I think the Cray sounds different than any strat I've owned before, to my ears better but to others probably not. I don't know how much, if any, of that is attributable to the hardtail and how much is attributable to the pickups (which are supposedly the same pickups Fender uses in the Cray Custom Shop models) and how much is how I have it wired, which is not the stock wiring.

But, yeah, Fender should offer more hardtails. I suspect they just don't sell well and I also suspect the Cray doesn't sell very well anymore either (he hasn't been nearly as high profile a player as he used to be, sadly - he's still great). But my guess is the reason Fender still makes and sells the Cray is because they feel obligated to offer ONE hardtail at least. Which if the bean counters had their way, they might not. I'm just glad I got one while I'm still young enough to enjoy it and wish I'd gotten a hardtail years ago. They suit me...
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