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Old 02-04-2023, 06:21 PM
jpmist jpmist is offline
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Default Old guy transitioning to Strat from acoustic

Title says it, just wondering if anyone in their 7th decade has done the same?

My hands and fingers are still pretty good, but I can tell my fingerstyle playing has peaked. I don't do the 1/16th note folky fingerstyle stuff like I used to but I can still pick out a melody above my bass line. I just can't play 90 minutes straight like I used to. My hearing has always been mild/moderate loss but luckily my best frequencies are in the vocal range.

Playing my Strat is simply so much easier, particularly with a capo up the neck. I can go a lot higher on the neck with a capo as well without losing all tone like an acoustic will. And with my hearing, I know acoustically I'm simply not hearing the bass and treble as much as I used to, so amplification at a low condo friendly level is gonna be necessary.

I stumbled on one of those Blackstar Fly mini-amps and boy is that thing a hoot! I can play that in the living room or mike it to Garageband with either Strat or acoustic and enjoy it's tone.

My Garageband sessions are the most fun I can still have and I want to keep at it another decade at least so I've been trying to get my Strat set up to eventually replace the OO size acoustics I own. I've already changed out the strings to the same guage I have my OO's. While I like sustain, an electric has simply too much so I've noticed if I keep the volume under 3 or 4 the notes won't ring as long.

So any tips on setting up the Strat and amp to get close to an acoustic tone would be appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2023, 06:52 PM
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Chickee Chickee is offline
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Here you go my friend. They make pedals to do that for you.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...sWMARUnwm8-gmQ


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Old 02-04-2023, 08:50 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmist View Post
...any tips on setting up the Strat and amp to get close to an acoustic tone would be appreciated!
If you don't want to go the pedal route, one old NYC "Key Club" (our hometown answer to Motown's Funk Brothers and the LA Wrecking Crew) studio players' trick from the early-60's was to drop the middle pickup of a Strat flush with the body (to diminish magnetic "pull"), unfloat the tailpiece (for additional bridge contact with the body and a "woodier" tone"), fit a set of flatwound 12's (standard fare for the time anyway), run it through one of the Ampeg tube combos that were staples of the studio/club scene (top-panel Reverberocket, Gemini II/B-12XT later in the decade), and use it alone for "acoustic" rhythm in a full-orchestral arrangement (the neck/bridge pickups covered the "electric" spectrum, and since they were wired with a 3-way switch back then selection was quicker and easier). While it doesn't sound strictly "acoustic," it's very effective in a group setting - and if you listen to a number of the old Four Seasons hits ("Dawn," "Ronnie," "Save It For Me," among others), you'll hear just how well it fills the same sonic space...
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Old 02-04-2023, 09:40 PM
gfirob gfirob is offline
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You might also consider a hollow body, which is going to get you closer to that sound. I play a Gretsch for that, but all the hollow body Gibsons are great too.
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Old 02-05-2023, 05:03 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Originally Posted by gfirob View Post
You might also consider a hollow body, which is going to get you closer to that sound. I play a Gretsch for that...
Ditto - been playing them since 1964, and with the right strings/settings it gets real close - but I believe he already owns a Strat, and I have a feeling he needs the smaller/thinner body as well...
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Old 02-05-2023, 07:18 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Originally Posted by jpmist View Post
So any tips on setting up the Strat and amp to get close to an acoustic tone would be appreciated!
After discovering all the great sounding battery guitar amps (Yamaha THR, Positive Grid, etc.) that make an electric as portable as an acoustic, I transitioned my acoustic repertoire to electric. For finger style solo or or vocal backup at a small gathering, those who choose to comment like it better than an acoustic. No question better for adding leads to an otherwise all acoustic jam.

I think the break through for me was not trying to make an electric sound like an acoustic, but to make my acoustic repertoire sound good on an electric.
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Old 02-05-2023, 08:11 AM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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Quote:
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I think the break through for me was not trying to make an electric sound like an acoustic, but to make my acoustic repertoire sound good on an electric.
That's all the people listening to you are going to care about, for sure.
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Old 02-05-2023, 01:21 PM
jpmist jpmist is offline
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Thanks all for pitching in! I appreciate it.

The pedal link was interesting. I auditioned them all and liked the Hotone Omni the best but I have a lot of tweaks I can do in Garageband so I don't want to add any gadgets preferring to keep things simple. I'm still in deep regret having bought a Line6 Pocket Pod amp simulator with a nightmare UI I never bothered to master. Seems all the pedals listed made a point of making a strumming electric sound close, but I play with nails and hardly ever strum. Surprisingly, one even featured a "piezo" setting which even my poor ears can detect and loathe.

Last week I auditioned a few semi- and hollow-bodied electrics which made me appreciate my Strat even more. My Stat balances perfectly on my lap with the top at likely the same exact angle as my OO hollow-bodies. On both, my right hand fingers fall on the strings at almost the same angle so I don't have to "adjust" switching between the strat and OO. Even better, the bridge string spacing of both OO's and Strat are the exact same. I have managed to set up the action similar to my acoustics, I haven't raised the action at the bridge yet, but that's next on the list of things to try. The nut is narrower on the Strat but when playing capo'ed up the neck that hardly matters. So the Strat is non-negotiable.

jonfields45 - you're living my dream that I never did manage to have happen. Gigging as a duo looks like a lot of fun and congrats on that as well as your website. Clearly the electric has got to be plugged into something, but since I'm not gigging and live in a condo I have to stick with the smaller boxes. Also I've found GarageBand to be very glitchy as far as using it's amps directly from my USB box. I have had puzzling glitches for years with GB, so a better solution is to simply put a mic on the Blackstar Fly amp I have. It's a very easy simple solution I wished I'd hit on earlier.

I appreciate the suggestion of lowering the middle pickup and this is kind of what I'm interested in hearing more about. Getting a "rock" Strat tone has always baffled me, but for my purposes now, I end up playing clean which is fine. With the 5 way switch and tone knobs I can adjust what I need to hear depending on how high up my capo is.

The specific issue I'm trying to address is to somehow get the same type of attack, note decay and resonance from the Strat that my acoustics have. I've already discovered that playing with volume knob down to 3 will reduce the sustain, so perhaps lowering the pickups, weakening their signal, will reduce the sustain as well.

Thanks again to all!
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Old 02-05-2023, 01:37 PM
JackC1 JackC1 is offline
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If you're shopping for a new guitar, maybe consider the Line 6 Variax. They have acoustic sim built-in (it sounded better than the acoustic sim from my Roland Micro Cube GX).
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Old 02-05-2023, 01:57 PM
CASD57 CASD57 is offline
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This is my Baby:

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Old 02-06-2023, 06:43 PM
davidd davidd is offline
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I don't want to rain on anybody's parade but it isn't so much the guitar, it's the amp that really makes the difference. All these tiny lunchbox type amps, modeling amps, headphone amps etc. are IMO not going to get you where you need to be. Even if you only want to play at very low volumes a quality amp is a necessity. It would be like going out and buying a top notch acoustic and then playing it with earplugs. I can make a $150 guitar sound great through a nice tube amp but I can't make a $4k Les Paul sound good through a $150 amp.
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Old 02-06-2023, 09:58 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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^^^^^ A man after my own heart... ^^^^^
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  #13  
Old 02-06-2023, 10:27 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmist View Post
Title says it, just wondering if anyone in their 7th decade has done the same?

My hands and fingers are still pretty good, but I can tell my fingerstyle playing has peaked. I don't do the 1/16th note folky fingerstyle stuff like I used to but I can still pick out a melody above my bass line. I just can't play 90 minutes straight like I used to. My hearing has always been mild/moderate loss but luckily my best frequencies are in the vocal range.

Playing my Strat is simply so much easier, particularly with a capo up the neck. I can go a lot higher on the neck with a capo as well without losing all tone like an acoustic will. And with my hearing, I know acoustically I'm simply not hearing the bass and treble as much as I used to, so amplification at a low condo friendly level is gonna be necessary.

I stumbled on one of those Blackstar Fly mini-amps and boy is that thing a hoot! I can play that in the living room or mike it to Garageband with either Strat or acoustic and enjoy it's tone.

My Garageband sessions are the most fun I can still have and I want to keep at it another decade at least so I've been trying to get my Strat set up to eventually replace the OO size acoustics I own. I've already changed out the strings to the same guage I have my OO's. While I like sustain, an electric has simply too much so I've noticed if I keep the volume under 3 or 4 the notes won't ring as long.

So any tips on setting up the Strat and amp to get close to an acoustic tone would be appreciated!
Comfort and tone, it's what its all about.

You might Consider the new Cordoba Stage nylon and pairing it with small true stereo amp like a Cube EX or it's smaller brother, the Cube Street.

You might be pleasantly surprised by the increased comfort of the Cordoba Stage.

Last edited by Rudy4; 02-06-2023 at 10:54 PM.
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  #14  
Old 02-07-2023, 07:14 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidd View Post
I don't want to rain on anybody's parade but it isn't so much the guitar, it's the amp that really makes the difference. All these tiny lunchbox type amps, modeling amps, headphone amps etc. are IMO not going to get you where you need to be. Even if you only want to play at very low volumes a quality amp is a necessity. It would be like going out and buying a top notch acoustic and then playing it with earplugs. I can make a $150 guitar sound great through a nice tube amp but I can't make a $4k Les Paul sound good through a $150 amp.
Definitely in the ear of the beholder. I wouldn't bother with tube anything at this point.
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.wav file, 30 seconds, pickup left, mic right, open position strumming best...send to direct email below
I'll send you 100/0, 75/25, 60/40, 50/50, 40/60, and 25/75 IR/Bypass IRs
IR Demo, read the description too: https://youtu.be/SELEE4yugjE
My duo's website and my email... [email protected]

Jon Fields
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  #15  
Old 02-07-2023, 12:08 PM
GoPappy GoPappy is offline
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I completely reject the notion that an expensive amp is required for someone who just wants to learn to play an electric guitar for their own enjoyment and in the privacy of their own bedroom.

We arenít talking about trying to exactly replicate some specific sound. Yes, I know there are lots of people who will whip out their keyboards and duel you to the death over whether Amp X sounds better than Amp Y, or whether one more accurately reproduces Player Zís tone on Song W. But thatís not the point of this discussion.

We are talking about the guy who just wants to learn and play and have it sound ok to his own ears through an amp that will likely never leave his bedroom. And there are any number of sub-$500 amps that will fill that role just fine.
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