1979 Stratocaster

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Frequently Asked Questions...

Fender Stratocaster American Standard vs Gibson Sg Standard?

I want you to compare these two guitars. Everybody knows that they complete each other and actually noone is better than than the other. There two guitars are produced by the two most important factories of "six-strings" in the world (as far as electric guitar is concerned). Their price is more or less the same (maybe Fender costs a little bit more). Do you have one of these two guitars? Would you like to have one? Which are the characteristics you appreciate of one and of the other. Just tell me your opinion.


Best Answer...

Answer:

Hello there,

The Gibson Les Paul and the Fender Stratocaster. Two icons. These are among most copied guitars in rock history (the Les Paul is more copied than the SG). That alone says a lot. Others do not make copies of lousy guitars; they copy the best.

Comparison?

The SG has a 24 3/4 inch scale length. It has a rounded profile mahogany neck with a 12 inch radius rosewood fretboard. The body is mahogany. It is a set neck. It has a fixed neck tilt. Since it lacks the heft, it does not have the same legendary tone and sustain that the Les Paul has. The SG has a pair of humbuckers with the one in the bridge position better hot. It has a fixed bridge.

The Stratocaster has a 25 1/2 inch scale length. It has a modern C profile maple neck (thinner than the Gibson) with a 9 1/2 inch fretboard radius. The fretboard may be either rosewood or lacquered maple. The body is alder (swamp ash for certain finishes). It has a bolt on neck with a tilt adjustment. Also available in about any pickup configuration, the Strat normally comes with 3 single coll pickups. The middle pickup is reverse wound so that in positions 2 and 4 of the pickup selector switch you get a hum bucking effect. The Stratocaster normally comes with a vintage tremolo bridge.

Characteristics?

When I was younger, I played mostly Gibson guitars. These days, I find the Stratocaster more comfortable to play. My fingers are not a flexible as they once were. The frets are farther apart on the Fender scale and down that neck that becomes more noticable. The Strat has a brighter tone with greater clarity. The humbuckers of the SG are hotter and grittier, but not as mellow and warm as say the Les Paul or the ES-335. I prefer the feel of the Strat over the SG. The SG was not one of my favorite Gibson models back when I played Gibson. I did not care for the balance of the guitar. I thought the Les Paul and the ES-335 had far better balance. The SG does take distortion very well. I have become very fond of the clarity of the Fender single coil pickups. They take effects adequately enough for my tastes.

When I think of the SG, I always think of the one that Clapton had that was painted back in the acid rock days. Back then, the Stratocaster was Jimi's white Strat from Woodstock. But earlier, I thought of Hank Marvin's red Strat and Dick Dale playing the Strat upside down (he still does).

Have one? No I do not have one Stratocaster; I have many Stratocasters. I don't count them so I don't know the number of Strats I have now. I do switch around which I play. The ones I have been playing (past 6 months) are my 1979 Stratocaster walnut finish, my 1985 AVRI 57 Strat surf green finish, my 1986 AVRI 57 Strat (was surf green but a prior owner stripped the finish and put on clear nitro lacquer), my 1986 Fender Japan Strat with vintage noiseless pickups in what I think is chrome blue, my 1996 Fender American Standard Stratocaster in sea foam green, my 1992 Fender Standard Stratocaster (MIM) in shell pink, my 1996 Fender Standard Stratocaster (MIM) in Lake Placid blue, my 1993 Fender HM Strat in olympic white, a custom built Stratocaster with a 1989 Fender American Standard neck and a Mighty Mite swamp ash body in surf green loaded with 57/62 pickups, and my Fender Custom Shop 1960 NOS Stratocaster in sea foam green. I do not have any Gibson SGs these days.

Each of my Strats has its own voice so I have a hard time making general statements about the tone of a Strat. Some are darker than others. Some are brighter (happier) sounding. Over the years, I have played many types of music. I use the tremolo quite a bit because I play more surf than anything else these days. So the vintage single coil pickups have the voicing that suits me best. I play through a 1969 Fender Dual Showman, a 1972 Fender Twin Reverb or my little Fender Champion 600 reissue most of the time. I do sometimes break out the old Marshall Lead or the Traynor 40w 1x12. My pedals are boxed up and seldom use very many now. I have a rather aggressive style of play. Not surprising, Dick Dale, Martin Cilia and Paul Johnson, are my favorite surf players. I am not well trained, but have been playing since 1957. My playing style is far from text book. I have to set up my Strats with slightly higher action because of my playing style. Better trained players can get by with the low actions, but I cannot because I am so heavy handed.

Not too sure how all that helps you. Just because I find one type of guitar more comfortable to play does not mean you will. Different flexibilty, different body shape, different age, different playing style all affects playing comfort needs. A properly trained player would probably pick up one of my guitars and wonder how the heck can anyone play a battle axe like this.

Later,

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1979 Stratocaster

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