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Who did the mods to Steve's Strat?

 
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mountainmusic



Joined: 05 Dec 2008
Posts: 6
Location: Mill Valley, CA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:58 pm    Post subject: Who did the mods to Steve's Strat? Reply with quote

Hi Steve:

Nice to see you and say hello a few times on JamCruise.

I'm curious who did the mods to the guitar you seem to play the most - your Strat with the DanElectro (I'm assuming vintage) lipstick pickups? I also have two Scott Walker guitars - and they're great. But the bell-tones you get from the modded Strat are simply the best I've heard.

I'm using a modded Two Rock Custom Reverb Artist head, a modded LXP-1, as well as vintage JBL D130F 15" speakers. I tried building a Strat with the smaller versions of the lipstick pickups (that fit the standard Strat body). However, those just didn't have the full tone you get from yours.

Thanks very much, and see you next time you're in the bay area...

- James
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kimock



Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 441
Location: Lehigh Valley

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:35 am    Post subject: Re: Who did the mods to Steve's Strat? Reply with quote

mountainmusic wrote:
Hi Steve:

Nice to see you and say hello a few times on JamCruise.

I'm curious who did the mods to the guitar you seem to play the most - your Strat with the DanElectro (I'm assuming vintage) lipstick pickups? I also have two Scott Walker guitars - and they're great. But the bell-tones you get from the modded Strat are simply the best I've heard.

I'm using a modded Two Rock Custom Reverb Artist head, a modded LXP-1, as well as vintage JBL D130F 15" speakers. I tried building a Strat with the smaller versions of the lipstick pickups (that fit the standard Strat body). However, those just didn't have the full tone you get from yours.

Thanks very much, and see you next time you're in the bay area...

- James


Hi! Nice cruise huh? That was a good trip all around.
Anyway, there's bunch of non-stock stuff on that guitar obviously, all done a long time ago, maybe even pre-1980. It's hard to say.
Most of the electronics and pickups and fret work early on was performed by Larry Natalini. He did a good job.

Those modern Strat sized Lipsticks aren't the real deal. I'm pretty sure they're just Strat pickups in tubes, so they're going to be a little too powerful to do the old Dano Lipstick thing which is ridiculously weak.

That old Strat of mine is mostly about the big string/weak pickup sound, so you're not really gonna get into that ballpark without both.
It's very low gain, and very microphonic, but the tradeoff is a really wide, sweet dynamic range. It takes a lot of force from both hands to get it going, but when it does finally get going it's pretty distinctive.
I'm thinking the heavy gauge strings are probably the biggest factor, and the weak pickups let you take advantage of that, more than the other way around, so if you were just going for the pickups without the big strings you wouldn't be getting the same effect.

Y'know, by itself it's a nice enough sound, nothing special, but when you get it in context with other instruments, that wide clean dynamic range sets it apart in a really useful way.
What gauge strings are you using now? Maybe just bump it up a gauge and lower your pickups a little. . .

See ya soon!
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mountainmusic



Joined: 05 Dec 2008
Posts: 6
Location: Mill Valley, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:47 pm    Post subject: Lipstick pickups/ modded Strat. Reply with quote

Thanks very much for the kind note back...

Since I've been reading your recommends on gear & tech for years now, I've already lowered the pickups on all my electric guitars (and several of my friends as well). That almost always improves the sound. I'm using Pryamid .012 - .054 with a wound third. Heavy strings sound better, too, no doubt.

Is Larry Natalini still doing work on guitars? Is there a way for me to get in touch with him? I'm going to try and build a vintage Strat with the full-size lipstick pickups, as well as the Cutler preamp that Scott Walker and others use.

Several years back, I put a Strat together with the smaller 'Strat-size' lipstick pickups, but they just aren't the same. This time I want to try and do it right. I found a guy named Curtis Novak - and from what I can tell, he makes the best 'recreation' of a vintage DanElectro lipstick pickup available right now. Maybe you know of him?

BTW, I had Scott build a semi-hollow for me with Fralin humbuckers and the Jangletone preamp. One-piece maple neck, too. That's a marvelous axe. Maybe I'll bring it by a show sometime for you to try.

Yes, JamCruise was fantastic. My first, so bound to do it again...

Thanks again for your time, and of course the music as always.

- James
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mountainmusic



Joined: 05 Dec 2008
Posts: 6
Location: Mill Valley, CA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:01 pm    Post subject: Old thread, same topic. Reply with quote

BTW, found this thread here (from many years back) on the very same topic: http://bit.ly/g0cMSK
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ER



Joined: 02 Dec 2009
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got to hang out with Larry last summer for a bit to pick each others brains on some amp projects we both had going. He was back actively working on a couple guitars for people. He's a great guy and worth looking up for any guitar work you need done.

-ER
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