wern101 would never have imagined that this could contribute to tone. With the mod I am currently busy with I am going to be blocking off the trem, purely in an effort to improve the mids.
It's fairly common to 'hardtail' a strat somehow - either by just setting it up with the trem on the body (it'll dive, but not pull up) or blocking off the trem somehow (I've got a tremelno). Done a few very unscientific tests on hardtails vs floating trem'ed strats and I always prefer the hardtailed ones. Just sounds a bit 'fuller' to me. Oddly enough...strats that have fixed bridges do not sounds like a strat to me - that 'springy reverb' is missing? Perhaps that's just me though.
My pickups are soooo microphonic I can hear the springs of the pickup mounts Over time, I found I prefer the lofi nature of this - YMMV!
wern101 If you need convincing, consider how the bridge pickup of vintage-style Strat sets usually sounds disproportionately bright compared to the middle and neck.
It’s because stock Strat wiring leaves the bridge pickup unconnected to a tone control.
WHAT!?! Ok, something for me to investigate
Yeah, a common mod is to make a 'master' tone control for all three pickups, tames the 'ice pick' nature of the bridge pickup. Some prefer it, others not so much.
Rory Gallagher's sound was the ice pick nature of the bridge pickup - really cuts through the mix. Dan Platansky has a wah-wah trick - the tone rolled all the way off and then he flicks the selector between the bright bridge pup and the dark neck pup - sounds like a wah (in his hands, anyways...) - ffwd to 12m.
I've got mine wired up to a master tone - though, in practice I find I hardly ever roll off the tone when on the bridge pickup.
wern101 Small changes that can add dramatic tone differences?
There's a LOT of opinions and options in the strat world - it is (imo) the most moddable guitar. I'd say the most useful mod I've made (after upgrading electronic components, pots/switches/wiring) - was a treble bleed on the volume pot - that I do find very useful. Followed by hardtailing. And then a graphtech nut/saddles for slightly easier tuning (strings don't stick on the nut and the saddles apparently have a slight eq effect at around 2k frequency)
I'd also say shielding the guitar if you are not using noise cancelling pickups is a good idea - it's something I've not done...yet. If I was gigging this guitar, I would.
wern101 Now do an ultimate guide to Les Paul tone...
Hehehe, google Joe Bonamassa...