Let’s Talk About Fender Strats [Sounds, Bridge Setup, Pickups & More]

Published 11 June 2021

Mick loves Strats more than life itself. So let’s get him talking about tones, setup, bridges and much more besides!

Life too short for long YouTube videos? Please see the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ information below.

Welcome to the show! Goodness this is a long one. I LOVE Fender Strats and I can talk about them quite literally for days. In this video Dan makes the mistake of asking me about them and the absolutely inevitable occurs – a really long and in-depth video. Ha!
Do be aware though that this is all just personal experience and opinion. After 30+ years of playing them – and playing pretty much all of them in terms of spec – I’m not massively interested in powerful pickups, two-point bridges, flat fingerboards, noiseless… in fact pretty much nothing, spec wise, after about 1968. I like the traditional designs so that's my reference point.
Please enjoy the episode!

Want a Strat?
Here are the Five Strats I’d Buy to suit all budgets… (all come in maple neck variants too)

• Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Stratocaster

• Fender Vintera Road Word ’60s Stratocaster

• Fender American Original ’60s Stratocaster

• Fender Custom Shop 1959 Time Machine Heavy Relic Stratocaster

• Fender Custom Shop Michael Landau Signature 1963 Stratocaster

Pedals & stuff in this episode…

Signal order for the board:
Tweedy, Argo, OD9, D&M Drive, split…
Harmonious Monk, then Vent, both to Two-Rock only
Delay and reverb stereo to both amps
(All the drive pedals hit both amps)
TheGigRig G3 Atom takes care of all signal routing, splits wet/dry/parallel and stereo
Tweedy and Argo are outside of G3, before loop 1. TS808 is loop 1, D&M Drive is loop 2, Monk in 3, Vent in 4, delay in 5, reverb in 6. Switch numbers are +1. Confusing huh?!

• Schmidt Array SA525 pedalboard

• Boss TU-3S Tuner
UK & Europe:

• Dan Drive Tweedy 5E8-A
Find Dan on Facebook and Instagram

• Mythos Argo
UK & Europe:

• Maxon OD9 Analgman Mod with Bad Bob Boost

• Keeley D&M Drive
UK & Europe:

• JAM Pedals Harmonious Monk
UK & Europe:

• Neo Instruments Mini Vent II
UK & Europe: Try the Micro Vent too,

• Free The Tone Future Factory FF-1Y RF Phase Modulated Delay
UK & Europe:

• Chase Bliss Audio CXM1978
UK & Europe:

• TheGigRig G3 Atom

* Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
0:00 Intro playing
2:21 What are we doing today?
4:45 Strats in Mick’s world: rosewood
5:50 Are all the guitar heroes Strat players?
8:35 Strats Sound Weedy, Don’t They?
9:15 Today’s amps
10:10 Adding mids with an OD pedal
12:35 Tube Screamer sounds
14:25: …and more with D&M Drive
16:00 Positions 2 & 4
18:15 Tone control on the bridge pickup
25:45 What about volume?
28:30 Dan, Dynamics & John Mayer Strat
35:15 Single coil and JB humbucker compared
39:15 Humbucker and P90 compared
42:20 Bridges & tremolos
45:20 Bridge problems
49:15 String bending vs floating bridge
52:40 More springs, trem on body
54:27 The springs have reverb
57:04 Mick’s fave bridge setup
1:00:40 Saddles?
1:05:20 RWRP?
1:15:00 Neck pickup fun
1:26:50 You can’t bend on a vintage radius

Guitars in this episode:
• Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster – Mick’s vid at:
• Fender American Vintage ’59 Stratocaster - no specific video yet
• Fender John Mayer Signature Stratocaster - no specific video yet
• Fender EOB Stratocaster – Dan’s video at
• Karl Longbottom S-Style - find Karl on Instagram

Amps in this episode
• Two-Rock Custom Reverb Signature 100/50 with 212 cab / TR1265B speakers
Marshall 1987x and Zilla Custom 212 cab with Celestion Alnico Ruby speakers

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