Vintage Fender Strats, Custom Shop & Boutique S-types, Guitar Parts, Auctions & Sales!


Shield and Ground Your Strat Right!

Correct Strat Shielding & Grounding

Add to your guitar DIY site favorites!

This site is loaded with guitar and amp mod schematics, and other important guitar geek related info. Their Strat shielding & star grounding diagram & tutorial guide Quieting the Beast provides thorough instructions on bringing your Strat up to earthquake code.

Cary at Electric-Guitar-Review just let me know he performed this operation on a friend's Strat, to amazingly good results. I suppose he may even do his own Strat(s) now, after having used someone else's as a guinea pig (Sorry Cary!).

Pimp Your Strat!
(more DIY resources and parts suppliers!)

(large directory site for guitars, gear & parts suppliers)

Relic Guitar Resource Links

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Suhr's Hum Cancelling System Now Available For YOUR Strat!

BPSSC "Back Plate Silent Single Coil" from John Suhr WILL eliminate all 60 cycle hum from your Strat. Period!

This is a major upgrade for Stratocaster owners. Installation is easy-- so easy, even a caveman can do it*.

Suhr BPSSC hum cancelling kits

Scott Henderson demo's the Suhr BPSSC in these videos. You once had to buy a Suhr guitar to have the BPSSC system. Now, Suhr has packaged the system in an after market replacement back plate for any Strat.

Yes, there are low noise single coil pickups on the market, but the Suhr BPSSC system allows you to retain your original/favorite pickups. This system also promises not to alter the tone of your pickups-- as other "solutions" typically can. A bold statement, but Scott Henderson believes so and demonstrates it. Watch the video!!!

Youtube version

*NOTE: Some current Strat models configure the center pickup in reverse polarity to help cancel hum. The Suhr BPSSC will not work with this configuration. CLICK HERE for more details at the Suhr website, including a complete installation PDF download link.

Suhr BPSSC & Pickups Suppliers:

Whole Tone Music "We carry Tone Tubby speakers, Eminence speakers, Groove Tubes, JJ Tubes, TAD tubes, Winged C tubes, Gibson and Fender parts. We want to help you customize your tone!"

AMP-SHOP "SOLDANO, BOGNER, ENGL, CARR, DIEZEL, ORANGE, THD, Blockhead, KOMET, RIVERA, Heritage, Groove Tubes, DEMETER, EBS, EDEN, Aguilar, Gallien-Krueger, Ashdown, AER, ESP, SUHR, HERITAGE, Floyd Rose, GODIN, Fernandes, FODERA, Fbass, Lakland, MTD, ROSCOE, Sadowsky, Ritter, BOSSA, Music Man, G&L..."

Current eBay Results: Check eBay STORES merchants.

Low noise pickup alternatives:
DiMarzio Area 58 & Area 61 Strat pickups.

Pimp Your Strat!
(mods resource directory)

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Andy Summers Caught Cheating on His Tele!

The Police kicked off their world reunion tour on May 28th in Vancouver BC.

Here you see Andy Summers with his new Tribute Model (relic) Telecaster... NOT!

A little steppin' out with a shiny new trophy Strat is just the middle age affluent way of showing that you still have it.

From all accounts, The Police still have it!

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Relic Guitar Treatment Approved!

Having problems getting up enough to break-in your Strat right?

Not comfortable letting someone else "do" your guitar?

No matter what you do, does it just keep on looking new?

These could be symptoms of Relic-tile Dysfunction- "R.D.".

Fortunately, now there's * VIAGRIT !

VIAGRIT'S **patented formulation combines the industry's worst guitar polish products with a small amount of paint stripper in a 3:1 ratio with real, honest to goodness GRANITE CHIPS!

That's the magic in VIAGRIT!

Soon your axe will be looking a ho lot more fooled around with, not to mention the respect you'll gain. So don't let R.D. prevent your Strat from knowing who its Daddy is. VIAGRIT is the leading solution for Relictile Dysfunction.

Ask your luthier today if VIAGRIT is right for you and your instrument!

* Certain musicians should not use VIAGRIT. Common side effects may include: regret, loss of judgement, embarassment, shame, itching, watery eyes, delaminations, rash, cuticle breakdown, offensive chemical odor, dry mouth, upset spouse, loss of friends, children and/or pets run away, mother-in-law moves IN, warranty void, toxic overexposure, extreme depreciation, ruined clothing, ugly guitar, ugly guitar, ugly guitar, ugly guitar, ugly guitar...

** FDA- Fools on Drugs Administration- approved.

Find out about VIAGRIT today, and make R.D. a thing of the past!
_____________________________________Eligh Willy


If Viagrit isn't enough, try this:

Be a Relic Guitar Player!

Stratoblogster Labs

If you didn’t read this at Guitar Blog, it’s been bootlegged! © 2006 - 2016 JP Holesworth. All rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted, distributed or duplicated without author’s written permission.

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'Hang Drum' Players Really Have a Dilemma...

Having trouble finding that perfect Strat-- or your ideal guitar in general?

Consider the plight of the poor hang drum player; especially a prospective hang drum player. I just discovered this video at Neatorama, and immediately wanted to learn more about the "hang drum". It would really be cool to have one of these... Check this other VIDEO.

Well, as it turns out, this instrument comes from only one source; a builder in Switzerland. As demand for hang drums has increased, the builder has actually tightened down the availability. The drums are no longer available from distributors, and the builder has even turned off his website. You CAN get a hang drum, but you must contact the maker and arrange travel to Switzerland to meet with them and have your hang drum built.

I'm not kidding!

Seems to me, the numerous steel drum makers out there have an enormous opportunity... But as of yet, a trip to Switzerland is the only way to get a hang drum.

Update: Someone is now making something similar out of bbq size propane tanks! Check out

Check these blog posts for the full scoop-- and in the meantime, be glad that guitars* are so abundant! (unusual musical instruments source)

* "What can this strange device be?
When I touch it, it gives forth a sound
Its got wires that vibrate and give music
What can this thing be that I found?"
Neil Peart
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Guitarville By Vegas - Genuine Vintage Fender

Collectible pre-CBS Fender Stratocaster

Pictured is an actual 1959 very mint Strat, currently listed at $41,500.00.

Guitarville By Vegas - eBay listings specializes in vintage pre-CBS Strats and vintage Fender parts. If you got the money, they got the honey! Take a browse there and gaze at some REAL classics. All listed items feature tons of detailed info. and photos. Proprietor Ed Matthews is an "...eBay Platinum Power Seller with over 3500 positive feedback comments, 2000 of them being repeat customers...".

I discovered Ed after stumbling upon a '63 three tone burst, 6 lb./ 13 oz. hardtail, recently sold for $27K. It just occurred to me that the weight of an ideal Strat is also roughly the average weight of a newborn human baby. I sure hope my kid amounts to something someday.

After wading thru all the relic and re-issue stuff we're seeing everywhere, it's kind of a holy experience to check out genuine vintage Strats like the ones "Eddie Vegas" has in his inventory. Some of the pieces have interesting histories as well.

A list of eBay search results of the best guitar builders, including Suhr, Grosh, Anderson, G&L, Fender and more.

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Doug Rappoport: Edgar's Newest Frankenstein !

From Doug's humblest beginnings as mild mannered boarding school student, dreaming of EVH greatness in his tiny & lonely dorm room-- little did anyone know of the monster lurking within. Much less young Doug himself. But someday, a call for help from an unsuspecting rock legend would once again unleash this monster in a new form and even greater ferocity than once ruled the FM kingdom.

Layin' it on pretty thick, huh. It's the caffeine...

Anyway, it's simple to say that Doug worked quite hard, and steadfastly maintained focus on his dreams, to magnificent results. But that would be boring.

Instead, I believe that at some point, Doug Rappoport was abducted by alien beings. And after surfing with the alien beings for some time, they were pleased and bestowed upon Doug a mystic potato head grooveness which Doug brought back to earth... It could happen!

Not content as a mere mortal sideman, though in most regal company, Doug continues to craft his grooveness towards a solo project, as the surfers approvingly watch from the mothership above.

Go listen now:

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A Strat For Friday #33 - 'Cast-o-Caster' Super Lure

Lookin' for a use for that relic job gone bad? Well, look no more!

If you're goin for the bigguns, best be usin' top-o-the-line tackle, folks!

When our friend Smitty, aka Popeye Kahn, was growing up in Cleveland, he heard tales of Lake Erie's Mutant Ninja Walleye. A product of years of industrial waste and pollutants, the legendary walleye was said to be some 15 feet in length with six gills on one side, huge crazed saucer-like eyes and a disposition meaner than three barracudas on meth.

Determined to haul in this notorious toxic menace of the deep, Smitty devised a most fiendish lure that would most certainly attract attention, even in Erie's most murky regions. Behold the "Cast-0-Caster Mega Lure"!! Built on an actual Strat platform, the Cast-o-Caster Mega Lure incorporates all the important sportsman's lure features any pro-angler worth his salt would appreciate. "No Sucka Too Big!" would probably best express a lure such as this.

Unfortunately, as Smitty's music career was demanding more and more time, he was forced to curtail his x-treme angler days and allow Lake Erie's ominous one to forever remain at large. Today the Cast-o-Caster is proudly displayed on the wall at Smitty's Twangri-La estate in Nashville, where he now resides.

In summary, consider these words of wisdom:

"You can give a man a Strat, but if you teach him to fish... he'll ruin the Strat, and end up not catching anything."

FRIDAY Strat Archive

Hi-end Strats

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Relic Guitar Resource Directory

Relic Strat Guitar Gear: DIY, aged, distressed stratocaster, vintage, NOS, retro, rustic, closet classic, guitar resources.

How To Relic GuitarGuitar aging "relic-ing" is growing like the micro-brewery phenomenon. The idea and it's processes were probably born in such establishments too.

Actual terms like Relic, Retro,Vintage, NOS, Aged, Distressed, Tinted, Closet Classic, Rustic, etc., are being used to market NEW guitars that look experienced. Some more experienced than others. A similar parallel is seen with denim jeans.

Even though Strat's and Tele's don't seem to be changing, they actually are in the direction of making them appear older, wiser, more experienced, personalized, classic, vintage, valuable, seasoned, used, abused, cooked, marinated, grilled, smoked, baked, roasted, charbroiled, dropped down the stairs, rode hard and put away wet, driven over, left outdoors, trashed, abandoned, condemned, punished, tortured, embattered, disciplined, incarcerated, executed, crucified, embalmed, mummified, exhumed, resurrected, etc., etc., etc. Click here for more "Relic Relief".

"DON’T WIPE THE SWEAT OFF YOUR INSTRUMENT You need that stink on there. Then you have to get that stink onto your music." Captain Beefheart

Here's a listing of relic, guitar aging related sites popping up across the world wide web:

Fender Relic Guitars (Links to top online authorized Fender Relic Dealers)

Tricked Out Guitar (aged hdwr-knobs, jack plates, pickguards, etc)

"Schoolgirl" by artist Keith Garvey
2.5" x 6" clear vinyl static decal
Available at Hot Chick Stickers (directory below)

Vintage Pin-up Decals - Directory for classic waterslide decals, including How-To links for applying decals, graphics and refinishing your guitar.

Killer Guitar Components - Specializing in hi-grade machined brass trem blocks for superior
Strat tone & sustain. Shallow string recessing like the 57's & Eric Johnson Strat blocks. Tell 'em Stratoblogster sent ya!

Guitar Parts And More hardware & guitar kits-- ALLPARTS Dealer.

MJT Aged Guitar Finishes -  Fender Relic-style guitar kits you assemble. Kits include everything but pickups, pots and switch. Top quality wood and hardware. All USA.

FV Custom Guitars - Relic Aging upgrade services by luthier/fine artist Frank Verrilli. Includes tweed amp makeover treatments.

Virtual Vintage Guitars

Revelator Guitar Works

RS Guitarworks

Bravewood Guitars (John Elliot, UK builder)

Jay Munn Custom & Relic Guitars

King Bee Guitars (formerly "ABC Relic..." They're in Texas!)

Cara Hot-Rod Guitars

Crook Custom Guitars

Do we promote your brand, or help sell your gear?
Feel free to tip.

Nash Guitars (Seattle builder)

AXL Guitars (Badwater distressed guitars)

KLH Custom Relics (Indianapolis builder)

K-Line Custom Guitars (St. Louis builder)

Kelton Swade Guitars - (Nashville builder)

Rock N' Roll Relics (San Francisco builder - vintage replicas)

Relic Deluxe (How to Relic a guitar, DIY tutorial site) (Video demo on aging metal parts with muriatic acid) (Turn your Strat into an SRV #1 Replica)

Toneslinger DIY relicing videos at Youtube (DIY, SRV Strat Video Series)

Guitar ReRanch (Refinishing supplies, instruction and forum)

Guitar Mill - Paint & refinish services including Relic work & finished replacement components.

Guitar Builder & Luthier Tools & Supplies Complete eBay category results

ValveTrain (relic-ed AMPS "Tortured Tweed")

Rebel Relic

Wall Street Journal Article

Vinetto Guitars (ck the Artifact line)

Relic Relief (satire)

more coming as I find 'em !

Relic Guitar Dealers

Pimp Your Strat!
(wiring diagrams and parts suppliers)


TUBES & AMP Parts Directory
(huge selection of vacuum tube & parts resources)

NOTE: Stratoblogster may be interested in featuring your Strat relic/DIY project. Contact us at Bigfrets77 at gmail dot com ! Include 2-3 clear photos, specs, components used and a brief description about your build, plus any tips you'd like to share which may help first timers.

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Joe Bonamassa- 'The Young Guitar Wonder Years'

Joe Bonamassa celebrated his 30th birthday on May 8th, '07. Already a seasoned guitar veteran performer by the time many of us were marveling over the likes of Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang and Derek Trucks, Bonamassa continues to play a key role in keeping the Blues guitar torch blazing forward.

I discovered a very cool documentary, created in the early 90's when Joe was 16 profiling Joe and his first band, Bloodline. Pay attention to the names of the other "kids" involved in Bloodline. In three parts on Youtube, this retrospective epitomizes Stratoblogster's ever growing Young Guitar Wonder series.


Joe Bonamassa- Bloodline Part 2
Joe Bonamassa- Bloodline Part 3 (check touring schedule for dates in your area!)
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Beyond Relic-Aged Strat Progressions

May  2007
Pictured is a Strat destroyed by Kurt Cobain, on display in a UK museum, which along with other similar memorabilia helped celebrate 30 years of Britain's Reading Festival (article link).

Wouldn't this make a great new limited edition artist series?

Custom Shop could "deconstruct" 300 Strats exactly this way and affix the pieces within large shadow box display cases. Anyone who spent $20K last November on one of those Blackie's, would have been wise to park it in a display case and hang it on the wall anyway. So, what difference does it make whether the guitars are playable or not? You certainly wouldn't wanna "mess up" your investment by actually playing it yourself, right-- "Hey! That's not a genuine Claptonesque headstock cigarette burn!".

The "KC" Strats could be sold for a ridiculous amount, with a portion of the profits going to something nice. Use your imagination...

If you like this idea, check out the "REHAB Series" piece from my recent guest blogger appearance at Electric-Guitar-Review. Yes, someone else actually published my stuff.

Also, stay tuned for seven new models celebrating the Seven Horsemen of the Apocalypse-- The Post-Apocalypse Squier Artist Series. Why not? Ok, they'd come with gig bags too... Stain resistant gig bags, no less. Happy now?

Relic Resource Directory

If you didn’t read this at Guitar Blog, it’s been bootlegged! © 2006 - 2016 JP Holesworth. All rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted, distributed or duplicated without author’s written permission.
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A Strat For Friday #32 Andona's 'Missing Link'

Andona Guitar(
Antony Brajdic started Andona Guitars in 1995 in Croatia, after learning under legendary European luthier Rolf Spuler and working for Warwick, building basses.

Pictured is the Missing Link model (a midi guitar), one of two Strat-type models from Andona. Besides having an exceptionally high standard for wood and materials, Brajdic is also into polyphonic/hex pick-up technology. The bridge in the photo features his Polyharm Hexophonic Piezo System.

The body edges & contours of this model sort of combine style elements of the Ibanez Satch with the PRS DC. Click the image for more photos. The headstock has a pretty standard shape (whew!).

The Andona line also includes archtops, basses and a few other aesthetically well crafted models along with another Strat-type, called the Remake. Be sure to visit the website!

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DIY Strat Upgrade Ideas & Guitar Resources

Authorized Fender factory parts and accessories

Fender USA Eric Johnson Strat bodies(image:TheSTRATosphere)

A benefit of the Strat's bolt-on neck is being able to replace the neck. Replacing a body is an option too.

But why?

Well, say you want an Eric Johnson Strat, but don't have $1749 to shell out (they've gone up!). One option is to purchase a fully loaded EJ Strat body, like the one pictured, for $899-- and slap on the neck of your other Strat.

Although it wouldn't be a complete EJ Strat, you would gain the EJ pickups, selector wiring config., shielding, ultra-thin nitro finish and a more carefully selected, lightweight two piece body. You'd also save over $800!!

The-STRATosphere Authorized Fender parts & accessories dealer, stocks loaded EJ bodies, as well as tons of other genuine Fender hardware (find more authorized suppliers below).


Resource, Info. and Supplier Links:

Pimp Your Strat Directory (links to mods and wiring ideas)
Relic Guitar Resources (Relic builders, tutorials, paint & refinishing) (guitar gear supplier web directory portal)
DIY Pedal & Amp Mods Resources
TUBES & Amp Parts Directory (NOS Tubes suppliers & amp resources)
Strat Deal Search (Current sale & auction listings, Top Dealers directory)

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Guitar Auction Parody

Google search: "eBay guitars"

(page #1)

This guitar will surely go UP in value!!! IT IS A GREAT INVESTMENT OPPRUTINITY 4U! ... up to your maximum bid, which is kept secret from other eBay users. ... - 31k -Cached - Similar pages"

Click the result link and prepared to laugh you a*# off!! Be sure to check ALL links on the "listing" page.


The J-Walk Blog
"Stuff that may or may not interest you."

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The New Yorker Features Parker Guitars

(image: Parker Guitars forum)

Whether you're a Parker fan or not, you still have to marvel about his innovations, from which anyone may discover more about form, function and perhaps most importantly-- synthesis of materials.

Parker recently introduced a line of archtop jazz instruments at '07 Winter NAMM-- and I'm sure the archtop purist community out there has all sorts of opinions...

The New Yorker just ran a feature on Ken Parker and his creations (5/14/07). Although, the guitar rags have covered Parker for well over a decade, the New Yorker piece, by Burkhard Bilger, provides a nice little overview on guitar design and its evolution, with a Parker perspective.

CLICK HERE to visit New Yorker's Parker feature page where you can either listen on MP3 or link to a text transcript page.

Thanks to Boon from RecordMyMind blog for the tip!

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Knucklehead Guitar Strings- Elevate the Culture!

Ah tell ya whut, these here 'ol boys got they-selves one helluva line o strangs!! Yessir!! is a must see website for all you white-trash, redneck geetar pickin' mutha's out there. Each strang set features a beautiful theme from America's heartland.

Besides the Super Mullet's pictured, Knucklehead also has other high-society favorites i.e.: Redheaded Stepchild "Coostic" strings, Extra-Smooth Combover Classical and others.

Knucklehead's motto is:

"Committed To Proving Dad Wrong!"

So gitter done and gitcha some Knuckleheads, and BE SOMEBODY!!

Find Knucklehead strings at these fine eBay Stores.

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Strat-o-Sister Becky Barksdale- 'Handle With Care'

No surprise, Becky Barksdale is a Texas musician; born and raised in Port Arthur, a town that hasn't been the same since Janis Joplin re-wrote the rules for their daughters to come.

I actually own the 1996 House of Blues- Hot Biscuits sampler CD, featuring Becky Barksdale's hair raising vocal on a tune called Satisfy Me. Here over ten years later, I run into Becky online and discover one kick-ass Strat-o-Sister!! I must have missed that she also played guitar, because that vocal was so hot.

This live performance of Handle With Care, reportedly from the Easy Riders Motorcycle Rally in Chillicothe, OH., doesn't quite display all Becky's vocal power like Satisfy Me, but she sure wails on that white Strat! Check out the double stop bends ala Albert King/SRV!

Becky's tunes, including Satisfy Me, are available at her myspace for download.

Strat-o-Sister's Directory

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Relic Guitars Need Relic Guitar Strings

care,tips,vintage tone,
Alright, so you have your aged relic guitar and vintage tweed tube gear, but something's still missing... something is wrong.

Those fresh new strings could be the problem.

Shiny, clean new strings can literally cancel out the "character frequencies" from your sound, leaving you all alone with "cracka tone".

But now, thanks to Process Intensive String Set Electrolytic Developer, aka "PISSED", your rig's character frequencies "CF" can be preserved & maintained with each and every string set change.

And, just to show how much I care about your tone, for this time only, I'm offering you the secret of PISSED technology, which can be implemented as a DIY project at little or no expense to you. You'd be crazy not to take advantage and act today. CLICK HERE for "how-to" details.

Need strings to process?

Pimp Your Strat!
(mods-wiring directory and parts suppliers)

If you didn’t read this at Guitar Blog, it’s been bootlegged! © 2006 - 2016 JP Holesworth. All rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted, distributed or duplicated without author’s written permission.
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Julian Pavone- Young Drum Wonder!


When the TV reality series- Finding Julian's Band - hits the living rooms this Fall, everyone's gonna know about the youngest drummer in the world. Julian Pavone turns 3 years old this May 14th.

Let's not waste any time kid!!!

I discovered Julian during my research on 9 year old guitar wonder Alex Razayeski (Alex "Raz"), a current semi-finalist
for the upcoming reality series.

Julian is the first drummer to be featured at Strat-O-Blogster. At his age, I just couldn't ignore this non-guitarist. Who knows-- he could get bored with drums next year and still have time to become a guitar virtuoso by age 7. Just stay out of his way.

Don't believe me? Just check out

Video Trailer for Finding Julian's Band.
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TRICKED OUT GUITAR- Your DIY Guitar Mods Supplier

The Hottest Place For The Coolest Parts. TOG, Stellartone, CAL, Seymour Duncan, Lindy Fralin, Custom Shop Parts, Rockfield, Mightymite, Allparts, Q-Parts, Wilkinson, B-Band, LR Baggs, Fender, Groove Tubes, Gibson.

diy guitar parts
Tricked Out Guitar

"Our Goal: To be the most comprehensive and friendly source for guitar and amp parts on eBay."

More Guitar Mod Resource Directories:
Pimp Your Strat
Tubes & Amp Parts
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Young Guitar Wonder- ALEX RAZ

Nine year old Alex Raz is making sure that the old "Cleveland Rocks!!" expression never goes away. Clevelandites, and future Rock 'n Roll Hall of Famers, Alex and 7 year old singer Vince Fonsdale mean business with this performance of Journey's Don't Stop Believing. The drummer must've had too many Skittles, but he gets it back under control.

One youtube commentor critic idiot was ranting about the drummer needing a "metrodome".

Here's my sci-fi theme idea. Neal Schon and Steve Perry become irradiated by an over-modded Tube Screamer causing them to gradually become younger and younger. Not wanting to waste any time, they furiously set forth touring as much as possible until they become too small to remain upright any longer. Oh yeah, drummer Steve Smith tries to O.D. on Lucky Charms and Capri Suns before shows. Their final show is held in a magnificent venue called The METRODOME!!!

Both Alex & Vince are currently semi-finalists for next Fall's reality TV series "Finding Julian's Band" from the new Harmonie Network. Julian Pavone, known as the world's youngest drummer, turns 3 on May 14, 2007.
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A Strat For Friday #31 Rattlesnake Skin

Snakeskin Covered Stratocaster

Genuine Snakeskin StratYou're looking at genuine western diamondback rattlesnake skin! Even the headstock has the stuff, though fortunately the fangs were left off.

I found this site via the Music Thing blog.

But you ain't seen nuthin' folks! This guy builds beautiful cabinets for amplifiers and effects. The site includes gorgeous photos of exotic wood cabinets and effects boxes encased in dovetailed exotic woods. Other effects units and cabs are finished in tweed and rattlesnake skin.

Visit these links for more details and lots of great pics:

Snakebite kit not included.

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Real Relic Strat or a Sears Relic Strat?

Here's your moment of Zen and instant Stratification. An encore from Strat-o-Brother Philip Sayce for your enjoyment. I think Philip did the wear & tear on his Strat, instead of getting it that way from "Sears". Enough said. CLICK HERE for a live performance video of Spanish Castle Magic with Sayce's Peace Machine band, at the Yahoo! Year End Party. Check out the Jimi at Monterrey Pop moves!

Philip Sayce-Peace Machine at Amazon (also watch for newest Sayce release: Silver Wheel of Stars)

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Stratocaster Selection Approach & Philosophy

Choosing the right Stratocaster

If you're here from Electric Guitar Review blog, thanks for dropping by! Otherwise, be sure to visit EGR for great gear reviews. While they're on vacation, a few guitar bloggers, including yours truly are guest blogging at EGR.

Unless you're a collector, investor or an orthodontist, it would benefit you to mostly rely on your ears and hands when shopping Strats.

Visit guitar stores with LOTS of Strats and play LOTS of them. That's right, you heard right. Work the wall, then work the wall some more. Don't even plug 'em in. Try to find the quietest corner possible and play them acoustically.

If you play lots of them, you'll notice differences in loudness, natural sustain, weight and body/neck resonance and vibration. Usually, a lighter Strat will be more resonant, louder and have more sustain. Pick the sweetest acoustic sounding one out of all you've played and plug into a DRY amp. Bear in mind that if the tone isn't so great plugged-in, there may be pick-up or pu adjustment issues, especially if you're holding a lower priced model.

Conversely, more expensive models may have better pickups and pots, but not sound as good acoustically. So, understand that your ideal holy grail Strat is always the tightest integration of high wood resonance with quality electronics and proper set-up. For a person on a budget, finding this integration in an affordable production model is not impossible, you simply have to play lots of guitars to find a sweet one.

Custom builders are supposed to maintain this integration, which in mass production, only occurs at random. The cost of a custom Strat pays for the builder's understanding of wood and how to select, integrate and match the most resonant body grains to the appropriate neck, then installing top quality hardware and setting up the guitar correctly. A custom builder should also consult with the end user about playing style, favorite players, neck shapes and fret size. This helps them to determine the pick-up options, trem set-up, neck relief, etc., that is best for you. The cost of a custom guitar is supposed to eliminate the random factors involved in searching for a sweet production model.

Custom features i.e.: inlay work, binding, ornate maple tops and/or finishes may enhance cosmetics but do not necessarily improve tone and resonance. Though a good builder can integrate a maple cap to good tone results, it's obvious that these tops are primarily a cosmetic enhancement. If you can do without it, you'll be better off and save some $$ as well.

If you don't have a custom budget, but still haven't found a sweet toned production model, you can still get to Mecca by upgrading the pickups, pots and hardware of an affordable Strat that SOUNDS GOOD ACOUSTICALLY. And ONLY if it sounds good unplugged. Otherwise you will have created a money pit; a never-ending cycle of trying to polish a turd...

Check out this previous article about the possibilities you have with a good Mexican Strat.

Below are three key quotes to help you stay focused with your EARS and HANDS, as you search for your special Strat:

"... I think people overemphasize the importance of gear in their search for tone. Your sound comes from how you pick and dampen the strings, and from your attack as much as anything..." - Eric Johnson

"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."
- H.L. Mencken

"The culture of the country has been hijacked by life-style hotshot pimps who join with consumer fascists in selling you back to yourself."
- Ry Cooder

See related guest post at EGR

Find MIM Strat deals at eBay!

KGC Machined Brass Trem Blocks
(major sustain & tone upgrade for MIM & MIJ Strats)

Pimp Your Strat!
(DIY mod resources & parts suppliers!)

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Black Machine Custom Guitars

Black Machine is a UK outfit specializing in 7 & 8 string guitars. I originally wanted to feature their headstock design for my ongoing headstock rants. I actually like their headstocks.

However, I got sidetracked by their exotic wood content, especially this spalted maple top; the finest I've run across yet. "Spalted" describes a piece of maple in the process of decay. The lines and colorations indicate bacteria and rot.

Some builders use naturally occurring spalted maple, but others are exploring the process of spalting it themselves. I've personally explored the process of spalting my cerebrum.

Mark Vinciguerra at told me that this is really tricky stuff to work with because the various sections have different textures and degrees of hardness. Normally a hardwood, maple in this condition can have very soft areas. Mark described how tedious and nerve-wracking it is preparing a spalted maple top for body binding.

more about spalted maple
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Guitar Blog Search Phrases


Here are two of the strangest Google search phrases people have used to arrive at this blog:

1) "Bob Marley Air Freshener"

2) "The song that strats as you got your new house filled with smoke"

I just hope these individuals found what they were searching for. What if the same person was responsible for both??
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Dani Wilde- Another UK Blues Strat-o-Sister!!


I discovered Dani Wilde at the Girls Got the Blues site, which promotes a Manchester UK music festival of women fronted bands. Similar to our other Strat-o-Sister Jo Shaw Taylor, Dani Wilde sings and plays guitar as if she were born and raised in Austin, Texas. But she hails from Brighton in England where she fronts a boogie Blues band that can hold it's own in any roadhouse, anywhere.

Pictured with her Buddy Guy polka dot Strat, Dani handles all the guitar duties and shares the spotlight with awesome harp player, Will Wilde.

Dani is very connected within the international Blues community and is also responsible for The Music For Africa Project, for which she is organizing a chain of gigs raising funds for Kenya's Embu Primary School.

Listen to Dani Wilde at:

Get more info. on The Music For Africa Project:

Strat-o-Sisters Directory


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Incase Revolutionizes Soft Guitar Case Design

guitar case,gig bag,soft carrying case,carry on,tote,backpack,laptop,hybrid,combo case

The secret is in the layers*...

INCASE , has jumped into the guitar/bass carrying case business, in a big way, with their revolutionary line of hybrid cases. Known in the industry for creating Apple's rugged, shock-resistant, Notebook laptop cases, they saw a need in the music market for a more protective, gig-type soft guitar case. The hybrid aspect describes how Incase products combine the lightness and convenience of a gig bag with the rugged & protective properties of a hardshell case.

Not content to simply provide a better softcase, Incase has incorporated FEATURES never before included in a guitar case, i.e. : laptop compartment and numerous pockets & sleeves for cords, accessories, sheet music, etc. Several color options are also available.

Incase produces the current case included with Fender's John Mayer Artist Series Strat.

Their new online store allows you to now purchase Incase products direct.

*layers not intended for the absorbtion of-- or protection from feminine wetness... Different advertisement.
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Welcome Fender Forum Visitors!

Hey all you Lazy 'F' Ranch hands! Thanks for stoppin' by, and special thanks to FenderAddict2 for the reference.

That Sambora thing is HERE.

While you're visiting Stratoblogster, be sure to check out our Friday Strat #30 post about DeTemple Guitars for a taste of the afterlife.

This is a clue to the briefcase contents in Pulp Fiction. If you're really good, you'll get to play 72 of 'em in the hereafter...

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Snagg RFID Microchip For Guitar Theft Recovery

The Snagg RFID Microchip could be a quantum leap in the recovery of stolen gear. Utilizing the identical technology your neighborhood veterinarian is implanting in pets- with huge success in recovering missing animals, the Snagg chip is specifically designed for musical instruments.

Currently, Fender Custom Shop, Carvin, DeTemple and others are offering Snagg chips, which can be embedded in wax or polyurethane and permanently implanted anywhere in an instrument or amp. A registration process ties the chip code to you, just like your dogs chip. Law Enforcement agencies, pawn shops and music stores can scan instruments for owner info.

CLICK HERE to purchase and/or get more details about Snagg RFID retrofit chips which you or your favorite local guitar tech can easily install. At only $24.95, plus $5.00 S&H, you can radically improve the chances of recovering your prized stolen music possession(s).

Check out these cool theft proof custom guitar safes.

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A Strat for Friday #30 DeTemple '56

DeTemple '56 StratThe DeTemple '56 Spirit Series could very well represent the holy grail of Stratoliciousness. I could stop blogging right here and move to Tibet.

Having just discovered DeTemple, and spending time at the website, I'm still trying to gather up my jaw fragments from the floor. Michael DeTemple would seem to be the archetype gourmet Strat builder, as the Rick Turner quote in his website header suggests. Yes, the builder that great builders aspire to. Kinda like Shawn Lane gushing about Allan Holdsworth.

You absolutely MUST make a pilgrimage to "De Temple" (stupid pun, ok).

A few hi-lites to whet your appetite:

Single piece swamp ash or ponderosa pine bodies (lightest cuts selected)
Tuned titanium truss rods
Titanium trem block & bridge saddles
Snagg RFID chip hidden theft recovery implants
Personalized owner's manual with build photos and individualized markings locations photos-- for insurance purposes.

And that's just getting started. The wiring, shielding, switches, pots-- even the capacitors are the best available. Every detail receives meticulous attention. DeTemple makes his own Sweetspot model pickups, although he also plugs Fralin, Van Zandt & Lollar as options. Check out the Harmony Central comments.

If anything could make a Suhr seem like a Squier, it might be the DeTemple. No disrespect intended to Suhr, it's just that I was floored by the extreme dedication to craftsmanship excellence presented by DeTemple. Beyond good marketing, one really gets the passion and understanding that this guy possesses for the complete ultimate Strat concept.

Now, with all that, let me honestly say that I haven't touched or heard a DeTemple instrument-- and I may never get the opportunity. The comment about Suhr is an exaggeration for the purpose of poetic magnitudeness-- I'm a huge Suhr fan. But when you visit and dig into the info., you'll KNOW you've glimpsed Mecca. DeTemple's are expensive and it can be a long wait to get one. But I've read that Michael and his small staff really communicate well with their customers. This could be the chosen one.

So what am I gonna feature next Friday??????

Today's Friday Strat feature is dedicated to Cary over at Electric-Guitar-Review, whose quest for the ultimate Strat has been put on hold as Cary vacations in Hawaii... Poor guy.

DeTemple search @ebay

(I'm feeling lucky.)

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Support Internet Radio Equality Act

Internet Radio may soon be a thing of the past. Find out how you can help save Internet Radio. The message below is from the PANDORA.COM blog. Pandora, "The Music Genome Project" is one of the better interactive internet radio sites. Click the links to find out more details and what you can do.

"...The bill is called the Internet Radio Equality Act, HR 2060 and is being introduced by Representatives Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Donald Manzullo (R-IL). For more info go to SaveNetRadio

Please take a moment to call your congress person to voice your support for this legislation and urge them to sponsor or support the bill. It's very important the we keep pressure on the legislators to ensure that this bill is passed quickly.

If you need help determining who your member of the House of Representatives is, go to where, in the upper left hand corner, you can enter your zip code and get the corresponding Congressperson. Click on their name to access the main phone number of their Washington, D.C. office..."

Stratoblogster relies on both internet radio and myspace for new artist discovery. Without internet radio, finding good interesting musicians would be a lot tougher. Even satellite radio can't compare with internet stations like Pin It Now!


Summer Guitar Manufacturing Workshop at Purdue Univ.

I've been asked me to pass this along, and am honored to do so:
(click on image to visit the website)

"...Check out the new Guitar Manufacturing Workshop where participants learn about modern guitar manufacturing techniques, hear from industry experts, and actually BUILD their own electric guitar over the course of a week.

We have enlisted the support of Fender, Seymour Duncan, and Stewart-Macdonald, who are sending their own experts to help with the workshop!

The course will be held on the campus of Purdue University July 16-20, 2007. This workshop represents a rare opportunity to interact with leading industry experts in the guitar manufacturing world, and commune with the guitar designers of tomorrow!

The workshop is led by Dr. Mark French, who has extensive experience in guitar manufacturing and conducts research for Taylor Guitars..."

Thanks for visiting Stratoblogster, and kudos to the METAL folks at Purdue for putting this cool workshop together!
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