The Music Of JC Harris

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

JCHRants

The Strat

My 1976 Stratocaster has a fairly storied past. It was purchased from a heroin addict outside a music store in Detroit in 1979 for the princely sum of $75 dollars. This thing’s been with me on five continents for close to thirty years. People ask me about it not because it’s a particularly great guitar (it surely is not!) but because it doesn’t sound much like a strat. Well, you can partly blame it on the fact that I never intended to play a Strat. Never liked ’em. So I always wanted it to not sound like a Strat. Hence, there were many home-made modifications.

  1. The pickups have been replaced with a variety of humbuckers… most recently a complete set of Seymour Duncan JB ’59s which are supposed to sound like, what? Jeff Beck; Jazz Box? Who knows?
  2. The 5-position switch was replaced with a 3-position switch. The three positions now function as follows:

    i. Front pickup

    ii. Front and Rear pickups together in parallel

    iii. Rear pickup

  3. There is a mini-switch that toggles the middle pickup on and off. The middle pickup is therefore unaffected by the 3-position job.

The two obvious benefits to this wiring are:

  1. You can get an ‘all pickups’ combination which adds another flavour to the usual ‘out of phase’ sounds (positions two and four.)
  2. You get the ‘front and rear’ only effect, which is definitely more ‘Gibson-like’ even without changing pickups.

Plus, unlike other wiring mods I have seen, with this scheme you give up nothing; ie. the guitar retains all it’s inherent ‘Stratitude’.

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