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Gibson ES339 studio versus fender american Stratocaster

tom brown

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After buying my ES 339 studio I figured  I would get a Stratocaster for a different type of sound  to go with my fenders blues Junior 4 and vox ac4 tv.


The search has not been so easy. All the strats  I played have sound too thin or they didn’t play right or they had other issues but I did play one today that was in really nice condition and it played really good but it just lacks the depth  and the complexity of the ES339. 

i’m wondering if my ear has adjusted so much to this  Gibson that i  can’t really enjoy the single coil sound.  Also  I just bought a new GHS guitar chord and it actually made this guitar a little bit brighter. There are  an amazing range that sounds I could get with this setup and I think that Memphis Tone circuit has a lot to do with it.

I might give up looking for a Stratocaster at this point. 


cheers !


Edited by tom brown
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11 hours ago, tom brown said:

i’m wondering if my ear has adjusted so much to this  Gibson that i  can’t really enjoy the single coil sound.  


That's a good question. I also have a ES-339 Studio and it does have a rich complex tone. Though I sometimes find it difficult to EQ when playing a gig with 'difficult' acoustics.

While using this and other similar builds have altered my appreciation of tone, I still enjoy the Fender sound, -though I have moved across to the Tele now. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have both. Yes they do sound different but that's the whole idea. My 339 has 57 Classics, like my LP Trad but with the different bodies they aren't the same. The 339 is a bit more open, for lack of a better description but played wide open still has that thick tone we all love


A Strat is a single coil so it isn't going to have that full tone. It gets that nice clean glassy tone but go to the bridge and they scream. No, it isn't the full humbucker sound but they're great in their own way


You just might not be a Strat guy is all. I started on Fenders and have a Strat and a Tele which are different animals. You might be a Tele guy. They compliment a LP well. 

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  • 5 months later...
On 8/5/2020 at 12:07 AM, Larsongs said:

Your comparing Apples to Oranges... Of course they sound different... Love all my Gibsons & love all my Fenders...

Listen to  what Hendrix & Clapton did with Strat's if you think they lack depth, tone etc...

This should be the answer we all need to hear on this.

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Maybe you want a HSS or HSH strat? I have a HSS and the tone is still "thinner" as you describe it to Gibson guitars (or other humbucker ones). You could try a P90 equipped Gibson or one of the Modern style Gibsons that have push/pull function to split the coils like my Les Paul studio has, that might give you an in between for the tone you are looking for?

Here's a comparison vid for the split coil effect vs Strat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlDZyfJxQpM


Edited by Forsaken
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 Thank you for the feedback 


 I ended up getting a fender American special Stratocaster that is a 2016 manufacture and it has Texas specials on it and somebody change the Bridge out to a Wilkinson VSVG bridge . 


 The Texas specials tend to be brighter and sharper then others so I ended up slamming to pick ups down flush with The pick guard and his soften them up in my next step might be to put some DR blues nickel strings on it to see if I can soften it up a little bit more .  I like the vintage sound Stratocaster‘s so I guess that’s what I’m trying to get .


 It’s a really nice guitar plays like butter I can’t say anything bad about it but I have to tell you those Texas specials are very powerful pick ups .




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