IRangASilentBell wrote: ↑Sat Oct 30, 2021 8:57 am
Let me know if I'm off on anything here but after digesting all of this info I think I want to go the blaster route with it built into the Strat with the on / off switch. It sounds like this will thicken the sound and give it some gain.
I think having the gain adjustable with a push / pull would be pretty cool but I guess it's not that useful or important because it won't be something you change once finding a setting that you like.
I have a friend that can help build this or help install it from a kit. I'm not sure where to buy the kit or parts yet as some of the links were to other items or to non-working pages.
Thanks for all of the info everyone
My experience with StratoBlaster’s is their useful gain range is pretty limited. They are a decent buffer at or near unity gain, but at that range they will offer very little coloration to the tone. A slight boost with an A/B test will be perceived as thicker fuller tone, but if you level match the tones (assuming nothing else is over driven) there is little perceptible difference.
If you crank the SB to the point of getting JFET distortion, where it does add character, I find you end up with a Strat that is VERY susceptible to EMF noise, even with very good shielding. This really limits the usefulness of the SB other than as a buffer and that’s why an internal trim is fine.
What it really does best is to preserver the highs through your cable run, and also maybe add a slight boost to the output level of the a vintage style single coil guitar so that it can drive pedals and amps the same as a P90 or vintage output humbucker guitar. That to me was a big benefit. I could keep my twin reverb channel volume set a the same edge of breakup level for Strats and LP’s by level matching at the guitar output with the volume pots on 10.
Ultimately though, I have never fallen in love with the SB. I actually just removed my last one and replaced it with the standard Fender midboost circuit. The Fender boost offer a similar but less noisy clean boost right on the main volume pot. Set it around 7 and it sounds like a unity gain buffer, but you can still turn up to 8-10 for clean boost. It really is very clean too, no noticeable change to the tone of the guitar at all. You then have the mid boost control which allows you to fatten of up the tone. Not very 70’s-90’s Jerry at all, but it does let you get close to the 60’s Gibson tones from a Strat, plus the added versatility for non-Dead playing.
For the Jerry thing, keep in mind that he was using these things to preserve the tone out of the guitar and keep it consistent, NOT to color it or change it. Along those lines the later designs, like the ones Waldo builds, or some of the other active options, are just as good or better for the job than the original and primitive StratoBlaster design.