The Stratocaster Tone

The Stratocaster is known for its bright, and extremely clean tone. The bridge pickup have sharp and brigth tone comparing to neck pickup which sounds mellower, louder and fuller. Conveniently, the middle pickup is somewhere in between these two sounds.

Bridge and middle pickup and combination of those two provide that distinctive "quacky" tone excessively used by David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Bob Dylan, Rory Gallagher, and Eric Clapton. The neck and middle pickup are wired to a tone adjustment knob which bridge, with its treble sound is not. Some of the Strat series feature a bit overwound bridge pickup moved from the highest amplitude piece of the vibrating string which increased the signal output. Even more overwound pickups were produced and distributed as "hot" version, or with the bridge pickup only overwound "Texas Hot" which was popular among Southern Rock guitarists.

In the 1970s and 1980s some musicians modified their Stratocasters replacing bridge pickup with humbucking one and that configuration became to be known as "Fat Strat". Eventualy, Fender started to produce such configuration known as HSS, which was used where for "heavier" sound in hard rock and metal. There is also HH configuration with two humbuckers called HH by Fender and also known as "Double Fat Strat", HSH and HHH.