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Old 08-22-2019, 11:04 PM   #1
paranoid
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Default Billyís SD/MCIS guitars

Iím pretty fascinated with how billy decorated his guitars during this era (specifically bat strat, and black and red stars strat). The guitars look especially neat with how the paints have worn over time.

Does anyone out there know how he did this? It looks like he took a sunburst strat, spray painted it silver, then took a marker to the pick guard/pickups/controls? Seems like a dumb and messy thing to do, but thatís what it looks like.

Any insight from fellow guitar nerds?

 
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:56 AM   #2
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Yeah if I’m not mistaken the bat strat is the silver strat he uses on Quiet on Vieuphoria. Which appears to have been a 57’ reissue sunburst strat that was painted silver. The silver was scrapped off partially and it looks like the pickguard and knobs have black and red sharpie on them. Pretty much exactly what you thought.

 
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:20 AM   #3
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Has he played it since 2007?

He's played the blue strat a lot, but it's no where near as iconic imho.

 
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:17 AM   #4
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Has he played it since 2007?

He's played the blue strat a lot, but it's no where near as iconic imho.
The blue strat is the old ďI love my momĒ guitar from what Iíve read.. itís been blue (one of the 3 starts he used) since the Mellon collie tour.

I think he used the bat strat on tours pre Oceania, as I remember it looking more beat up, but havenít seen the other one on stage in a long time.

 
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:35 AM   #5
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Iirc the bat slickers were on the guitar before the paint job... so after they peeled off it's like they acted like a stencil leaving outlines.

Pretty sure hes also used nail polish

 
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:30 AM   #6
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:35 AM   #7
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:29 PM   #8
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Yea, I think this was the last time he used it live. This would have been have been the show they played at Metro in 2010 to raise money for the guy from Madina Lake. The Metro show was added at the last minute, and it apparently would have been too expensive to re-route all the gear back to Chicago, so Billy used the bat-strat and a bunch of other guitars that he pulled out of storage (I specifically remember he used that yellow Strat he played a lot in Zwan).

I believe he continues to use it in the studio. When he was on Twitter, I remember him posting about using it on Oceania, and possibly Monuments to an Elegy.

 
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:33 PM   #9
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maybe this is a "hot take" but the stuff he did to those guitars seemed cool before i knew how valuable they were. why the fuck would you spray-paint and mark up a '57 strat like that, lol

 
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:46 PM   #10
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What is this? You dare question the Bald Lord?!?

 
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:59 PM   #11
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i believe there was a time when these strats were just being tossed without much consideration? i don't think he must have paid that much for them.

 
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:00 PM   #12
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Thing is, because heís a name, he can do whatever he wants with them. Because he played them the value goes way beyond what the value had been had they stayed same and played by some unknown.

 
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:02 PM   #13
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The pickguard is covered in felt. Billy re-drew it multiple times as it would wear off from his playing. There are times when it's more worn down and then at a later show the markings will be replenished.

Here's a related thread: Netphoria - The Bat-Strat mystery



Billy's bought three '57 reissue Stratocasters for SD. The sunburst one that became the Bat Strat, the red one that became coloured black and decorated in stars and which he offered for sale through Reverb for $1 million, and an orangish one that he said didn't sound right and I think he broke it at Pinkpop Festival? I'm unsure where, but I think he smashed it somewhere and someone got hit in the head with the broken headstock when he threw it away.

I think all three '57 RIs are 1988-made, which I've head have a soft-v neck-shape that's thinner than 2000+ era '57 RIs. '57 reissues have maple necks with 7.25" fretboard radius, and an alder body (alder is darker-sounding than ash, but is brighter-sounding than, say, basswood). They also have vintage-spec steel tremolo blocks, and the tremolo system is fully locked down with 5 springs and the tremolo claw screwed just about all the way to the back of the rear cavity.

A vintage-spec tremolo block is larger than some of Fender's modern blocks, and a larger block adds more mass and fattens up the tone nicely. A steel block is brighter-sounding than a zinc / pot metal block, and so because Lace Sensors are darker-sounding pickups, a steel block is helpful for bringing out articulation when using Lace Sensors. A lot of Fender Strats come with a zinc block. Steel is magnetic, and so a block can be tested to see whether it's steel or not by touching it with something that is drawn to a magnetic force.



The Bat Strat was Billy's #1 for SD and MCIS. It has a distinct thick chunky sound to its low and mid-low range that I think sounds like a bulge, which can be heard in this clip: https://youtu.be/B1dYe1CbENA?t=172

And I think also in the intro for Cherub Rock from the Saturday Night Live 1993 performance: https://youtu.be/mztjymSO4IQ

And if the volume is turned up to listen to With Longing, I think that chewy sound is the Bat Strat: https://youtu.be/u2NEqbrEpLg

Billy refers to that lower-mid / mid-range bulge as the "Sabbath note", and it's been a mainstay of the SP sound. Billy even designed his Reverend pickups to incorporate a mid-range spike to bring that sound out: https://www.guitarplayer.com/gear/bi...ignature-model

I think that sound might also be a part of what Billy has referred to as a "round sound" that he's tried to achieve with his gear.



The black star-covered one was Billy's #2 for SD, was used for most of the cleans and solos on SD and MCIS, according to Reverb's comments about it and its Reverb listing.

https://reverb.com/news/billy-corgan...t-shop-preview

"Corgan’s #2 Stratocaster. A modified, star–covered 1988 Fender AVRI Strat that recorded most of Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie, including "Today," the solo of "Cherub Rock," and many more."

I think they were exaggerating the claim that it recorded most of SD. I think it was used for cleans and solos, while most of the heavy stuff is the Bat Strat.

https://reverb.com/item/6319343-make...-siamese-dream

"There were two primary guitars for Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie.... The number one is referred to as the Bat Strat, which you can see in videos. This is number two, and was equally important having graced not only the album tracks, but also stages around the world.

Nearly every clean guitar sound on those two albums was recorded with this guitar. Almost all of the solos on those albums were done with this guitar. The intro of 'Today,' the 'Cherub Rock' solo (which won Guitar World's best solo of the year) – that is all this guitar."




Here's the 3rd orange '57 that Billy said never sounded right and got trashed: https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/845128686306561631/

Notice it has only one Lace Sensor, in the bridge spot, while the neck and middle pickups are something different.



There are some 1992 photos of the Bat Strat before it had graph tech saddles, but the Bat Strat had graph tech saddles on it since SD studio photos. There is the one later large photo of the Bat Strat which shows steel saddles on it, but that's an anomaly as every in other instance of it I've seen since the SD studio sessions it's had graph tech saddles on it. Graph tech saddles help prevent string breakage, but also might dullen the sound a bit. I think they take a bit out of the sound around the 1k or 2k frequency range. They might sound good for a thick heavy tone, but I think they could work against SD-like glassy cleans. Each guitar has its own particular sound from how the specific wood pieces resonate and graph tech saddles might not work well with every guitar. I tried them in 3 of my guitars, and felt they helped the sound in only one of them.

The #2 Strat, which was used for the cleans and solos on SD and MCIS, had steel saddles until much later, like maybe MCIS (or possibly later)? There aren't a lot of photos of that guitar from MCIS. But, all the SD tour photos and video I remember of that guitar show it with steel saddles. But in Billy's Reverb listing of the guitar, it also had graph tech saddles.



Billy puts graph tech nuts in all of his guitars. He might have had them in his Strats during the recording of SD, though I have no confirmation of whether he did or not.



The Bat Strat's original neck has a drop-D tuner on the low E string. I think it might be a Hipshot GT1 Grover Chrome Guitar Xtender: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GY5KLVV/

Here's an aftermarket one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018SW8KI/

That tuner allows Billy to quickly switch between standard tuning and drop-D tuning, by flipping the switch on the tuner. It probably beefs up the sound of that low-E string by a bit, as that's the effect of adding a higher-mass tremolo block, heftier saddles (like American Standard saddles as opposed to vintage bracket saddles), and of using a Fender Fatfinger on the headstock. So, adding more steel mass to the setup adds thickness to the sound (it's not always a beneficial thing, though).



Billy replaced the Bat Strat's neck during the MCIS tour.

In the related thread I linked to, weasel, whose post appears to be deleted (good thing I quoted it), said:

Quote:
no, it was around this time that bill swapped the neck for a squier model neck.
it was shortly before the Brixton show that bill had someone go to Argos to buy a donor guitar for the swap. i'll have a look but there's a video of it somewhere on youtube.

James was so impressed that he also swapped the next out on one of his guitars. i think he mentions it in an interview late that year.
I haven't come across that video myself, but I'd love to see it if anyone knows where to find it.

From looking at concert videos, as of January 26, 1996, at the Rio De Janiero show, the Bat Strat still has its original neck.

As of the April 7 1996 Dusseldorf, Germany show, the neck has been replaced with the alleged Squire one.

I think I might have seen some footage narrowing down (by only a few days at most, though) when it was replaced.



The #1 and #2 SD Strats used their stock vintage string trees during the recording of Siamese Dream. They were eventually replaced with these roller string trees:

https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and..._Set_of_2.html

The exact time they were replaced seems to be when the sunburst '57 RI became the Bat Strat.

As of August 28, 1993 both the #1 Strat was still unpainted and the #1 and #2 still had the stock vintage string trees on them:

https://iconicpix.photoshelter.com/g...00J59iBfJ8_FQ/

And it looks like September 28, they were still unchanged:

https://youtu.be/OVoi9o_v_o4?t=4516

But by October 21 the #1 had become the Bat Strat (the #2 still looks normal, though):

https://youtu.be/z6lWXGjpjf4?t=3300

And at the October 30 SNL performance closeups of the headstock with the roller string tree can be seen:

https://youtu.be/SMiZTrwcwOU?t=1256

However, he was still using the original string trees for the video-taped August 14, 1993 Metro show, where he gets super glassy cleans.



I've experimented with different height string trees on another Strat, and with installing the tree at different distances from the nut, and how a tree sits makes for some difference to the sound. The Stew Mac string trees have a higher (relative to the headstock wood) contact point with the strings than the vintage ones, which are slammed against the headstock, and so the roller trees afford the strings more slack. I expect they could reduce string brightness by a hair, but also make the top two strings easier to bend, just as with either straightening a neck or giving it more relief (or just loosening the strings), the more taught the string is, the snappier it sounds - and also the harder it is to bend.

The ultra-glassy tone from SD and the video-taped Metro 1993 show (that is included in the deluxe edition of the SD remaster) could benefit from having the vintage string trees as opposed to the higher-profile roller trees. Then again, it could be a negligible difference. The glassy sound on SD and the Metro show is in large part also from cranking the master dial on the amp.



Of course, Billy uses the Blue / Silver / Red Lace Sensor combo in his Lace Sensor Strats. The heights the pickup are set at are very important to getting his sound, most of all the neck-middle and middle-bridge sounds that he relies on for most of his clean tones. If you look at photos, you'll see he runs the Red and Blue pickups closer to the strings, while the Silver pickup is lowered to almost the same level as the pickguard. Different Strats have different depths of neck pockets, so on some guitars all the pickups would have to be set higher than they appear in photos of Billy's guitars to be the same distance from the strings as they are in his guitars. The heights of his pickups are not constant 100% of the time, and he gave them fine-tweaking as time went on. I have noticed that sometimes the Blue neck pickup is a bit higher or lower. Generally, though, I think he ran it higher during SD days, and then lowered it slightly during MCIS.



The wiring in Billy's Lace Sensor Strats is essential to his sound. I haven't figured it out completely yet, but I know he has the bridge pickup unloaded, and at least a 500k volume and neck pickup tone pot, though it could also be a 1 Meg volume pot for extra brightness - though I suspect it isn't 1 Meg as that could make the bridge and middle pickups too bright and brittle by raising the resonant frequency too high.

I think Billy likely uses 500k pots for the volume and neck tone controls, and has a bass-filtering capacitor installed on the neck tone pot to filter out most of its bass. Otherwise, the Blue Lace Sensor is way, way too dark - and Billy's neck tone is not dark at all (listen to the end solo for Hummer at the 1993 Metro show). And to get the shimmering neck-middle sound that Billy uses so much for his cleans (think of the SP cover of Never Let Me Down Again), most of the neck pickup's bass has to be dumped somehow. And it's a clear clue that he doesn't even angle the neck pickup's bass side down lower than the treble side. The Blue Lace Sensor is designed for jazz and is an ultra dark pickup. For Billy to get sounds as clear as his Red Lace Sensor unloaded bridge pickup from it, he's dumping the large majority of its bass, and I think it's being done with a bass-filtering capacitor.

The middle / Silver pickup tone pot is likely between 280k and 320k in value when paired with a 500k volume pot. That sounds right to me.

The higher the value of potentiometer that's used for the volume and tone pots, the brighter the sound will be as less of treble is being dumped to the ground signal path. However, there are two things to factor into using a higher value potentiometer:

1. The law of diminishing returns applies. So, while going from 200k to 300k will produce a significant increase in brightness, going from 300k to 400k will produce less of one, and going from 400k to 500k will produce even less of one. Also, the changes made to the volume pot value produce more significant results than changes made to the tone pot values. And increasing the volume pot value increases the brightness for all of the pickups, whereas increasing the tone pot values increases the brightness for only whichever pickup(s) is connected to it (I think).

2. Increasing the values of pots raises the resonant frequency in the circuit. The resonant frequency is basically at which frequency the sound is emphasized. Too high and it sounds nasty. Too low and the sound might be less interesting. That's a reason I suspect Billy might not be using a 1 Meg volume pot. I tried unloading the neck pickup and it still had too much bass, but in addition to that, the highs were ice-picky and unpleasant. That leads me to strongly think that Billy filters the Lace Sensor neck pickup bass with a capacitor rather than trying to offset it by increasing treble with an excessively high-value volume or tone pot.

You can watch a visual example of what resonant frequency is here: https://youtu.be/dihQuwrf9yQ


An interesting detail is that when Billy was trying out custom-designed pickups by Ibanez (I think for a potential signature model deal that never ended up happening), Billy requested that the resonant frequency be raised. Since most single-coil guitar setups use 250k pots for the volume and tone controls, the resonant frequency is typically pretty low down. Billy's Lace Sensor setup with multiple 500k pots would definitely run with a higher resonant frequency. This image of the "1979 guitar" (called such because it was used live I think only once, and to play 1979) with service report from Ibanez was posted by Geo Folkers on Facebook, who owns the "1979 guitar".


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Old 08-23-2019, 06:22 PM   #14
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#nerdalert

 
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:31 PM   #15
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#nerdalert
Lol, definitely. As if Billy isn't. He's someone who customizes every tiny aspect of his gear in the most esoteric of ways. His custom pickups being a good example:

He asked for his custom pickups to have the treble reduced, the resonant frequency "slightly" increased, the bass tightened, and exactly +3 extra db of gain. He's more obsessive over the details than the custom shop talent at major manufacturers are who are designing all the new stuff in the first place.

The crazy wiring for Billy's signature Fender Stratocaster is another example. By the way, those pre-loaded Billy Corgan signature Strat pickguards on ebay don't come with the same wiring as what's in his signature Fender Strat. They use just a plain wiring scheme. If anyone wants the official Fender BC sig parts list and wiring diagram, here's the PDF for it. If someone has one of those pre-loaded pickguards installed and they want the BC signature Strat wiring, then just give that document to a tech and they can set it up properly.

It might be Billy just deflects gear questions with ridicule of people because he wants to protect his unique tone from copycats. That might be why he made his signature Strat so different than what his SD and MCIS Strats are, too.

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Old 08-23-2019, 06:44 PM   #16
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he/she/it strikes again

 
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:47 PM   #17
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More like he


 
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:53 PM   #18
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Awesome.. thank you!

So whatís the info on the I love my mom/blue strat? Like when was that purchased etc etc

 
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:28 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by paranoid View Post
The blue strat is the old ďI love my momĒ guitar from what Iíve read.. itís been blue (one of the 3 starts he used) since the Mellon collie tour.

I think he used the bat strat on tours pre Oceania, as I remember it looking more beat up, but havenít seen the other one on stage in a long time.
Whoa no way!! I wondered what happened to that I love my mom guitar

 
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:04 PM   #20
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there's no non shitty, slightly joking way to add this point, but, meanwhile, Jimmy's aux hihat mount from the entire SD and MCIS tour [and possibly beyond, too sad to research rn] is literally mounted on my kit right now

i grin every time i play the verses of hummer or geek

 
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:48 AM   #21
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there's no non shitty, slightly joking way to add this point, but, meanwhile, Jimmy's aux hihat mount from the entire SD and MCIS tour [and possibly beyond, too sad to research rn] is literally mounted on my kit right now

i grin every time i play the verses of hummer or geek
Nice! How much did you pay for that? Post pics

 
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:53 AM   #22
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Here's the 3rd orange '57 that Billy said never sounded right and got trashed: https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/845128686306561631/
That orange strat is actually the silver 70s strat that Corgan smashed at the end of the 12/31/91 metro show. By the time of Reading 92, he had painted it orange and put a new neck on it and new bridge pickup. After that, it was retired.

The 3 strats that Billy used live in 93-94 (in addition to the 70s “Mom” strat) were the sunburst 57 reissue that got painted silver between the 10/15/93 and 10/16/93 Seattle shows and then got the bats on it a few days later, the red 57 reissue that was later painted black and got the star stickers, and a different 70s silver strat that got painted red on the top and was later used in the Rocket video: https://images.app.goo.gl/E1ekmFYq2Vq2sDoo7

The bat strat originally had the black pickups in all three positions but then switched to the white bridge pickup. The red/black star strat always had black pickups in all three positions. The silver/red strat had white pickups in the neck and bridge and black in the bridge. All three guitars had the same red/silver/blue lace sensor configuration.

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Old 08-24-2019, 02:14 AM   #23
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That orange strat is actually the silver 70s strat that Corgan smashed at the end of the 12/31/91 metro show. By the time of Reading 92, he had painted it orange and put a new neck on it and new bridge pickup. After that, it was retired.

The 3 strats that Billy used live in 93-94 (in addition to the 70s “Mom” strat) were the sunburst 57 reissue that got painted silver between the 10/15/93 and 10/16/93 Seattle shows and then got the bats on it a few days later, the red 57 reissue that was later painted black and got the star stickers, and a different 70s silver strat that got painted red on the top and was later used in the Rocket video: https://images.app.goo.gl/E1ekmFYq2Vq2sDoo7

The bat strat originally had the black pickups in all three positions but then switched to the white bridge pickup. The red/black star strat always had black pickups in all three positions. The silver/red strat had white pickups in the neck and bridge and black in the bridge. All three guitars had the same red/silver/blue lace sensor configuration.
Thanks for the dates when the sunburst '57 became the Bat Strat.


About the third Strat, it's possible that I have something wrong. However, I strongly think I recall an interview in which Billy talks about three 57 RIs that he bought, and one that he said never sounded right and he ended up smashing it at a show and a part of the broken neck hit a manager or something from the record label, who had come out to watch them, in the head.

The SPFC page for the Strat mentions that the 6/9 guitar at the Reading Festival show is "likely a '57 reissue", making it unclear if it refers to just the neck, or if it's an entirely different guitar using maybe the same pickguard as the 70s incarnation.

http://www.spfc.org/band/equipment.h...uipment_id=420

"7/24/92 - The 6/9 Strat returns as a different guitar. A Fiesta Red Fender Stratocaster (likely a '57 reissue), but with the same pickguard, pickups (minus a new white pickup in the bridge) and sticker of the previous version of this guitar."

"8/29/92 - It is this form of the guitar that was likely destroyed at the conclusion of the Reading Festival (Billy was playing it for the end of the set). This version had lace sensor pickups in all positions."





Does anyone else remember Billy describing a show where the guitar smashes and a piece of it hits someone from the record label in the head?


Note: I removed a comment about the orange Strat not having all Lace Sensors in it. The picture I posted is not from Reading Festival, at which the orange Strat did have all Lace Sensors in it.

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Old 08-24-2019, 12:21 PM   #24
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Correction to my previous comment:

I said the orange Strat didn't have all Lace Sensors at the Reading festival. I thought the picture I posted with the black neck and middle pickups was from the Reading festival, but it isn't.

SPFC correctly says that the orange Strat has all Lace Sensor pickups at the Reading festival: https://youtu.be/lN7I3qF1Ywk?t=201

 
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:44 PM   #25
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Correction to my previous comment:

I said the orange Strat didn't have all Lace Sensors at the Reading festival. I thought the picture I posted with the black neck and middle pickups was from the Reading festival, but it isn't.

SPFC correctly says that the orange Strat has all Lace Sensor pickups at the Reading festival: https://youtu.be/lN7I3qF1Ywk?t=201
Thinking about this more, there was a Fiesta Red orange color in the 57 lineup. So that orange strat at Reading probably was a 3rd 57 reissue, just with the 12/31/91 pickguard. Which makes me wonder if the 70s silver strat that was later seen in the Munich 94 video (stoppen zie throwen zie cuppenz), and later appeared all marked up with red marker and a Rush sticker in the Rocket video, was actually the body of the 12/31/91 silver strat with a new pickguard and a period correct 70s headstock neck back on it.

That silver strat also had a sticker of Obi Wan Kenobi from Star Wars, like this one: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1856854...yABEgKdsvD_BwE

So, a Bat Strat, a Star strat, a Mom strat, and an Obi-Wan/Rush strat.

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Old 08-24-2019, 12:55 PM   #26
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The pickguard is covered in felt. Billy re-drew it multiple times as it would wear off from his playing. There are times when it's more worn down and then at a later show the markings will be replenished.

Here's a related thread: Netphoria - The Bat-Strat mystery


Billy's bought three '57 reissue Stratocasters for SD (I think all are 1988-made, which I've head have a soft-v neck-shape that's thinner than 2000+ era '57 RIs). The sunburst one that became the Bat Strat, the red one that became coloured black and decorated in stars and which he offered for sale through Reverb for $1 million, and an orangish one that he said didn't sound right and I think he broke it at Pinkpop Festival? I'm unsure where, but I think he smashed it somewhere and someone got hit in the head with the broken headstock when he threw it away.


The Bat Strat was Billy's #1 for SD, and was one of the mains for MCIS. It has a distinct thick chunky sound to its low and mid-low range, that I think sounds like a bulge, that I think can be heard in this clip: https://youtu.be/B1dYe1CbENA?t=172


The black star-covered one was Billy's #2 for SD, was used for most of the cleans and solos on SD and MCIS, according to Reverb's comments about it and its Reverb listing.

https://reverb.com/news/billy-corgan...t-shop-preview

"Corganís #2 Stratocaster. A modified, starĖcovered 1988 Fender AVRI Strat that recorded most of Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie, including "Today," the solo of "Cherub Rock," and many more."

I think they were exaggerating the claim that it recorded most of SD. I think it was used for cleans and solos, while most of the heavy stuff is the Bat Strat.

https://reverb.com/item/6319343-make...-siamese-dream

"There were two primary guitars for Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie.... The number one is referred to as the Bat Strat, which you can see in videos. This is number two, and was equally important having graced not only the album tracks, but also stages around the world.

Nearly every clean guitar sound on those two albums was recorded with this guitar. Almost all of the solos on those albums were done with this guitar. The intro of 'Today,' the 'Cherub Rock' solo (which won Guitar World's best solo of the year) Ė that is all this guitar."



Here's the 3rd orange '57 that Billy said never sounded right and got trashed: https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/845128686306561631/

Notice it has only one Lace Sensor, in the bridge spot, while the neck and middle pickups are something different.



The Bat Strat had graph tech saddles on it since SD studio photos. There is the one large photo of that Strat which shows steel saddles on it, but that's an anomaly as every other instance of it I've seen it's had graph tech saddles on it. Graph tech saddles help prevent string breakage, but also might dullen the sound a bit. I think they take a bit out of the sound around the 1k or 2k frequency range. They might sound good for a thick heavy tone, but I think they could work against SD-like glassy cleans. Each guitar has its own particular sound from how the specific wood pieces resonate and graph tech saddles might not work well with every guitar.

The #2 Strat had steel saddles until much later, like maybe MCIS (or possibly later)? There aren't a lot of photos of that guitar from MCIS. But, all the tour photos and video I remember of that guitar show it with steel saddles. In the Reverb listing, it also has graph tech saddles.



Billy puts graph tech nuts in all of his guitars. He might have had them in his Strats during the recording of SD, though I have no confirmation of whether he did or not.



The Bat Strat's original neck has a drop-D tuner on the low E string. I think it might be a Hipshot GT1 Grover Chrome Guitar Xtender: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GY5KLVV/

Here's an aftermarket one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018SW8KI/

That tuner allows Billy to quickly switch between standard tuning and drop-D tuning, by flipping the switch on the tuner. It probably beefs up the sound of that low-E string by a bit, as that's the effect of adding a higher-mass tremolo block, heftier saddles (like American Standard saddles as opposed to vintage bracket saddles), and of using a Fender Fatfinger on the headstock. So, adding more steel mass to the setup adds thickness to the sound (it's not always a beneficial thing, though).



Billy replaced the Bat Strat's neck during the MCIS tour.

In the related thread I linked to, weasel, whose post appears to be deleted (good thing I quoted it), said:



I haven't come across that video myself, but I'd love to see it if anyone knows where to find it.

From looking at concert videos, as of January 26, 1996, at the Rio De Janiero show, the Bat Strat still has its original neck.

As of the April 7 1996 Dusseldorf, Germany show, the neck has been replaced with the alleged Squire one.

I think I might have seen some footage narrowing down (by only a few days at most, though) when it was replaced.



The #1 and #2 SD Strats used their stock vintage string trees during the recording of Siamese Dream. They were eventually replaced with these roller string trees:

https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and..._Set_of_2.html

The exact time they were replaced seems to be when the sunburst '57 RI became the Bat Strat.

As of August 28, 1993 both the #1 Strat was still unpainted and the #1 and #2 still had the stock vintage string trees on them:

https://iconicpix.photoshelter.com/g...00J59iBfJ8_FQ/

And it looks like September 28, they were still unchanged:

https://youtu.be/OVoi9o_v_o4?t=4516

But by October 21 the #1 had become the Bat Strat (the #2 still looks normal, though):

https://youtu.be/z6lWXGjpjf4?t=3300

And at the October 30 SNL performance closeups of the headstock with the roller string tree can be seen:

https://youtu.be/SMiZTrwcwOU?t=1256

However, he was still using the original string trees for the video-taped August 14, 1993 Metro show, where he gets super glassy cleans.



I've experimented with different height string trees on another Strat, and with installing the tree at different distances from the nut, and how a tree sits makes for some difference to the sound. The Stew Mac string trees have a higher (relative to the headstock wood) contact point with the strings than the vintage ones, which are slammed against the headstock, and so the roller trees afford the strings more slack. I expect they could reduce string brightness by a hair, but also make the top two strings easier to bend, just as with either straightening a neck or giving it more relief (or just loosening the strings), the more taught the string is, the snappier it sounds - and also the harder it is to bend.

The ultra-glassy tone from SD and the video-taped Metro 1993 show (that is included in the deluxe edition of the SD remaster) could benefit from having the vintage string trees as opposed to the higher-profile roller trees. Then again, it could be a negligible difference. The glassy sound on SD and the Metro show is in large part also from cranking the master dial on the amp.


The wiring in Billy's Lace Sensor Strats is key to his sound. I haven't figured it out completely yet, but I know he has the bridge pickup unloaded, and at least a 500k volume and neck pickup tone pot, though it could also be a 1 Meg volume pot for extra brightness - though I suspect it isn't 1 Meg as that could make the bridge and middle pickups too bright and brittle by raising the resonant frequency too high.

I think Billy likely uses 500k pots for the volume and neck tone controls, and has a bass-filtering capacitor installed on the neck tone pot to filter out most of its bass. Otherwise, the Blue Lace Sensor is way, way too dark - and Billy's neck tone is not dark at all (listen to the end solo for Hummer at the 1993 Metro show). And to get the shimmering neck-middle sound that Billy uses so much for his cleans (think of the SP cover of Never Let Me Down Again), most of the neck pickup's bass has to be dumped somehow. And it's a clear clue that he doesn't even angle the neck pickup's bass side down lower than the treble side. The Blue Lace Sensor is designed for jazz and is an ultra dark pickup. For Billy to get sounds as clear as his Red Lace Sensor unloaded bridge pickup from it, he's dumping the large majority of its bass, and I think it's being done with a bass-filtering capacitor.

The middle / Silver pickup tone pot is likely between 280k and 320k in value when paired with a 500k volume pot. That sounds right to me.

The higher the value of potentiometer that's used for the volume and tone pots, the brighter the sound will be as less of treble is being dumped to the ground signal path. However, there are two things to factor into using a higher value potentiometer:

1. The law of diminishing returns applies. So, while going from 200k to 300k will produce a significant increase in brightness, going from 300k to 400k will produce less of one, and going from 400k to 500k will produce even less of one. Also, the changes made to the volume pot value produce more significant results than changes made to the tone pot values. And increasing the volume pot value increases the brightness for all of the pickups, whereas increasing the tone pot values increases the brightness for only whichever pickup(s) is connected to it (I think).

2. Increasing the values of pots raises the resonant frequency in the circuit. The resonant frequency is basically at which frequency the sound is emphasized. Too high and it sounds nasty. Too low and the sound might be less interesting. That's a reason I suspect Billy might not be using a 1 Meg volume pot. I tried unloading the neck pickup and it still had too much bass, but in addition to that, the highs were ice-picky and unpleasant. That leads me to strongly think that Billy filters the Lace Sensor neck pickup bass with a capacitor rather than trying to offset it by increasing treble with an excessively high-value volume or tone pot.

You can watch a visual example of what resonant frequency is here: https://youtu.be/dihQuwrf9yQ


An interesting detail is that when Billy was trying out custom-designed pickups by Ibanez (I think for a potential signature model deal that never ended up happening), Billy requested that the resonant frequency be raised. Since most single-coil guitar setups use 250k pots for the volume and tone controls, the resonant frequency is typically pretty low down. Billy's Lace Sensor setup with multiple 500k pots would definitely run with a higher resonant frequency. This image of the "1979 guitar" (called such because it was used live I think only once, and to play 1979) with service report from Ibanez was posted by Geo Folkers on Facebook, who owns the "1979 guitar".

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Old 08-24-2019, 01:01 PM   #27
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These two sites mention Billy smashing his guitar and throwing it into the audience, and it hitting the record company president in the head:

https://www.flavorwire.com/161448/44...t-billy-corgan

https://www.iheart.com/content/2017-...-billy-corgan/


Wherever Billy described that event is where I recall him saying it was one of three '57 reissues that he bought, and that this one never sounded right to him.

 
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Old 08-24-2019, 07:11 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by he/she/it View Post
If anyone wants the official Fender BC sig parts list and wiring diagram, here's the PDF for it.
why is guitar wiring always drawn like this, and never as an actual schematic? i work as an engineer and it always bugs me.

 
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Old 08-25-2019, 12:42 AM   #29
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Quote:
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Nice! How much did you pay for that? Post pics
IIRC $40, which was a fucking steal. I guess it was discounted cause it was used, but being used on the mighty starship is a bonus imo




 
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:09 AM   #30
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So I bought that thing on 2/22. A month back, 1/22, I got arrested - I was playing my drums, just finished the last stinger of Jellybelly, and after the last flam, the cops banged on the door. Then my hands, previously blazing through 6s, were cuffed - for the horrendous crime of drinking lite beer whilst only 20, and bothering some old cunt out on a walk

On 10/22/16, I got to meet Mr. Chamberlin and shake his hand. He was very sweet to me despite my dumb kid questions.

On 9/22/16, I got my fake ID in the mail and went to my first adult fun yay concert, Alvvays at a little college in IL. They opened with Atop a Cake and I didn't know what to do with my hands.

22s are weird.

_______

Anyway yeah, I met the Reverb warehouse guy and he was cool. Apparently when JC was opening up his reverb shop, and they were coming to his house to sort stuff out, he bought them all donuts and coffee and was super cool.

Best thing I ever did was pirate that copy of Rotten Apples.

[/drunkramemotions]

 
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