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Thread: Silhouette Special: can it be a great Strat?

  1. #1

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    Silhouette Special: can it be a great Strat?

    I'm hoping for some very specific, detailed info from experienced users of Silhouette Specials, and ideally also experience with good Strats.

    Firstly, let me say I'm an MM fan. Not at the exclusion of other guitars, but I certainly appreciate the brand, the value, and the consistent quality.

    I've come to the conclusion that I'm really not a humbucker guy. I prefer clean and edge of breakup, through to greasy, bluesy type tones. The guitars that I keep coming back to are my ASS with Fralin P90's, RW fretboard, and my CS Strat (alder, maple 'board).

    Every so often, I read opinions here that the Silhouette Special is it's own thing, doesn't sound like a Strat, etc. etc. What keeps it from going there, and what exactly does this mean? What I'm looking for is another guitar that can reach into the best places a fine example of a Strat can get to - think SRV's Lenny, Hendrix' cleaner tones, probably too many good examples to list. Open, glistening, harmonically alive, but with warmth. Vintage thru late '60's would probably be an accurate characterization.

    Could be a Silhouette, or also an AL, but only if the AL has advantages in this direction. I wouldn't mind if this next guitar was a MusicMan, but it doesn't have to be.

    Can anyone provide detailed observations of how a Silhouette (or an AL)would deviate from this? Respectfully, comments that don't describe specific details aren't helpful - please be descriptive.

    If it's the pickups / electronics that gives the Silhouette or the AL a personality that's different than a great Strat, (more "modern", whatever that means?) I would like to know, and I might then try out the stock, knowing that if I change to aftermarket pickups, I can get to where I want to be.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance, lads.

    Brian

    No more amp GAS!

  2. #2

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    Brian A AStrat is a strat...It deserves all the credit and respect that it gets....THe closest to a strat is the albert lee....The silhouette special can get strat like tones but it intentionally not a strat
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  3. #3

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    I'm very happy with my Silo Spec'd Sub 1, and glad it is not at all stratesque.

    Silhouette Special Pearl Blue rosewood, hardtail
    Silhouette Special Candy Apple Red, rosewood hardtail
    Silhouette Special in Carbon Blue Pearl maple neck tremolo
    Sub 1 Black hardail Routed SS style
    Sub 1 Graphite tremolo Routed SS style
    Sub 1 Pearl Blue hardtail, now with BGPups Pure 90's
    Sub 1 Cinnamon hardtail Routed SS style
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  4. #4

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    Not to contradict the designer, but I like the Silo Special for more of the Gilmour-style Strat tones than the tones you mention (think DSOTM and WYWH before he put a hot pickup in the bridge of the Black Strat). The AL is going to be closer to that type of Strat tone you're seeking, but again is also its own beast. I love the sound of an AL, but the Silo Special works better for me.

    Of course I'm an idiot when it comes to Silo Specials; I've had two nice ones and let them both go. Now I'm spending more to get another one. I have some hand issues that mean for me the ergonomics of the Silo Special far outweigh the areas where it differs from a "classic Strat"; plus I guess I just like the way it does deviate from the Strat.

  5. #5

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    It is hard to explain. I will say this. That can achieve tone equal to the ones you asked about. Some people would say swaping the electronics puts you even closer but truth is so many people don't keep fender's pickups in there any way that it shouldn't matter. I would say that the prinicple difference is the feel and balance of the guitar. Nothing feel like a fender. Some come close like G&L Anderson ects but why? They model their body's almost to the T to fender. Even where strap buttons are placed will affect a guitar's weight balance and by shear physics it's feel in your hands. The EB's just feel different. They have slightly smaller bodies s well all know. But they have tone! Great tone! Tone that can reach they examples you gave. Most people forget that tone is in your hands but after your hands and the guitar there are amps and speakers and power tubes and pedals ect.

    So if the strat feel is what you want then the Eb's are not for you because they are not modeled after strat physics but if you want those clean tones and early distortion tones ect EB will work for you just fine even more so if you are not affraid to swap a pup if need be in your journey.
    Otto
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  6. #6

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    Remember, there are a few different types of strat tones, the AL does the 50's thing, while a Silo Special with RW board and single coils will do a better 60's. Ash vs alder thing goin on too. Depends on your wants.
    My name is Rob and I'm an AL-coholic!
    The MM90 AL is the most underrated axe on the planet!

    I buy my balls from the number one EBMM dealer in Australia, the all round nice guy and legendary Colin!His website is www.guitarplanet.com.au Give him a call to order your balls!!!!!

  7. #7

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    It goes back to the gear discussion...

    So many people spending so much money on accessories and pedals to make a Fender crunch like a Marshall, and vice-versa to get a Marshall to get Fendery sparkle cleans.

    If you want Marshall crunch, get a Marshall. If you want Fender cleans, get a Fender.

    With the some logic in mind, if you really need to nail that Strat tone, you should probably be getting a Strat.

    EBMM's, as BP has said, have carved their own unique niche in the guitar industry. I absolutely love EBMM guitars, my JP previously, and I'm absolutely in love with my 25th. However, if for some reason my music calls for me to play SRV Lenny type cleans, it looks like I'm going to need a Strat.
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  8. #8

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    Thanks for all the comments. Some good input.

    My goal is to neither praise or vilify Strats. I happen to think that a Silhouette is a more graceful shape, by the way. IMO, Gilmour tones start with single coil's, but past that are very much a product of his amp & effects chain. I'm not chasing Gilmour (or anyone else for that matter, just useful references).

    Feel: no guitar I've owned has had a better "feel" than the two MM's I've owned. No issues there.

    It's a little hard to see why a Silhouette Special isn't square on target. Are the stock pickups hotter? (My current Strat has Texas Specials in it, not '50's type PUP's.) The Sil has one tone, not two - no problem.

    This really comes down to "wood 'n wires" - or - what am I missing?

    No more amp GAS!

  9. #9

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    Position of the pickups
    My EBMM Instruments:

    Lefty Bongo 4 HH LE2007
    Lefty Silhouette Special HSS BFR Rosewood

  10. #10

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    Best to just try one out and see for yourself. I think the silo special is pretty darn close to a strat, maple or rosewood board. All the tones are there.
    My name is Rob and I'm an AL-coholic!
    The MM90 AL is the most underrated axe on the planet!

    I buy my balls from the number one EBMM dealer in Australia, the all round nice guy and legendary Colin!His website is www.guitarplanet.com.au Give him a call to order your balls!!!!!

  11. #11

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    Just to go tangential ... who has played a silo special with the piezo? As good/better than the piezo on the JP (why wouldn't it be)? There doesn't appear to be many with the piezo and yet I can't imagine ordering one with it. Also on piezo equipped silo specs it appears there's no magnet-both-piezo toggle switch so the piezo is controlled soley by the mag and piezo volumes? Is that right? i.e. if you want only piezo you kill the mag's vol and turn up the piezo etc? Tangentially yours, izzy. PS: I think silo specs are da bomb.
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  12. #12

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    Yes i did many many gigs with my old piezo SSS hardtail silo special, the piezo setup is my favourite, sounded great and worked very well.
    My name is Rob and I'm an AL-coholic!
    The MM90 AL is the most underrated axe on the planet!

    I buy my balls from the number one EBMM dealer in Australia, the all round nice guy and legendary Colin!His website is www.guitarplanet.com.au Give him a call to order your balls!!!!!

  13. #13

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    I think Brian clearly defined what he is looking for....and like BP already mentioned, the closest thing to the "classical" Strat design is an AL.

    Of course, I'd rather get to a guitar shop and check both options, and find out whether the Silo Special (with it's in every respect modern design approach) could possibly be an option...which I don't believe
    Music Man SUB1 | Black (custom)
    Music Man Silo Special | Emerald Green (rosewood neck)
    Music Man Silo Special | Graphite Pearl
    Music Man Silo Special/Luke | Black (custom)
    Music Man Silo Special | Purple Metallic (custom)
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian G View Post
    Thanks for all the comments. Some good input.

    My goal is to neither praise or vilify Strats. I happen to think that a Silhouette is a more graceful shape, by the way. IMO, Gilmour tones start with single coil's, but past that are very much a product of his amp & effects chain. I'm not chasing Gilmour (or anyone else for that matter, just useful references).

    Feel: no guitar I've owned has had a better "feel" than the two MM's I've owned. No issues there.

    It's a little hard to see why a Silhouette Special isn't square on target. Are the stock pickups hotter? (My current Strat has Texas Specials in it, not '50's type PUP's.) The Sil has one tone, not two - no problem.

    This really comes down to "wood 'n wires" - or - what am I missing?
    Great point about Gilmour being more about signal chain than guitar; just to clarify when I play a Silo Special clean I get very close to that "Shine On" clean tone from the intro sections - so I guess a better description would be a late 60s Strat (close to but not as round as Hendrix' clean tone). Didn't mean to lead you astray and hope that helps.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by robelinda2 View Post
    Yes i did many many gigs with my old piezo SSS hardtail silo special, the piezo setup is my favourite, sounded great and worked very well.
    Thanks Rob, gassing hard here. Was I right about there not being a dedicated 3 way toggle (mag-both-piezo)?
    What if we pick the wrong religion? Every week, we're just making God madder and madder!!! - Homer Simpson

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