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Can't play a Stratocaster because you keep hitting the volume knob?

Fender American Special Stratocaster

There are some players who can't own a Strat, or at least not one in stock condition, because of the volume knob placement.

Charles recently emailed with this:

Hey Rich

I'm looking to replace my Ibanez guitar. I have grown to really dislike the 16" radius and want a change. I played a Squier Bullet Strat HSS and really liked the way it felt with one exception. The volume knob. I hate the placement of the volume knob. I'm thinking about picking one up and modding it to relocate the volume know to the forward most tone knob, and making the remaining tone pot a master tone pot. Can you think of any guitars that would have a similar control layout without mods? They don't have to look like a strat, just have similar neck profile that is HSS or HH.

Thanks for any input.

Whether you play an Asian made Squier or an American made Fender (such as the model shown above,) all of them have the volume knob directly below the rear pickup. Many guitar players literally whack the volume knob when playing, so much to the point where it makes the instrument almost unplayable.

The first guitar that comes to mind which is lower in cost, has a similar pickup layout to a Squier Bullet Strat HSS and has a volume knob that's further away from the rear pickup is the Yamaha Pacifica PAC112V:

Yamaha Pacifica PAC112V

To note: This particular guitar does come in HSS and HH versions.

The Pacifica PAC112V has a volume knob placement that is further down and further pushed back compared to a Strat, while still pretty much looking and functioning like a Strat does.

The neck on the PAC112V is a 25.5-inch scale with 13.75-inch fingerboard radius. While that is flatter than the Squier's 9.5-inch, it's the back of the neck that counts here, and yes, it definitely does have more roundness and chunk compared to a super-flat Ibanez board, no question about that.

Another guitar that's similar is the Kramer Striker 211:

Kramer Striker 211

To note: This guitar comes in hardtail and Floyd-Rose equipped versions.

This guitar has no pick guard at all, but does have the volume knob down and away from the rear pickup, and has a blade selector like a Strat does. The hardtail version is about the same price as the Pacifica PAC112V is.

Unlike the Pacifica, the 211 hardtail has no vibrato system on it whatsoever. If you absolutely must have vibrato, get the Pacifica instead or just get the Striker with the Floyd.

The neck on this one is flatter than the PAC112V. It is a 25.5-inch scale like a regular Strat, but has more of a Gibson SlimTaper feel on it, similar to what you would find on an Epiphone G-400 SG guitar. It is unknown what the fingerboard radius is, but it would be safe to say it's probably 12 to 14-inch and no flatter than that.

(Got a guitar or gear related question? Email or @reply me on Twitter and I may post the answer as an article here.)


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