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Stratitis

1. Stratitis (Strat-itis) is a fairly common but virulent disease amongst guitar players regardless of experience or skill level. At present, there is only one known cure, which has a number of variations, each offering relief dependant on the severity of the individual case. The base cure for Stratitis is for the afflicted guitarist to purchase a Fender Stratocaster (preferably from Sweetwater), which results in an immediate and global reduction of anxiety. In more severe cases, a 50th Anniversary Strat, or a ’56 Stratocaster reissue from the Custom shop may be called for in order to provide relief.

2. Stratitis is simultaneous multiple discordant frequency syndrome. To state it non-technically, the sole function of a magnet in a guitar pickup is to magnetize the strings — any more magnetism than that is unnecessary and detrimental. The excessive magnetism causes different sections of the string to vibrate at different rates producing multiple dissonant frequencies from the same string. The effect becomes even more unpleasant when the string is out of tune. Excessive magnetism is the reason you can’t set a typical Fender-style single-coil pickup (Hence Strat-itis) very close to the strings if you want to avoid “Stratitis” and loss of natural sustain. (Buzz and rattles are also caused by excessive magnetism pulling the strings into the frets.)

When the magnet is also the core material of the pickup’s coil, as in a Fender-style single-coil pickup, the magnetic properties and the core’s effect on inductance and Q make the situation even more difficult. It’s better to use separate magnetic and core materials so each can be selected precisely for the necessary characteristics.

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