As promised, here are some recordings I quickly did this afternoon. Emphasis on quickly. So the recording consists of a simple and short riff that cycles through all of the possible pickup configurations. Because adding tone knob demonstrations would be a ridiculous and pointless, I decided to record the neck pickup with the tone knob set pretty low and the middle pickup's tone knob set pretty high. This will help emphasize when I switch pickups and (hopefully) shows off the tonal range from the stock electronics.
The recording progresses as follows:
2.) Neck and Middle
4.) Middle and Bridge
The signal chain on this recording is Strat --> 003 DI input. It doesn't get any more raw... er(?) than that. Most people never hear a guitar that raw, so I decided to run that raw recording through some amp modeling software to get a more familiar (and livelier) sound.
This is the same recording as above. Its just running through IK Multimedia's Amplitube software. The emulated amp I was using for this example is a Fender Twin Reverb. The "mic" used to record this fake amp was a Shure SM57 set in the "far" setting. I didn't touch the controls (except to turn the reverb down). I used the default settings (essentially everything set to 12:00).
So that is a little example of what a budget strat sounds like. Remember everything is stock at this point. I haven't even changed the strings. This is what an SX strat sounds like right out of the box. Let me know what you think. My first major change is going to be swapping out the stock pickups. I want to go noiseless so I'm looking at the Fender Noiseless Pickups, Lace Sensors, and the Fralin Split Blade pickups. Any and all recommendations are greatly appreciated. Whats your favorite strat pup?