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Thread: Upgrading my crappy old strat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Amsterdam, Netherlands, Netherlands
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    Default Upgrading my crappy old strat

    Just a thought experiment, maybe fun for something later.

    I own this old Squier strat that, well, isn't a very good guitar. However, being the non-strat player I am, it *is* my only ticket to such tones and well, sometimes you just need that sound!

    What I've been using it for in the studio now, is obviously some Chic-like funk riffs, some Tears for Fears type stuff and a couple Jeff Beck lead type things, since it has a whammy bar.

    Contemplating dropping in a GFS loaded pickguard. The whammy detunes the guitar like crazy, so maybe it's time to upgrade that.

    Any ideas?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
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    Since I'm in California this may not apply as much.....but.....you can get a used good condition American Standard Strat for $600 all day here on Craigslist with none of the problems you describe. You're a pro, make Nile Rodgers proud. Short of that, strip it down and completely rebuild it with good pick ups and and good hardware.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    QC, Canada
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    6,302

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    Pickups... whatever suits you Nathan seemed to like his Microcoils... honeymoon must be over by now.
    I'm actually curious to find out about his post honeymoon comments... I have 2 "strat" also (Yamaha Pacifica 312II) one I kept in HSS config (loaded with Duncans 1x JB and 2x SSL1) and one is all single coil... with Yamaha's singles... not bad but curious because the Microcoils aren't that expensive for a set all thing considered.
    http://www.wildepickups.com/Wilde_Bi...icroCoils.html

    Whammy bar... now if you want to upgrade check into the SuperVee Bladerunner
    https://www.super-vee.com/products/t...s/bladerunner/

    Nathan had one installed at one point but he removed it a while ago. My Yamaha whammy aren't that bad for old style trem use, but I'm wondering if I shouldn't put the bladerunner on the HSS as I do get more crazy with that one... not as much as I would on a locked Floyd but still the vintage bridge isn't perfect for me on that one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    225

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NJlo View Post
    Just a thought experiment, maybe fun for something later.

    I own this old Squier strat that, well, isn't a very good guitar. However, being the non-strat player I am, it *is* my only ticket to such tones and well, sometimes you just need that sound!

    What I've been using it for in the studio now, is obviously some Chic-like funk riffs, some Tears for Fears type stuff and a couple Jeff Beck lead type things, since it has a whammy bar.

    Contemplating dropping in a GFS loaded pickguard. The whammy detunes the guitar like crazy, so maybe it's time to upgrade that.

    Any ideas?
    What age is the guitar? The more recent Squier stuff is excellent, definitely as good as Mexican and Japanese Fenders in my experience, in some cases even a match for US Fenders. I would be inclined to say sell it and put the money towards a Classic Vibe Strat. The pickups are at least on a par with the GFS stuff.

    And speaking of US Fender, I follow Montys Guitars on twitter/Facebook. Matt recently posted a picture of a US
    Telecaster he was refinishing for a customer. It had a six piece body with plenty of filler. Would you prefer six pieces of a "premium" wood like ash or alder or 1 or 2 pieces of a "cheaper" wood like basswood?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    2,260

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    I felt my ears burning, must be time to check in at Toyz...
    For a Squier a hardware upgrade is usually in order. If you change out the bridge and/or tuners, you're getting closer to decent playability. Swap out the pickups, switch and pots, then the only thing making it an "inferior" axe is the wood. I have upgraded a few Squiers and they always benefit from the change.

    Now whether GFS are the way to go is dependent on your budget. Myself, I'd pop in the highest quality pickups I could afford, and quality hardware would get you the rest if the way. (Gotoh is a great place to start - the boutique stuff is great but pricey and not that much better)

    For the record alnico Microcoils are badass and extremely musical for less than the price of Duncans. I strongly recommend them!
    -meedley meedley woooOOOo-

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