• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

School me on Strats

bread

Experienced
I just bought a cheap Fender Player Strat and replaced all the parts. Only the neck and body remain stock, the rest is all my own choice of trem, pickups, machine heads etc.

In total it cost me about £800, the most expensive bit was the loaded scratch plate from Bare Knuckle Pickups with Mothers Milk pickups, all upgraded pots and 5 ways selector. I put a Gotoh 510 in the trem, Schaller locking tuners and Loxx strap locks.

I've had many USA Strats and this one is by far the best, not because it sounds and plays better, but its also all my own signature guitar. The fender necks and bodies are very good quality - just because it says Made in Mexico doesn't mean a thing, just watch the purists in the front row of the audience jaws drop to the floor when they hear your "cheap Mexican Strat" chime out.
 

TG3K

Power User
...The fender necks and bodies are very good quality - just because it says Made in Mexico doesn't mean a thing, just watch the purists in the front row of the audience jaws drop to the floor when they hear your "cheap Mexican Strat" chime out.
My sentiments exactly. My favorite Strat is a black MIM that I bought used for less than $200 from Guitar Center because it had some deep dings in the finish. Black nail polish filled the dings just fine, and a loaded pickguard from 920D Customs with a combination of Fender Custom Shop and Duncan pickups (some type of "Gilmour" set) made it sing. I locked down the bridge and have had no problems with it or the tuners. I've never had anyone in the audience complain about how it sounds, and my guitar playing friends rave about it.
 

Overcaster

Member
Mexican 21 frets standards are great value but the stock pickups are terrible .

I am still thinking about buying one, but the aftermarket-market is more than intimidating. I have owned my fair share of guitars but all of these terms are just telling me nothing - Clarity, Transparency, Warmth, Creamy. I am mighty sick of that lingo...
 

Chewie5150

Power User
There's a 2008 MiM Strat in pristine condition for $350 on my local used market that i'm considering. As some of you have commented the body/neck would be on par with the american made but the pickups/electronics may be less than desired. So at that cost for guitar factoring in upgrades perhaps might be the way for me to go. Plus i like messing around with mods so it would give me something to do

Been watching bunch of youtube vids on different upgrade options and came across the EMG DG20 loaded pickguard. I'm not usually a fan of 'active' pickups but the demos I've been hearing are pretty great. Anyone have experience with these?
 
Last edited:

Budda

Power User
There's a 2008 MiM Strat in pristine condition for $350 on my local used market that i'm considering. As some of you have commented the body/neck would be on par with the american made but the pickups/electronics may be less than desired. So at that cost for guitar factoring in upgrades perhaps might be the way for me to go. Plus i like messing around with mods so it would give me something to do

Been watching bunch of youtube vids on different upgrade options and came across the EMG DG20 loaded pickguard. I'm not usually a fan of 'active' pickups but the demos I've been hearing are pretty great. Anyone have experience with these?

How about buy it and dont mod it yet? If you dont have experience with strats, you dont know what you do and dont want out of it soundwise Im guessing.

Play it stock for a year, build some presets with it, see what you think.

$350cad is a great deal btw it may be gone.
 

Chewie5150

Power User
How about buy it and dont mod it yet? If you dont have experience with strats, you dont know what you do and dont want out of it soundwise Im guessing.

Play it stock for a year, build some presets with it, see what you think.

$350cad is a great deal btw it may be gone.
It's $350 USD i keep factoring in the audience majority around here. It's been upgraded with locking tuners also. Yeah, that's a good point about just leaving stock for a good while as I have no frame of reference yet
 

Budda

Power User
It's $350 USD i keep factoring in the audience majority around here. It's been upgraded with locking tuners also. Yeah, that's a good point about just leaving stock for a good while as I have no frame of reference yet

$500ish for a clean mim is not a bad price these days. When do you get it?

A wtb goes a long way as well. As i said the player strats are on par with older usa std's and you can get them for $650cad with patience. They dont need any upgrades either - stock pickups and hardware are pretty good.
 

scottp

Power User
There's a 2008 MiM Strat in pristine condition for $350 on my local used market that i'm considering. As some of you have commented the body/neck would be on par with the american made but the pickups/electronics may be less than desired. So at that cost for guitar factoring in upgrades perhaps might be the way for me to go. Plus i like messing around with mods so it would give me something to do

Been watching bunch of youtube vids on different upgrade options and came across the EMG DG20 loaded pickguard. I'm not usually a fan of 'active' pickups but the demos I've been hearing are pretty great. Anyone have experience with these?

I wouldn't rule out the stock pickups. Give them a listen you may be surprised.
Just this morning I was thinking to myself. What does a BAD pickup sound like?
How much change 0% to 100% does changing pickups really make?

BTW I have a box full of aftermarket pickups.
 

Andy Eagle

Experienced
Quote "what does a bad pickup sound like?"
Good question.
I feel that a bad pickup is one that lacks character and sounds thin (small) A bad strat pickup would be one that doesn't really sound like a strat. I know there are a huge variety of great strat recordings out there that all sound different BUT you can tell they came from the strat pallet . I assume that you are looking for these tones . BTW 21 fret MIM pickups aren't constructed the same as a 'real' strat pickup and this has a lot to do with why I don't like them. Do they sound terrible? not really . The question is similar to how much better is my $10K Hifi over my bluetooth speaker.
 

sprint

Fractal Fanatic
I like that my MIM Player strat has a tone knob for the bridge pickup which I understand not all strats have.
 

Andy Eagle

Experienced
Teach yourself. I find often when people have trouble soldering it is not entirely their fault. A poor iron and crappy solder will screw anyone over. Get a nice 25watt iron and some multi core fluxed lead solder (locktite ,Multicore brand is the best I've found.) The first thing is some high quality wire strippers . Tin the wire and the contact first and it is very easy.
This style stripper is best but make sure the smallest size wire it can do is smaller than this one pictured . I have had their red handled one for over twenty years and it's still great.
 

Attachments

  • image.png
    image.png
    242.3 KB · Views: 3

Chewie5150

Power User
I cant' agree more with having decent soldering supplies. I"ve only started to learn in the last 1.5 yrs and at first struggled as I had a shitty iron and wasnt using good solder. I avoided it for so long as the idea of it overwhelmed me but watched lots of youtube vids and just practiced on old used components to get a feel and realized how simple it really is aside from knowing where things need to go.
 

Muad'zin

Fractal Fanatic
That's a one minute mod , you just add a wire between the middle and neck lugs on the tone side of the switch.

One minute of actual modding, 15 minutes or more to mess with the strings and pickguard to get there and back again. 😄 Pickguards look great but for maintenance of your electronics they suck ass.

I cant' agree more with having decent soldering supplies. I"ve only started to learn in the last 1.5 yrs and at first struggled as I had a shitty iron and wasnt using good solder. I avoided it for so long as the idea of it overwhelmed me but watched lots of youtube vids and just practiced on old used components to get a feel and realized how simple it really is aside from knowing where things need to go.

Learning to do soldering is one of the greatest money saving skills any guitar player can learn. Fretwork takes a lot of time and trial and error to get it right, but soldering is such an easy skill to learn once you have a good iron it boggles the mind there are guitarists who will rather fork out lots of money to let others do it then learn it themselves. Especially in this day and age where you can find tutorials for almost everything everywhere. Plus its such a fun hobby. I find soldering to be very zen. Give me a circuit board to solder and I become completely relaxed. Time will fly and once you fire up your first circuit board and it works you feel like Tom Hanks in Castaway after he made fire.

As for soldering essentials, also get a good multimeter. One that gives you sound if you check for continuity. I've been using them for over a decade and still haven't scratched most of its functions, but the ability to check for continuity, to see if signal flows from point A to B has helped me to find and fix problems BIG TIME.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom