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> The Great Stratocaster Revival, The search for tone continues ...
Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 28 2011, 06:26 PM
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It's been a while since I bought my last guitar:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...?showtopic=4754

and the Jem has been good to me, but I am ready for a change. On thing the Jem doesn't have is a particularly distinctive tone. So, I decided to dust off my old Strat and revive it a little smile.gif

I have played this guitar a lot over the years, gigged and recorded with it, but never been fully happy with its sound. I retired it in 2007 when I bought my Variax and Jem guitars and haven't played it much since. Its a 1992 USA Strat Plus - not a classic year by any standard, and I have always hated the lace pickups. To me they just don''t have that proper Strat vibe, but I was very inexperienced when I bought it. Tonally I am looking for a Hendrix/Gilmour overdriven funky strat kind of sound, and the first place to start is the guitar of course (the amp is another story - I just ordered a Line6 Pod HD Pro, lets see if they live up to the hype, if not, I can always finish building my 2nd tube amp!)

I have bought a pre-wired pickguard with Fender vintage 57/62 pickups, I sprung for a new tremolo unit, screws, covers, strap buttons etc, and I fully intend to take the darned thing completely apart and polish it to within an inch of its life!

Now, I have never taken a guitar apart before so this could be disastrous - any tips, comments and advice are welcome!

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Nov 28 2011, 07:45 PM


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 28 2011, 08:11 PM
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Hey Andreeew, pleasure to hear from you! smile.gif

There aren't any problems with this job, should be fun, and your choice of pickups is great for the classic vibe. The only tricky part for me was to do the soldering of input wires when I did similar work, but since you've been making complete tube amps, that shouldn't be too much of a problem! Glad to hear you are reworking the guitar, strat deserves to be taken care off cool.gif


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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 28 2011, 10:37 PM
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Thanks for your encouraging words Ivan smile.gif

I will take it all apart which worries me a little, and I am thinking of repairing some of the pickguard screwholes with matchsticks and epoxy as they are not biting any more. Electrics I am fine with as you said, but even basic woodworking like this is a stretch for me wink.gif


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My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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s1m0n
post Nov 29 2011, 12:19 AM
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Post pics of your progress! Be cool to see how it develops.
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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 29 2011, 01:37 AM
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Definitely ... before AND after and during probably ....


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My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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AK Rich
post Nov 29 2011, 03:36 AM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Nov 28 2011, 12:37 PM) *
Thanks for your encouraging words Ivan smile.gif

I will take it all apart which worries me a little, and I am thinking of repairing some of the pickguard screwholes with matchsticks and epoxy as they are not biting any more. Electrics I am fine with as you said, but even basic woodworking like this is a stretch for me wink.gif


That sounds like a great idea with the matchsticks and epoxy, also sounds like its gonna be one happy strat and with all the new upgrades I'll bet you fall in love with her all over again smile.gif Yay Stratocaster!

Rich....
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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 29 2011, 04:11 AM
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I surely hope so ... I can hear it now with some overdrive, a little delay. maybe some TS for the solos, it sounds glorious ... in my head at least ...


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Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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Fran
post Nov 29 2011, 04:00 PM
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Hey Andrew! Nice to hear you are revamping that strat, I bet it will be much better afterwards smile.gif

We've got some really nice articles on the matter on our wiki, let me see if I can find some! smile.gif

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/wiki/inde...your_own_Guitar
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/wiki/inde...rat_On_A_Budget
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/wiki/inde...p/Staffaycaster


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 29 2011, 09:11 PM
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Those are some nice articles, I wish I could build a strat like that as well biggrin.gif


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Daniel Realpe
post Nov 29 2011, 10:43 PM
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the search for tone definitely never ends... except for Eric Johnson biggrin.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 30 2011, 01:13 PM
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I just tried a Richie Kotzen signature tele last evening biggrin.gif pffffff... Dunno if you guys are into telecasters but I for one would love having one of those babies! Not so much of a Strat fan, I mean I like'em but teles....TELES biggrin.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 30 2011, 11:12 PM
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Hehe, I love Teles too man, almost as much as Strats. Just recorded Johnny Cash lesson with 1981 Limited Edition Black & Gold Tele ( cool.gif ), which I restorated myself during summer. Not mine guitar, but it would be nice to have one standard model. I played bunch of them, and this Black one is one of the best. The heavier the Tele is, the better! smile.gif


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Andrew Cockburn
post Dec 1 2011, 03:18 AM
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Teles ... Amazing sustain! Maybe for my next project??
Thanks for the links Fran!


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Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
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Andrew Cockburn
post Dec 3 2011, 07:37 PM
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Ok, a quick update:
Traveling on business this week, but I am hoping to have all the parts available soon. I have the week before Christmas off, so i am targeting then to do the rebuild, I'll post some before pics when I get home next weekend.




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Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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Alex Feather
post Dec 20 2011, 04:47 AM
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Its not too hard. Just don't burn your hand with the sautering iron! Once you take it apart a couple times and look around in there, you'll get used to it.


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Andrew Cockburn
post Dec 24 2011, 05:58 PM
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OK, the deed has been done!

I have to say it all went rather smoothly for the first time I took a giutar apart smile.gif The neck came off easily, and none of the holes were so badly stripped that I needed to peg them, apart from the bottom strap stud which needed a little help (I dimly remember ripping it out and gluing it back in again sometime in the late 90s).

The soldering was easy (I didn't expect any problems there) and it went back together nicely too - all screws went in firmly.

The final step was the setup, and I am still working on that. I set the action and then worked on the intonation. First time for that too, and i was worried but i found a decent tutorial on the net and managed just fine.

I have a couple of remaining issues to work on (and I may just get it setup by a luthier anyway). The first is that the top E string buzzes no mater how high I set the action, and it also pulls out of the nut rather easily. The nut seems fine (its a strat plus carbon/ball bearing thingy) but there could be a problem there. Also, i couldn't move the string saddle far enough back to get the intonation right on the bottom E string. looking at the tremolo pegs they look like they are leaning forward which might account for that although i have no idea how to fix that ...

When I got it setup and started playing it I was very pleased with the sound. The difference is subtle, but the new pups have more depth to them. Its hard to describe exactly but I rerecorded a rhythm piece I had played on the old pickups to compare and the difference was noticeable.

So, if you want to hear how it sounds, there will be a secret project released in the immediate future smile.gif

Finally, here are the promised pics.

Before:

Attached Image

Attached Image

During:

Attached Image

And after:

Attached Image

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Dec 24 2011, 06:00 PM


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Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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