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> Upgrading Squier Strat
bleez
post Jan 10 2018, 01:01 PM
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Im thinking about the 89 korean one I have, I really like the guitar especially the neck. Its just really nice to play. I wouldnt be looking to change the pickups, at the moment and I'd keep the bridge as its the one which has 'fender' double stamped on the saddles and tbh it seems to be decent.
what are the common upgrades people usually do in this case, is it just getting better pots and pickup selector?
Also, what would be the actual benefits of upgrading the electrics, is it worth doing?


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yoncopin
post Jan 10 2018, 03:26 PM
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In my opinion there's only a couple reasons to change your electronics:

- You want to change the configuration - different switching, pot rolloff characteristics, darken/brighten tone, etc... There's actually quite a bit you can do here to alter your guitar's sound without doing a pickup swap. The thing is, if you don't have a goal for the changes and just do a like-for-like swap not much is accomplished

- Something is not functioning correctly or the quality is so poor that it feels flimsy. Even in the latter case, I would only change it if the feel bothers you


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Mertay
post Jan 10 2018, 03:40 PM
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Seems like its a "if it ain't broke don't fix it" situation here smile.gif

Any change in the electronics will change the sound, even a simple wire so if you like the sound then I'd say don't mess with it. How are the frets? maybe some fret leveling could benefit if its an old guitar?


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klasaine
post Jan 10 2018, 03:41 PM
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I have an '87 Squier that one of my main players.
The most obvious thing I did to it was strip the body. It was black.
I kept the hardware but I did change out all the electronics: pkups, pots, caps, wire.
The pkups now are Fender 'Robert Cray' neck and middle and a Seymour Duncan '59 Custom' (F-spaced) bridge. *I tried probably a dozen different bridge HB pkups before settling on the SD. Also, the Robert Cray pkups are outstanding trad Strat pickups that you can find pretty cheap.
Anyway, great guitar all around.

Attached Image

I put a Fender decal on the headstock.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jan 10 2018, 03:42 PM


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Kristofer Dahl
post Jan 10 2018, 04:14 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jan 10 2018, 03:41 PM) *
I have an '87 Squier that one of my main players.
The most obvious thing I did to it was strip the body. It was black.
I kept the hardware but I did change out all the electronics: pkups, pots, caps, wire.
The pkups now are Fender 'Robert Cray' neck and middle and a Seymour Duncan '59 Custom' (F-spaced) bridge. *I tried probably a dozen different bridge HB pkups before settling on the SD. Also, the Robert Cray pkups are outstanding trad Strat pickups that you can find pretty cheap.
Anyway, great guitar all around.

Attached Image

I put a Fender decal on the headstock.


Wow that's some beautiful wood structure - wonder why they choose that piece for a black body?! blink.gif


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klasaine
post Jan 10 2018, 06:21 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Jan 10 2018, 08:14 AM) *
Wow that's some beautiful wood structure - wonder why they choose that piece for a black body?! blink.gif


My thoughts exactly.
My 'guess' is that is was originally intended to be a normal, USA Strat but the mid 80s were a weird time for Fender. They bought back the company from CBS and they changed factory locations in the states. A lot of parts were sent to Japan to be finished and assembled there and then came back to the USA. The order probably said something like, "100 black Strats, 50 candy apple red, 50 shell pink", etc. No one paid any attention to the wood (obviously).

*They also made some of the first Squier's in the USA .

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jan 10 2018, 06:36 PM


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bleez
post Jan 10 2018, 07:40 PM
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Cool, thanks guys. I had the impression ( from the internet ) that just upgrading the electrics alone on a cheaper guitar would generally be a big improvement and was the normal thing to do rolleyes.gif
The only quality issue I have, which I will need to address soon is pickup selector. Ive already had it replaced but its beginning to get a bit dodgy again. Im probably the root cause, I find it much easier flipping from bridge to neck on the LP than the strat and I think I can be a bit heavy handed when I do it mid solo. The frets seem fine though. the guitar had 2 owners before me and I know them both, I dont think either spent much time playing it.

Ken, Im guessing that squire holds its own against your other fenders cool.gif is it a 12" radius, do you know? I was reading that during the years mine was made, they had the 12" radius necks. Dunno if that's true, I should get a tool to check.


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klasaine
post Jan 10 2018, 10:23 PM
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QUOTE (bleez @ Jan 10 2018, 11:40 AM) *
Ken, Im guessing that squire holds its own against your other fenders cool.gif is it a 12" radius, do you know? I was reading that during the years mine was made, they had the 12" radius necks. Dunno if that's true, I should get a tool to check.


It absolutely "holds it's own". Radius is 9.5 with a C shape. It's not a fast or modern style neck/fretboard like some of the other Squiers. Over time (at this point, 30 years) I've also changed the pick guard, the tuners, the string trees and as I mentioned - all of the electronics. It's a weird but really good guitar.

I've had it since about 1989. It was the 'studio' guitar of a friend of mine who just didn't want it around (taking up space) anymore and he gave it to me. At that time they were considered to be worthless. I always liked it and used it a bunch whenever I'd go over there. One day he said, "take that with you, I don't want it around anymore". OK, no problem.




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Phil66
post Jan 10 2018, 11:12 PM
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Keep it as it is mate, if you're not doing a major change, you're chasing rainbows wink.gif

This post has been edited by Phil66: Jan 10 2018, 11:13 PM


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klasaine
post Jan 11 2018, 03:31 AM
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I'll go a little against the tide here.
IMO, you can definitely do better on the pick ups and the wiring in the Squiers. It's generally of lower quality than the MIJ and USA Fender counterparts. The necks and bodies can be very good but they cheaped out on the pkups, hrdwr and wiring.
Also, check to see if the trem block is the full sized version. If not, I'd change that. The block that the strings thread thru should be almost as long as the depth of the body (42mm by 13.2mm) and should be relatively beefy compared to the cheaper versions.
You will notice a difference in feel and tone.

The left (Fender) side is really what you want.

Attached Image

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jan 11 2018, 03:32 AM


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Madfish
post Jan 11 2018, 09:28 AM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Jan 10 2018, 03:40 PM) *
Seems like its a "if it ain't broke don't fix it" situation here smile.gif

Any change in the electronics will change the sound, even a simple wire so if you like the sound then I'd say don't mess with it. How are the frets? maybe some fret leveling could benefit if its an old guitar?


Replacing a wire won't change the sound. Unless the old one was faulty of course.
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Kristofer Dahl
post Jan 11 2018, 09:34 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jan 10 2018, 06:21 PM) *
My thoughts exactly.
My 'guess' is that is was originally intended to be a normal, USA Strat but the mid 80s were a weird time for Fender. They bought back the company from CBS and they changed factory locations in the states. A lot of parts were sent to Japan to be finished and assembled there and then came back to the USA. The order probably said something like, "100 black Strats, 50 candy apple red, 50 shell pink", etc. No one paid any attention to the wood (obviously).

*They also made some of the first Squier's in the USA .


Did you get any hint about the wood grain through the black finish - or did you just take a chance?


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Sensible Jones
post Jan 11 2018, 02:00 PM
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This might help you mate:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BSai46gX0I


Should you decide to re-do the Electrics and aren't confident of doing it you can always mail the Scratchplate etc to me and I'll be happy to do your re-wire for you!!
biggrin.gif


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klasaine
post Jan 11 2018, 03:47 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Jan 11 2018, 01:34 AM) *
Did you get any hint about the wood grain through the black finish - or did you just take a chance?


I took the neck off and I saw that the neck pocket wasn't painted. What I could see of the grain was beautiful (Ash) and the black paint and the polyurethane was several coats thick. Stripping it decreased the weight and opened it up a bit.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jan 11 2018, 04:50 PM


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klasaine
post Jan 11 2018, 04:43 PM
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QUOTE (Madfish @ Jan 11 2018, 01:28 AM) *
Replacing a wire won't change the sound. Unless the old one was faulty of course.


One or two pieces of hook-up wire no but if all the wiring is that super cheap and super skinny red, black and white crap - ?, changing it all out for 22 awg pvc or cloth covered will definitely make it quieter (less hum and rfi).

And if you decide to do all that, shield the inside cavity and the underside of the pkgrd with copper paint or tape.


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Sensible Jones
post Jan 11 2018, 05:10 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jan 11 2018, 04:43 PM) *
One or two pieces of hook-up wire no but if all the wiring is that super cheap and super skinny red, black and white crap - ?, changing it all out for 22 awg pvc or cloth covered will definitely make it quieter (less hum and rfi).

And if you decide to do all that, shield the inside cavity and the underside of the pkgrd with copper paint or tape.

+1 to this! Especially the Shielding!!!


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bleez
post Jan 11 2018, 08:07 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jan 11 2018, 02:31 AM) *
The left (Fender) side is really what you want.

This is what I have -
Attached Image
Its been set so the bridge is a hardtail. I actually thought it had been blocked but it must have been screwed flat instead.
Im cool with the hardtail aspect though.

QUOTE (Sensible Jones @ Jan 11 2018, 01:00 PM) *
Should you decide to re-do the Electrics and aren't confident of doing it you can always mail the Scratchplate etc to me and I'll be happy to do your re-wire for you!!
biggrin.gif

Thats awesome smile.gif if I do go for new electrics I will most likely give you a shout, thanks duder!

This post has been edited by bleez: Jan 11 2018, 08:07 PM


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klasaine
post Jan 11 2018, 08:45 PM
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Trem looks good! Keep it.
One down.


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Sensible Jones
post Jan 11 2018, 09:09 PM
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QUOTE (bleez @ Jan 11 2018, 08:07 PM) *
Thats awesome smile.gif if I do go for new electrics I will most likely give you a shout, thanks duder!

No worries mate! Will be pleased to do it!
biggrin.gif


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Madfish
post Jan 11 2018, 10:54 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jan 11 2018, 04:43 PM) *
One or two pieces of hook-up wire no but if all the wiring is that super cheap and super skinny red, black and white crap - ?, changing it all out for 22 awg pvc or cloth covered will definitely make it quieter (less hum and rfi).

And if you decide to do all that, shield the inside cavity and the underside of the pkgrd with copper paint or tape.


Of course. Proper shielding would surely help with interference, therefore reduce hum.

I was more thinking about magical/vintage wires, which supposedly sound ... different. That's not physics, that's psychology smile.gif
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