Newbie here. I have been playing for about 3 months and have a Squeir Strat. I don't have any real problems with it, it seems to sound ok (to my untrained ear) but was thinking about doing some upgrades, like tuners, tremolo, pickups, pots and pickguard. Using good components, I estimate it will cost about $400, plus I would learn a lot about the guitar, etc.

I would eventually like to buy an American Strat, but am thinking that upgrading my Squier would be an interim step and then will have two guitars with different sounds.

I've read a lot of posts that say to spend the money on a MIM or save to buy the American, that spending money on a Squier is not worth it. The money is not a huge issue, although I don't like to waste. My wife say buy the American.

I would really like to hear from others that have upgraded Squiers on whether they think it was worth the cost and effort. Any experience with the Fender Texas Specials or the GFS pups?

Any insights would be helpful!!!

I am mostly self-taught so far, but started taking lessons (today is lesson #2, so far it is great) and i like blues & classic rock (SRV, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, etc.).

Thanks for any help!!!
Last edited by C-Squared at Mar 14, 2009,
it really not worth it but you need to change the tuners and get better pick ups. i got some almost brand new for free cant remember the name but they were some noisless ones from fender. A far as scratch plates and pick up covers go it cost me less than 20 to change everything on mine.
I like the Squier necks so I probably wouldn't replace it unless you want a Maple fretboard. As far as things to do, I'd:

  • Do a proper set-up
  • Replace the pots and switch with American parts
  • Shield all the cavities
  • Replace the wires with shielded wires ala Gibson (also helps tame the SC buzz)
  • Dress the frets
  • Replace the bridge with a used MIM Standard Strat bridge from 2007 or later - has the heftier trem block and is a direct replacement
  • Experiment with the inexpensive GFS PUs and see which ones sound best with your tube amp

The Texas Specials sound good when playing at normal volumes but sound a bit harsh when cranked. If you want vintage tone, I'd go with the Fender CS '57/'62 set.

What about refinishing?

Thanks for the guidance.

I have not really considered refinishing, as I'm not sure I am willing to take on a sanding, refinish/painting project.

It is currently black body with white pickguard and rosewood fretboard. I was thinking of changing the pickguard to tortoise or black pearl and the pup covers and knobs to black to get a new look.
Quote by SG Commander
does the tremolo have 6 little screws or 2 big pegs thats a upgrade you could do

please elaborate, im in the process of upgrading my strat myself.

BTW i say go for it. Im using it as a first custom project b4 i move on to warmoth... so as im not a total noob when i go to buy the more expensive stuff.
Epiphone les paul studio
Traynor YCS50
vox wah V847
Fulltone Full-Drive 2
squire strat- currently in process of getting custom finish!

gassing for warmoth build
Last edited by Sieves at Mar 14, 2009,
Quote by SG Commander
does the tremolo have 6 little screws or 2 big pegs thats a upgrade you could do
Excellent point! The Affinity is vintage-style (6 screws) while the Standard is 2-point, in which case, you can check out the GuitarFetish ones ... haven't replaced those in a Squier Standard.

For the Squier Standard Strat: http://store.guitarfetish.com/wistsatrfial.html

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The tremolo on my Squier has the six screws. So, going to two pegs like Fender sells for their American Standard strat would be an upgrade? Sounds like that would require some filling and re-drilling. Maybe I can find a better grade tremolo that is a direct replacement.

I think I am going to do this, it will be a good project #1. Will try not to spend too much money on it, though.