#1
Well I found a black 1995 Standard Strat MIM at a pawn shop that needs just a bit of work to make her look gorgeous, but I picked her up for 225. I'm really excited about this one...because I think this is going to be a pretty awesome guitar once I get done modding it up.

As far as I can tell the fretboard is in great shape, the frets look pretty good and the neck is straight. The things that need some work tho: tuners are still the standard Fender tuners (I assume I should get some locking tuners but I dont know which brand), the pickups are still the standard ones (I'm sure there are multiple ideas of which pickups are great), the pickguard is pretty jacked, the pickup selector doesnt have a plastic piece on top and the input jack is a little loose.

Mods I dont really think I need to do but kinda want to do: get a bone nut, fix a couple of minor scratches (possibly customize the paint job all together), and possibly a bit further down the line get a new fretboard and do some custom inlays.

My question to you is...what should I do first? I'm taking it into a shop tomorrow to get it all set up. I think probably tomorrow the pickguard will get changed as well as putting the plastic piece on the pickup selector. But what should I do with it after that? I would love to hear your thoughts
Elitists and Hypocrites
#2
Quote by CSUTremonti777
The things that need some work tho: tuners are still the standard Fender tuners (I assume I should get some locking tuners but I dont know which brand),


Why?

the pickups are still the standard ones (I'm sure there are multiple ideas of which pickups are great)


Sure would help to know what kind of sound you're looking for.

the pickguard is pretty jacked, the pickup selector doesnt have a plastic piece on top and the input jack is a little loose.


Easy fixes

Mods I dont really think I need to do but kinda want to do: get a bone nut


This would be a good place to start

fix a couple of minor scratches (possibly customize the paint job all together)


What finish is on it currently?

and possibly a bit further down the line get a new fretboard and do some custom inlays.


Wow. That's intense.

My question to you is...what should I do first? I'm taking it into a shop tomorrow to get it all set up. I think probably tomorrow the pickguard will get changed as well as putting the plastic piece on the pickup selector. But what should I do with it after that? I would love to hear your thoughts


Please refer to above.
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#3
I would scallop the fretboard rather than replace it. As for pickups Dimarzio has some nice hum canceling single coils. Tuners and nut shouldn't be too much of a problem but do what you want.
#4
Quote by la bamba
Why?


Sure would help to know what kind of sound you're looking for.


Easy fixes


This would be a good place to start


What finish is on it currently?


Wow. That's intense.


Please refer to above.


Why? No idea I have heard lots of people say get some locking tuners. Never had them so I dont know thats one of those things where I just figured "well everyone else is doing it so I should do it too"

Sound type? Mostly looking for the SRV type sound, but I play rock type stuff as well. So pickups that get a good blues tone but can rock out as well.

I'll get a bone nut tomorrow and have that put on there while they're doing all the setup stuff.

What finish? I cant say I know the technical name of the type of finish, but if I was going to change it I probably would go the whole hog and do a custom paint job as well.

As for the custom inlay stuff...I think it would probably be along the lines of changing the fret markers to something other than dots. Maybe a cool inlay at the 12th fret I am not sure. But nothing like a JEM or anything I'm not really a fan of that whole inlay or that style
Elitists and Hypocrites
#5
Schaller locking tuners are great if the ones on it now aren't working out.
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#6
locking tuners aren't absolutely necessary unless your doing crazy string bends and setting it up with .10's

but yeah tuners are the first thing I replace on MIM or squire's. its something you must do or suffer.
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#7
Can't go wrong with a set of Sperzels for tuners. The nut will help a fair bit. Refinishing is a real personal job as everyone has different tastes.
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#8
Callaham bridge and/or trem block will go a long way for sustain and sweetening up the tone, just be sure to get the narrow string spacing.

http://www.callahamguitars.com/

For my money (classic rock, blues, "vintage" sound) Fralins Pickups are the tops, but a bit spendy. Listen to clips of Fralin equipped guitars with similar setups to what you're after.

Keep in mind, MiM+Pups+bridge+tuners+nut+jack+pickguard+setup =Nice new SRV strat or Am std...
#9
Quote by fullsailstudent
locking tuners aren't absolutely necessary unless your doing crazy string bends and setting it up with .10's

but yeah tuners are the first thing I replace on MIM or squire's. its something you must do or suffer.
lol. I have a '01 MIM and the stock tuners are downright excellent. I'm fairly certain they're made by Schaller. In any case, they work perfectly.

Granted, if I were a dive-bomb freak, i wouldn't want all the wrap that is necessary with a non-locking tuner. But for normal string bends, they are not a problem. Tuning stability has never been an issue with mine.
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#10
^ Agreed. If TS's tuners are operating well and hold tune, keep them and put the money to use elsewhere. I seldom run in to tuning stability problems with any of my guitars. Granted, I'm not an animal on the whammy, but none of my guitars have locking tuners and I only wrap strings about 3 rotations normally. That does the trick for me.

Swapping the fretboard is more effort than it's worth. If you really want to change that, get a new neck. It is a bolt-on after all!
#11
Quote by Rutch
Callaham bridge and/or trem block will go a long way for sustain and sweetening up the tone, just be sure to get the narrow string spacing.

http://www.callahamguitars.com/

For my money (classic rock, blues, "vintage" sound) Fralins Pickups are the tops, but a bit spendy. Listen to clips of Fralin equipped guitars with similar setups to what you're after.

Keep in mind, MiM+Pups+bridge+tuners+nut+jack+pickguard+setup =Nice new SRV strat or Am std...


Is there something specific that you should use to block the trem? As in type of wood or even buying something that is sold that is made to specifically block it?

Quote by cedricsmods
^ Agreed. If TS's tuners are operating well and hold tune, keep them and put the money to use elsewhere. I seldom run in to tuning stability problems with any of my guitars. Granted, I'm not an animal on the whammy, but none of my guitars have locking tuners and I only wrap strings about 3 rotations normally. That does the trick for me.

Swapping the fretboard is more effort than it's worth. If you really want to change that, get a new neck. It is a bolt-on after all!


Yeah I might as well just make a new neck if thats the case. But thats aways down the road for sure.
Elitists and Hypocrites
#12
I'd recommend redoing all the wiring with CTS pots, orange drop caps and a top quality switch and jack. You'll be surprised how much of a difference it'll make to your tone.
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#13
Quote by skater dan0
I'd recommend redoing all the wiring with CTS pots, orange drop caps and a top quality switch and jack. You'll be surprised how much of a difference it'll make to your tone.
If you're satisfied with the normal switching sequence, the MegaSwitch-S is a good choice.
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#14
i love my stock mim tuners they stay in tune great!
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#15
The tuners are good. Tuning problems are going to be down to the asscrap plastic nut on your guitar.

Change the nut 1st because if you can't stay in tune it doesn't matter how good anything is you will still sound bad.

Change the pickups second. I reccomend my smooth groove 62 set not because I make them but because I think they are the best option for you.

After that swap the switch and the pots. Stock fender pots are muddy and the switch isn't great either. While you are doing this you will need to switch caps too. I suggest the cheap ceramic disk caps for vintage tone or some mojo dijon caps for a smoother tone.

Then look at the cosmetic things. Hardware on the MIM strats is pretty good so don't rush out and replace it.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Jun 26, 2009,
#16
Quote by CSUTremonti777
The things that need work: tuners are still the standard Fender tuners (I assume I should get some locking tuners but I don't know which brand)
the pickups are still the standard ones (I'm sure there are multiple ideas of which pickups are great)
the pickguard is pretty jacked, the pickup selector doesn't have a plastic piece on top
the input jack is a little loose.

I'd think of this project as more of a "restoration" than a "modification"

You've found a 1995 MIM Strat for a good deal, but it does need work.

If I were you, I'd start by fixing the problems on the guitar.

1) Fix the input jack
2) Buy parts - new pickguard and pickup selector knob
3) If you wish, fix the dents on the guitar and maybe even repaint it
4) Have it set up (or set it up yourself)

And if after all that, you are unhappy with the pickups and tuners (or anything else) on the guitar, proceed to mod it. I own a mint 1998/1999 Fender Standard (MIM) Strat, and I just love it. The stock SSS pickups sound great, and I think the stock (non-locking) tuners work great.

Anyway, there's my 2 cents.
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#17
Quote by yellowsnow4free
I'd think of this project as more of a "restoration" than a "modification"

You've found a 1995 MIM Strat for a good deal, but it does need work.

If I were you, I'd start by fixing the problems on the guitar.

1) Fix the input jack
2) Buy parts - new pickguard and pickup selector knob
3) If you wish, fix the dents on the guitar and maybe even repaint it
4) Have it set up (or set it up yourself)

And if after all that, you are unhappy with the pickups and tuners (or anything else) on the guitar, proceed to mod it. I own a mint 1998/1999 Fender Standard (MIM) Strat, and I just love it. The stock SSS pickups sound great, and I think the stock (non-locking) tuners work great.

Anyway, there's my 2 cents.


Thanks man...I appreciate the input. I like the idea of a restoration rather than modding. I guess you are right I havent actually heard how this guitar can sound as is so I should give that a shot before I start changing stuff.
Elitists and Hypocrites