#1
I think this is the right thread, but oh well here it goes

I was thinking of buying a MIM strat and then upgrading it because of the crazy MIA strat prices, so this is what I was thinking of upgrading, and tell me if anything is wrong with this.

Pickups
Tremolo
Pickguard (for the looks )
Locking Tuners
Strap Locks

Now i already looked and saw that for the locking tuners, strap locks, and pickguard I could get.

Schaller strap locks for $15
Fender Schaller Locking Tuners for $75
And a Tortoise Shell Red Pickguard from Pickguard.com for $60

My first question are these good deals, and if not can someone tell me about some other brands?

And then for the pickups and tremolo. I really have no idea what to get for these as I've never dealt with them before. For the Pickups would like some nice cleans and a little distortion. Like a Hendrix Tone, RHCP, and other classic rock stuff. But I already have a Epi Les Pal standard so I have humbuckers for heavier stuff.

As for Tremolo the MIM strat comes with a Vintage Style Synchronized Tremolo. Can anyone give me any input on this tremolo and If I need to upgrade it? Does it go out of tune easily? I don't really know much about tremolos right now so if anyone could just give me some info about different tremolos and maybe recommend me some that fit my style of playing (classic rock).

If anyone could answer these questions that would be great.
Where's Waldo?


yay
#2
no trem upgrade.
Go for texas specials, i get the best RHCP tone out of them
get locking tuners
get strap locks

Wait to get the pickguard LAST. Its a rip-off, and it doesnt function in upgrading, well, the guitars function.
#3
truthfully, if you are going to do all these mods, i think you should try for a squier classic vibe.

for pickups i would say Duncan SSL-1's.
Gearz:
Squier classic vibe 50's strat, modded.
Dunlop 535q
Korg Pitchblack
Carvin X100B

Coming soon to a pedal board near you:
Analogman Sunface
Lovepedal E6
Area 51 wah
Skreddy Lunar Module
Malekko 616 Ekko
#4
I think after you upgrade the pickups, trem, and etc you'd be getting close to MIA territory anyway. So either save for a MIA strat, or do like someone else said and just go even lower, to say the Squier Vintage Modified or Classic Vibe series, then upgrade.

And $60 for a pickguard? That's a big time rip-off IMO. I wouldn't pay over $25 for one (since that's what a custom pickguard from Warmoth costs). I got my black HSS Fender pickguard for like $20 I believe.
#6
If the trem has bent metal saddles then it's a ok in my book. I got great stability out of mine when I set the trem flush on the body and used four springs. No up pull but that was alright with me. Blocked it's even better with more sustain and thicker tone.

If the trem has a pussy (light) block then I'd spring for a heavier one from gfs, they're cheap and will add sustain.

That's a decent price on the tuners. Personally I'd go for a staggered set so you can eliminate your string trees. Especially helpful if you plan to use the trem.

I wouldn't pay 60 for a pickguard, because like chip said, you can get a custom one from warmoth for 25 bucks.

I'd like to know your budget for pickups before I suggest anything. You can find tex mex pups on ebay pretty cheap (like 70 bucks for a set) and at that price they aren't bad, certainly a step up from stock pups.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#7
All the MIA's I've played were amazing guitars, albeit a bit overpriced for me. It's totally a personal choice, do you want to buy an already great MIA strat, or modify a Squier and make something that's unique and personal to your tastes? Given you could also mod the MIA with new pickups that suit your playing style, but you would probably have to wait longer to save up more money.

I love working and tinkering on guitars, so if it were me I'd be the Squier and mod it, plus the MIA would be out of my price range.
#8
^Big Plus one. I've only played a few cheap strats that I thought couldn't be made to play well. I have only played a few MIA strats that even came close to playing as good as their cost.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#9
Well If i think about it the Guitar is $500. Plus locking tuners, strap locks, and pickguard thats about $110 more so $610 ish total.

Now I could probably spend up to $900 maybe just depending on some stuff. So how much are these Texas Mex pickups cause I tried looking them up but didnt find anything, and then do I even need to upgrade my tremolo?
Where's Waldo?


yay
#10
I would say upgrade these things first:
A Steel Sustain Block
Bent STEEL saddels
Locking Tuners
Pickups

Overall, I say you just get a MIA, true its overpriced, but it is a lot better.

Also MIJ strats are almost on par with MIA (some even say better but I like MIA better) Try those
American Strat:
Area 61 Neck, Area 67 Middle & Bridge
Spretzel Locking Tuners
Graphtech Nut & String Tree
Lots O' Love!

JSX + Orange Cab
Fender Blues Deluxe
Deluxe Memory Man
Fulltone Full Drive 2 & OCD
H2O Chorus/Echo