Hey guys, I know you have probably heard this question a million times before but I am looking at upgrading my MIM Strat a bit and would just like to hear some of your suggestions and thoughts.

First of all the music I like to play is rather varied but in terms of tone I am aiming for a rather classic tone. Think Hendrix. If it helps at all the music I play on my strat the most is Hendrix, Clapton, RHCP, The Black Keys and my own stuff which is usually a combination of the aforementioned styles.

The first upgrade I am planning for it is the pickups, I have recently brought a new amp (Fender HRDx) and the pickups just seem to muddy up at full volume, and not in a good way. I have narrowed my search down to Fender Custom Shop '69s. But any other suggestions are welcome.

Next on the list is probably going to be locking tuners as the guitar can not hold a tune when using the trem bar. I have no idea about these so some help would really be appreciated on this.

I have also heard that a Callaham drop in trem replacement is a great upgrade for them?

Any other suggestions would be appreciated too. Thanks for your time.
for pickups, the most classic stratty sounds ive heard have been from suhr v60lps. id suggest checking out some clips if you havent heard, seeing maybe they're for you.

you might want to look into replacing the nut and string tree before going into the tuners if your looking for tuning stability.

my 2 cents
I just put some Fender/Schaller locking tuners on my Squier (after breaking the D & G tuner housings).

I had to drill pin holes since they have 2 pins each but the Squier's machines only had one each.

18:1 is nice. Haven't really tried whammy abuse w/it yet (thats what the FR guitars are for), but it's staying in tune pretty well.

Best money spent on that guitar so far, although the HH config w S-1 switching & 2 volume controls was a lot of fun to figure out.
BTW, w/the Fender/Schaller tuners you'll only need 1 tree. I went with graphtech. Someday I'll do the nut w/graphtech, too. Or if you want to get really radical, go with the LSR Roller nut. Although that requires milling.
Last edited by jetwash69 at Jun 25, 2010,
i was also going to suggest a string retainer bar like on guitars with locking trems. not sure about replacements for your style of trem though. for pups, i could suggest the vintage noiseless pups? look at graphtech for nut replacements. they arent very expensive and arent hard to do yourself.

i miss my mexi strat! post a photo of yours please

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i wanted a callaham replacement trem set, but then the payment thing was like, either fax or phone my credit card number, or mail a check. i didnt like the idea. :/
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As far as pups go for a classic Hendrix tone, Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Surf's are working pretty well for me. With a tubescreamer through my blackstar I can come pretty close to the tone Hendrix gets on Red House. It'll never be dead on without a couple grand worth of vintage equipment, but for what i've spent I'm pretty happy. The pups are a little expensive, but for what I paid I'm definitely happy. Huge improvement over the stock pups.
On my MIM I did the Fender/Schaller lockers, Tusq nut, and a Fralin Blues Special pickup set with all new wiring, switch, pots, blend pot, etc. The guitar sounds fantastic and will easily nail the tones you are wanting.

It's the one on the left The Tele is a modded MIM as well.

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