#1
I have been researching the best squier strat to use to do some modifying/hot-rodding on, and I’ve been talking to some other people. I initially was looking at some of the alder bodied squiers, but I’ve heard that the quality of the alder is horrible on the squiers and I would be better using an SE Special Strat because the Agathis used is good quality despite this being a cheaper wood. I haven’t owned or used an Agathis bodied guitar before, but I’ve read the tone is pretty decent. I know I’m going to be changing the tuning keys out immediately, and over time changing out the nut, bridge – all the hardware and electronics. I think eventually I will be putting some lace sensors in it. I haven’t decided for sure. I guess what I’m asking is can anyone confirm that the Alder used in Squiers is poor quality, and does anybody have experience with the SE Special Strats that could tell me how urgent replacing the nut and bridge should be before I purchase this guitar? Some people are telling me the nut and bridge are half decent, and if they are then I’ll just plan to finance replacing the tuning keys initially, but if the nut and bridge are that horribly bad then I will probably not even purchase the guitar till I can finance all of these changes. Please let me know, anyone who has any experience with this.
#2
The wood quality is hit and miss. Squiers are not poor quality wood per se; they are inconsistent quality wood. Some of the alder ones look decent enough for a transparent finish, some don't.
If you insist on a grossly generalized answer: the ones that are painted opaque usually need to be opaque.
#3
Quote by katalyzt13
... but I’ve heard that the quality of the alder is horrible on the squiers and I would be better using an SE Special Strat because the Agathis used is good quality despite this being a cheaper wood. ... can anyone confirm that the Alder used in Squiers is poor quality, and does anybody have experience with the SE Special Strats that could tell me how urgent replacing the nut and bridge should be before I purchase this guitar? ....
The Alder in the Squier Strat should be sufficient. I doubt most would be able to tell the difference through a decent tube amp, specially with all the various factors such as volume, gain, effects used, PUs, venue, etc.

Same thing with Agathis. I'd place more emphasis on how the neck feels/plays. If you like it a lot, then you can start improving the bits and bobs that make it perform better.

Since most Squier Strats have the vintage-style, 6-screw bridge, monitor eBay for the Fender MIM Standard Strat from 2007 or later. These newer models have the heftier trem block similar to the MIA and MIJ Strats, except the string spacing is narrower. The 6-holes will line up perfectly with your Squier. The beefier block will help with sustain.

I'd upgrade the nut to keep better tuning. It would also benefit from a switch and pots upgrade, very inexpensive!

Then I'd shield all of the cavities to tame the hum: http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/shielding/shield3.php.

BTW, I'm not familiar with the SE Special Strat so make sure that the bridge specs are similar to what I assume is the Affinity Strat you're planning.

Good Luck!

#4
Props for getting a Squier to mod out. Always thought that they deserve more than they get.
Art is Vice. You don't marry it legitimately, you rape it...
-Edgar Degas
#5
I have actually ruled out using an affinity series because they have smaller string spacing and I have large hands. That is why I picked the SE Special - the one that comes in the bundle - because it is made of Agathis, which I'm curious about, and the string spacing is more what I'm used to. I eventually will be replacing all the hardware and electronics on it, but I'm just curious what is going to be so horrible from the box that I'm gonna need to replace immediately. I was looking at the vintage modified and the classic vibe 60's, but one I ruled out because it was made of red cedar which I've never heard of used as a tone wood for an electric guitar, and the other I ruled out because I would still want to replace all the hardware and electronics on it and I've been told that the neck on it feels identical to the SE Special. Has anyone done some modifications on Strats before that has any input? I've just done small things (as far as mods) before and I've never even messed with strats - I used to hate single coil pickups.
#6
A lot of people on here will give you a list of things that "need" to be replaced immediately. The way I do it is play it stock for a week, really give yourself time to try it out, then decide. If it holds tune fine, why replace the tuners? I expect you will end up wanting to replace the pots, switch, nut, and pickups. Maybe the bridge or at least the block.
#7


i got this one. i think its the one you talking about. a standard series squire strat. I really haven't found any big flaws with the guitar yet. (ive had it for about a week) after the initial set up its been pretty good so far. Im planning new pickups and pots with a killswitch pot, upgrade the wires themselves probably and a new nut . i filed down the fret just a smidgen. the thing plays great , might get a better trem block for improved sustain..perhaps a mid boosted as well but 80% of what im doing is just fun stuff, not needed to be a good guitar
#8
a few things.

1) im not convinced at how much the "tone wood" even effects the tone. ive heard amazing sounds come from a cheap plywood guitar.

2) even if the alder is poor quality, i doubt it will affect much except for the look. which wont matter if you are keeping it painted. they may also be more pieces than regular strats. some good strats have 2 piece bodies while squiers can have 4.

3) i have an affinity squier strat which is an alder body. i put new pickups and electronics in it. the neck is pretty good already except the frets are a little small imo. might upgrade to jumbos when i get the chance. get new tuners as well. a new bridge and trem wont hurt but the stock one isnt that bad imo.

honestly, this guitar sings. perhaps i just got lucky with it but it has a very nice, resonant sound even unplugged. i can get some nice sounds from this guitar ranging from SRV, to eric johnson. i also switched the middle tone pot to work on the bridge pick up instead to warm/fatten it up. doing this can get you closer to humbucker type sounds as it also seems to decrease the volume of the hum on the bridge.

best advice, try them out. if it plays well and sounds good, get it. thats why i got mine. it already was decent for a starter guitar. it really just needed some new pickups/electronics. the stock P/U's were bright and kinda weak.
#9
So, let me know what you think about the mods I plan on doing on a squier strat. If anyone has used any of these components before, any feedback would be awesome.
1. Gonna start with a base of an Arctic White Squier SE Special Stratocaster (Agathis Body, Maple Neck, Rosewood Fret Board)
2. Going to replace the tuners with Sperzel Locking Tuners (black)
3. Going to replace the nut with a Graph Tech Trem Nut. (black)
4. Going to replace the saddles with Graph Tech Saddle (black)
5. Going to replace the pots, switch, etc. with an Acme ToneShaper SSS-1. (will keep the white knobs)
6. Going to replace the pickups with Fender Hot Noiseless (white)
7. Going to replace the pickguard with a 3-ply Black Pearloid.
8. I may replace the trem block with a Callahan Trem Block. Haven’t decided.
9. A custom decal covering the Squier branding that says “MUSIC is the BEST –Frank Zappa”

The total price spent will probably be just over 500$ including the guitar. Closer to 600$ if I go with the trem block.