Hello, fellow guitarplayers.

I found an old dusty, cheap and useless Stratocaster copy, and I just wondered if I could wake it back to life; But there are a few problems:

1) The fretboard is abit dry to move around on - can I do anything about that?

2) The pickups.. I don't even want to talk about how bad they are. Which good & cheap single coil pickups can you recommend? (3 pickups)

I've attached some horribly bad pictures of the old monster.

And - Is this worth the money? Would it be better and cheaper just to buy a proper fender instead? Is this something the average Joe can do?

Hope anyone can help;

It could easily be restored to health. For the fretboard, I would sand with 0000 steel wool to clean up the frets a bit. For the actual board, there are oils for it, but I have never used them (most of my guitars are maple board).

Pickups? I can recommend GFS stuff. But seeing as you are across the pond, that might be a bit expensive to ship.

It is very easy to restore strats to health, since all the bits come off easily. I say go for it. A real fender, although nice, will likely be more expensive.
You can buy from GFS, they have some sweet pickups for strats (single coils, single-coil-sized humbuckers and some other stuff). They are very nice and cheap.

They also sell guitar parts, if you want to do more upgrades to your guitar.
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I'll ask about those oils at my local guitar-store!

Well 45$ for 3 pickups is quite cheap.. But yeah, I'm way across the pond, and after all the taxes and shipping fees I might just as well buy some proper Fender pick-ups :P

I found these on their site: http://www.guitarfetish.com/Strat-Vintage-Alnico-Stagger-Pickup-Set_p_717.html

Vintage, eh?
I have their professional series pickups in a cheap squier, and they sound godly!

These are what I'll be getting for my other project strat. http://www.guitarfetish.com/1963-Strat-Vintage-Wound-Professional-Pickup-Set_p_2093.html
I will take your advice on that !
Will these do? (Don't mind that you can't understand a word, ) http://www.4sound.dk/shop/pickuper-elguitar/fender/tex-mex-strat-set.html

Oh.. and wiring them up, is that an easy task?
Yup, those are the ones. I would recommend going to a guitar store and finding a fender that has them (like the jimmie vaughan signature) and play it to see if you like them.

You should also get some new potentiometers and switches. If you have some experience with a soldering iron its easy to hook it all up yourself. If not, the guitar shop should have a tech who can do it for you. The new pickups will not sound the best when played through the cheap electronics in that guitar.

This is also a great time to get a different pickguard if you want one!
if you're looking for budget pickups in the uk, irongear pickups can't be beat.

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If you don't already, I would use this as an opportunity to learn a bit about soldering and wiring a guitar. Put some nice new pots in there and a new switch as well as the pups! Also, seconding the Irongear pups.

With the fretboard, get yourself some lemon oil. Most guitar shops stock it, and it works a treat (pun intended).
@Hawk5211: I was in job-practice for a week in a guitar-store, and I soldered some wiring in a few strat's.. But because of that I know the storekeeper, and maybe he'll help me a bit
So I should replace all the electronics? :O

@Lolometer1: UK isn't far away, shipping is cheap... I'll check it out

@Bidley: Hmm - I could use some experience in that area I'll try an replace all the electronics!
- Lemon oil, eh? I'll ask for it at the store
Last edited by ANdrzK at May 7, 2011,
It's worth doing dude, and the extra knowledge comes in handy. You'll mess it up a few times, but there are answers all over the place. Once you wire it yourself and you find it works and sounds sweet.... no feeling like it

A little tip in advance that'll save you bags of time - once you've finished wiring, rather than restringing ready to test it out, just plug the jack into an amp and tap the poles on the pups with a screwdriver. If you can hear the tap through the amp, you're all set
@Bidley: That's what I thought too :P Thank you, I'll do that I was at the guitar-store towntown today, and since I know him, he offered me help and also using his tools and workshop - But he would like to see if the guitar was even worth improving first. How bad should a guitar be before it won't pay off improving it?
Depends what you mean by "pay off". If you mean doing it up to sell it for a profit, it nearly never does. I don't know what brand of guitar that is, but as long as the body isn't made of plywood, it's always worth sticking some semi-decent pups and electronics in, if only so you've got something you feel you put a little into. So the short answer - if you don't spend a ridiculous amount, it'll pay off. Experience with fiddling with guitars and finding more out about how they work is priceless.
Hmm, well, just compared to buying a proper Fender Strat But yeah, that experience is priceless.. I'll look into the costs of the materials, and decide from there on Thank you everybody for the kind tips and advice!