#1
I'm working on upgrading the first guitar I ever got (a squier affinity strat). I'd like to make it into a decent rock guitar. Not heavy metal, just general rock, something that handles distortion well, but doesn't sound too bad clean. Any advice would be appreciated.

Before we go any farther, I'm working within a budget, so I probably won't be buying Dimarzio pickups or anything like that. I WILL pay somewhat more for higher quality, but I don't want to pay for a brand name. I'm not trying to get a Gibson LP here, just a decent guitar that I can do a bit of gigging with.

Here's the mods I have in mind:
1. Dragonfire single coil phat pickups. I'm not sold on these, so some feedback here would be good. I also looked at Rose pickups and thought they seemed like higher quality, but I'm not sure if they make any pups that would give me the sound I'm after.

2. New tuners. Not quite sure what kind.

3. A new bridge. I looked at the vintage tremolo bridges on Stewmac, but they're kinda steep for my means. Anyone know of any good vintage trems for a bit less? I understand that a lot of bridges are too big for a squier, but I don't mind cutting down the trem cover or getting rid of it entirely.

4. Fender "F" logo strap locks. I'm pretty sold on these, but I'll consider other suggestions. I'm mostly looking for something that looks cool and doesn't cost too much.

5. If you have any other suggestions, please post them. Like I said, I appreciate any advice.
#2
1. I'm not sure about Dragonfire pickups. I've not tried them myself, so I can't say more than that. IronGear make great passives on a budget though, which I can vouch for - they're in the UK, but lots of people from overseas buy them. I've also heard good things about GFS. You might want to consider a SD Hot Rails style pickup, which gives you the benefits of a humbucker in the singlecoil form factor (especially for distortion).

2. There are loads of tuners around. GFS have some, then Wilkinson are alright. You can usually find sets of Gotoh machineheads on eBay for the same price as a budget set. Look on Guitarfetish and WDMusic.

3. As above - GFS/WDMusic/Axetec.

4. eBay/Allparts?

5. How about a new nut and fret levelling/dressing?
#3
Quote by -MintSauce-


5. How about a new nut and fret levelling/dressing?


Forgive me if I sound ignorant, I have studied guitar modifying and building a lot, but what exactly is the nut, what does it do, and what is fret leveling? Thanks for the suggestions, though! I'm going to check out those pickups too. Once again, thanks!
#4
A new nut could help with sustain and tuning issues depending on what it's made of. Bone and graphite are popular options.

Fret leveling does exactly what it says. It levels the frets on your neck so the frets are flat relative to each other, eliminating fret buzz and dead spots.

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#5
For pickups you can get some SD Hot Rails or the SD JB Jr's. Grover tuners are high quality and would recommend them.
[..BLACKFIRE..]
#6
Thanks, everyone, for all your input. There were some good suggestions here that I will, very probably follow up.