My newly-wedded wife has given me a beautiful Mexico-made Stratocaster for a wedding gift, with a scratchplate signed by one of my true idols.

It appears that the scratchplate is from an Asian or a different model of Strat, and it isn't quite a perfect fit for the Mexican guitar itself. She had a mutual friend fit the guard onto the guitar and he did a great job re-connecting everything and hooking it up, but a few of the screw-holes etc. aren't in the right place. It's perfectly connected, but I'm not sure the tone knobs are connected, I can't really hear much happening when I turn 'em, this is the first time I've owned a Fender so I'm not sure how much range I should be getting from the tone pots. They may well have not been soldered back.

I'm actually okay with it, and I don't want to tear it apart again, but I'm wondering whether it's likely to be okay leaving it like this, and whether or not I should take it to a professional and ask them to do a full setup, see if they can double-check that everything is where it should be.

Is there anything I can do without needing to remove the plate to see if it's all hooked up? The pickup switch and volume knob most definitely are, I'm just not sure about the two Tone knobs. With a Strat like this, should it be really super-obvious on a clean tone when twiddling those knobs, or is it more subtle? Most definitely a dumb question.

If you're interested, the autograph is Matt Groening ^_^
You have to take the guard off to do pretty much anything on a strat.

The good news is, it won't hurt anything to play with a disconnected tone control. If it sounds fine to you, there's nothing wrong with leaving it how it is.

Is it possible that you just don't have the switch in the right place? The tone knob closest to the volume knob will only work on the neck pickup (positions 4&5 on the switch) and the farther one will work on just the middle and bridge pickups (positions 1-4) so in every position except 4, one of the tone knobs will do nothing.

The tone knobs, if connected, will be noticeable. 10 will be bright, 0 will be almost unusably muddy and muffled.