#1
I'm currently working building a custom Strat. Originally, the guitar was a Saga ST10 kit, from several years ago, before they decreased the quality to lower the price.

The guitar has seen several upgrades. Upgrades are:
A new neck
Fender Ping locking tuners
Gotoh VS100 tremolo
Fender Standard Mexican Single coil pickups (neck and middle only, given to me by a friend)

What's left:
New pickguard; a white pearloid one cut for an HSS config
Lace Alumitone Deathbucker
Time/ materials to refinish
Will POSSIBLY contour the heel
Might possibly replace the body, as the current one is a relatively soft basswood body, and everyone seems to like the current finish (clear satin, pretty banged up)

I butchered a bunch of strats/ guitar parts in photoshop and created an image showing what it'll look like (sort of, the finish is off, and after I finished piecing it together, I remembered the I intend to get a pickguard without the middle tone control, to leave space for switches)
To see how I actually intend the finish to come out, google "G&L blackburst"(I used a picture of a sunburst and altered the color in photoshop to get that)
I did it fast, so please excuse the roughness of the picture
Please let me know what you guys think
Heres the picture:
Last edited by guitar42697 at Mar 7, 2015,
#2
Isn't there a philosophical exercise like this? If you replace the neck and body of a guitar, is it still the same guitar?

I think replacing the body is a good idea. Those Saga kits never were any good, maybe they're even worse now, I don't know, but if you're replacing everything else you might as well do the body too. Doubly so if you want to refinish it - unfinished bodies aren't too expensive, and it will save you all that time sanding.

Photoshop job looks quite nice actually. I love the VS100 and that finish, this should be a very nice instrument when you're done with it.
#3
Quote by Roc8995
Isn't there a philosophical exercise like this? If you replace the neck and body of a guitar, is it still the same guitar?

I think replacing the body is a good idea. Those Saga kits never were any good, maybe they're even worse now, I don't know, but if you're replacing everything else you might as well do the body too. Doubly so if you want to refinish it - unfinished bodies aren't too expensive, and it will save you all that time sanding.

Photoshop job looks quite nice actually. I love the VS100 and that finish, this should be a very nice instrument when you're done with it.


Do you think the slanted bridge pickup would make a difference over a non slanted one? I like the look of it, and the fact that it's simply different from your average fat strat

I've heard that a slanted humbucker is slightly brighter than a non slanted one, which, if that's true, that will actually be a good thing, as the pickup is a pretty warm sounding one
#4
With a regular pickup, it might make a small difference. With the Lace, though, I wonder if it will change at all. The bar magnet in the Lace, I would think, would have a wider and more homogenous sensing window than the narrow 6-pole pickups that usually go in an angled strat bridge. I'm sure it will sound just fine angled or straight.
#5
This should be a fun project I did my last strat project for a very long time.

schaller , grover, gotoh or sperzel are my go to brands for tuners. In fact schaller has locking tuners made specifically for fenders on specific models. The tremolo looks nice. Gotoh make quality parts so this should be a good choice.

the thinner the finish the better the acoustic tone. but if the finish is lacquer (which it probably isn't) you can drop fill the scratches and dents in the finish but if it's polyurethane that is a whole different story.

some other ideas:
I'd put a few wiring mods on the guitar. The 7 way mod to select all 3 or the outer 2 pickups and perhaps a TBX knob. If you want to play metal on a strat it's a good thing to have the TBX especially. It works fantastic with high output pickups for the other half of how this modified tone knob works. I have schematics for all.

with a deathbucker though is going to be interesting. Anything 4 wire single coil will do the trick when you save up. Any 4 wire for single coils are hum cancelling (noise cancelling as fender calls it) not like the MIM pickups in isolated 1/3/5 positions. I'd probably see what lace has to pair with the deathbucker though. With any 4 wire pickup can get that single coil buzz if you'd want it to using what is called a coil split to other advanced mods. but of course this is helping you get a few ideas so you don't have to do anything.

here's a color chart of different kinds of pearloid. It's in like 15 colors without going to dragonfire. If you want to go with a blank and cut it to learn they are 19$ american give or take or 11 for a cut pickguard last time i ordered from IKNMusic on ebay. The only thing is you may have to re-drill the holes. I did business with them for 5 years give or take and i dealt with so many people it wasn't first name bases but yeah I can really vouch for their company.

I took these photos ages ago before I got into serious color correction with my camera.


I've never been a fan of MIM fender pickups or basswood bodies. The hum drives me to drink (not literally) but yeah, just my opinion and Ash, alder or swamp ash has always been the fender tones to many on the fender forums. There is the showmaster with basswood but I'll take pine or plywood over basswood as I have never played a guitar with basswood I liked (I know how dare I) ...yes ... even expensive Ibanez guitars.

Hope I could help in as neutral of a way as possible. Good luck on the project.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Mar 8, 2015,
#6
Quote by Tallwood13
This should be a fun project I did my last strat project for a very long time.

schaller , grover, gotoh or sperzel are my go to brands for tuners. In fact schaller has locking tuners made specifically for fenders on specific models. The tremolo looks nice. Gotoh make quality parts so this should be a good choice.

the thinner the finish the better the acoustic tone. but if the finish is lacquer (which it probably isn't) you can drop fill the scratches and dents in the finish but if it's polyurethane that is a whole different story.

some other ideas:
I'd put a few wiring mods on the guitar. The 7 way mod to select all 3 or the outer 2 pickups and perhaps a TBX knob. If you want to play metal on a strat it's a good thing to have the TBX especially. It works fantastic with high output pickups for the other half of how this modified tone knob works. I have schematics for all.

with a deathbucker though is going to be interesting. Anything 4 wire single coil will do the trick when you save up. Any 4 wire for single coils are hum cancelling (noise cancelling as fender calls it) not like the MIM pickups in isolated 1/3/5 positions. I'd probably see what lace has to pair with the deathbucker though. With any 4 wire pickup can get that single coil buzz if you'd want it to using what is called a coil split to other advanced mods. but of course this is helping you get a few ideas so you don't have to do anything.

here's a color chart of different kinds of pearloid. It's in like 15 colors without going to dragonfire. If you want to go with a blank and cut it to learn they are 19$ american give or take or 11 for a cut pickguard last time i ordered from IKNMusic on ebay. The only thing is you may have to re-drill the holes. I did business with them for 5 years give or take and i dealt with so many people it wasn't first name bases but yeah I can really vouch for their company.

I took these photos ages ago before I got into serious color correction with my camera.

I've never been a fan of MIM fender pickups or basswood bodies. The hum drives me to drink (not literally) but yeah, just my opinion and Ash, alder or swamp ash has always been the fender tones to many on the fender forums. There is the showmaster with basswood but I'll take pine or plywood over basswood as I have never played a guitar with basswood I liked (I know how dare I) ...yes ... even expensive Ibanez guitars.

Hope I could help in as neutral of a way as possible. Good luck on the project.


I'm planning on ordering the pickguard from Warmoth, as I haven't been successful in finding another site that offers strat pickguards without the middle tone control punched, and with a slanted humbucker

I already have the bridge and tuners, and both are definitely quality parts
I was going to go for the sperzels, but the ping tuners turned out to be cheaper, and I liked the feel of them.

I'm leaning more towards replacing the body, and the options I have for wood types are:
Mahogany: $USD69.95
White Poplar: $USD59.95
Swamp Ash: $USD69.95

I'm currently leaning towards the Mahogany body, as I'm trying to create an un-traditional strat, if you know what I mean
#7
By the way, here's a picture of what it currently looks like (well... sort of... its actually in several pieces)
Please excuse the fuzzyness
(Invalid img)

I'd have had it display on this page, but the image is HUGE
Last edited by guitar42697 at Mar 8, 2015,