#1
Hey guys picked up an almost new Strat, It's all parts now I'll post some pics once I'm done with the build. Looks like the guy bought it and never played it, never learned. Frets and fret board are untouched.

My questions are about the pots, wiring and pickups. I opened it up and everything looks untouched. The 1/4" jack was messed up so I wasn't able to test out the electronics. But the guitar is beautiful with a great neck so I wasn't worried about the parts so much. I went into this knowing it was a project.

Should I roll with the stock pickups and wiring, assuming it all works once the jack is replaced? Based on what you guys have seen with 20+ year old guitars should I just replace all that now before I put it all back together, or do these parts stand the test of time?

Thinking about buying the pre-wired american pick guard from fender. But I feel like I should test these out for a few months before dropping cash. I kinda think stock pups will get me what I want. Just looking for some clean and blues tones.


Upgrades I'm already doing
Bone nut, Fender Locking tuners, strap buttons, -1/4" jack, neck plate, Trem bar (missing), Pick guard screws, American string guide
'16 Gibson LP Standard T, '15 Epi LP Standard with 57/57+ Gibbys
Blackstar S1-45, Marshall DSL100H, JetCity JCA50H
#2
My usual approach with MIMs is the "give a mouse a cookie" strategy:
If you get a MIM strat, it's going to sound better with new pickups.
If you're getting new pickups, you might as well put decent pots in.
If you're putting in new pots, you might as well replace the wiring and tone cap while your'e in there.
If you're replacing all the wiring, you might as well shield the cavity properly while you've got it all cleaned out.

Basically, with MIM I think might as well upgrade most of the electronics. The stock parts are ok but the pots and pickups at least are worth replacing, and at that point I think the wiring, shielding, and tone cap are cheap and easy enough to come along for the ride. The pickup switch is usually fine unless it's loose or starting to make noise.

Pre-wired pickguards are a waste of money IMO. You already have a pickguard. You have to solder the "pre-wired" one in anyway, and they're almost never shielded well. With all the upcharge for the pre-wiring, you could buy a soldering iron and a spool of solder instead and never pay for a pickup swap again. There's tons of youtube videos showing you how to solder electronics in a strat, it's not hard.
#3
Awesome, that's kinda what I was looking for.

I did trade for some of the Fender '54 vintage reissue pickups this weekend. I was set on just soldering them in and going with that for a while. But I think I'll just order new parts and shielding today.

Thanks!
'16 Gibson LP Standard T, '15 Epi LP Standard with 57/57+ Gibbys
Blackstar S1-45, Marshall DSL100H, JetCity JCA50H