TwoString
AKA Chad
Join date: Jul 2006
1,601 IQ
#1
Hello all. I didn't have a damn thing to do tonight, so I figured "as long as I'm changing strings, I might as well bust a mod."

I've had a push/pull laying around for a couple of years just waiting to be put in this guitar. The switch is used to activate the neck pickup no matter what position the 5 way switch is in. All you have to do is connect a wire from the 5 way (neck lug) to the switch (SPDT) and connect the other side of the switch to the incoming signal at the volume pot (the same lug the output from the switch wires to). I did the same mod to my first strat and loved having the bridge/neck and all on pickup choices. Rhythm with the neck/bridge combo is just about the best sound to use on lighter rock/pop songs (Toad The Wet Sprocket, Gin Blossoms, etc...I never thought I would feel this old at age 24 ). Also while I was at it, I removed the neck for cleaning.

Body before


Pickguard removed - I cleaned off the buffing compound since I plan to shield this guitar soon.


Closeup of the controls before the mod


Switch installed


Switch wired
TwoString
AKA Chad
Join date: Jul 2006
1,601 IQ
#3
Second coat of lemon oil


After an hour of soaking and rubbing


All done, time to put it back together


Stringing


End Result


Headstock - note the string wrapping, I might be using these pics for a strat setup thread soon


So, 4 hours work and I've got a clean fretboard, polished frets, fresh strings and 7 pickup combinations.
UniverseZero
Wikipedia is your friend
Join date: Jun 2006
1,147 IQ
#4
what did you rub on the headstock!? its so nice and glossy!

my strat's headstock is cool but not sooooo cool!


Quote by robbo_0013
UniverseZero is some kind of pwnerer of numerals

Quote by spazzymagee417
your avatar entertains me.
TwoString
AKA Chad
Join date: Jul 2006
1,601 IQ
#5
Quote by UniverseZero
what did you rub on the headstock!? its so nice and glossy!

my strat's headstock is cool but not sooooo cool!


That's all natural. My other strat has more of a matte finish on the headstock, but the '63 reissues had a really deep gloss finish. Nice vintage tint to it too.
DMguitar1
Banned
Join date: Sep 2006
86 IQ
#6
nice mod! good job on the cleaning there... i usually just wipe the neck the dust off my warlock and les paul =P
Invictious
Jammed
Join date: Apr 2006
2,433 IQ
#7
Wow, good job cleaning the fretboard...
looks charming. Nice simple mod there that rocks.

Now you have got yourself a nice strat.

I should clean my guitar neck too...you don't want to know how it looks now..
UniverseZero
Wikipedia is your friend
Join date: Jun 2006
1,147 IQ
#8
Quote by TwoString
That's all natural. My other strat has more of a matte finish on the headstock, but the '63 reissues had a really deep gloss finish. Nice vintage tint to it too.


You are lucky.... I have a '96 strat and it is barely tinted and very matte.... cool guitar!


Quote by robbo_0013
UniverseZero is some kind of pwnerer of numerals

Quote by spazzymagee417
your avatar entertains me.
Will_Minus
UG's nail-head-hitter
Join date: Nov 2005
188 IQ
#10
I'm curious, why is the neck-on switch on the middle tone control?
I'm also not really getting into the graphite (right?) saddles with the chrome hardware and the black strings, but that's your personal taste.

Man, I'm in one of those "I don't mean to be an asshole, but..." moods tonight.
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
rockr09
Should've Been A Cowboy..
Join date: Feb 2006
3,854 IQ
#11
Quote by Will_Minus
I'm curious, why is the neck-on switch on the middle tone control?
I'm also not really getting into the graphite (right?) saddles with the chrome hardware and the black strings, but that's your personal taste.

Man, I'm in one of those "I don't mean to be an asshole, but..." moods tonight.


lol.... Remember, Tone and playability over looks
Looks good. I got a question, do those vintage tuners hold tune better than modern tuners?
...
TwoString
AKA Chad
Join date: Jul 2006
1,601 IQ
#12
Quote by Will_Minus
I'm curious, why is the neck-on switch on the middle tone control?
I'm also not really getting into the graphite (right?) saddles with the chrome hardware and the black strings, but that's your personal taste.

Man, I'm in one of those "I don't mean to be an asshole, but..." moods tonight.


Actually, the bottom tone control was rewired to control the bridge pickup. It's just something that’s become normal to me so I usually forget to mention it. It's the first mod I do to any strat that crosses my path. It just didn't make any sense to me to not have a tone control on the brightest, most treble-heavy pickup. The middle pickup has no tone control because I've never seen a point in it. The middle pickup is so balanced because of the position it's in, I just move the wire over a lug and set that tone control for the bridge.

The graphite saddles are another mod I've relied on for years. The graphite slips and slides better, which comes in handy since I set my tremolo to float (I recently put 5 springs in to settle things up while I'm doing various mods and other work...this guitar will be going off for a refret soon). The graphite is also a softer material that wears away under pressure from the strings. This allows the string to "bed in" to the saddle since it will naturally wear away where there is more stress, which eliminates binding points and other friction areas on the saddle. After a few months of heave activity, the saddles are completely worn in and any fear of string breakage is completely gone...same for tuning issues caused by string binding at the bridge.

I've been using DR coated strings because they last for months and the tone never changes. Even if the coating chips off, the strings never tarnish or rust and the tone remains the same. I change all six strings whenever the first one breaks. My last set lasted me probably 4 months, which is a testament to the quality of the strings since I play at least a couple of hours a day. I don't really care what color they are as long as they aren't horrible looking. DR makes clear coated strings, but I haven't been able to find a set. And since I have to get them in some color, the black coated strings look better than the blue/red/purple/whatever color the strings come in. I had to buy a set for a jam once and GC only had the blue coated strings left…after the first hour, there was blue dust all over my pickguard. The black coating is a little more durable and doesn’t look as bad when it starts to flake.

Quote by rockr09
lol.... Remember, Tone and playability over looks
Looks good. I got a question, do those vintage tuners hold tune better than modern tuners?


The vintage tuners hold tuning far better than modern non-locking tuners, at least in my experience. No goofy wrapping techniques or "locking" knot-tying, the string has enough friction points in the tuner post to keep it from slipping. It takes a few hours for the strings to settle in though. Once they're there, they don't move, although my strings go sharp when the guitar sits for a day or so. To get them back into tune, I just grab the string and give it a good wiggle and it usually falls right back in to perfect tune.
rockr09
Should've Been A Cowboy..
Join date: Feb 2006
3,854 IQ
#13
Why don't you use a graptech nut as well?
...
TwoString
AKA Chad
Join date: Jul 2006
1,601 IQ
#16
Quote by rockr09
Why don't you use a graptech nut as well?


I just didn't need it. There was a need to change the saddles, but the nut has been working just fine. I just enlarged the slots and added some graphite from a pencil and I haven't had any problems. I do a lot of tremolo work, full floating trem quite a bit (just right now) and I love behind the nut bends and harmonic squeals (yes, you can do them even if you don't have a trem).
Will_Minus
UG's nail-head-hitter
Join date: Nov 2005
188 IQ
#17
What I meant was why isn't the neck-on switch on the neck control?
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
TwoString
AKA Chad
Join date: Jul 2006
1,601 IQ
#18
Quote by Will_Minus
What I meant was why isn't the neck-on switch on the neck control?


Oh...I just prefer to have it on the lowest tone control so it's in line with the 5 way switch. It's easier to grab and make quick changes for me.
hawk5211
UG's SRV Bluesman
Join date: Mar 2005
1,412 IQ
#19
TwoString, a couple of questions...

First off what kind of switch is that specifically, and where to get etc.

also, could i wire a similar setup so that the bottom tone know is a push pull switch that turns the BRIDGE pickup on and off and is the tone control for the BRIDGE pickup? I would leave tone 2 for the neck pickup.

I hope to do this mod the the american standard that i will be getting in a few weeks.

thanks


Hawk
TwoString
AKA Chad
Join date: Jul 2006
1,601 IQ
#20
For the pots, check StewMac

To make the bottom tone control work for the bridge pickup, just move it over to the post on the 5 way switch that connects to the bridge pickup...should just be the next post over. You'll see three wires coming off of the switch...one leading to the volume control, one leading to the first tone control, and one leading to the bottom tone control. All you need to do is move that last wire over one lug on the 5 way switch. As for wiring the push/pull so it controls the bridge pickup, instead of connecting the wire for the switch to the neck pickup lug, connect it to the bridge pickup lug. Should be that easy.

Let me know if you need any more help.
rainbow_rising
UG's Blackmore fan
Join date: Jun 2005
190 IQ
#21
What did you use to clean the frets apart from puting tape?
rIG:
My old clasic guitar-It desreves to be first!
Yamaha APX-8A
Epi Les Paul Standard 03'(w/Dimarzio Super Distortion + Tone Zone both split)
Kustom Dual 30RC
Boss Gt-8
Boss MD-2 (lost it somewhere)
Digitech Rp-200a (wish i lost it...)
divinorum69
Construction Manager
Join date: May 2007
1,803 IQ
#22
I have a similar mod, when i pull my les paul tone knob upwards, the Humbucker double microphone turn into simple microphone, similar to strat`s suond!
TwoString
AKA Chad
Join date: Jul 2006
1,601 IQ
#24
0000 steel wool. The only reason why the fretboard was taped off was to prevent the polishing motion from putting scratches in the fretboard across the grain. I cleaned the fretboard with the same steel wool, but I like to polish the frets in a different direction so I don't get a lot of fret noise when playing.
thundrstruk891
Jungle Puma
Join date: Oct 2006
1,040 IQ
#25
Quote by TwoString
0000 steel wool. The only reason why the fretboard was taped off was to prevent the polishing motion from putting scratches in the fretboard across the grain. I cleaned the fretboard with the same steel wool, but I like to polish the frets in a different direction so I don't get a lot of fret noise when playing.

you sure seem to know a lot about guitars, man.
i have a question for you, if you dont mind. my fret wires havent gotten pretty grimy. would the way you did it with the tape and the steel wool be a good way to get them nice and fresh again?
TwoString
AKA Chad
Join date: Jul 2006
1,601 IQ
#29
I'm not sure what the lemon oil does technically, but for me, the lemon oil does a few things...

1. It helps lift off any extra dirt off of the fretboard that the steel wool can't
2. It makes the wood feel smoother...no dry or sticky feeling...very clean.
3. It seems to help prevent dirt from sticking or digging into the board. I've noticed that every rosewood board is easier to clean if it's been treated with lemon oil in the past two years or so. I've witnessed this effect with two acoustics, my strat and my '65 Gibson EB-0 bass. I'll probably clean and condition my friend's Epi LP Custom just to see if the effect continues (he's like Pig Pen from the Peanuts, so this will be the real test).

I don't have any data to back this up, these are just my observations. I've also used boiled linseed oil on a few fretboards as well, and this really seals the grain well and also stains the rosewood to a nice deep brown color. I would have treated the strat to it, but I'm out of oil and can't be bothered to go pick some more up.
brock.roberts
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2006
33 IQ
#34
I find good old fashioned baby oil (mineral oil) is very good for fretboard conditioning, as well as getting the grime off the frets. I remove my strings, liberally apply the baby oil to the entire fretboard, then let it sit for 15 minutes or so, before i use a thin towel over the edge of a putty knife to get the grunge out from the cracks where fret meets fretboard. After an intense polish session, and a final wipedown, its time for re-stringing.
Les Paul Black Beauty Custom 3 Pickup
Bigsby B7g vibrato
3 EMG's 85/81/85

Martin D-28
mr_hankey
also available in 3D
Join date: Jan 2005
834 IQ
#36
Quote by TwoString
I cleaned off the buffing compound since I plan to shield this guitar soon.


Good! I really can't recommend shielding enough. I just did it to my strat recently, and the difference was so much bigger than I was expecting. It is now just as silent as any humbucker-equipped guitar. I used copper tape from Allparts, and I needed two rolls (three if you want to shield the pickguard too, which was already done on mine). It can probably be done with less (1.5 to 2 rolls), since it's overlapping a lot in my guitar. The sticky back doesn't conduct, so I folded a corner on every piece.

By the way, on my guitar I've got a master tone control, and a push-pull pot which puts the pickups in series. I didn't connect the pot part to anything since I always accidentally spin it when I pull it up. This kind of switching (series/parallel) isn't very useful, so might try an on/off for the bridge pickup or a phase switch.
Codog
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2007
123 IQ
#37
Do you loosen your truss a whole bunch before you take off all the strings?
Last edited by Codog at Aug 11, 2007,
TwoString
AKA Chad
Join date: Jul 2006
1,601 IQ
#38
Quote by mr_hankey
Good! I really can't recommend shielding enough. I just did it to my strat recently, and the difference was so much bigger than I was expecting. It is now just as silent as any humbucker-equipped guitar. I used copper tape from Allparts, and I needed two rolls (three if you want to shield the pickguard too, which was already done on mine). It can probably be done with less (1.5 to 2 rolls), since it's overlapping a lot in my guitar. The sticky back doesn't conduct, so I folded a corner on every piece.

By the way, on my guitar I've got a master tone control, and a push-pull pot which puts the pickups in series. I didn't connect the pot part to anything since I always accidentally spin it when I pull it up. This kind of switching (series/parallel) isn't very useful, so might try an on/off for the bridge pickup or a phase switch.


I like studio-silence in guitars, I just haven't bothered to do it on mine.

Quote by Codog
Do you loosen your truss a whole bunch before you take off all the strings?


Uh...no. There's no need to. All of this truss rod myth stuff is crap.
mr_sinistah
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2006
74 IQ
#39
hey man, have you done fret work before? your frets look diff to stock, look waaay newer and thicker. Can you help me out? or refer to thread? My jap strat is playing up, changed strings and it's a tad rusty but always has been really, i play with a slight buzz when i pick for that fraction lower action etc.
Thanks
TwoString
AKA Chad
Join date: Jul 2006
1,601 IQ
#40
Sorry for the late response, but your best bet is to try and get in contact with Chris, AKA, AlGeeEater

I've done frets, but it was ages ago. The frets on my Strat (the one pictured) are stock. I no longer have the tools or the desire to do my own fret work, so I'm going to take it to a tech I know and trust to do the work. I'd take just short of forever, where he will only take about two weeks to get the guitar back to me. Also, he does work for a very reasonable price. My plans include getting the board radius reduced to about a 9.5" instead of the stock 7.25".