#1
so i got this squier strat the other day. it was used and pretty cheap so i thought i should get it and mod it out. its already got the alder body so its got a pretty good tone wood right there.

im thinking on getting an actual fender strat neck for starters. im also thinking of upgrading the pickups, new pickguard, master tone instead of neck and middle, and if possible install an active mid boost like on the clapton strat. and probably locking tuners and a better nut like a roller nut or something.

i guess my big question is, if i install single coil sized humbuckers, can i coil tap them? may sound like a dumb question but im not sure if you can or not because they obviously arent set up the same as humbuckers are right? the reason i ask is because my other guitars all have humbuckers and that has become a big part of my lead sound. so i think it would be cool to have the option of getting closer to that tone with a strat.

but also im thinking maybe i should keep it straight single coils. but i dont know very much about pickups. basically i want a big, round, beefy, warm tone. right now the pickups are pretty bright. brighter than regular strats i think. ive played other strats(fender) and i dont remember them being so bright. i can get close to my tone by turning down the tone knob to like 4-5. but they still sound thin to my liking. and i play with 12s too.

so any opinions on good single coils i could get or if i could tap single coil sized humbuckers or just opinions on anything would be cool.
#2
Uh, well I'm gonna say what most people here would say...

Upgrading a cheap-ass guitar isn't worth it.. it's better to buy a better guitar with that money instead of upgrading something that will be a little bit better.
#3
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
... im thinking on getting an actual fender strat neck for starters. im also thinking of upgrading the pickups, new pickguard, master tone instead of neck and middle, and if possible install an active mid boost like on the clapton strat. and probably locking tuners and a better nut like a roller nut or something.

i guess my big question is, if i install single coil sized humbuckers, can i coil tap them? ....

Any genuine Fender or Licensed Fender neck should fit on your Squier. TBH, it's not unusual for some pros to stick with the Squier necks. They aren't bad and some prefer the thinner profile. Perhaps upgrade the nut to Bone or Graphtec? Also, if the tuners are prone to backlash, upgrade!

For SC-sized Humbuckers, the 4-wire versions can be split (tap is different). You just need a pot for coil splitting, anywhere from $4-8.

I've seen and upgraded a bunch of Squier Strats and Teles ... they're the best stealth weapons when played through decent or kickass tube amps.

Give it a nice paint job while you're at it.

Good Luck!

#4
Quote by Guerrilla Radio
Uh, well I'm gonna say what most people here would say...

Upgrading a cheap-ass guitar isn't worth it.. it's better to buy a better guitar with that money instead of upgrading something that will be a little bit better.


well, dude,
he's not doing it because he needs a better guitar
he's doing it because it would be fun to mod.
there's no harm in that, its just a learning experience.
#5
Quote by Guerrilla Radio
Uh, well I'm gonna say what most people here would say...

Upgrading a cheap-ass guitar isn't worth it.. it's better to buy a better guitar with that money instead of upgrading something that will be a little bit better.


at least he got the alder one, its not that bad.

and whats bad can be made better with mods lol

also why install a full sized humbucker and split that, take of the pickguard and take a look to see if its routed for it ?
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#6
Quote by Guerrilla Radio
Uh, well I'm gonna say what most people here would say...

Upgrading a cheap-ass guitar isn't worth it.. it's better to buy a better guitar with that money instead of upgrading something that will be a little bit better.


Sounds like you've had a horrible experience modding an inexpensive guitar. Fortunately, not everyone will be so unlucky.
#7
Quote by glamdring22
well, dude,
he's not doing it because he needs a better guitar
he's doing it because it would be fun to mod.
there's no harm in that, its just a learning experience.


+1

i upgraded my squier stanard series strat just for fun. i was lucky it came out great. the neck was as traight as an arrow and the body was fine. it was basically the pick ups that blew. i replaced them with GFS pups and some cool wiring, now it is my favorite guitar over my Hamer Sunburst.
#8
Quote by brentonlatour
+1

i upgraded my squier stanard series strat just for fun. i was lucky it came out great. the neck was as traight as an arrow and the body was fine. it was basically the pick ups that blew. i replaced them with GFS pups and some cool wiring, now it is my favorite guitar over my Hamer Sunburst.

+X^0, X =/= 0

I've heard/read some good reviews on the inexpensive GFS PUs.

As admbwr posted, if your routing allows for full-sized HBs, go for the regular-sized HBs; if not, check out the SC-sized HBs from Guitar Fetish. Then buy a Push-Pull pot for the coil split - click here.

#9
Quote by Ippon
Any genuine Fender or Licensed Fender neck should fit on your Squier. TBH, it's not unusual for some pros to stick with the Squier necks. They aren't bad and some prefer the thinner profile. Perhaps upgrade the nut to Bone or Graphtec? Also, if the tuners are prone to backlash, upgrade!

For SC-sized Humbuckers, the 4-wire versions can be split (tap is different). You just need a pot for coil splitting, anywhere from $4-8.

I've seen and upgraded a bunch of Squier Strats and Teles ... they're the best stealth weapons when played through decent or kickass tube amps.

Give it a nice paint job while you're at it.

Good Luck!

Great reply!

Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
so i got this squier strat the other day. it was used and pretty cheap so i thought i should get it and mod it out. its already got the alder body so its got a pretty good tone wood right there.
I wouldn't get too hung up on any wood for the tone in a solid body. I've even played some plywood bodies that sounded great.

Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
im thinking on getting an actual fender strat neck for starters.
ACTUAL Fender necks are hard to come by. Fender does NOT sell necks separately. You can buy a neck that SAYS Fender on it. If you're very lucky, it might even be made by Fender.

A good nut, and a fret leveling/dressing/polishing could do wonders for the neck you have.
Consider learning how to do those things.

Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
im also thinking of upgrading the pickups, new pickguard, master tone instead of neck and middle, and if possible install an active mid boost like on the clapton strat. and probably locking tuners and a better nut like a roller nut or something.
Between the Neck you were planning to buy, plus all these parts, you're replacing EVERYTHING except the body itself.

1 - Make a list of all the things you might replace.
2 - Research the price for each part and write it down.
3 - Add up the total.
4 - ?????????
5 - PROFIT!!! Sanity check.

Then go back over the list, and decide what you really want to do.


Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
i guess my big question is, if i install single coil sized humbuckers, can i coil tap them? may sound like a dumb question but im not sure if you can or not because they obviously arent set up the same as humbuckers are right? the reason i ask is because my other guitars all have humbuckers and that has become a big part of my lead sound. so i think it would be cool to have the option of getting closer to that tone with a strat.
You could split the SC sized HBs, but you'll probably find you like the tone of them with the 2 coils in parallel better than split. It will have half the inductance of using just one coil. A bright tone, and you still get to keep the hum-canceling. What a deal!

Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
but also im thinking maybe i should keep it straight single coils. but i dont know very much about pickups. basically i want a big, round, beefy, warm tone. right now the pickups are pretty bright. brighter than regular strats i think. ive played other strats(fender) and i dont remember them being so bright. i can get close to my tone by turning down the tone knob to like 4-5. but they still sound thin to my liking. and i play with 12s too.
If your pickups sound a bit too bright, you might have them too far away from the strings. But there is a wide variety to choose from in true single coils. Do some research on the different types of magnet/polepieces, wire, and number of turns used in the winding. You might find some SCs that you really like.

Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
so any opinions on good single coils i could get or if i could tap single coil sized humbuckers or just opinions on anything would be cool.
You were already talking about changing the pickguard. Think about maybe using a full sized HB in whatever position (usually the bridge) and use it as a HB for lead. Split it when using it with other pickup selections.

Try guitarfetish for inexpensive, but decent pickups. Or get some Kinman hum-canceling SCs if you want the expensive stuff. Or talk to CorduroyEW about the pickups he makes. Maybe he has something you'd like.

Good luck,
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#10
I've modified a lot of Squiers now, and I like the necks and bodies, as long as there's no plywood involved.

If the neck is not twisted, its worth working with.

I replace parts in this order:

Change the nut. They are usually PVC these days. (you can get a Graph Tech or Allparts Graphite (even cheaper))

Replace the tuners if they rattle when the strings aren't installed. Typical Squier tuners are crapola... and you will see much better tuning stability with even a cheap set of tuners from guitarfetish.

Look at the bridge... if its making noise, then it may need some work. Either saddles, springs, or an entire bridge/tremolo assembly. (depends on the model, some of my Squier Trem's are nice though.)

If all of this has been addressed, you set it up properly, and it buzzes... hell, get fretwork done professionally on it. I did this with a Squier and its my best playing guitar now. (easily stands up to $1000 guitars in both playability and sound)


Then I get into pickups. If the guitar plays like crap, the pickups won't help. If you got it playing right, then I say go for it with some hot pickups. Mini humbuckers do sound a lot like real humbuckers. They sound more like humbuckers than single coils, regardless of their size... their design is nothing like a single.

You might want to consider some hot singles for the neck and middle, and then put a humbucker in the bridge. I love my Seymour Duncan Little '59 for that. You could also consider a GFS rail humbucker if you want to keep this really cheap:
http://store.guitarfetish.com/singlecoil.html

Try to save where you can, it makes you feel better about it in the end. If you spend $500 hooking up a Squier, you could've had a pretty nice new guitar. However, I modify them all... so that doesn't matter.
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#12
thanks for all the replies. some good info in there and lots of stuf to think about.

people seem to be talking about the neck a bit. well the reason i want the neck change is simply to have the fender name on it actually lol. the neck is actually pretty good. i was surprized by it actually. ive played some and i didnt like the neck at all. but this one feels good. so actually im thinking on trying to get my hands on a fender strat decal or whatever its called to put on the headstock and just take of the squier name on there. that way i get to keep the large late 60's headstock as well which seem to be hard to find on fenders.

and for the pickups, i might consider regular humbuckers but i want to keep that classic look as much as i can. so thats why i was thinking SC sized HBs. but now im starting to think that i might just get better SC pickups. ill have to look into it a little more.

zeroyon was talking about buzzing and what not and the tuners. im going to change the tuners for sure. i find myself tuning that thing alot. but there isnt any buzzing really or anything wrong with the saddles, bridge/trem. everything seems good. im actually surprized how good this guitar is by itself. my only real problem is the tuners and the pickups. everything else that i want to do is just because i think it would be fun and cool to mod it out and make it my own.
#13
my 2 cents on coil tapping

i prefer a coil split over run in parallel. a split sounds more like a single coil, parallel sounds like a humbuker with the volume down, not like 2 single coils in parallel. prolly cuz they are so close together.

yeah, maybe it will hum, but the first mod you should do to the electronics is shielding the mother. even if you have HUMbuckers and you don't have the cavity shielded or use only shielded wire you will have hum.
#14
What type of nut is on it?

If its PVC, then you will shocked at how much better it sounds once you change it for a real nut.
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