#1
I am looking to revamp my Fender Squier Strat: New pickups (keeping them single coils, not humbuckers); maybe new tuning heads; rewire it with better pots and electronics and whatever else may be necessary.

My question is, what pickups (single coils like I mentioned), tuning heads, pots etc should I purchase?
My budget is on an average limit, nothing too drastic of course but I am willing to work with it a little, if needs be.
Also, should I alter anything else on the guitar? I will be doing this myself with the help of a professional; watch and learn kind of method. Are they any other parts you reconmend I replace?

I am not looking for a guitar as good as American Strat, but just something that sounds and plays decent that doesn't cut out at the slightest motion or disturbance and doesn't cost the world; A guitar that I can smash around, but also something that will retain a crisp sound and won't feedback at the first sign of volume and distortion.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
#2
For your pups, have a look at Lace Sensors. Fender uses them in some of thier strats (I think). SD have some nice single coils, but they'll cost £75 each. But, I'm piss poor on wiring, so I can't help there.
Quote by Kensai


Awesome guy right here
#3
Change the tuners, nut, electronics, pickups, and if you want some stuff to the appearance, for example repaint the body or use a different color pickguard, etc.
Locking tuners will cost you $60-$90, probably, a new nut around $5 or so, the whole electronics will cost you about $20-$30, pickups used a lot are Lace Sensors which are generally $60-70 each, and some physical stuff like a new pickguard or something shouldn't be much more than $30.
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#4
new nut? new bridge? the wiring and new pots will be a nice help, but write out a list of how much everything is gonna cost and ask yourself if saving a bit more and maybe getting a MIM strat instead of dumping money into this squire. my roommate just picked one up with a few knicks from a belt buckle on the back for $180 and it sounds and plays pretty damn well. and new ones go for under $400 most the time unless they are something unique. so the amount your gonna invest + the resale value of your current guitar might buy you a MIM strat or equivalent.
#5
im gonna say either lace sensors or dimarzio true velvets. new tuners are a must.
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#6
Quote by chris024
new nut? new bridge? the wiring and new pots will be a nice help, but write out a list of how much everything is gonna cost and ask yourself if saving a bit more and maybe getting a MIM strat instead of dumping money into this squire. my roommate just picked one up with a few knicks from a belt buckle on the back for $180 and it sounds and plays pretty damn well. and new ones go for under $400 most the time unless they are something unique. so the amount your gonna invest + the resale value of your current guitar might buy you a MIM strat or equivalent.


They cost a bit more the MIM Strats over here in Europe, which is why I was a little anxious to purchase one. So maybe I should look into it? Why would I need a new bridge? Does that affect the tuning stability by that much, because that is something I really need to correct?
Thats a nice suggestion, compiling a list and weighing out the pros and cons.
#7
Squier more expensive than Fender? thats just wrong man...

EDIT: read post wrong...sorry
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Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
Last edited by AngusJimiKeith at Jul 17, 2008,
#8
remember to look at used ones, because its like a car, once it goes out the store, it loses some of its value. but i didnt even think about the MIMs being more across the pond, since its a stones throw from here.
#9
If you dont use the wammy on a squire the original bridge doesnt make the tuning go out. I have the original in mine and it stays in tune. If you want to keep it at a reasonable budget, got some tuners they dont need to be locking, a new nut, and shielding. The pickups in squires arent great not like what you get in a MIA fender, but they work decent enough for most uses.
#10
Quote by Tackleberry
If you dont use the wammy on a squire the original bridge doesnt make the tuning go out. I have the original in mine and it stays in tune. If you want to keep it at a reasonable budget, got some tuners they dont need to be locking, a new nut, and shielding. The pickups in squires arent great not like what you get in a MIA fender, but they work decent enough for most uses.


Well I doubt I'll be using the bridge as a whammy bar system - I already own a Maverick F-1 that has a Floyd Rose on it - So, I may decide to change the bridge in the future, but for now, I just want the most important things: Pickups, they are terrible in my eyes, everytime I play it, I just here this screach thats horrible; Tuning heads; (don't have to be locking right now at this point in time) and finally new wiring with new pots. I threw the guitar around once and every time I even touch the volume pot or fiddle with the pickup selector, it shorts out briefly and I am forced to counter it by wiggling it some more until it reconnects. That is the main problem I wish to fix, for obvious reasons!
#11
I've done exactly what you are looking to do, and my Squier plays beautifully now, and tuning stability is great. I actually play the Strat as much as I play my MIA tele.

For tuners, I went for Sperzel locking ones - not the cheapest over here, but the are worth every penny, and while I was doing that, I put a graphtec nut on as well. For pickups, I ended up using Kent Armstrong Specials - I love the tone of all of them, and I'd certainly buy them again, again they aren't the cheapest - you can get some decent pickups for not a lot of money from somewhere like axesrus, as you are this side of the Atlantic.

My dog used to look at my amp in a really alarmed manner whenever I played with the stock pickups in my strat! He doesn't do that any more since I changed the pickups.

For electrics, I always use CTS pots and Oak USA switches - same as you get if you buy Fender branded parts.
#12
Quote by mark_wuk
I've done exactly what you are looking to do, and my Squier plays beautifully now, and tuning stability is great. I actually play the Strat as much as I play my MIA tele.

For tuners, I went for Sperzel locking ones - not the cheapest over here, but the are worth every penny, and while I was doing that, I put a graphtec nut on as well. For pickups, I ended up using Kent Armstrong Specials - I love the tone of all of them, and I'd certainly buy them again, again they aren't the cheapest - you can get some decent pickups for not a lot of money from somewhere like axesrus, as you are this side of the Atlantic.

My dog used to look at my amp in a really alarmed manner whenever I played with the stock pickups in my strat! He doesn't do that any more since I changed the pickups.

For electrics, I always use CTS pots and Oak USA switches - same as you get if you buy Fender branded parts.


Ah, cheers mate, thats just the comment I was looking for. Everyone has been surprisingly helpful so far.
How much did everything cost you, not including actually buying the guitar first hand?
Could you possibly give me a link to a shop that I can buy everything from or did you just spend a few hours looking around for different deals in different shops on the internet and in local shops?
#13
For upgrading on the cheap, electronics upgrade, shielding, and nut replacement will definitely give you the biggest Bang for the $$$.

What's amazing is that you can snag Fender-branded pots and switches really cheap on eBay, if you're patient and snipe at the last few seconds. Bone or other man-made stuff (not plastic) are also pretty inexpensive. Most tuners on even the inexpensive guitars are reliable enough not to suffer backlash, as long as you re-string properly (below).

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For purely cosmetic upgrades, PGs and knobs are quite inexpensive, too.

The best thing you can do for your guitar is a pro set-up. Since you'll be collaborating with a pro, that just improved the success of your project 100%.

Good Luck!

#14
Quote by AngryGoldfish
Ah, cheers mate, thats just the comment I was looking for. Everyone has been surprisingly helpful so far.
How much did everything cost you, not including actually buying the guitar first hand?
Could you possibly give me a link to a shop that I can buy everything from or did you just spend a few hours looking around for different deals in different shops on the internet and in local shops?


www.axesrus.co.uk I'd recommend them - they sell probably everything you need - they've never let me down yet! They also have some really good cheap pickups - I've not bought strat ones, but I've had some amazing pups for very little money from them.

Pickups are really subjective, so buy what YOU like - or you could speak to corduroyew on here - he makes pickups - he's very knowledgable and he gives 10% discount to UG members - I'm in the process of deciding on a tele bridge pickup from him at the moment.

Although Ippon makes a really good point about stringing the guitar properly, I'm not overly impressed with the squier stock tuners in particular - I'd upgrade them on a Strat - maybe not on a fixed bridge.

Edit - sorry - missed the cost bit:

All the bits for a rewire can be bought < £30 using top quality bits - I've got loads of bits here, from trying various wiring mods, so I haven't actually bought any for a while - it's not massively expensive. Pickups will depend on what you go for, SD's will probably cost you £120 a set over here. Sperzel tuners, I've just ordered a set from the US on ebay for £35 - hopefully I won't get stung for duty - I bought a new neck from the same place, and that got through without customs interfering.
Last edited by mark_wuk at Jul 19, 2008,
#15
I hate to be asking so much but I don't really entirely know what I'm looking for on the site you mentioned. It looks perfect for all my needs, but I am unsure what particular parts will be best. I know you mentioned Sperzel tuners are probably my best choice, along with Lace Sensor pickups. I did found a set of Silver and Red Lace Sensors I might purchase but what else should I get?