#1
Ok, I'm taking apart my squier strat, and I had a couple of questions.

1) The wood. Now I don't expect to find out exactly what kind of wood it is, but is there any way to tell if its plywood or not?

2) What can I do in terms of upgrades? I don't want a killer guitar, I just wanna mess around and see what I can do to the one I have.

NOTE: I'm not gonna buy another guitar cuz I already own 3 others. I'm just interested in how to maximize what I got. I don't want stuff like buy new pickups and other obvious advice as much as I would like tips like sanding the neck pocket for better tone (I've read that on two websites, but does anybody know if its true?)

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#2
Check if it plywood by looking in the control or pickup cavities. If there is any paint there, just sand it off, then you can see a cross section of the wood.

Sanding the paint off of your neck pocket will do nothing.

The only way to improve that guitar is upgrading parts.

Bridge, nut, tuners, pickups, electronics, everything.

I don't care if that isn't what you want to hear man, it's true.
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#3
Quote by Øttər
Check if it plywood by looking in the control or pickup cavities. If there is any paint there, just sand it off, then you can see a cross section of the wood.

Sanding the paint off of your neck pocket will do nothing.

The only way to improve that guitar is upgrading parts.

Bridge, nut, tuners, pickups, electronics, everything.

I don't care if that isn't what you want to hear man, it's true.



Well...its not that I don't wanna hear it. I know that. I think everybody knows that. I'm just asking for pointers aside from that. Like shielding the guitar, or changing the wiring, or something. I'd hate to see that a collection of guitarist from all over the world has no better advice than "buy better parts for it". I wouldn't ask if I thought that was it.

EDIT: Oh! And if I sand the pickup cavities, do I have to paint over them again? Or should I just leave them unpainted?

Dunlop 535Q Wah, Ibanez TS-9, EHX LBM
Mesa/Boogie Express 5:25
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GAS: Micro POG



Quote by Zugunruhe
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^about me
Last edited by Cutlass_253 at Oct 4, 2008,
#4
If youre going to shield it, dont use regular foil. Ive been recommending everyone uses thicker foil from tin baking trays, theyre a couple of bucks for a few large ones, and the bottoms are more than big enough to fill the cavities of the guitar.

You should probably use regular foil for shielding the pickguard though, as it needs to be thinner so it doesn't look really odd.

Here's a great tutorial for shielding it
http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/shielding/shield3.php

Changing the electronics, buy some new good quality 250k pots instead of the really cheap 500k pots they have stock. Replace the 5 way switch, its a load of plastic junk. Replace the wires, the ones they use stock are pretty shoddy, and the soldering on them sucks. If you want, buy a couple of orange drops and use them instead of the cheap caps they come with.

Pickup replacement would be good too, but thats the most expensive part.
#5
By caps you mean capacitators, right?

Dunlop 535Q Wah, Ibanez TS-9, EHX LBM
Mesa/Boogie Express 5:25
MXR 6-band EQ, Boss NS-2, Boss PS-5, MXR Phase 90, MXR Carbon Copy

GAS: Micro POG



Quote by Zugunruhe
this was the funniest thing ive seen in the pit for weeks.


^about me
#6
You can tell if the guitar is plywood pretty easily. FInd a patch of bare wood (often easiest in the neck joint, and just loko at the wood. If it looks like lots of layers together rather than one solid smooth lump, then that's good ol' ply construction you're looking at.

As far as other upgrades, stuff I would suggest for a Strat are:

- A better bridge, with a full block. Something like THIS . This will make the most difference to your sound and quality of the guitar.
- Make sure the neck and body has as much wood-to-wood contact as possible, and the neck is bolted in as tightly as possible. A loose bolt-on joint kills sustain more than anything, but a good tight fit will provide more sustain than even a solid set neck.
- Replace the nut with a graphite one. It's a small, often overlooked upgrade that makes a big difference.

Other than that, there's not much you can do really except for the obvious change the pots to full size CTS or Alpha pots, get a better pickup selector switch, change pickups, etc etc.
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#7
The pots in it say alpha on them, but they are 500k... what exactly does the alpha mean?

EDIT: and their is not bare wood, lol, black everywhere, matte in the cavities, gloss on the outside. I'm gonna sand it down to check, but I just wanna know if I should repaint it.

EDIT 2: One more question. When I took the neck off, their was a big ass hole in the joint on the body. Like big enough to fit a pencil through, right under the metal plate in the back. Is that normal?

Dunlop 535Q Wah, Ibanez TS-9, EHX LBM
Mesa/Boogie Express 5:25
MXR 6-band EQ, Boss NS-2, Boss PS-5, MXR Phase 90, MXR Carbon Copy

GAS: Micro POG



Quote by Zugunruhe
this was the funniest thing ive seen in the pit for weeks.


^about me
Last edited by Cutlass_253 at Oct 4, 2008,
#8
No, it doesn't matter whether you repaint it or not. Second question: Not that I know of, I never took my Squier's neck off, but it's nothing to worry about. "Alpha" is the brand of pots, Alpha is a company that makes pretty good pots. And no, by caps we did not mean capacitators, we meant capacitors . What you could do without upgrading a piece of crap:
  • Repaint the body or change your pickguard/knobs
  • Replace the nut
  • Do an electronic mod on it, they're are tons to choose from.
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#9
Whats an electronic mod?

That's exactly the kind of thing I wanted to know about.

Oh...and yea, about the capacitors....hehe...my bad.

Dunlop 535Q Wah, Ibanez TS-9, EHX LBM
Mesa/Boogie Express 5:25
MXR 6-band EQ, Boss NS-2, Boss PS-5, MXR Phase 90, MXR Carbon Copy

GAS: Micro POG



Quote by Zugunruhe
this was the funniest thing ive seen in the pit for weeks.


^about me
#10
Like, black ice, built in effects... preamps?
Theres tons of stuff.
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#12
Quote by Invader Jim
If it's an Affinity, it's NOT plywood. It's either alder or 2-piece alder/agathis (like mine).

Yes, I am damn proud of my Squier.


Really? I thought the affinities were the plywood ones. Well it is an affinity, and I don't THINK its plywood, but I'm not sure. I'm not quite done sanding it. I'm gonna try shielding it, and then see about those mod things. And I figure I'll get all new pots anyway. The volume one is scratchy anyway, and it'll give me good soldering experience for later.


I'll also consider the bridge change for later. I'll have to look up the nut thing, before I decide I wanna try that (how hard is it to change a nut?)

Dunlop 535Q Wah, Ibanez TS-9, EHX LBM
Mesa/Boogie Express 5:25
MXR 6-band EQ, Boss NS-2, Boss PS-5, MXR Phase 90, MXR Carbon Copy

GAS: Micro POG



Quote by Zugunruhe
this was the funniest thing ive seen in the pit for weeks.


^about me
#13
Quote by Invader Jim
If it's an Affinity, it's NOT plywood. It's either alder or 2-piece alder/agathis (like mine)..
Quote by Cutlass_253
Really? I thought the affinities were the plywood ones.
Depends what country you're in.

The Affinities made for everywhere outside of the USA are a plywood construction made of Agathis.
The Affinities made for the USA in the last three years are solid Alder.
The Affinities made for the USA before that were an Alder/Agathis mix.

So Affinity series is a great way to go if you buy a brand new one in America, but if it's an old one in America or if you're in any other country, throw it on the junk pile...
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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#15
Mine says 04 on the neck and body. October to be exact.

Dunlop 535Q Wah, Ibanez TS-9, EHX LBM
Mesa/Boogie Express 5:25
MXR 6-band EQ, Boss NS-2, Boss PS-5, MXR Phase 90, MXR Carbon Copy

GAS: Micro POG



Quote by Zugunruhe
this was the funniest thing ive seen in the pit for weeks.


^about me