Another option is to just block it in one direction (so that you can't pull up on the bar) and get a D-Tuna:

Then it's even easier to go to drop D than if you had a fixed bridge.

The tremol-no has a lot of issues (or at least I've read a lot of complaints about it). It's also harder to install and more expensive than a block or two of wood.

The only issue with blocking the trem is it reduces the capability of the guitar. Some would say it's kind of like someone amputating his foot because he stubbed his toe. But at least if you don't glue it in you can always pull the block(s) out--you can't get a new foot

Also you can get new wrenches here:
FYI, when the tuners are all on the "bottom" of the headstock, it's generally called a "reverse headstock".
If you were going to support a bunch of weight with the guitar body, like you would with furniture, then biscuits and dowels would be appropriate, but you almost certainly won't be. Also there are perceptions out there that having irregularities in the shapes of the joints can alter the way the sound resonates thru the wood, and thus harm your tone.
Quote by JustRooster
I went to work this morning and pulled the pickguard off 2 MIM Standard Strats just to satisfy my suspicions raised by this thread. They were HSH.

Thanks. Now you're my hero in 2 ways.

So, two of them? Did one have SSS pups and the other HSS pups?

Take care.
Quote by boblittle
I just got an email back from fender, and they say all Mexi Strats are routed SSS and the HSS is a SSS body but they just enlarge the bridge route.

That's funny because one of the Fender guys at the factory today told me they're all HSH. SSS was not even part of the conversation. He called the "swimming pool routes" a "hog route" and said they stopped doing hog routes a long time ago due to perceptions that less wood in the body would harm tone. He's going to be way more familiar with the US specs, but a lot of the production is mixed between plants, so he's familiar with the stuff coming out of the Ensenada plant, too. Lots of the parts are made in Corona then shipped to Ensenada and combined with Mexican and other import parts, then assembled in Ensenada. But they also make parts in Mexico that end up in products completed at the Corona plant (most notably the old Highway 1 and the current American Specials, but other stuff is mixed, too, like some of the Artist models.) Also even their best guitars usually have Taiwanese or German tuning machines.

Certainly the replacement MIM bodies Fender's selling online are SSS, so who knows if they are current production or surplus from an old production method.

Edit: Here's the site:

It would be more efficient for them to route them one way, and there are a number of MIM models that come in an HH config--like the Blacktop Series (although they might not all be MIM anymore). So the HSSs wouldn't be the only ones they'd have to do extra routing on. If they are still routing them SSS there, then they probably use American Special bodies for the MIM HSS and HH Strats--it doesn't make sense for them to make more cuts in the wood once the blank leaves the body cutter.

Only one way to know for sure--buy one and the route it if needed. It's easy--several months ago I routed a couple of compartments in the guitar I just picked up completed today. You can get templates and the right router bits from Or you can just route it freehand if the pickguard is going to cover up your work anyway.

If you do buy one, let us know what you find under that guard.
Quote by Roc8995
Those diagrams don't answer the question at all.

If you ask what their current routing is on the MIM Standard strats that would clear it up for everyone.


OK, I thought we were talking about electrical routing, not routing in the wood, but I'm with you now.

I can tell you for sure that even the American Deluxe Bodies are routed HSH, as are the American Standard Bodies. The only American Fender Strats that might be anything else would have to come from the Custom Shop, or maybe some signature model.

I'll ask about the MIMs, but I'll be surprised if it's anything other than HSH--I think it's been a long time since Fender has done swimming pool routes even in their Squier models, but we'll see.

I should be visiting their factory in Corona CA tomorrow, so let me know if you have any questions I can ask on your behalf.
I'll second the Sweetwater recommendation--in fact give them a call and they can help match you with a mic for what you want to do and your budget. You can get some great stuff for under $400 so you might not need to spend so much. You can use the leftover cash for accoustic treatments for your recording space and make a much bigger difference in your final product than the difference you'll get between a $300 mic and a $700 mic.
Congratulations on the new guitar!!! The neck might need an adjustment for you to get rid of the buzz, or the frets might need leveling. I wouldn't try either of these until you know what you're doing and have the right tools. I wouldn't trust most music stores for that either--you need to find a good luthier or guitar tech or get the right tools, study, and practice the adjustments on other guitars first.
Quote by Linkerman
Then I don't know what to tell you, all the Squier Affinity guitars I've come across had the 11-screw pickguard and the bridge had the same dimensions as a Fender bridge (not shorter and wider at all).

This is my own Affinity, before and after the modding job. You can clearly count the number of screws on the stock pickguard, and see how everything matches the brand-new Fender Original Parts pickguard (which fits Fender MIA Strats):

Nice guitar! What year was it made and where? Maybe it was done in the same plant/during the same time as a run of Squier Standards so it was more cost effective to use that guard.

On the Squier website all the full-size Affinities have 8-screw guards like this:

A quick scan of Google images found mainly 8-screw guards on the Affinities, but also a large number of 11-screw guards--maybe 25% by the time I stopped checking.

Take care.
Let us know when you get it. Pics and a review would be cool.

Pics of the Strat when you're done would be cool, tool
Quote by Linkerman
IMO, it's you who were unlucky. I've seen plenty of other customized Squier guitars in which the Fender pickguards fit without any major adjustments.

Also, if the pickguard was "a couple of millimeters longer at the bridge", maybe it was the bridge itself that was out of place, a couple of milimeters higher on the body than it should be.

You never had any intonation problems with that guitar?
How are the bridge saddles positioned? Screwed all the way in towards the edge of the bridge (springs completely compressed)?

No intonation problems with either the MIA Strat or the Squier Affinity.

BTW, I have another Fender MIA pickguard the factory lended me for mock-up work for a Strat we're working on together. I just checked it against both guitars; it lines up perfectly with all the dimensions on my MIA Strat, and it has the same differences from the Affinity that the MIA Strat guard had. The "Fender" pickguard you used on your Squier must have been one made for a MIM Strat if it even had the same number of screws. The MIA uses 11 screws and the Affinity uses 8. I just got my calipers out, and the bridge plate is shorter on the Squier. Also the distance from the pivot screw centers to the top of the bridge are different--those are 2 reasons the bottom of the pickguards have different dimensions while the scales are identical (hence no intonation problems on either guitar, with plenty of room for adjustment on both). Also, the bridge plate is about 1 mm wider on the Squier.

I haven't personally compared the Squier guard against MIM guards, but Squier's own documentation several years ago stated that the Squier Standard model was the only one that had consistent dimensions for the guard--they happen to match the MIA. Conversations with various aftermarket pick guard companies (WD, etc.) yielded similar information--none would link any of their guards with the Affinit and none would sell me a guard unless I sent them mine or a tracing of mine so they could cut one to match from scratch--most of them were the same price as the standard guards, so it's not like they were just trying to make extra money off a custom guard.
Quote by dementiacaptain
Overkill. You're talking a lot of firepower for what would amount to home defense. Of course if you have the most discerning ear, and that little extra means the world to you, go for it. I have a POD HD and for metal tones the thing slays. Cleans definitely leave something to be desired, but that's pretty standard of modelers.

If he's that discerning then he wouldn't be happy with it anyway. If so and he has the disposable income, then he'd be far better off with an Axe FX. It will also cover effects (and not just a few basic ones).
This might be your cheapest solution for the exact fix to what you asked:

Plug the amp speaker out into this:

Be sure to have the speaker input switch on.

And then plug the output into any of the left channels or the mono channel on this:

Then just plug your headphones into the headphone jack on the mixer.

If you use the XLR connectors you can even power the DI Box from the mixer's phantom power so you won't need to buy batteries or a wallwart.

Both have many other uses, too, so they're good to have around anyway.
Ditto on the short answer.

For the long answer, Kemper is the best choice for someone with one or just a few choice guitars and access to lots of great amps to profile. The problem with the Kemper is is copies the sound coming from the amp after it is produced with one guitar. The copy will sound different if you use another guitar. It's not enough to be a big deal for most people, but then again, if it's not a big deal to you then something cheaper and more versatile would be a better choice anyway.

The best use of a a Kemper is for someone who needs to accurately reproduce a bunch of different amp tones in a lot of different locations without lugging around a bunch of different amps.

Otherwise you're better off with an Axe FX, and even then you might still be better off wih the Axe. The Axe is the best approach of anything on the market right now--it's just so damn expensive once you get all the necessary accessories.

11 Rack might be a better choice for most of us though, if money is a factor, and a POD HD 500 will still be slightly overkill for most of us.

The Kemper is a super cool idea, and mostly a great concept, but it's limited by the influence different guitars will have on it--it won't react to the different guitars the same way the amps it's modeling would. The other products out there are better at that, even much cheaper ones.
Quote by Linkerman

As I said before on this thread, I've put a Fender pickguard on my Affinity Strat without any major issues, a couple of the screw holes were simply a tiny bit off. I didn't even bother to mess with the holes themselves, I simply put the screws in and they went into place.

Linkerman was lucky. With my (Chinese) Affinity, the guard was a couple of millimeters longer at the bridge, and one was wider than the other at the bridge (compared to my MIA Strat pickguard). There's no way an American guard would have fit on that Affinity--it was so far off that there wasn't any way to assess whether the screw holes would have lined up; you just couldn't get it on the guitar. Also there were less screws. The Affinity was made around 2006 or so. Maybe a guard for an MIM Strat would have fit; I didn't try that.
Good luck painting the guitar. I've got a fair amount of experience painting lots of things over the years and I'm having my current project painted by a pro, even though I could have bought a compressor and a paintgun for what it's going to cost me. I did the routing myself, even though the tools cost more than the work would have, but I've learned enough through dozens of projects to not try to paint a guitar myself.

Also if the neck on that Strat copy is warped, it might be tricky to get a replacement neck for it--real Fender necks and aftermarket Strat necks probably won't fit without a lot of work and/or shimming. Getting a neck to fit a neck pocket when they weren't made for each other can be a very difficult woodworking project (and very easy to screw up permanently).

The only Squire pickguards compatible with Fender pickguards are the Squier Standard Stratocaster series. On all the other Squier models they've made them with such loose tolerances and in so many different factories that you can't even consistently swap them between guitars in the same series. I had to have my upgraded Affinity Strat guard custom made and traced from the original pickguard.

Alos if you're thinking about converting a Strat into a Jag, the Jag guard goes beyond the wood countour on a Strat at the bottom. And you'd have to route a new trem cavity--it would be so close to the left side of the guitar that the edge would stick out past the rounded edge of the body (see your charts). And the screw holding in the lower strap button would intrude on the trem.
Sounds like you'd be a lot more comfortable with the Jaguar and you might want to consider Mustangs also. Based on that I'd forget about resurrecting the Strat or wasting time on telecasters.

IMHO there's not much difference between the Modern Players and high-end Squiers--mainly the name on the headstock--maybe pickups; I've found few Squiers that I wouldn't have to change the pickups on. Sometimes the Squiers have 21 frets, so you may want to take that into account too. My favorite guitar is my modded Squier Affinity Strat, but finally I'm building an American Fender so that I can have a similar configuration, but with a great trem and 22 frets.

BTW, my daughter quickly gravitated to my Mustang because of her hand size. You might be able to find a used Fender re-issue or Pawn Shop model, and there are several other affordable options still in production. Also you might want to concentrate on the more modern versions ('70s style) with the body contour cutouts instead of the flat plank style ('60s style). They're a lot more comfortable to play sitting down.

Good luck!
I'd compare the Baggs against the Graph Tech Ghost system. Think you'll get a more believable acoustic tone out of their composite saddles than you would metal saddles.
With big frets the guitar practically plays itself. The one with smaller frets won't.

But some thing the smaller frets is easier to play since you don't have to worry as much about playing too sharp (out of tune) if you fret really hard (since the string won't have as far to travel before it contacts the fretboard.

The difference is noticeable but it's nothing you can't overcome with time.

Just my opinion based on my couple of Ibanezes with the big frets and several other guitars without them.
Bad for my Body by Deap Vally

Actually learned it better by tabbing it so I posted it to give a little back to UG.
If you don't want to lose all the flexibility from MFX, then consider tacking this on there somewhere:

Then you have the best of both worlds; even if you only use the multistomp occasionally.

The other must-haves for me are aluminum channel trim (that way you can get away with using light 1/4" plywood), something to ensure everything gets powered, and handles on the sides to make it easier to move around safely.

Some type of strain relief for cables (power, amp, and guitar) can save your gear in case someone trips on a cable.
The Amplug is another great option--it'll serve the same function as the Multistomp plus the mixer for this scenario--it just won't have as many amp sims--just the one.

BTW, that Radio Shack adapter does go from tip to tip and tip to ring so it truly does convert from 1/4" mono to 3mm stereo--I just bought one last night and it works great. Also in case anyone's wondering, the Zoom Multistomp does not do a great job driving headphones (or even ear buds) on it's own.
Cool. If it sounds funny it might be what fly135 was talking about. You might be able to make up for not having cab emulation by adjusting the EQ on your board. Or you can get something like this: (you can use it with unbalanced out and just use the cab sim)

or this: and just use it for an amp/cab sim--it also compensates EQ for going into a combo, a stack, or direct into a mixer/PA.
Better test it before using to make sure it's really connecting the tip of the 1/4" to the 1/8" ring and tip and the sleeve of the 1/4" just to the sleeve of the 1/8" end. If it goes ring to sleeve instead of ring to tip, then you short out the right channel on the headphones.

If it doesn't have the juice to power the headphones, then you can get a headphone amp like this:, but you'll still need a 1/4" mono to 1/4" stereo adapter cable.

You can get a cheap mixer like this to drive headphones, too and you won't need any adapters if you plug it into the left input in a stereo channel or into the mono channel:

Or you can just get this and plug it into your speaker connector in you amp:, but you better make sure it works with tube amps and not just solid state; be sure it puts enough load on the amp so you don't damage it.

The 5-channel mixer is probably the best and most versatile solution, and if you're not on a tight budget, this model would be a much better choice: -- it doubles as a DI box and it has effects--plus you can add a couple of mics to the mix or one mic + a pre-amp for your guitar.
The JVM has programmable buttons on the remote footswitch. And it has it's own effects loop. Which So you could put the screamer in the effects loop and program the loop on/off so it's the button next to your channel button.

Download the manual for the amp if you don't have one. It should take about 5-10 button presses to set up, if that.
Just bite the bullet and buy a new pickguard in an HH config, a new switch, new pots, and capacitors. While you're at it, you can get the S-1 volume pot from Darren Riley for like $15 and a superswitch for even less so you can do coil splitting without having to pull up a knob or add switches.

Then if you ever want to sell the Strat you can swap back to the original setup with just 3 solder joints and you won't take the hit for if being "customized".
If you want it just like that, don't forget the aluminum channel around the edges. You can get that at Lowes for about $10. That way you can use thinner plywood and it'll be just as rigid as thicker, heavier, more expensive wood. You can get the handles from, if you want bigger ones than Lowes carries.

A Dremel tool with a cutoff wheel will be good for notching the corners in the aluminum channel.

I built one like that for my GNX4 and it worked great.
Fender Coronado and Starcaster re-issues will be out soon...
I could be wrong about the Bullets, but I guess it doesn't matter for this situation. The last Bullet I handled was a vintage ('80s?) Fender Bullet--that was as thick as a regular Strat; haven't paid much attention to the Squier Bullets, TBH, but I when I did see one I was under the impression it was more like an Affinity than like a Standard.
If you get an American bridge, you'll either have the block sticking out the back of the guitar unless you have it trimmed down a 1/4". You could probably DIY, but you'd need a grinder and a drill. Plus it would be a PITA. Same would go for a bridge for a MIM Strat. That's assuming that you're talking about a Squier Affinity or Bullet Strat, and not a Standard. The bodies are 1/4" thinner on the Affinities, SEs, and Bullets than on Squier Standards or any actual Fender Strat.
Good luck. Squier used different diameters and different thread pitches over the years, and even in the same years at different factories and for different models. You might have to buy a bunch off eBay before you find one that fits.

One made for an MIA Strat will most likely not fit, nor will most made for MIM Strats, either. Those aren't necessarily interchangeable, either.

I wanted a black tip for my bar on my Affinity Strat, so I bought a Squier bar, but it wouldn't thread in. I had to swap the tips, and they weren't the same either, so now the black tip sticks out farther than the white one did, and I had to fill the gap between the diameters with tape. One Squier tip threaded on, while the other pressed. It was a real Squier replacement part, too--you could tell by the packaging.
Saw them in '86. Definitely bring earplugs with at least 30 dB attenuation. I saw the Black Keys within the last several years and my ears were ringing constantly for a few days even though I was wearing 20 dB rubber earplugs that I use on stage a lot, and even though I was in nosebleed seats.

Enjoy the show!
Quote by ZodiacGuitars
$100 would only really be possible if it was made out of plywood.

Not sure I could even get the materials for under 100$

Understand, totally.

That's probably why we don't see a lot of this coming out of America or the UK these days.

But it's very cool that someone is thinking along these lines. Sometimes it takes a bunch of good ideas together to come up with something feasible.

What if instead of raw wood you started with pawn shop guitars (that you can get from under $100) and machined them into other shapes and refretted/corrected their necks?

Maybe a few other ideas added to this and you'll have a solid business model. There might be some extra cache from the "recycling" aspect.

But it would be tough at a higher pricepoint when you can buy a halfway decent budget guitar in a pawn shop for under $100 and mod it into something really cool for another $200-$400.

This probably isn't what you want to hear, but I think you do great stuff, have cool ideas, and I'd like to see you succeed. Good luck; I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.
$100 would be ideal, if you can still make a profit.

OK, $200 if MIA (or the UK)

It wouldn't even need to come with hardware at all; just drilled/routed for the bridge of choice and a swimming pool route will do for the pups.
Audacity can't do it yet. It's still an undeveloped feature for it.

I'm not aware of any free plugins for that in Reaper other than one that you can use like a WAV-to-MIDI for drum triggering.

I've heard of software that could do it for multithousands of dollars, so I didn't even bother to remember the name. If Logic can do it, then cool, but I doubt it. That's not a standard DAW feature. Don't you need a Mac for Logic anyway?

Most DAWs can edit MIDI, but not convert a WAV to MIDI. They can convert MIDI to WAV, but then again so can Guitar Pro.
Happy New Interface Day (HNID)!

As for getting the best tones, you'll just have to experiment. BTW, with 2 inputs in the interface, if you get a DI Box, then you can tap off a dry signal direct into the interface while feeding the amplifier via the DI passthrough, and recording the amplified signal from your mic. Then you can re-amp the dry signal later if you do a great performance but don't like the amplified tone. One of the Radial DI Boxes is supposed to be able to re-amp if hooked up in reverse, you can get a re-amp box, or you can re-amp with a VSTi in your DAW. I use my MFX pedal for re-amping (it has left and right 1/4" line-in jacks that you can run through the effects chain).

Experiment with mic placement of your cab; check YouTube for ideas on various options. If you do any cleans, you might get a better tone if you put your amp on a small sheet of plywood. You might want to consider putting the amp and mic in a closet and experimenting with audio treatments to control bounce. Even hanging thick blankets along the wall can make a difference.

The world is your oyster now!
Quote by Annah
I believe they do, but we're not allowed to use it. It is a private function/party and the people who hired us to play would have to pay more to hire the venue's gear. And they don't want to do that.

And when I said large, I didn't mean like... stadium sized. Its just a bar/function room.

Oh. One-time use? Sounds like you'll be losing money on that even if you rent what you need.

Well, if you go with the in-ear wireless system it will serve you well anywhere you play, even if they do have decent stage monitoring. We've even used ours at open mics at small venues; we play a lot better when we can actually hear ourselves. I got the setup squared away to where it might add about 1 minute to our setup and teardown times.

Oh yeah, you might be able to use those "speaker outs" to feed the transmitter; assuminig they're only line-level.
You're probably gonna hafta list the make/model of your powered speakers for us to answer that for sure, but I'm confident, that no, you can't plug in passive stage monitors (a.k.a., foldbacks) into that.

Even if you get active foldbacks, all it's gonna give you is your vocals. The band could have a hard time hearing themselves.

If you're playing places venues with no stage monitoring, I'd suggest looking into getting something like this: with a receiver for each member of the band and a mixer (and mics for the amps if they don't have line outs).

This could cost less than a bunch of professional foldbacks, you won't have to worry about feedback, they'll be more effective, and it's easier to transport. They work really well and have good range. During a band practice I had to move a car out of the garage, and I could hear the singer breathing from the street (about 150' away) even when I was in the car with the radio on.