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Old May 13th, 2007, 07:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New to Strats - HELP!!

I'm new to the Strat world; a friend gave me a Strat-copy body, and I have about $150 to spend.

GuitarFetish has a great reputation around here, and I'm pretty sure I can get all that I need from them. This guitar needs EVERYTHING: bridge (old one has no saddles/screws), pups, electronics, controls, pickguard... well, ok, it has tuners. It's routed for a bridge humbucker, and it used to have a trem.

About the tremolo... there's a wire sticking out from underneath. Is that supposed to be there? I don't know much about tremolos, but I thought they were completely mechanical... I'm thinking of getting a normal hardtail bridge instead. Are there any issues I should know about if I do?

What do you guys think of their SuperStrat wiring kit? What pickup set do you recommend? I'm not really looking for "that" sound, but I do play a lot of different types of rock (indie/alternative/random blues/metal). So whatever is good overall will work just fine with me.

Some ideas that I have:
1. Make a normal 3 pickup Strat, but using the GFS SuperStrat wiring kit
2. Putting a humbucker in the bridge, and perhaps not installing a middle pickup.
3. Putting only a humbucker/single-coil in the bridge; I've always wanted an single pup guitar, and well, here ya go.

P.S. He had a lot of stickers, and I'm still in the process of cleaning it up.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 08:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The wire is supposed to be there. It is a ground wire. The bridge, whether it is a trem or a hardtail, must be grounded. To ground a trem bridge, there should be a wire between the spring claw (in the back), and the ring of the output jack. Since your body does not have an output jack, that end of the wire is disconnected.

A hardtail bridge is quite a bit different from a trem. Your body was routed for a trem. If it had a hardtail, there'd be an awful lot more wood where there isn't. To convert that body to a hardtail, you will have to fill the hole where the bridge is, with wood. Don't bother. If you don't want a trem, install five springs, and crank the spring claw down so that the bridge doesn't raise when you tune the guitar to concert pitch.

Whatever pickup switching system you use is your preference. I prefer a standard, three pickup Strat with blender wiring, but you'll probably get a lot of opinions opting for different switching. It all depends upon how you want to use the guitar.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 10:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esteban View Post
Some ideas that I have:
1. Make a normal 3 pickup Strat, but using the GFS SuperStrat wiring kit
I think the Strat already has more than enough switch & control options without the super-mess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by esteban View Post
2. Putting a humbucker in the bridge, and perhaps not installing a middle pickup.
Hmm, a Squier 51.

Quote:
Originally Posted by esteban View Post
3. Putting only a humbucker/single-coil in the bridge; I've always wanted an single pup guitar, and well, here ya go.
This idea sounds fun. (I have a Squier Strat laying around that I've considered setting up like an Esquire)

* Here's a GFS cheap list:

+33 loaded pg (prewired pg+pickups+switch+pots+knobs)
+05 pg screws
+05 jack
+04 strap buttons
+12 set of saddles
-----
$59 total

Hard to tell in the pic, but it looks like you've got the rest of the trem/bridge assembly, if not:
-12 saddles above
+24 basic for import assem
----
$71 total

just add strings and you have a working Strat that you can get a feel for before you do serious upgrades. Or you could piece out the pg assembly and choose different pups.

That green looks great!
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Old May 13th, 2007, 11:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's the trem assembly. Sorry my pics are so bad quality; I didn't bring my digital camera with me to college, so I have to use my phone.

So do I just find a way to fix the assembly so that the part on the right doesn't move, in effect bypassing the trem?

I'm thinking of using this wired pg:
http://store.guitarfetish.com/sihuwhwipi15.html

and this bridge:
http://store.guitarfetish.com/vitrfimekoch.html

The saddles on the GFS website that fit import spaced bridges are sold out (using a crappy ruler, I think my spacing is about 2-1/8").

Does anyone know about the quality of the pups in the pre-wired pickguards?
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Old May 13th, 2007, 11:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Info on blocking the trem here.

That's the same budget bridge that I saw. Most of the GFS pups seem to be pretty good to great. For that price, you get an HB, pg, pot, knob, all prewired ready to go. And it's cheap enough to use for awhile then upgrade (I was thinking about a Memphis or Mean90). You would also have options to cut and add other pups/pots later on.
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