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Squier M-80 Mod Log with Audio and Video Clips

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by littlebadboy, Jul 14, 2018.

  1. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 25, 2016
    Midwest, USA
    Not sure where to post this, but anyways...

    I recently acquired a Squier M-80 Special. I got intrigued because it had a strat'ish body but with LP controls and scale. I intend to mod this a little. The guitar is not common, so if I may share the details...

    Specs:
    Model

    • Model Number: 034-4000-(Color#)
    • Model Name: M-80 Special
      • Series: Master Series
    Body
    • Colors: (506) Black, (Gloss); (575) Wine Red, (592) Walnut, (Satin), (Satin Polyurethane Finish)
    • Body Material: Basswood
    Neck
    • Neck Shape: C-Shape
    • Neck Material: Maple (Polyurethane Finish)
    • Number of Frets: 22
    • Fret Size: Jumbo
    • Fretboard Radius: 12” Radius (305mm)
    • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
    • Nut Width: 1.6875” (42.86 mm)
    • Scale Length: 24.75" (628.65 mm)

    Electronics

    • Pickup Configuration: H/H
    • Pickups: 2 Humbucking Pickups
    • Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle: Pos 1. Bridge Pickup, Pos 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Pos 3. Neck
    • Pickup
    • Controls: Volume 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Volume 2. (Bridge Pickup), Tone 2. (Bridge Pickup)

    Hardware

    • Hardware: Chrome
    • Tuners: Cast/Sealed Tuners
    • Bridge: Adjusto-Matic Bridge with Anchored-Tailpiece
    • Pickguard: None

    Miscellaneous

    • Unique Features: Bolt-On Neck, Gold and Silver Squier Logo, Side Dot Position Inlays, Double Cutaway, Side Mounted Chrome Football” Input Jack, Numbered Control Knobs, Black Plastic Parts, Black Painted Headstock
    • Country of Origin: Indonesia (Some out there are Korean)
    • Introduced: 2005
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Electronics definitely needs an upgrade! The pots are scratchy!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I have started to record demos of how this sounds stock, and this is how it sounds clean:

    First half is clean switching from neck to middle to bridge positions per chord progression. The second half is how the guitar sounds like in a semi-produced environment. It sounds like there are keyboards but they are just compressors, delays, sub delays, and some reverb.




    The stock pickups actually sound good, but I wonder how it would sound with the rail humbucker in the bridge because I like to metal.

    So, the following will go into the guitar:


      • Bourns 500K Pro Audio Pots Audio Taper for volume and tone, but the bridge humbucker will have a no load tone pot
      • .022uf Orange Drops
      • GM Rail Hammer humbucker by Guitar Madness
      • Switchcraft 3-Way Short Toggle Switch w/ Genuine Switchcraft Black Tip
      • Switchcraft #11 1/4 Mono Jack
    I hope you will enjoy this new endeavor and the audio clip! More audio and video clips will be posted as I progress.

    Thanks everyone!
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  2. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    Those stock pickups do sound good and it's a good looking guitar.
    I always change out pots when they are the mini pots. Never had any that were worth a damn.

    Are you changing the pickup because you want a overwound pickup? Or you want a pickup with rail pole? or just like that particular pickup? Pickups never sound the same in every guitar and sometimes a simple magnet change can make all the difference in the world.
     
    littlebadboy likes this.
  3. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 25, 2016
    Midwest, USA
    Thanks for your comments and notice!

    When I had the rail humbucker in my LP type guitar, it drives nice but too smooth for my intention for that guitar as I wanted to sound exactly like this which now has a high output bridge humbucker with almost a similar design to Gibson's Dirty Fingers. So, I thought of trying the rails out in this guitar since I want this guitar to be a little bit tamed.

    Magnet swap... thanks for the advice! If I may ask, how do I know if they're alnico and where May I buy them? I'm really new in mod'ing guitars. I'm still learning on my guitars and I'm having fun so far!
     
  4. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    I'm also new to modding pickups. I modded a GFS ceramic minibird pickup with Alnico 2 firebird magnets. I removed the single ceramic mag on the bottom and the steel rail poles(easily done with plastic pickup bobbins) and replaced with the rail size A2 mags into the bobbins(in the right polarity orientation) and added a steel reflector plate on the bottom to cover the brass base plate.

    The ceramic magnets have a darker and a flat black sheen look to them while the Alnico magnets have a more dark grey look with a shiny metal appearance. I think the Dirty Fingers pickups had ceramic mags in them, but their are different grades of Ceramic magnets and Alnico magnets. You can get pickup magnets from Stewmac, Mojotone and most any place that sells pickup parts.

    The cheaper pickups can be a real bargain, but sometimes they just suck when it comes to tone because they use cheaper low grade parts. Magnets are cheap and I would look for a ceramic grade 8 or Alnico 5 or Alnico 8. Do a little research for videos and sound samples to get an idea of what they're like.

    Just be sure to get the size dimensions right and the polarity right.

    Base Plates:
    Some will say it doesn't matter, but Bill Lawrence did a write-up on it saying that non-magnetic metals can have an effect on the magnetic field of the pickup and effect the pickup's tone for either good or bad.

    My little pickup mod did wonders and my adding of the reflector plate was a part of it. You can change the base plate with a steel one from a parts place for a couple bucks or cut a piece of thin steel to cover the inside bottom like I did. It has to fit tight and be soldered for ground.
    Pickup covers can also make a big difference in a pickup's tone. If it's made of brass, throw it away and look for one advertised as being Nickle-Silver or a plastic cover. Covers are supposed to brighten a pickup, but that can also be done with electronics in most cases.


    Do you know what the DCR of the pickup is? Have a Multi-meter with ohms check?
     
    littlebadboy likes this.
  5. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 25, 2016
    Midwest, USA
    Which one, the stock or the rail?
     
  6. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    Well now I'm confused as to which one.:D

    Check both of them if you can. Good info to have and write it on the back with a small permanent marker for future reference.

    A stronger magnet can make a difference, but the output gives you a reference point on what your results are going to be.
     
    littlebadboy likes this.
  7. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2010
    Decatur, GA
    I'm intrigued as to what relationship these are to the Heartfield guitars from Fender in the late 80s. The body and headstock seems similar, though the hardware is entirely different. And these were Japanese.

    heartfield.medium.jpg
     
    littlebadboy likes this.
  8. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 25, 2016
    Midwest, USA
    Still in stock form... can it rock?

    Nice and easy...



    Metahl coming up next...
     
    Zepfan likes this.
  9. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Sep 20, 2005
    Kansas City
    They could have used the Heartfield as a starting point for the Squier model - Heartfield was set up to be a place where the designers could play around with things different from the normal Fender offerings, and from time to time they have also used the Squier brand in the same manner.
     
  10. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 25, 2016
    Midwest, USA
    I forgot to include:
    0:02 neck humbucker
    0:34 middle position
    1:05 bridge humbucker

    The solo harmony thingies are all from the bridge humbucker.
     
  11. adamsappel

    adamsappel Tele-Meister

    Age:
    52
    436
    Jun 8, 2008
    Maryland
    I have a Squier M-80, black, set neck, Korean. It feels and plays nice; I like the sound of the Duncan Design pickups. I would prefer the Natural color, and I don't like the brushed metal look of the hardware, so it tends to get pushed to the back of the rack.

    Nice playing!
     
    littlebadboy likes this.
  12. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    Sounds great.
     
    littlebadboy likes this.
  13. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 25, 2016
    Midwest, USA
    Thanks Adam and Zep (sounds like a good band name)!

    I have the bolt on M-80 (Special series). What attracted me most was that it had no fret inlays compared to the big ones on the set neck (Master series)!
     
  14. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 25, 2016
    Midwest, USA
    I changed the soundcloud link to an edited version of the track to showcase how the stock guitar sounds on solos. Same track on crunch mode with a simple solo, nothing flashy coz I'm a wussy.



    0:02 neck humbucker
    0:34 middle position
    1:05 bridge humbucker
    1:37 solo on neck humbucker
    1:45 solo on middle position
    1:53 solo on bridge humbucker
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
    Zepfan likes this.
  15. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    All the pickup selections were great to me, I wouldn't change a thing.

    Very good playing too.
     
    littlebadboy likes this.
  16. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 25, 2016
    Midwest, USA
    Not so metal, but here it goes... still in original stock form:



    And next... I will be gutting out the guitar for the mods!
     
    Zepfan likes this.
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