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Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by Munchie99, Oct 1, 2020.
Of course you’re insane!
You play guitar!
But do the modifications and show us pictures...
I'm doing something similar to my BSB Bullet - I've replaced jack, switch and pots with the usual suspects, and put a set of CV pups in at first.
They sounded great, but then I picked up a Bare Knuckle Stagger 55 bridge, which has gone in, and I'm waiting for an AVRI 52 neck to arrive (plus some cheap brass saddles)... so my vote is no, not insane - perfectly acceptable lifestyle choice
I started a similar deal, myself, but it's lipstick on a pig, in my opinion. You can't put a vintage style bridge on those, I had screw holes showing, and routing required. So I gave my Bullet to a kid, keeping the amazing sounding ceramic cheopo neck pickup, which sounds incredible!
I got my Bullet Strat for 80 bucks at the pawnshop.
Got a Tusq nut, GFS steel block and saddle trem unit, a Cavalier Fat Lion Tele Bridge pickup, Allpart DeArmond style Gold Foil middle pickup And a real Firebird neck pickup.
Crazy to mod it, I say crazy not to mod it.
You're not insane. Sane as it ever comes. Do it.
That’s the plan. In fact, I just ordered pots and a 15k resistor and a .05 capacitor and a control plate. Got wires, got knobs. I’m gonna build that part myself; first time for all of it at once, but hardly my first time swapping parts and wiring things together.
Your Squier Bullet Tele will probably never be valuable (except to you) no natter what you do to it. But, modding a guitar is fun and a Squier is a great starting platform. Your guitar will look, play, and sound great. While you're at it, you might consider upgrading the tuners...
You'll be surprised just what new electronics can do to a guitar. A lot of times manufactures skimp on the electronics to keep their prices low and competitive.
1) Yes you are.
2) You did buy a "Bullet" didn't you.
3) It's your money, ain't it?
I would suggest you do it in 2 stages
1) Just replace the control plate with new pots, switch and cap... stop right here and check out how much better its gonna sound now that the original pickups can breathe. You might also consider at this stage to add some different kind of switch, like a 4-way instead of a 3-way, to wire it up series/parallel on #2 & #3... or many combinations thereof...
2) If that's not a big enough improvement, then swap pickups. And instead of picking the first set of pickups off the shelf, do some in-depth research (if you haven't already) into other pickup manufacturers besides Fender. Fralin, Lollar, Bare Knuckle, Dimarzio, Seymour Duncan... whew... there are so many choices these days. Not to mention other offerings from Fender, too.
I think if the neck is straight and you like how it plays you can't go wrong.
If I only had all the money back that I've spent on beer (and later emptied it into a urinal) to spend on a guitar hotrod... LOL... or farther back in the day, all the quarters I blew on a Galaga arcade game (but I was top scorer, haha)
Once you are finished you'll have a guitar you can't necessarily go buy in a store...
Plus, once you have bought all the parts, they will slide right into a Mexican Tele or most any Tele... or, buy the pickups used on Reverb and if you don't like them, sell them used for the same dollars and let some other person take the 30%+ depreciation hit for buying new...
I like this! I replaced pots, switch, and wiring on another bullet tele when I put new pickups in it, and it’s reborn.
But more to the point, I’ve been noodling on this one since I put a bone nut on it, plugged into a cheap amp (Fender Frontman 25R with a Ragin’ Cajun), and I *like* it. With the bridge pickup and the tone rolled all or almost all the way off, it has this cool fat sound. So yeah, I might do that first, just the control plate and all and leave the pickups for now. If I like it like that, I can always buy another one.
Okey dokey, pictures:
I left the stock pickups for now. This is way better, especially the tone pot. I get that full oo-wah sweep, not the all-or-nothing of the genuine original Indonesium one.
I'm going to play it for a while and decide whether I'm happy with it as is. The Nocaster pickups are waiting patiently.
And I put an electrosocket on it. Aw yeah.
BIG FAT EXCITING UPDATE: I can’t change the pickups on this guitar, not yet anyway. I like it too much, especially through the Frontman 25R with the Eminence 1058. Cheap slightly modded guitar, cheap slightly modded amp, and I really like it. It’s now my kitchen table rig.
I am having the same conundrum with mine. The stock pickups are actually really quite good. Sheesh, what to do?? Buy a second duplicate Squier, and keep one stock maybe?
What are you waiting for? Just do it!
If you love how the cheaper guitar feels to play but think better pickups, etc would make it sound better sounds like a good thing to do. As others have said keep the original parts if you later decide to sell it.
Five pages in and lots of astute observations. However, HIPPA privacy rules prohibit a public discussion of your health records and status.
BIG FAT EXCITING INSANE ALMOST A NOCASTER UPDATE
I still like the butterscotch bullet with the stock pickups and improved wiring. So today I took the Nocaster pickups and put them in yet another bullet Squier tele, a blue one. It already has a bone nut; otherwise, it's all Indonesium insides.
I thought sure I had bought all the parts I need to go full Nocaster on it: '51 Nocaster pickups, a cool new control plate with a slanted switch slot, a CRL 3-way switch, CTS pots, a 15K resistor, a genuine no-lie real-thing Fender .05 paper-and-oil capacitor, proper pushback wire in three proper colors, new knobs, my choice of top hat (ptui!) or barrel (there we go), a Pure Tone 4-point jack, and an Electrosocket. Okay! Let's go!
So I put the pots on the control plate and begin soldering stuff together. I find myself moderately confused by the Fender wiring diagram that came with the pickups; everything is in black and white, and after staring at it for a while, I was no closer to figuring out what went where. So I googled, found some clearer pictures, okay, I think. I wired the 15K resistor through the eyelets like you're supposed to. Then I started looking for my genuine no-lie real-thing Fender .05 paper-and-oil capacitor. And it's nowhere to be found.
I bought one. I know I did. I bought it from Fender themselves, it was $14.99, I remember it took a few days, I remember when it came in the mail, I remember thinking Oh Boy, and I remember putting it somewhere. But apparently somewhere wasn't any of the places I'd normally put that sort of thing, such as, oh, I don't know, maybe ON MY WORKBENCH with all the other guitar crap. But no. So it's gone, or it's hiding, or it's in my t-shirt drawer, or something. Crap! Phooey!
Okay, Plan B. I unsolder the resistor, and I look on YouTube for a regular 3-way wiring tutorial. I find one with a British accent, which helps me calm the hell down. The nice chap walks me through all the wiring, putting on the treble bleed cap/resistor (I had bought a couple to have on hand), and a capacitor (I used a .223 ceramic capacitor, because I have a little bag of them, and I didn't have whatever it was he was using).
I wrestle the output jack into place with the Electrosocket. I get the pickups swapped, get the bridge back in place despite the awkwardness of the stupid middle screw, put the pickguard back on, and get new strings (10s) on. I also give it a Graph Tech Tusq string tree, because.
And for some unexplainable reason, it works! I've never wired one up from scratch before; I've only put in a pre-wired control plate. Maybe I got something wrong, but if I did, I can't tell. It goes neck, neck/bridge, bridge. It sounds way the hell better, and it sounds different from my other two bullet teles, the sparkly red one with Lollars and the butterscotch blonde with stock Indonesium pickups (both of those have a 920D control plate and wiring).
Now that I've sat and compared all three in the same amp with the same settings, the Indonesium definitely suffers by comparison. I liked it a lot. Now I only like it some. So maybe if the genuine no-lie real-thing Fender .05 paper-and-oil capacitor suddenly appears, I'll buy another set of pickups and a couple more pots and whatever else I need to do the proper Nocaster on it. Or maybe something else altogether.