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Is it Worth Modding a Squier Strat?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Bassetcaster, Apr 28, 2020.

  1. Lost_N_Austin

    Lost_N_Austin Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If you go to YouTube and search for "Squire Stratocaster pickup upgrade" - You will find enough good information to fill the rest of the day and may come to a conclusion that you will either proceed with confidence or bail on the idea all together.

    Either way there is a lot of beneficial advice and at no expense to you (unless you act on the advice and move forward). One upgrade used a set of Chinese pickups that cost $17.00 shipped. It took a Month to get them but still. The modded guitar was then played in a blind test in comparison to an American Strat. I could not tell any real difference and liked the sound of both.

    Be sure and get back to us when you decide and complete the adventure.

    Lost_N_Austin
     
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  2. Churchjack

    Churchjack Tele-Meister

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    I did! I got a sad, uncared for Affinity for $20, but the neck* cleaned up real nice with some work. I decided to deck it out — tuners, bridge, pickups, everything but the body & nut. It’s a player, now. Worth the money? Not for ROI. But for my own enjoyment, and to learn a few skills, worth it.

    *My #1 consideration for an electric guitar. I’ve been let down in the past, even with MIA models. If I find a sound neck and fretboard, I’m in.
     
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  3. Censport

    Censport Tele-Holic

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    It's your guitar, do what you want with it. If all it needs is a change of pickups, I'd say it's a good base to work from.

    For the sake of posting a pic, here's my '84 SQ-series MIJ Strat. Had it since new, when Mom got it for me for Christmas. I've tried all sorts of single-coils in it over the decades. Stacked DiMarzios, signed Abigail Ybarras, etc. Now it has the EMG DG-20 setup in a 3-ply black pickguard, Dunlop 6105 frets, a single graphite string tree, and an eBay headstock decal. I'd be buried with it if I weren't being cremated.

    MyWife2020.jpg
     
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  4. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Holic

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    If the guitar feels good in your hands and resonates well, who cares what it says on the headstock. However, you always have to be mindful that your not pouring more money into a guitar than if would cost to upgrade to a better model. I have seen $150 guitars with $300.00 pickups. That doesn't make financial sense to me.
     
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  5. doctorunderhill

    doctorunderhill Tele-Meister

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    I recently did an extensive number of modification on an Ibanez Thin line archtop. I knew when I did it that there could only be a very modest increase in the value of the instrument, but I absolutely loved the guitar and by saving the original pickups and pots, machine heads, bridge and tailpiece, I can return it to stock and save the upgrades for a future project.

    but these guys are definitely shooting you straight- you virtually never get anymore for a mod'd guitar over the same condition instrument left stock.
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Tele-Afflicted

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    SQUIER.
     
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  7. jayroc1

    jayroc1 Tele-Meister

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    Thank god you're behind a screen
     
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  8. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I'm turning a Squier tele I paid AU$200 for into a Hot Rod style thing, Texas Special in the bridge, Gibson Firebird in the neck (both sound great). Bigsby next on the list. The guitar will still only be worth $200 or so when it's finished, but I'm not selling it so it's a moot point. It's gonna be a weapon.
     
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  9. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I had the neck on my ‘92 MIM Tele refretted by a guy who’s probably done 500+ fret jobs and who charges quite a bit for them.

    Rolled the fb edges just a tad, sealed em up - top flight work.

    I got it done for free because I did some work at his house but - how many MIM’s do you know that have been refretted ?:lol:

    The neck is so good the original owner played the snot out of it, and it’s so good that I wanted it like new again (better than new) .


    Do it !
     
  10. TelenTubes

    TelenTubes Tele-Holic

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    In my opinion, yes. Never for resale, though. But if you like the neck, changing pickups, painting, or getting a cool pickguard can certainly change your attitude about a Squire.

    I have a 1994-ish Squier that I repainted, put Texas Specials in, added a trem spring, and a perloid pickguard and I play it all the time. The neck is familiar and it plays just fine and sounds good.
     
  11. sfcmark

    sfcmark Tele-Meister

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    I got the look I was after. I couldn't have lived with a stark white pearl PG, but the aged pearl goes really well with the Daphne Blue and the fairly dark rosewood fretboard. I like the Tex-Mex pickups, but I used the Jimmie Vaughan wiring scheme; it has tone on neck and bridge, but not middle. The rewired tone control tames the extra hot bridge pickup pretty well.

    I actually picked the Tex-Mex set because once I added shipping to GFS pickups the Fender were only $2 more. If you were buying all of your mod parts from GFS it would tame that shipping cost some.
     
  12. MarkieMark

    MarkieMark Tele-Afflicted

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    Be sure to paint it black for the greatest outcome! :cool:
     
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  13. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    99% certainty that it's already black! :lol:
     
  14. Twang-ineer

    Twang-ineer Tele-Meister

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    I've recently been playing a bar right next to a building full of cell towers and RF communications stuff. Unbearable hum on everyting. I tried a buddys pointy EMG guitar, it was much better. So I recently bought the Squier Modern Jazzmaster to rebuild because it had a few unique features that no Fender is offering, at a price I am willing to pay. 12" radius, Gibson style bridge, route for 9V battery and pickguard mounted humbuckers. I got lucky with a great neck and a fretjob that needed no work whatsoever.The nut was awful high, but easy enough to fix. A set of EMG retroactive pickups and I was ready to go. A cool, great playing guitar, all parts bought used , total cost under $400 .... great tuners, great hardware, flawless paint and only a tiny bit of fret sprout easily cured with masking tape and a sanding bock. 2 hours work all in. But with all things Squier, get your hands on it before you buy. 90% are stellar.... 10% meh...... And BTW... if you are using EMGs their "sound" over rides any nuance of body wood, so the "tone wood" question is out the door. And besides, playing a peavey Bandit in a room where the back of the room is a flat concrete wall. So subelty is not a concern. The guitar plays great, was cheap and easy to modify and has no hum..... done and done. Recommended for any similar application
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2020
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  15. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Don't bother. If it's uninspiring, I'm thinking new pickups won't magically make you love it. And the guitar's value won't go up.
     
  16. Seedpicker

    Seedpicker TDPRI Member

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    This is kind of a key point. If you like the neck, then it’s a keeper. A cheap mod (maybe Amazon pups?) could do you well. You can always switch them back and sell them if you don’t like them.


    You’re a good friend
     
  17. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Holic

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    Well, it's fun if nothing else...

    [​IMG]

    I picked up an affinity hss at a church sale for $25. Tried it out on a lark, and the neck felt really good.

    Pickups were underwhelming. Popped a gfs set in there and converted it to sss with a new pickguard (I hated the original white). Filed the nut and adjusted everything. It's a great player on all counts. New pups helped a lot.

    Have less than $100 in it was worth every penny!
     
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  18. Informal

    Informal Tele-Afflicted

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    Christ!, There are handfuls of people here who have put $200+ worth of electronics on a cigar box guitar, Is this a question that needs an answer??
     
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  19. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    As an activity, sure. As a smart way to spend money, no. Buying used PUs, etc., on eBay can make "upgrading" a little less of a waste of money, but basically adding value in this way is not going to happen. I've rebuilt and modded many, many marginal guitars, and while they all ended up better to an extent, I don't think a single one was really worth it, other than the fun involved, which can be considerable. Very few people mod guitars well (clean, finely done, genuinely functional, good looking) however.
     
  20. Gigante_Miguel

    Gigante_Miguel Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I started with this VM, a deal I got off the used wall at GC. I put a set of Bootstrap 54s in, and did some interesting writing, and added a GFS steel block term. It’s a wonderful player, that stays in tune and actually made me like strats for the first time.
     

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