Lifeless Mexi-Strat

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by WrayGun, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. chesire

    chesire Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    It is in most cases although some will require a US whammy.

    I did the Fender MIM Big Block upgrade. It was a legitimate Fender part listed on eBay for about $22. To give you an idea it weighs 2x what the alloy stock one weighed. Also, a magnet wouldn't stick to the stock block but they cling to the pure steel one. I'll see if I can find a part number.
     

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  2. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    If it doesn't do what you want, make another trade.
     
  3. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

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    I bought a brass block from GFS and the hole for the trem arm is at an angle causing the arm to be quite a distance from the guitar body. I emailed them about it and they said that is how they are made. Anyone else run into this?
     

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  4. Warren Pederson

    Warren Pederson Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    that thing can't be threaded right. Right?
     
  5. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

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    That is what I told them but they insist it is threaded at an angle on purpose. I think I will SuperGlue a brass screw in there then drill and tap a straight hole.
     
  6. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I usually buy both a vintage bridgeplate (the chrome plate) and the steel block from AllParts. If you have one of the Classic Series reissues, these will work and covert your bridge to a US-Spec vintage bridge. If you have the Standard Series Guitar, it gets tougher to replace just the block. It's easier to replace the bridge sometimes. But, there are steel blocks out there that should work. Beware of descriptions like "Big Block" - size isn't the issue, but material is. Big Block won't get it done. A steel block will. But, Fender makes all kinds of steel block bridges for both US and import Strat bridge spacing. Gotoh and Wilkinson do also. There is a steel block bridge assembly or block out there for your guitar.
    It's getting the right one. I believe the Mex Std uses 2 1/8" string spacing and the US vintage string spacing is 2 3/32." Doesn't sound like a lot of difference, but the two bridges (or blocks) are not interchangeable.
     
  7. Octave Doctor

    Octave Doctor Tele-Afflicted

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    Just put the trem arm in a sturdy vise and bend it to fit. Tape up the threads if you're that worried about it. Hendrix used to re-bend his bars to get the right angle.
     
  8. sparkletele123

    sparkletele123 Tele-Meister

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    Put some Seymour Duncan's in it, that will make a huge difference.
     
  9. Ron C

    Ron C Tele-Meister

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    2001 MIMs like the OP's had alnico pups. The change to ceramic came sometime later (maybe 2006?)

    Bone stock, this guitar should sound pretty darn nice. The OPs description of it being lifeless, and not much difference in sound with the various pickup positions makes me wonder whether something got messed up with the electronics from a botched mod.
     
  10. Luthier Atlanta

    Luthier Atlanta Tele-Afflicted

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    Get a loaded pick guard and don't look back...
     
  11. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

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    After viewing the photos of a trem block posted by Scooby Snax and Kevin B I must retract my negative comments about the brass block I got from GFS. It appears that it is made just like other brands.
     
  12. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wilkinson offers a Steel Block Vintage bridge for 2 1/8" Mex-Std string spacing. And, these aren't overpriced - usually $35-50 depending on where you buy it. I've used one and it was a good upgrade bridge for a Mex Std or Squier. Pretty sure Fender also has an aftermarket version of this unit, that Angela stocks.
    (www.angela.com)

    WilkimsonVintageTrem.jpg
     
  13. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Finally, there is one other option not yet mentioned that's by far the best solution to the bridge and bridgeblock dilemma. And that is, to go to your luthier and ask him/her to dowel and redrill your body for the US-Spec Vintage Trem unit. If you have a Mex-Std. and you like the color and neck, putting the US vintage bridge on your body will make your Strat feel and sound like a Strat should. I did this with an old Made-in-Mex body I found at a guitar show that I wanted to build-out since it was a nice, aged Oly-White color that I'd been looking for. I think my luthier charged me $50 to dowell and redrill for a US vintage bridge. And, this project turned out to be the nicest Strat I have. Or have ever owned. It now has a classic reissue maple neck, US pickups and pots and a US vintage tremolo bridge. Probably the easiest way to skin the import bridge dilemma, once and for all. Just a fabulous guitar. So, that $50 was money well spent.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  14. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I think I have that guitar now.
    I LOVE the pickups!
    That guitar is in heavy gig rotation.
    Whenever people talk smack about Mexican ceramics, I don't know what they're talking about...but I also thought these were representative of all of them.
    This guitar also has these meaty cast saddles...not like the stamped ones.
    I'm putting together another MIM Strat now...I'll have to A/B the tones.
     
  15. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have one of those and mine is NOT at that angle...
     
  16. marktwang

    marktwang TDPRI Member

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    I got one a few years ago,and some of the frets were not glued in so it felt dead.My guitar guy fixed that and it was much better.
     
  17. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Obsessed....if you're OK with the stock Mex-Std. hardware, I'd skip an upgrade. It's more driven by what your expectations are. I played my first Strats in the 60s, when there were only steel blocks and that's the tone I both remember and expect from a Strat. And, it can't be obtained with the die-cast parts that the lower-end guitars use. Sure, if you're after better tone, you can change a tone block, a bridge or drill your guitar for the US vintage hardware. It just depends on what you're after really. If you look at the amount of aftermarket parts, especially high-end ones, like Callaham and Glendale, a lot of folks want to maximize the tone of their Fender guitars. And, often the factory hardware is pretty average, or sub-par in the case of the value models. This is more than likely where the upgrade opportunities are.
     
  18. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Charlie !

    I want that damn guitar back right now ! :lol:

    That would be a good gigging guitar - could probably do everything.
     
  19. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yup...it's a good gigger!

    [​IMG]
     
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