Modding an Austin ATC 250

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Zettemusik, Aug 25, 2020.

Is the Austin ATC 200/250 worth upgrading?

  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Yes but do not spend more than $100

    100.0%
  1. Zettemusik

    Zettemusik TDPRI Member

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    Location:
    Barcelona, Spain
    Hello, I am new to electric guitars and got me an Austin ATC 250 for 90 Eur (around $ 100). Quite a bargain as it feels solid and nice but I would like to improve it to get better sound. I feel it lacks sustain especially in the high strings (it is maybe my lousy playing) and that the neck pickup is not clear enough.

    One thing I did was change strings and it improved quite a lot but I feel the sound, especially from the neck could be more clear and Vintage at the same time.

    Some mods I am thinking of:
    - replace the nut with a Graph Tech TUSQ to improve tuning stability (it also says it improves harmonics)
    - replace the tuners with locking tuners (Aliexpress with high ratings)
    - replace the knobs with metal ones
    - replace the neck cover with a nickel plated instead of brass and if it does not improve replace the pickups (thinking of Toneriders Vintage, GFS or something decent and economical)

    I don't want to spend a lot, as I could get a Classic Vibe Squire but I see people also mod them.

    In any case, I would like to hear from you. What have you done to your Austin Telecaster. Is it worth upgrading?

    By the way, do you have to take the neck out to replace the pickups? (it has 22 frets but the neck pickup seems to be in the pickguard).

    Thanks a lot!
    Elisabet
     
  2. Zettemusik

    Zettemusik TDPRI Member

    Age:
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    Hi, as nobody answered, just in case anyone needs it:

    i have already replaced the nut and the pickups as well as having shielded the guitar. The results are spectacular. I have shielded the guitar with double sided copper tape from Aliexpress and have connected all cavities with wires and I have grounded everything with a screw in the control plate cavity.

    Soldering the new Tone Rider Vintage plus pickups was easy peasy if you have a bit of soldering knowledge. Visually you can already tell the increase of quality in finishing from the standard pickups.

    In any case, to replace the neck pickup you have to dissassemble the body from neck and as I am a newbie and did not know the importance of a mm in strings, I had to readjust the neck and be very careful with how strong I pressed the neck screws. Also, I did file the new nut to have the right width but not the right height and this caused lots of problemas. Now everything is done. The shielding does miracles, the new pickups are noticeably better and I am very happy.

    The next step is to upgrade pots, capacitor, a treble bleed, jack and switch which should be easy if I get the circuit right. I wanted To put 4 or 5 way switch but I would have to dissassemble the guitar again and I don’t feel like it for a number of years. I would assemble a new guitar before I touch this one now I have set it up.

    I got the wrong model of locking tuners (my fault) and I am waiting for the new ones.
     
  3. Michael A.

    Michael A. Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Sorry, some of us are unfamiliar with the Austin ATC 200/250. How about some photos and details?
     
  4. Zettemusik

    Zettemusik TDPRI Member

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Barcelona, Spain
    Austin is US based guitar brand that manufactures in China and produces decent and affordable enough strats, teles, les pauls and j and p basses. I am new to the guitat world and I can't compare myself but some reviews say the quality is close to a squier affinity.

    Unfortunately I don't have pictures of all the process.

    This is the intermediate result: (I know there is some visible shielding copper but I still have to replace most pieces at the control plate.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/ami4c2i6yabfyCaE7/
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
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