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Need advice on new 2017 Squier Standard Strat

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by 2fingers, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

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    After the third attempted purchase of a workable metallic orange FSR Affinity Tele HH, I opted to spend a little more and get the new Candy Apple Red Standard Strat (apologies for not announcing the NGD - I wanted a little time with it before I claimed it as my own). I LOVE this guitar! The Alnico pickups sound nice to my ears! Everything was well done except for a badly cut pickguard which I fixed. The neck pocket was immaculate, for those who want to know - and it is indeed routed for HSH configuration should I choose to do so!

    So... The trem block is poopoo in her as expected. Is there a bolt-on upgrade that is close to 60s-era "dirty" blocks? I also would like to replace the bridge plate if possible, though it's not do-or-die.

    What I'd like to know is, which parts should I be looking at? MiM standards? American Standards? My bridge has the narrower string spacing, but I'm not certain which conventional models share the same trem post width... (I read somewhere last night that it's actually the same bridge used on Jackson guitars and not upgradeable, but I can't be certain).

    Although the nut is fine (for now) does anyone know if my Indo Standard Strat has a curved nut - or is the base of it flat like typical Squier replacement necks? I want to swap for a pre-slotted Tusq XL (which would match the saddles I have in mind).
     
  2. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Cool... you'll have to post some photos.

    If the body is the full thickness of a Fender Strat and it has the 6 screw tremolo, you'll probably find what your looking for at Guitar Fetish or Callham.

    You can check with the sites before you order but I'd bet the one your looking for is the import block on this page: http://guitarfetish.com/Upgrade-Steel-and-Brass-Tremolo-Blocks_c_219.html

    Here's some infor from the Calham site: https://www.callahamguitars.com/tech_compatibility_strat.htm

    Also, I think the bridge plate on a factory Fender or Squier should be ok. I did the full upgrade on my MIM Strat but I did look at the OEM bridge plate and it was fine. If I were to do it again, I would only swap the block and maybe the saddles if necessary. In my case I upgraded to Fender bent steel saddles but that was because the ones that came in the full kit were a bit rough and the ones that came stock on my 94 MIM Strat were those block alloy ones and I suspect the bent steel ones are just better.

    Good luck with your new Strat!
     
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  3. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

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    Actually, mine has a 2-point floating trem. I think from my reading I see that the diff between bridge plates/trem blocks on those are determined by location of the hole for the whammy bar in relation to the lateral centerline of the bridge plate? One person online in a forum said something about the Indo Standards having a Jackson-style bridge plate and that ONLY the blocks for that bridge assembly will work. I have no clue. I promise to post some pics tomorrow! It's been a long week and I've been offline and working on my father's house thanks to Hurricane Harvey :p Thanks for the reply, Awasson!
     
  4. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

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    "I think from my reading I see that the diff between bridge plates/trem blocks on those are determined by location of the hole for the whammy bar in relation to the lateral centerline of the bridge plate?"

    I forgot to say mine has a narrow string spacing at the bridge too (2-1/16 inch?) and I'm uncertain as to whether the 2 posts are a different width apart than earlier Squier Standard Strats...
     
  5. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

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    Sorry about the delay. I've been extremely busy with cleanup after Harvey :p DSC_0078.JPG DSC_0079.JPG
     
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  6. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

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  7. seekir

    seekir Tele-Holic

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    I have an '05 Indonesian Standard with a rosewood neck that was a "Black + Chrome" which I bought for peanuts. I like the maple necks like yours and was sorely tempted to get one of the new ones. My '05 needed a new pickguard and buffing. I don't have an obvious problem with the trem, mine's stock. I like the hex-head posts better than the slot-heads on "real" Fenders, no problems with the allen wrench slipping out. The trem posts apparently break through the thin wood at the post bases under the bridge on these, I don't really do any heavy bend-down action with the trem, but I suspect muscular dives might be a mistake with the Standards. I think the thicker 6mm whammy bar on these is stiffer than the 5mm on Fenders and maybe part of the problem? I'd measure the post spacing for you, but I have it in the attic hiding spot at the moment.

    The plastic nut on mine was really bad and had an odd response to the files when I attempted to deepen the slots. The plastic seemed kind of fibrous, and sort of fuzzy strands would appear when I was cutting it. I made a new nut from scrap white Corian counter-top material I got free from a cabinet shop. The nut slot is flat-bottomed. The clear neck finish on mine was much too thin IMO, it was discolored where hand stuff and dirt had penetrated into the maple. I sanded the back of the neck leaving the serial number/"made in Indonesia" print and sprayed a new clear coat on the back.

    Blackguard2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
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  8. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

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    So I wound up keeping the original bridge plate and bought a full-size (not the "shorty") steel trem block from GFS and it dropped right in. Had to do very little sanding around the cavity to fit it for smooth operation.

    I filed down a set of stamped saddles that were sent to me in the wrong size (used a whetstone and a dial caliper). The bridge is all done and operates effortlessly! In my personal opinion, changing these items made a big difference in the openness of the tone (I forgot to mention I've also previously replaced the wiring with a vintage-style kit from the Art of Tone). I love it! It's sure touchy, I'll say that...

    Will post pictures soon. Thanks to all who helped out! Now, onto those pesky pickups... ;)
     
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  9. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Awesome! Good to hear you were successful. Nothing beats that feeling of achievement, when it all comes together.

    Hey, on the pickup front, I've had a few sets of pickups in my 94 Strat. I've had the original ceramics, a set of Chinese Donlis Hot 60's, A set of Fender Custom 69's and recently as set of Bootstrap "Vintage 54 Pro Alnico 5" pickups. The Bootstrap are by far my favourites. I didn't have the poles staggered; I just stuck with their original recipe Alnico 5 set with the flat poles and I've got to say, they are awesome!

    Check them out here: https://bootstrappickups.com/products/bootstrapt-54-vintage-pro-set-for-strat®-flat-poles
     
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  10. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

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    The original pickups that came with it sound great, really (except the bridge is thin). It might be faux pas but I put a set of pickups out of a Golden-Age-era Hohner RP150G in it (the ones with no bobbins and steel plates on the bottoms). Sounds FAT - except now the neck is too dark for my liking but man does it QUACK. Thinking about scavenging the original neck pickup and putting it back on in combo with the Hohner-made ones (wish I could find more info on the Hohners). Just haven't worked up the nerve to split up those sets to combine a workable one yet, is all... I've heard lots of rave reviews about Bootstraps though, for sure. I guess I'm going for a strat that will pull off everything from Roy Buchanan tones, through to ZZ Top and John Mayer. LOL - don't we ALL want a does-it-all guitar...
     
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  11. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I think your plan to have a hybrid with the original neck + the Hohner middle & bridge is a good plan. Some people seem to be able to work with a thin bridge pickup but I don’t have that skill.

    Im glad your enjoying that guitar. You began the journey with it about 3 years ago.
     
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  12. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

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    Wew! It sure has been three years, hasn't it? I've been using frets for 8 months now, so I'm growing. Having my dominant hand on the neck helps. All of my slide stuff was in open tunings, but I picked up a bass a friend was selling and 3 days later I was re-tuning my strat and spiderwalking the EADG. Didn't take long to figure out the B and e after that. Already doing a variety of stuff but the way I "see" the notes Credence seems to come super easy. Working on some ZZ Top and SRV (and associated prerequisites) as well. It's comin' along! :D Hard to find people to jam with out here where I live though.
     
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  13. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

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    Okay, here's the goods as promised. Pardon the mess in the man cave: 20200711_021628.jpg 20200711_021735.jpg 20200711_021751.jpg 20200711_021712.jpg

    FWIW, the steel block actually darkened the tone a bit for me (which isn't great with this particular set of HOT pickups) but the saddles (to my ear) brought some of the brightness back with a slightly more "airy" sound. It's aaaaalmost ~there~ for neck brightness but not quite. If I do decide to cannibalize my original Alnicos, I'll let ya know... :confused:
     
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