New Squier Bullet Tele

Happy Enchilada

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Hi, HE. I’ll do my best.

I had put Fender CS ‘51 Nocaster pickups in my MIM Tele. I was looking for vintage wind and clarity. The Palo Duros resemble them in both clarity and response. The 4-way switching option was a game-changer for me. Having a “faux humbucker” sound available to me helps a great deal in live situations. My BSB Affinity Tele and my Red Sparkle Bullet Tele both have the 4-way mod and the Bootstrap Palo Duros; due to the different body woods, they sound slightly different - both good! 👍

You might consider the pre-wired control plate rather than assembling it yourself. Some stock control plates restrict the throw of the 4-way switch. I used the 920D version in the Red Sparkle version with no issues regarding depth of the cavity or fit:
920D Custom T4W-C Upgraded...
NOTE: I paid $64.99 for this from Amazon in October 2021. (!) 🤨 Give Jimmy at 920D a call and see if you can buy it direct for less. Seems sketchy to me.


I used the Performance Music version in the BSB Affinity mod. No issues with the cavity on the full-thickness Affinity body, but I cannot vouch for that on a Bullet model:
Tele 4 Way Wiring Harness w/Control Plate & Knobs-CTS-Switchcraft-Oak/Grigsby-Sprague

Both control plates had high-quality components and build quality. I’d happily use either one rather than soldering it up and having the switch bind on the plate.

Hope this helps! Good luck.

Thanks! I got a guy who's a whiz with a soldering iron.

Here's the kit I got for $35.99:
 

Ronzo

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Thanks! I got a guy who's a whiz with a soldering iron.

Here's the kit I got for $35.99:

It looks good, HE. I suggest that you trial-fit the switch in the control plate before unwrapping any of the other components, to be certain it fits, the throw is not binding, and that the depth is ok.

BTW - you asked for pickguard suggestions. I left mine stock, because I don’t care for pearloid pickguards. If you do, white MOTS would be a reasonable choice, IMO.
 

John Stephen

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John, don’t know if the Indian Laurel fretboard is a dealbreaker for you, but I’d give it a try before swapping necks. I just played my rosewood MIM Strat back-to-back with the Bullet, and the neck profile appeared identical to me. Finish difference, yes, but apparently the same profile.
I think the Indian Laurel fretboard looks fine in the pix, and not a dealbreaker at all. I have been wondering, though, generally, how interchangeable Fender and Squier necks are. Looking forward to getting and enjoying the LPB bullet as is.
 

John Stephen

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Well folks, I am one happy camper. @Ronzo, thanks for alerting me that these Bullets had landed on the shores of GC etc. 👍

I picked up my order yesterday from my local GC and am very pleased so far. I had to do the usual setup stuff (adjusted truss rod and had to raise the action a bit at the bridge saddles), but I was expecting that stuff.

This thing is WAY fun. It is very comfortable for me to play, sounds great, and the Lake Placid Blue looks true and beauitful to me. All the electronics seem to work fine (pickups, knobs and pots, selector switch). What a deal.

There's a couple of things I'll do when I get around to putting new strings on. Some of the frets are very sharp at the ends so I will have to knock them down a bit, and I'll probably oil the fingerboard. Regardless, this puppy is a blast.
 

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Happy Enchilada

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John & Ronzo:

"Satan" arrived this morning. Just in time too - it's snowing to beat the band here at present!

MF did a bangup job of packing it and no issues with in-transit damage whatsoever.

Initial observations:

Agree with fret ends being a tad sharp. Ordered some various grit sanding sponges from Amazon to carefully round 'em up, like I saw in a YouTube video:
1642716562830.png


Also - fretboard was like the Mojave. That's no biggie - I have a bottle of Formula 1 and some "Fretboard Honey" that will take care of that after I get the fret ends smoothed out.

However, the neck feels really THIN. So if you prefer a Louisville Slugger, this ain't the gal for you.
Action was highly acceptable, and no dead spots on the neck or other anomalies - which surprises me in that this guitar cost me about what most guys pay for a stompbox. Maybe I'll keep it as a "backup." 🎎

Pickups sounded surprisingly good through my Quilter Aviator Cub, so probably won't swap them out. Bridge can get raunchy and neck stays pretty sweet. I actually ordered the Palo Duro neck and Pretzel bridge (RW/RP) from Bootstrap, but I can always put 'em in a box and use them on a scratch build someday (I may build one for my son). Same with the wiring kit I found that's like custom made for my tastes, right down to the top had knob and .033 Soviet surplus PIO cap:
1642716853590.png


Tuners are weak, though, and I have some Fender lockers en route that should correct that.
Also have a GraphTech string tree in my parts bin to replace the funky stamped metal stock part.

I may play it as is for a while and then sell it, IDK. There's a guy in town who snarfs up every Squier he can get his hands on, and if I can get my investment out of it, I can put it toward another build (especially with all these cool parts sitting around now). Ah, the joys of GAS. 🎸

The local Blues Society also donates instruments to kids in the school system to learn to play ... and this would be perfect for that. I am a charter member (back when I was younger and covered with useless hair), so this might be good karma. But I have to be careful that somebody's karma doesn't run over my dogma ...🪅

Good Luck Brothers!
 

John Stephen

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John & Ronzo:

"Satan" arrived this morning. Just in time too - it's snowing to beat the band here at present!

...However, the neck feels really THIN. So if you prefer a Louisville Slugger, this ain't the gal for you.
Action was highly acceptable, and no dead spots on the neck or other anomalies - which surprises me in that this guitar cost me about what most guys pay for a stompbox. Maybe I'll keep it as a "backup." 🎎

🪅

Good Luck Brothers!
I guess with necks it depends on what you're used to. The neck feels quite comfortable to me. Pretty similar, though not identical, to my CV 60s Thinline Tele. I'm having fun playing this puppy!
 

Ronzo

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Well folks, I am one happy camper. @Ronzo, thanks for alerting me that these Bullets had landed on the shores of GC etc. 👍

I picked up my order yesterday from my local GC and am very pleased so far. I had to do the usual setup stuff (adjusted truss rod and had to raise the action a bit at the bridge saddles), but I was expecting that stuff.

This thing is WAY fun. It is very comfortable for me to play, sounds great, and the Lake Placid Blue looks true and beauitful to me. All the electronics seem to work fine (pickups, knobs and pots, selector switch). What a deal.

There's a couple of things I'll do when I get around to putting new strings on. Some of the frets are very sharp at the ends so I will have to knock them down a bit, and I'll probably oil the fingerboard. Regardless, this puppy is a blast.
You’re very welcome, John! Glad you got an excellent example. Thanks again for your good wishes during my LPB Bullet journey.

Different sections of the country seem to have more problems with fret sprout than others. It’s not a big problem in South Florida’s humid climate (The official smell of South Florida: Tropical Fish Tank.), but a visit to your local Walgreens or CVS for a 4-grit nail buffer has solved most such problems for me. Get a small bottle of med-grade mineral oil for the fretboard and a couple of Q-Tips and you’ll be set.

These are amazing instruments for the dollars spent. Enjoy it! 👍
 

John Stephen

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Thanks Ronzo. LOL the official smell of South Florida. Got me some pads I can use to knock down those frets, but I will indeed get me summa that mineral oil. Sounds like that will work fine.
 

Ronzo

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John & Ronzo:

"Satan" arrived this morning. Just in time too - it's snowing to beat the band here at present!

MF did a bangup job of packing it and no issues with in-transit damage whatsoever.

Initial observations:

Agree with fret ends being a tad sharp. Ordered some various grit sanding sponges from Amazon to carefully round 'em up, like I saw in a YouTube video:
View attachment 942333

Also - fretboard was like the Mojave. That's no biggie - I have a bottle of Formula 1 and some "Fretboard Honey" that will take care of that after I get the fret ends smoothed out.

However, the neck feels really THIN. So if you prefer a Louisville Slugger, this ain't the gal for you.
Action was highly acceptable, and no dead spots on the neck or other anomalies - which surprises me in that this guitar cost me about what most guys pay for a stompbox. Maybe I'll keep it as a "backup." 🎎

Pickups sounded surprisingly good through my Quilter Aviator Cub, so probably won't swap them out. Bridge can get raunchy and neck stays pretty sweet. I actually ordered the Palo Duro neck and Pretzel bridge (RW/RP) from Bootstrap, but I can always put 'em in a box and use them on a scratch build someday (I may build one for my son). Same with the wiring kit I found that's like custom made for my tastes, right down to the top had knob and .033 Soviet surplus PIO cap:
View attachment 942338

Tuners are weak, though, and I have some Fender lockers en route that should correct that.
Also have a GraphTech string tree in my parts bin to replace the funky stamped metal stock part.

I may play it as is for a while and then sell it, IDK. There's a guy in town who snarfs up every Squier he can get his hands on, and if I can get my investment out of it, I can put it toward another build (especially with all these cool parts sitting around now). Ah, the joys of GAS. 🎸

The local Blues Society also donates instruments to kids in the school system to learn to play ... and this would be perfect for that. I am a charter member (back when I was younger and covered with useless hair), so this might be good karma. But I have to be careful that somebody's karma doesn't run over my dogma ...🪅

Good Luck Brothers!
Mazel tov, HE! Glad yours came in excellent shape, too! Dry fretboard and a little sprout is easily cured, as you said. Weirdly, I played with my jam buddy on Sunday, and we both remarked that the neck profile is the same as my 60th anniversary MIM Strat - different finish, to be sure, but the same profile. It really suits me. But everyone has a different preference. “Soft V” necks like the old Jimmie Vaughan MIM Strat were necks I couldn’t get along with. Others seem to love ‘em to death. Different strokes.

The tuners are, I agree, a weak point. On my Red Sparkle, I replaced them with Hipshot 8.5 mm locking tuners, which were a drop-in replacement with NO drilling or reaming. Smooth as silk, and installation and restring took 15 minutes, total. Hipshot’s mounting plate system covers all the holes. Use a 10 mm deep socket and mind the three different staggered heights. $65 USD, and worth it in lack of aggravation. If you flip it, take ‘em out and sell ‘em. Reinstall the original ones for the sale. All the original screw holes are preserved. You said you were looking at the Fender lockers; the two pins on the USA and MIM necks are in different positions than the two pin tuners used on the Bullet. They don’t line up. Be forewarned.
 

Ronzo

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Thanks Ronzo. LOL the official smell of South Florida. Got me some pads I can use to knock down those frets, but I will indeed get me summa that mineral oil. Sounds like that will work fine.
When you come down here, and you have the automatic doors of the airline terminal open to the outside air, the experience is visceral. Smells like home to me now!
 

Happy Enchilada

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Mazel tov, HE! Glad yours came in excellent shape, too! Dry fretboard and a little sprout is easily cured, as you said. Weirdly, I played with my jam buddy on Sunday, and we both remarked that the neck profile is the same as my 60th anniversary MIM Strat - different finish, to be sure, but the same profile. It really suits me. But everyone has a different preference. “Soft V” necks like the old Jimmie Vaughan MIM Strat were necks I couldn’t get along with. Others seem to love ‘em to death. Different strokes.

The tuners are, I agree, a weak point. On my Red Sparkle, I replaced them with Hipshot 8.5 mm locking tuners, which were a drop-in replacement with NO drilling or reaming. Smooth as silk, and installation and restring took 15 minutes, total. Hipshot’s mounting plate system covers all the holes. Use a 10 mm deep socket and mind the three different staggered heights. $65 USD, and worth it in lack of aggravation. If you flip it, take ‘em out and sell ‘em. Reinstall the original ones for the sale. All the original screw holes are preserved. You said you were looking at the Fender lockers; the two pins on the USA and MIM necks are in different positions than the two pin tuners used on the Bullet. They don’t line up. Be forewarned.
Glad you brought this to my attention. Had ordered Fender lockers - was able to cancel (God, I LOVE Amazon!). Bit the bullet and ordered Hipshots.

I will be addressing fret and fingerboard issues myself. And the Hipshots should be a cakewalk to install, as long as I get the right ones in the right places. And because they're staggered, I may not need the GraphTech string tree.

I think I'll stick with the electronics and pickups just like they came, and keep the upgrade parts in a box so that when I find a body that knocks my socks off someday, I have all the hardware ready to go. I'm thinking a knotty pine body married to a Strat neck would be amazing.

One of the best things about this $179 Tele is I will leave it out and grab it when I have a minute, thus making it a truly useful guitar. My other Teles will mope a bit, but they'll get their turns.

Thanks again for your help here!
 

vanr

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So a couple of days ago I installed the Bootstrap Pretzel bridge pickup. What a great sounding pickup. This is my second one. Have one in my Surf Green Bullet Tele. At rehearsal I discovered the pickups are out of phase with each other. Plus the Pretzel really over powered the stock Bullet neck pickup. I had an old Alnico magnet neck pickup laying around (of unknown origin) that read 7.2K (the stock Squier neck was about 5.3K) so I disconnected the ground wire to the cover and added a new cover ground so I could flip the white and black if necessary. Which it was. Had to use the white for ground and the black to hot to get along with the Bootstrap. This neck pickup has more output too to keep up with the 10K Pretzel bridge pickup. Can't wait to try it out Monday night at rehearsal.
 




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