NGD. I never do this.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by dlew919, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just bought a black strat which is an Arizona brand. No serial number. Truss rod. Trem system. 50 AUD. About 35 USD and 28 GBP.

    I figure I can change the pickups and bridge if necessary.

    Anyone have any tips?


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  2. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    is the bridge that bad? maybe just put some better pickups on it for starters?
     
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  3. Binx

    Binx Tele-Meister

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    I found a deal like that when I first got back into electric, and it was what got me into winding pickups.
    I would start with changing all the electronics (pots, caps, output jack, pickups) for the biggest sound results. The cheap guitars are also really great for practicing a bit of fret clean up. After those two things I would look at tuners and and bridge with a better block, depending on how the tuners are (may need to replace them earlier, but a lot of cheap guitars hold relatively well, just not as smooth turning ratios).
    Good luck with it, always makes for a fun project to try new things on
     
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  4. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

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    I found a "Mahar" for $15 at a thrift store not long ago, needs a neck shim to tame the high action + new strings and such but otherwise seems very much like a Squier Bullet. I rarely do more than the basics on these; diminishing returns and all that, but they usually respond well, to a bit of attention. I will probably pak it w/ a small amp etc. for a holiday flip, but who knows.. might be a keeper.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
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  5. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don’t know it is bad. I’m yet to pug it in


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  6. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Have had a colder look. Couple of nicks and dings. One on the top (side?) of the finger board. Still to plug it in.


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  7. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd just clean it up if it needs it and give it a setup. It might be fine as is.
    Hopefully china strat parts fit so if you want to start swapping parts out it will be cheap to do.
    It might be best to hardtail it by blocking the trem if tuning stability isn't great.
     
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  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    I have a difficult time resisting guitars at that price.

    Here is what I do. (I'm an engineer who doesn't believe 90% of the myths because I've tested them, no trem blocks no pickup swaps no nut swaps...)

    -Clean it with your favorite cleaner, I use 50/50 ammonia/water sprayed on a cotton rag and clean it all off, especially the fingerboard.
    -Oil the fingerboard if rosewood.
    -Fret rocker the frets and dot the high ones. If more that a couple spots I level the frets. A fret level can make a starter guitar play like a $1,000+ model. Key upgrade. includes setup.
    -Contact cleaner on the pots, switch, jack. If a likely long term player I may swap in Bourns pots, OG/CRL 5-way switch, Switchcraft jack
    -Shielded cable to the jack, not the Fender style noise collecting white-black wire pair.
    -Aluminum flashing tape to shield the cavities. Even if it looks like shielding paint was put in there at the factory.
    -Leave the stock pickups. I used to swap pickups until I found how much tone shifts can be had with selecting controls (even when dimed/wide open).
    -Lower pickups to the pickguard/trim ring if ceramic magnet pickups, raise if Alnico. 1/8th of an inch height adjustments can be important.
    -Block or deck the trem. I get distracted with whammy tricks "is it out of tune when I do this?" "why is it out of tune?" and so on.
    -Evaluate the tuning machines, most often just leave the factory ones if they are the sealed type and work ok. Sometimes adjustment of the knobs is needed.
    -New strings
    -Tighten/check all the fasteners.
    -Replace any obviously broken issues.
    -If it's a classic SSS Strat it gets an Armstrong Blender mod (second tone pot blends between SSS and HSH). If a Tele SS it gets a 4-way switch.

    The most expensive (but highest value mod) in the above is the fret work. The rest you may spend $20-$30 and will make the guitar a performer for years.

    .
     
  9. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Holic

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    You’re a gem on here, at least for me. Carry on.
     
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  10. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Holic

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    I picked up a new G&L last week and was just trying to put a checklist together...this pretty much sums it up!
     
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  11. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    it might be a gem!!

    but honestly, Im looking for deals like that, but with guitars that have a bit of reputation, like SX, Squier, Tokai (MIC), etc etc.. probably made in the same place anyway, but at least Id know parts will fit, or will not.. hehe..
     
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  12. Boubou

    Boubou Doctor of Teleocity

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    Maybe you could play it?
     
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  13. mally

    mally Tele-Holic

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    I bought an Encore strat for £7 and there is nothing wrong with it !
     
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  14. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    [​IMG]

    Thar she blows.

    The action is high. But the strings were rusty so I took them off and I’ll set it up tomorrow. Then the plug in. I did have a look under the hood. The wiring looks clean.

    There are only three trem springs. Should I put a couple more on? I know I’ve been advised to block it (and I don’t have a rod anyway) so, what say you all? Block?




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  15. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Looks good, looks like strat parts will fit.
    It should be fine with 3 trem springs. That's all most use.
    I wouldn't block it unless you get annoyed with tuning problems.
    Nice score for $50 bucks.
     
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