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Old March 3rd, 2010, 04:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Squier Strat Set Up

I recently purchased a Squier Strat and wanted to make some changes to it. I thought I might change the pick ups. Looking for suggestions! Any other suggestions on how I can get the best sound out of my cheap guitar would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Old March 3rd, 2010, 11:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Check out this thread, i know there are a lot of posts, but it could help you.

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Old March 9th, 2010, 08:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I recently purchased a Squier Standard. Here are some cheap tweaks that I did to mine.

1. Dress the fret edges. Remove the strings, tape off the neck and with a small file and 600 grit sandpaper, smooth out those sharp edges. While you're at it, go ahead and get some compound and polish the frets. Big improvement.

2. Electronics. Replace the 500k pots with 250k. While you're at it, go ahead and move the middle pickup pot to the bridge pickup (that only involves moving one wire from one tab to another on the 5-way switch). It makes a HUGE difference in sound control. My Squier came with alnico pickups. If yours did, LEAVE THEM ALONE. I learned the hard way by replacing two of them with LACE SENSORS. Big mistake. I reinstalled the originals. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the stock pickups and IMO you'll be disappointed that you spent the money and wasted the time. You will make a better change with replacing the pots and moving the tone control. While you have the pick guard off, go ahead and clean up that mess of wiring and solder all your ground wires to one lug and attach it to one of the switch screws with a nut.

3. Restring (I prefer GHS Gilmours .10 - .4 making sure you knot them at the tuners. Add a third spring to the tremolo and take the time to set it up correctly making sure you end up with the plate absolutely parallel to the guitar body. You will need to tune, adjust the claws, retune, etc., about a half-dozen times to get it set. Verify the neck curvature is set (mine is .010), set your action (I was able to go close to 3/64 at the 17th fret without buzzing), and set your intonation.

My result was a $125 guitar that plays as well or better than some damn expensive ones that I've owned.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 05:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Squier setup.

Three of the main things I did to my Squier were to move the tremelo spring positions from the standard 1-3-5 / 2-4-6 (Hooks to block) to 2-3-4 / 2-4-6.
Next, I replaced the neck pickup with a Tele neck pickup. This required modding the pick-guard slightly, drilling two new holes that overlap the originals, as the Tele pickup is bored more narrowly. Not the most attractive mod, but you can always fill the original holes if you don't intend to go back to the Strat pickup. and/or buy another pickgaurd with all-Strat goodies as a standby. If you were to do this mod, an issue is travel of the pickup. I've thought of two ways to solve this. The quick'n'dirty way is to wind electrical tape around the metal pickup shielding until there's no room for the pickup to move. Or, you could take the plastic shielding from the Strat pickup, and remove the top of it so as to only have a "sleeve," and re-bore it to be congruous with the pickup and pickgaurd screw spacing.
With all the materials laid out, the whole process took me less than two hours.
Lastly, I fully shielded the back of the pick-guard with metal tape, running a thin earth wire to each piece of tape. (Fresh solder. Clean, fluxed iron.)

I didn't change any of the other electronics, and there was no impedence issue tele pickup; buzz was actually reduced. (this was before I finished the pickgaurd shielding, which helped a lot more.)
The range of sounds is really nice. I did buy another loaded pickgaurd "just in case," but I've never felt the need to go back to the pure-Strat.

As for the changing of the tremelo spring positions.. I'm not a big trem user, but I'd read it somewhere that this position helps stabilise tuning. I didn't find it to be an enormous improvement, but certainly noticeable.

Food for thought..
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