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1992 Made in Korea Squier Strat

Discussion in 'Squier Strat Forum' started by Bumble_b, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Bumble_b

    Bumble_b New Member!

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    Hey everyone... I've enjoyed this forum in the past, so thought I'd join up.

    I just picked up a Made in Korea Strat for $52. I've been hunting around for one, and was pretty happy with this purchase. About 7 years ago now, I soldthe first guitar I ever owned (got it 20 years ago), a mid-eighties Made in Japan sunburst Squier Strat with vintage tint maple neck and Kluson tuners. I wish I had NEVER sold that guitar!!!! I missed it the moment it was gone... but I digress...

    My question about my new guitar is this:
    What kind of tuners are these? (I've only owned Strats and Teles with Kluson style tuners). Are these standard Gotoh? I'm thinking of replacing them... they are not holding tune very well.

    Anything that anyone can tell my about the specs of this guitar would be greatly appreciated. From hunting around on here, I know that it was made in 1992... but that's about all I know. It is really light, so I'm not sure the body is ply as was common in this style. When I change the strings, I will pop off the pickguard and see what I can find out. The pots and switch are pretty cheap feeling, but the sound is really nice... grittier than my other Fenders. Overall, I'm really happy.

    Thanks!
     

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  2. softwarejanitor

    softwarejanitor Most Honored Senior Member

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    That's a pretty good price considering it looks in better than average condition for a black label MIK VN2 (Vester/Saehan) Squier.

    Those are the dreaded "trapezoids". It is not surprising they aren't holding tune well, they are about the worst tuners Squier has ever used. FWIW, the "vintage Kluson" type tuners are about the easiest replacement for these as they will usually fit into the stock bushings meaning all you will have to do is drill new pilot holes for the new mounting screws and fill a single left over hole (the one closest to the ball end) by shoving a round toothpick dipped in white glue into the hole and cutting off the excess flush with the back of the headstock with a sharp knife.

    Yes, the black label VN's were plywood. I have a VN5 that I swapped out the plywood body for a solid wood one. The necks are really nice. I like the maple one on yours, mine is rosewood. Some people say the plywood bodies aren't that bad, but in my opinion they aren't up to the standards set by the quality of the necks.

    Those came with ceramic single coil pickups, usually the two bar variety. Some people like them but to me they are usually a little on the harsh, thin and "brittle" sounding side, and the bridge pickup often tends to the overly trebbly side. The pots will likely be dime size 500k and the cap likely a green "chicklet" 0.022uf. I would recommend upgrading all of the above... A decent set of Alnico pickups, full size 250k pots and 0.047 Sprague Orange Drop cap. The pots and cap will usually make a huge improvement by themselves, so if you are on a budget swapping them out before you change out the pickups (usually the most expensive upgrade components you will buy) may be worth a try.

    Also I'd also replace the trem with one of the MIM/Import upgrade trems with a full size steel block and folded steel saddles instead of the thin pot metal block and die cast zinc saddles of the stock trem.
     
  3. Bumble_b

    Bumble_b New Member!

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    Thanks for the detailed reply, I really appreciate it.

    That's good advice on starting with a pot and cap replacement first, I'm going to try that out. Will a high quality switch have much impact on sound?

    I actually like the sound of the pickups... you're right, they're not as smooth as they could be, but they actually sound fantastic through a smaller practice amp... makes it sound like a tube amp. The neck pickup has a Hendrix tone to it, and the in-between positions have more quack than most US strats I've played - which I'm a real fan of.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  4. softwarejanitor

    softwarejanitor Most Honored Senior Member

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    Absolutely none tone wise when you aren't moving the switch. The only improvement that you might notice is it may be quieter when you switch between pickups. A lot of the old, worn out switches really go "clunk, clunk, clunk" that you can hear through the amp when you are switching them... plus sometimes they will pop, hiss and even drop the signal out if they are really bad.

    Ah... the "smaller practice amp" I use most of the time is a tube amp... specifically a hand built one made with vintage 1950s parts wired similarly to a tweed Deluxe... Anyway, I prefer the smoother tones of an alnico single coil pickup... but those MIK ceramics are far from the worst ceramics I've ever heard, I will say that.

    I rarely ever play the quacky positions unless I'm trying to play something the original artists recorded that way. Actually like 90% of the time I use the bridge pickup with the volume dimed... The other 10% is mostly the neck pickup by itself.
     
  5. Bumble_b

    Bumble_b New Member!

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    I ordered up new pots, switch, cap and tuners.... I'll let you know how it goes.
     
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